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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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The Africa of the many visions that rarely materialize or that materialize when it is too late

Among the main decisions arisen during the 37th AU summit held from 15th January to 18th February 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there is the launch of an Alliance for African Multilateral Financial Institutions (AAMFI), also called "Africa Club". AAMFIs are a group of African-owned and African-controlled financial institutions that were created to support investments and financing needs of African States. They include the African Export Import Bank (AfreximBank), the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re) and the African Trade and Investment Development Insurance (ATIDI). All these institutions are owned and participated by African states and play an important role on financing and investment in Africa, by supporting African states’ debt during recent times of crisis.  So far, however, they have acted independently from each other. The idea is to create a structure that can coordinate the actions of all these institutions so that they can work in a concerted manner.

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Somalia: a future logistics hub in Africa?

Interview to our CEO for the Ports and Harbours magazine on the potential of Somalia for development of port traffic in the Horn of Africa.

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New report shows growing interest for Africa for investments by the logistics industry

The recently issued Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index report 2024 shows that logistics businesses are looking at the massive population growth and trade expansion spurred by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for increasing their logistics investments in the continent. Despite the speed and ease of doing business in Africa is improving via investment promotion agencies and one-stop shop solutions, improved governance, growing transparency, improved rule of law, and stronger protections for property rights, the report also notes that infrastructure gaps and high logistics costs are still a challenge in the continent that need to be urgently addressed. We highlighted the potential of Africa for attracting investment in logistics services in this post on our blog.

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Rules of origin (RoO): which ones cause highest compliance costs on companies?

Rules of origin (RoO) represent an important chapter of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). They aim at preventing the entry in the PTA of products originating from third countries through the partner that applies the lowest tariff, for being subsequently circulated in the entire PTA duty-free (a phenomenon known as ‘trade deflection’). However, also unilateral trade arrangements have their own RoO. The Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSPs) or the US AGOA programme for instance, are preferential trade arrangements adopted unilaterally by some industrialized countries to offer mark access (without reciprocity) to developing and less developed countries from selected countries. A new paper published by FERDI (Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International) shows that the adoption of more flexible product-specific rules of origin within preferential agreements would give a significant boost to global trade.

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AfCFTA and protection of labour: time to consider the development of a dedicated Protocol?

A paper published in the last edition of the African Human Rights Yearbook edited by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) raises an interesting issue, concerning the lack of social clauses in the AfCFTA framework to protect labour standards and the rights of workers for the new jobs that will be hopefully created by the trade liberalisation process triggered by the AfCFTA. This exposes such workers at further risk of job loss (for unlawful dismissal) and exploitation. If, on one hand, extensive research has been conducted so far to estimate the potential job creation effects arising from the implementation of the AfCFTA, studies aimed at analyzing the quality of jobs that will be generated are very limited. There is a risk that these workers will not be guaranteed with decent working conditions, the paper warns, and that the liberalisation of trade that the AfCFTA will stimulate will undermine the quality of employment, leading to lower wages, less job security, health and safety problems, longer working hours and increased workloads.

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