Sunday, June 26, 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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Launch of the SADC electronic certificate of origin awaited for July

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) announced that preparatory works for operationalisation of the SADC electronic certificate of origin (eCoO) are underway and that its official launch is expected for July 2022, while its implementation in Member States is planned for 2024, after the pilot tests and the capacity building and awareness raising activities addressed to customs officials and exporters in the Region will be completed.

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Ethiopia loses 19% stake in the port of Berbera

According to some sources of information circulating on internet, the Ethiopian government has been excluded as a shareholder in the port of Berbera for failing to complete on time the stake acquisition process. In March 2018, Ethiopia government concluded an investment agreement with DP World (which operates the port since March 2017) and the Somaliland Port Authority for jointly participating to the development of the port. In the Agreement, the three stakeholders committed to acquire shares of 51 percent (DP World), 30 percent (Somaliland Port Authority) and 19 percent (Ethiopian government) of the port. Now the Somaliland authorities announced that Ethiopia’s 19% stake will be bought out in part by DP World (14%) and in part by the Somaliland Port Authority (5%).

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Balance between protectionism and market access in South Africa sways to one side

Desire of protectionism remains high in Africa. Findings from a recent survey conducted by Afrobarometer (a pan-African survey research network that conducts evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life in the continent), show considerable resistance among South Africans to free movement and trade. Precisely, 51% of respondents is in favor of protecting domestic producers from foreign competitors against a 45% supporting free cross-border movement.

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Development of dry ports in Africa gains traction

Confronted with increased congestion of seaports recently exacerbated by Covid-19, many nations and Regional Economic Communities in Africa are launching dry port development projects that aim at shifting customs, logistics services and cargo handling activities to inland terminals situated in locations far from ports. However, in order to maximize efficiency of such structures, their connection to seaports need to be ensured by short and fast access lines that should be integrated in their design. In this regard, railway transport is unsurpassed in terms of its speed, time savings and ability to travel long distances. Unfortunately, this mode of transport is also inadequate or non-existent in many parts of Africa, often constrained by difficult morphological conditions of the territories where railway tracks must be laid.

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New report questions the compatibility with the AfCFTA of FTAs concluded by individual or groups of African states

A report from IBON International titled Scramble for Africa: A Campaign Primer on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (available both in English and French), gives a positive judgement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), but also warns about the negative impact that the separate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that some African States or groups of States have concluded or are concluding with third countries will have on it. These Agreements, notes the report, risk to compromise the regional integration efforts that are pursued at regional and continental level and prevents the African Union from negotiating as a bloc, weakening this institution. The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) concluded with the European Union (EU) are in the spotline.

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