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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Africa Prosperity Dialogues: days two and three update

The Africa Prosperity Dialogues, or "Kwahu Summit" are continuing smoothly in Ghana. On 27 January 2023, discussions were focused on how to develop partnerships between the private sector and African governments, on the indissoluble connection between trade and foreign direct investments, and on the role of the African diaspora as a catalyst in driving economic growth and development in Africa within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The African Diaspora has been recognized as a potential source of investments in African economies which can be leveraged also for transferring human capital, knowledge, and technology into the continent. In this regard, African States have been invited to develop diaspora engagement policies to identify strategies for engaging, maintaining and developing relationships with communities of their citizens living abroad. The experiences of Ghana and Ethiopia were mentioned, two countries that have estimated communities of over 3 million of people living abroad. This topic was also discussed during the first day of the event.


Expansion plans for the Berbera port scale-up

DP World, the UAE-based operator that manages the port of Berbera in Somaliland under a 30-year concession contract, has revealed plans to increase the handling capacity of this port (which currently stands at 500,000-600,000 TEU per year), to 2M TEU/year. This will be done by extending its quay from 400m to 1,000m and by installing seven more STS gantry cranes.


Africa Prosperity Dialogues day one: role of public and private sectors in AfCFTA operationalization

In concomitance with the celebration of the International Customs Day by the World Customs Organisation, the Africa Prosperity Dialogues, aka "Kwahu Summit" also started in Ghana. The event has been dedicated to the African Continental Free Trade Area, and it opened today under the slogan “AfCFTA: from ambition to action”. The Africa Prosperity Dialogues is a summit launched by the Africa Prosperity Network (a Ghanaian private not-for-profit organization), to give the opportunity to policymakers, captains of industries and representatives of International Organizations active in Africa to meet physically and discuss how to accelerate the implementation of the Agreement. Objective: to share thoughts and experiences on issues and initiatives required for Africa to achieve the goal of a more economically integrated continent. The day 1 of the Dialogues mainly focused on challenges that constrain African trade and their possible solutions. It was also an occasion to take stock of the achievements and lessons learned so far since the launch of the AfCFTA.


The status of trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

An article published on the website of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) points out that despite the signature and ratification of the AfCFTA has been achieved in record time (currently 44 out of 55 African Union members have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Chair of the African Union Commission) and despite the number of initiatives launched to sensitise the private sector on the AfCFTA benefits and to sustain the implementation of the Agreement, to date no commercially significant trade has yet occurred under the deal since its launch on 1 January 2021. As a consequence, no substantial results have been achieved so far in terms of increase of intra-African trade.


New report identifies transportation and logistics among the sectors with the higher potential for companies looking to invest in Africa

At the last annual meeting in May 2022, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the Forum Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a multistakeholder group made up by representatives of both international and national organisations with the participation of the private sector that aims at mobilising global business to support the implementation of the AfCFTA through public-private collaborations. This week, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, which started today and will end on 20 January 2023, will include the presentation of a report consolidating the contributions and findings developed within this forum with a description on how global business can accelerate the implementation of the AfCFTA. Its objective is to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities, and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, subregional, and continental value chains and accelerating industrialisation, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA. The WEF report also reviews the various operational tools and strategies that can support the implementation of the Agreement, by identifying high-potential sectors and initiatives to support business and investment in Africa, with the description of some examples of successful businesses, such as Agility, the Africa Finance Corporation, Coca-Cola, DP World, Menzies Aviation, Novartis, OCP Group, the United Bank for Africa, Volkswagen, and Yara. Awaiting the publication of the report, a post published on the WEF website gives some preliminary information on its content.


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