Monday, June 17, 2024
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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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Green energy and trade in services among the areas with the highest potential for AfCFTA and Africa's participation in internation al value chains

In an interview published on CEO Magazine, the Global Director for Trade, Investment and Competitiveness of the World Bank talks about the objectives and the possible gains that Africa could achieve through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). According to the World Bank report “Making the Most of the African Continental Free Trade Area”, this agreement has the potential to double intra-African trade by 2035, lifting 50 million people out of extreme poverty, with income gains totaling US$571 billion. However, the report also warns that for this scenario to materialize, the AfCFTA needs to go beyond trade liberalization. Elimination of tariffs and NTBs, as well as implementation of trade facilitation measures are daunting, yet important tasks – especially in the light of the fact that African countries tend to over-rely on protectionist policies to support domestic industries - but is a recipe that is not sufficient for success.

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From the WEF an Action Plan to Accelerate Global Business and Investment in Africa

Today, 17 January 2024, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published, jointly with the Forum Friends of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a white paper identifying a series of goals, initiatives and commitments proposed by industry leaders in four priority sectors (automotive, agriculture and agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, and transport and logistics), that are considered critical for accelerating business and investment in Africa. Such sectors, all together, are estimated to have a combined value of $130 billion. The white paper builds on a previous report published by the same organizations in January 2023 with the aim to give to global businesses and investors an overview of the investment opportunities in the four priority sectors above, considered among those with highest returns in Africa. We described such report here.

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AfCFTA and possible solutions to spur infrastructure development for growth of intra-Africa trade

A new study from Supply Chain Africa (a digital media platform that aims at advancing African supply chains byshedding light on supply chain stories, best practices and models for change), analyses how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will impact global supply chains through the increase of intra-African trade and foreign direct investment. This is not the first study of this type. Already the International Trade Centre (ITC) issued a report, elaborated in close collaboration with the African Union Commission and the European Commission, that identified 94 value chains where African countries have a comparative advantage or high export potential that can spur industrialization.

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Implementation of a Single Windows based on the ASYCUDA approach : a guide from UNCTAD

A new publication from UNCTAD explains step-by-step the process of implementation of a Single Window interface within the ASYCUDA system with the advantages that such interface offers. ASYCUDA is a customs management system developed by UNCTAD that allows the electronic processing of customs declarations and the exchange of data and documentation between Customs, cross-border agencies and traders. Adopted by many African Customs, it accelerates the clearance of imports, exports, transit trade and other trade transactions, thereby reducing the need for face-to-face interaction.

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Which future for regional integration in Africa? No strong institutions, no party

An interesting post published on the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) analyses the role that the African Union is expected to play in 2024 and in the following years, in the light of the perduring weaknesses of this institution after more than 20 years since when, on July 9 2002, African Heads of State and Government met in Durban (South Africa), to welcome the birth of the continental organization. The African Union (AU) is weak because member states keep avoiding to relegate powers to the AU Commission, the post comments, recalling a statement from the Chairperson of the AU Commission.

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