Thursday, October 06, 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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Nigeria and Ghana conclude first successful transaction through the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)

The Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is a centralized payment, clearing and settlement system for intra-African trade payments developed by the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which was adopted as the payment and settlement system to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU held in Niamey, Niger in July 2018 (Assembly/AU/Dec.1(XII)).

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Can e-commerce reduce logistical challenges and costs faced by African traders? How?

The UNECA (United Nation Economic Commission for Africa) 2021 edition of the flagship publication, African Women’s Report: Digital Finance – A Pathway to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa, addresses the key challenges that limit the use of digital finance to promote women’s empowerment in Africa. Such challenges include the lack of an enabling environment for digital connectivity (as Africa has a lower rate of mobile and Internet usage compared to other global regions, despite mobile money services spread more than on any other continent), the shortage of prerequisite skills in digital and financial literacy (only around 12 per cent of women possess digital finance-related information and ICT skills, much below the global average) and the exclusion of women from conventional financial institutions and products (as only 33 per cent of them holds a formal bank account, compared with 43 per cent of men).

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AfCFTA Investment Protocol finally approved

The Investment Protocol to the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement has finally been approved in Accra, Ghana, after one week of State-Party consultations. The AfCFTA Committee on Investment, the body established on 3rd May 2021 by the Ministers responsible for Trade of African States to drive the negotiations of such Protocol, met for the first time virtually from 6th to 9th September 2021 to agree on the modalities and principles for negotiating the AfCFTA Protocol on Investment. This was followed by a second meeting held from 13th to 16th December 2021 to analyse a “Zero Draft” version of the Protocol developed by the AfCFTA Secretariat.

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AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative gains momentum

During the 9th meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers of July 25, 2022 the AfCFTA Secretariat announced the launch of a programme called “AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative” as a pilot exercise to assess the readiness of seven selected African States to trade on the basis of the new continental free trade area framework. The purpose of the Initiative is to test the procedures and documents introduced by the AfCFTA Agreement by exchanging commercially meaningful goods identified by such States bilaterally at preferential duty rates. Countries included in the Guided Trade Initiative include Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Mauritius. Recently also Tunisia was added to the list.

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Moyale One-Stop Border Post failure to integrate economies and communities living in proximity of the border

Despite the adoption, on 15 September 2021, of an operational procedure manual for joint border operations, the establishment of a Joint (bilateral) Border Post Committee to facilitate the coordination of operations between the border agencies of Kenya and Ethiopia and the launch of a community outreach program to promote trade of local communities at the border, the Moyale One Stop Border Post (OSBP) still suffers from unharmonised procedures and remains largely underutilised. According to a recent article published on Business Daily, rather than facilitating trade, the facility has turned with time into an impediment to the movement of people, preventing the two countries to reap the socio-economic benefits that the OSBP was supposed to deliver in terms of integration of their economies and of the communities living in proximity of the border post.

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