Sunday, January 23, 2022
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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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Sudan and Ethiopia form joint border patrols but no agreement on the reopening of the Metema border crossing

During a meeting held in the border town of Metema on 5 January 2022, military delegations from Sudan and Ethiopia discussed plans for the re-opening of the Gallabat-Metema border crossing. This border post, vital for trade between the two countries, was closed in July 2021 after the murder of a Sudanese army officer in the Galabat area by an Ethiopian gunmen inside the Sudanese side of the border. Since then, all commercial activities between the two countries through this border post are paralised.


Reduction of non-tariff barriers as a condition for the success of the AfCFTA

A study titled “Potential effects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on African agri-food sectors and food security” conducted by the European Union’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on request of the African Union Commission (AUC) shows that to make the AfCFTA a success, African Regional Economic Communities and national governments have to focus more on reduction of non-tariff barriers, as this can have an impact on the growth of intra-African trade larger than reduction in tariffs.


New WTO report provides recommendations on how to ease trade bottlenecks in landlocked countries

Landlocked developing countries (LLDC) face very high trade costs, which on average, are almost double than those faced by coastal countries, as a result of the lack of territorial access to the sea and isolation from the world’s largest markets, which restrict the free flow of trade and impose constraints on their socio-economic development. The incidence of transport costs and non-tariff measures is also higher in these countries. In 2020, LLDCs suffered a 36 per cent decline in services exports, sharper than in the rest of the world.


Gulu logistics hub promises to shift to railway part of trade traffic between Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and DRC

A logistics hub under construction in Gulu will transform the Ugandan city in a strategic logistics point for trade between Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by shifting part of road traffic to railway, as planned under Vision 2040, the strategic master plan for Uganda’s development which aims at developing by 2040 a multi-lane standard gauge railway system with high speed trains for both passenger transport and cargo freights linking Uganda to the Mombasa (Kenya), Dar-es-salaam and Tanga (Tanzania) and Djibouti ports.


Africa, the next frontier of retail

According to the 2021 Global Retail Development Index published by Kearney, Africa will emerge in the next years as the major retail hotspot on the world scenario. The Continent will progressively shift away from traditional models (represented by the galaxy of small, mostly family-owned retail, including informal businesses, that are current involved in the distribution of products to final consumers), evolving towards modern retail solutions, including large-scale distribution stores and e-commerce, that will offer lucrative investment opportunities to those that will enter into this business, especially in those countries with faster economic growth (economic growth generates more consumption) and a growing middle class, such as Morocco, Egypt, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.


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