Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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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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Facilitating transit and transport operations to and from landlocked countries during the Covid-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown its brutal impact particularly on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), as these countries are particularly vulnerable to cross-border restrictions and border closures, given their dependency on transit transport to access international markets. Even in normal times, functioning and efficient transport networks and transit procedures are particularly critical in increasing connectivity and integration of the LLDCs into world markets. During the COVID-19 crisis, there is an even more urgent need to ensure smooth transport of goods to and from these countries, by ensuring the delivery of much-needed medical equipment and basic goods, and in the long-term perspective, in order to facilitate trade and access to global markets, spurring economic pick-up post COVID-19.


African Union: New PIDA Priority Action Plan launched

The African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the AU’s development agency, AUDA-NEPAD, has launched the process aimed at identifying the priority projects of continental interest for the period 2021-2030 that will be included in the new Priority Action Plan (PAP2) of the Programme for infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the AU’s strategic framework for the development of regional infrastructure in Africa in the 1) Transport, 2) Energy, 3) Transboundary Water, and 4) Telecommunication/ICT sectors until 2040.


Regional integration in Africa: new monitoring tool launched

Following the recent release of the African Regional Integration Index (ARII 2019) report (revised on 21 May 2020), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched the Africa Regional Integration Index Platform, a dedicated website for monitoring performances and progress in terms of regional integration in each African country, in the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) recognised by the African Union and, more generally, in the African Continent.


WTO: 2020 Annual Report released

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) published on 28 May its latest Annual Report, the document that provides a comprehensive summary of the activities carried out by the Organisation during the period 2019/early 2020.


Joint WCO-OTIF-OSJD statement on responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on cross-border railway transport

The heads of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and the Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD) on 15 May 2020 issued a joint statement highlighting the need to facilitate railway transport and railway supply chains in order to mitigate the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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