Wednesday, November 29, 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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Trade protection policies as a key obstacle to attraction of investments in Africa

Recently, there is no study on Africa’s economy that does not mention the share of intraregional trade in the continent, noting that such a share is significantly lower than in other regions of the world. The latest edition of Africa’s Pulse, the bi-annual publication of the Office of the Chief Economist in the World Bank Africa Region is not an exception. The report clarifies that the average share of trade within Sub-Saharan Africa was only 16 percent in the period between 2013 and 2017, noting that such a share is substantially lower compared to that in North America (56 percent in 2013–17), Asia (60 percent), and Europe (68 percent). However, these statistics in Africa must be taken with a pinch of salt, given the highly informal and predominantly cash-based nature of its economy, where formal and informal transactions are largely mediated by intermediaries.


Regional ‘hegemons’ can push the Africa integration process forward

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) published the 2023 edition of the Macroeconomic and Social Developments Report for Eastern Africa, a document that analyses the economic outlook andintegration challenges in Eastern Africa. A chapter of the report is dedicated to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is analysed in the context of the current status of the economic integration process at both regional and continental level.


CEMAC's trade policy review reveals among the lowest levels of intra-regional trade in Africa for this Community

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has completed the second Trade Policy Review of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), whose findings are now available on its website. CEMAC is one of the few Customs Unions in Africa which, however, is not recognized by the African Union as one of the eight official Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the continent. CEMAC replaced in 1994 the former Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (Union douanière et économique d’Afrique centrale, UDEAC), which is one of the oldest regional groupings in Africa, established during the post-colonial era, in 1964, by Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad.


New World Trade Report 2023: is the old bipolar/unipolar trade system coming to an end?

The World Trade Report is an annual publication issued from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system. The new edition, just released, highlights a phenomenon that is happening at global level: the realignment of geopolitical power. It argues that globalization has led to the emergence of new powerful economic actors that are disrupting the old international order and shifting the global balance of power, unleashing enormous geopolitical and geo-economic shockwaves.


Kenya ranks low in the list of EAC countries where it is easier to conduct business

A recent survey conducted by the East African Business Council (EABC) assesses the business environment within the East Africa Community (EAC), ranking the ease of doing business in each Partner State, according to the perceptions of the companies interviewed. Based on the answers of respondents, Rwanda is indicated as the country in the EAC region with a particularly favorable (‘easy’) business environment (Rank 2.08), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the easiness of doing business is perceived as moderate (Rank 2.75): this is undoubtedly also a sign of improvement in the sense of security in the country. Similar conclusions apply to Uganda (Rank 3.05), Burundi (Rank 3.18), and Tanzania (Rank 3.32), all considered countries where the ease of doing business is “moderate”. Disappointing instead is the ranking of Kenya (3.43) - a country historically considered as ‘business friendly’ –  that despite sharing with Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania the status of moderately easy country for doing business, appears only second in the ranking, after South Sudan, which is the country in the region where it is harder to conduct business (even though the report admits that the responses from DRC and South Sudan were too low to make a conclusive assessment on ease of doing business in these countries).


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