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Third edition of the OSBP Sourcebook analyses One Stop Border Posts in an AfCFTA perspective

In September 2001, an OSBP Sourcebook was developed as a collaborative effort by NEPAD, various technical assistance agencies, and Regional Economic Communities in Africa, to consolidate in a single text the experiences of African countries that have implemented One Stop Border Posts at their respective borders, with lessons learned, best practices and awareness-raising campaigns to communicate the advantages of such structures to the various categories of stakeholders. This publication was subsequently updated on May 2016. The 3rd edition of the OSBP Sourcebook, now available online, points out that OSBPs are central to enhancing interconnectivity and to deepening regional market integration in Africa through the processing of border clearance at one location.

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UK Government launches new Generalized System of Preferences for Developing Countries and Less Developed Countries

The UK has implemented so far the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of the European Union (EU) to promote the development of exports of less advanced economies (most of them being African countries) in its territory. With Brexit, however, things have changed. The country decided to disengage from the EU GSP and develop its own GSP to keep granting duty free and quota free access to its market to such economies. This new scheme is called "Developing Countries Trade Scheme" (DCTS).

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Kazungula, the infrastructure project that is reshaping Southern Africa trade

A recent article published by CNN gives an update of the status of operation of the Kazungula bridge. This bridge, whose construction works commenced in October 2014 and ended in 2021, was built with a $260 million project co-financed by Botswana and Zambia, that in August 2007 announced a deal to construct a road and rail bridge to replace the old ferry transport system between the two countries.

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AfCFTA overview and possible ways for the US Congress to increase US support to the initiative

A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress that provides comprehensive legislative research and analysis in order to contribute to an informed national legislature in United States, recapitulates the initiatives developed by the various international organizations and governments so far to support the African Union (AU) and in particular, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations and implementation. The report recognises that the US funding in support of the AfCFTA is significantly lower than that provided by some other donors (notably the EU), but also that the technical assistance provided by such donors has to date focused heavily on the AfCFTA Secretariat and various AUC departments, rather than at the national and regional level, where additional support is needed to help national governments and regional organisations to address AfCFTA implementation challenges. The US Congress is urged to consider the development of mechanisms aimed at fostering greater coordination among and with all partners supporting the continental FTA. To this end, an official cooperative forum, formally involving AfCFTA and development partner officials (e.g., from the EU and U.S.), could act as a channel to clarify African needs and address capacity gaps to be filled with additional assistance.

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The old habit of protectionism in Africa and the free circulation of goods dilemma

Old Habits Are Hard to Break, says a famous proverb. Despite the recent launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the numerous Free Trade Areas and Customs Unions that promote the free circulation of goods in the various regions of Africa and in the continent, trends to erect walls to trade remain high in Africa. Economic nationalism, the tendency to prioritize national interests by protecting local industries from external competition, seems to be still at the core of African policies.

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