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Comoros National Assembly gives go-ahead for AfCFTA ratification

On Monday 30 January 2023, the National Assembly of the Union of Comoros opened its first extraordinary session of the year 2023. One of the main issues tabled for discussion was the approval of a bill authorising the President of the Union of the Comoros to ratify the Agreement on the Establishment of the Continental African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This bill was unanimously adopted on 6 February, after the Foreign Relations Commission of the National Assembly concluded the audition of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who illustrated the advantages for Comoros to join the Agreement in an audition held on 31 January, summarizing them in two concepts: 1) increase in the volume of trade with other African nations and 2) opportunity to stimulate export diversification in Comoros.


Intra-continental trade levels in Africa lower than ever

The 2022 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published this month by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, dedicates a special section to the Intra-African trade and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). After noting that the majority of African countries in Africa, still today, mainly trades outside the continent than with other African countries, the report observes that intra-continental trade has progressively declined since 2012, reaching in 2021 a percentage of 13% of Africa’s total trade, in comparison to 66.9% in Europe, 63.8% in Asia, and 44.4% in the Americas. Obviously, this percentage does not take into account those cross-border trade transactions that occur informally at African borders, that in some countries are estimated as being even superior to formal trade.


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.


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