Monday, March 20, 2023
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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UNCTAD study on The Trans Saharan Road reveals that most efficient inter-State corridors are those developed within customs unions

The Trans Saharan Road (TSR) corridor is a strategic road for African integration and one of the nine main Trans-African Highways (TAH) corridors being developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union (AU), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the support of other regional and international organisations and development institutions, such as the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and UNCTAD.


WTO concludes trade policy review of Djibouti

As it is known, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) responsibilities include the periodic surveillance of the trade policies adopted by its members, as well as the analysis of their impact on the functioning of the multilateral trading system. Between 12 and 14 October 2022, the third review of the trade policies and practices of Djibouti was concluded. The WTO report is now available on the website of the organization.


AfCFTA: which benefits for EU companies?

The EU has strongly contributed to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation by offering support in many aspects: political, technical and financial. But it is said that nobody does anything for nothing. So, how European companies will benefit from this Agreement? A study from the Kiel Institute study tries to shed some light on this issue, arguing that the AfCFTA offers an opportunity to reverse the trend of a progressively declining trade between the EU and Africa. In fact, despite the fact that the EU still remains the top trading partner for most African countries, its share in total African exports and imports has decreased steadily over the last 20 years (from nearly 50% in 2000 to 35% in 2020), as African economies have increasingly redirected part of their trade toward Asian countries. But if the AfCFTA is a free trade arrangement that covers uniquely trade between African countries, how third countries can benefit from it by expanding their trade with Africa?


Second edition of PAFTRAC CEO Trade Survey shows areas where African SME need to build capacity in order to benefit from the AfCFTA

PAFTRAC is a platform that brings together the African private sector and African policymakers to support extra and intra-African trade, investment and pan-African enterprises. The 2022 survey, now available online, follows a previous one, conducted in the end of 2021, which revealed that 71% of African companies were optimistic about the ability for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to spur the continental trade, encouraging them to invest more to grow their business, even though almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) admitted a difficulty in accessing information about the AfCFTA.


Electronic regional transit systems: the SIGMAT system and the challenge for Africa

Customs administrations in the various regions of the world rely more and more on the latest available technology to track goods in transit and combat fraud. In Africa, many Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have developed automated transit management systems where interconnected customs can exchange among themselves electronic transit messages to confirm the entry and exit of cargo from their territories. Probably the most known regional transit system in Africa is the COMESA RCTG scheme, also known as RCTG Carnet, which according to the COMESA Secretariat has reduced the cost of transit in the region between 10% to 15%, with trucks now spending no more than 30 minutes at border crossing points, in contrast to a previous waiting time up to 2-3 days needed for truckers holding national transit bonds and causing them additional costs of approximately 500 USD per trip. In the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) a project called “ALISA”, was launched by the ECOWAS Commission in 2000, subsequently renamed SIGMAT, to interconnect customs in the region so that they can exchange electronically transit messages as cargo moves through the countries of departure, transit and destination. Therefore, the system avoids traders to submit repetitive declarations to Customs at each border through which the consignment moves. The automation of such formalities and procedures leads to a reduction of the cost and time for goods in transit. Moreover, it makes it easier to track goods, increase transparency and fight fraud.


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