Technology has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible and achievable in our lifetime. In the past decade, technology has enabled Africa to innovate solutions to challenges such as food security, access to health, financial inclusion, and education. Digital technologies can help address the significant inequalities the continent faces, help manage climate change, increase food production, improve education, increase access to healthcare, and even democratise elections. All these benefits can significantly increase the living standards of people on the continent.
In 2023, Africa needs an economic turnaround after the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions and the war in Ukraine. These two events have caused global economic shocks, with Africa being among the most affected continents. However, where great challenges lie, great opportunities are presented. Many businesses are looking forward to major turnarounds, making their models more resilient to future shocks. Business can leverage numerous trends and opportunities to improve their best practices, which can be informed by gaps in their and related industries. These trends create a new and improved way of doing business and provide opportunities that help their growth.
AfDB Launches Model for Deploying Green Financing across Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is encouraging the promotion of resilient, green and sustainable growth, with the launch of the African Green Bank Initiative, a model for deploying green financing across Africa. The initiative presented at COP27 in Egypt, will support the implementation of African countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Part of the African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC), the African Green Finance Facility Fund (AG3F) will support the Green Bank Initiative. The AG3F will provide technical assistance to governments and financial institutions in creating and capitalising green facilities, co-invest alongside those in green projects and provide de-risking instruments to increase private sector mobilisation. Launching the initiative, AfDB vice president for Energy, Power, Climate and Green Growth, Kevin Kariuki, said the African Green Bank model would help increase the continent’s access to global climate finance. “The Green Bank Initiative is a powerful tool for reducing financing costs and mobilising private sector investments in climate action in Africa,” Kariuki said.
As part of the UN’s sustainable development goals, greening the world economy has become central to any development agenda. There is a growing need for global collaboration to achieve a green transition globally. Despite having the least carbon emissions, climate change significantly impacts Africa. Therefore, it is crucial for African countries to join the discussion as early as possible by being proactive on legislation, especially regarding the adoption of renewable energy. Africa needs to ride these virtuous circles by ensuring that policymakers tap into the growing market for green, social, and sustainable (GSS) bonds to finance the green economy transition. The GSS bond market is estimated to have grown by over 300 percent in 2020, reaching a record high of USD 425 billion (Moody’s) to USD 500 billion (S&P) by the end of 2020.
Africa Investment Forum 2022 Draws USD 31 Billion in Investor Interest
The recently-concluded Africa Investment Forum Market Days – the continent’s premier investment platform – has drawn USD 31 billion in investment interest from African and global investors. Combined with USD 32.8 billion from the rescheduled 2021 Africa Investment Forum Market Days – which took place as virtual boardrooms in March this year – the forum has mobilised a total of USD 63.8 billion of investment interest. The three-day event, held in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan, attracted the participation of several African heads of state and government. The leaders chaired boardrooms and led transactions with potential investors. This year’s Market Days event – the third since 2018 – took place under the theme of Building Economic Resilience through Sustainable Investments. It was held amid global economic challenges compounded by climate change’s impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war. The event showcased the Africa Investment Forum’s founding partners’ joint resolve to help unleash Africa’s investment potential in such critical sectors as infrastructure, agriculture, energy, education, the creative industries, sports, and transactions that champion women entrepreneurs.
Source: African Development Bank
OPEC Fund and AfDB Group Increase Cooperation to Promote Sustainable Development in Africa
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand their partnership to support sustainable economic and social development in Africa. The agreement, signed at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on 8 November, sets the scope for further strategic and operational cooperation through co-financing of public and private sector projects, joint diagnostic and analytical work, and sharing of knowledge and best practices. The OPEC Fund and the AfDB Group have been partners since 1976. They have co-financed nearly 90 projects in the energy, transport and water sectors, with more than USD 1 billion of OPEC Fund contribution for over USD 15 billion of the total project value. AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina said, “we are pleased to re-dynamise the partnership between the AfDB and the OPEC Fund for International Development. Our two institutions focus on improving people’s lives, and there is a strong alignment between our approaches. The signing of this MoU will strengthen and deepen our cooperation even further.”
Source: African Development Bank
Addis Ababa Ranks Second as World’s Best Location to Set up Data Center
The latest fDi Benchmark study puts Addis Ababa second only to Beijing as the world’s most attractive location to set up data centres. The study benchmarks the 100 cities based on fDi Intelligence proprietary data and models to find those with the best cost/quality profile. The model allocated 75 percent weight to quality factors and the remaining 25 percent to cost factors to rank 100 cities that have received the highest number of FDI projects between January 2003 and June 2022. Beijing is the world’s best location to set up a data centre, followed by Addis Ababa and London, the fDi Benchmark study reveals. Unlike Beijing, second-placed Addis Ababa has capitalised on its excellent cost/quality profile to attract FDI in data centres. The government’s move to liberalise the telecommunications sector spurred the FDI flow. Last January, Safaricom, which won a newly issued mobile telecom license in 2021, announced plans to invest USD 100 million to establish its first data centre in Addis Ababa to cater to its growing operations.
Source: Ethiopia Monitor
Morocco Exceeds Expectations in Renewables Market Attractiveness Index
Despite being a traditional energy import market, Morocco has worked on building competitive renewable energy infrastructure, which contributed to boosting the attractiveness of the domestic market among foreign investors. This year, consulting firm EY ranked Morocco 19th globally in its renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), behind larger economies such as the US, China, Germany, the UK, France, Australia, India, and Spain. Despite Morocco’s relatively low GDP, estimated at USD 133 billion in 2021, according to the World Bank, the country has exceeded expectations by developing large-scale renewables pipelines to serve domestic and foreign demand for clean energy. According to EY, Morocco ranked first in the world in the normalised RECAI ranking, which assesses markets’ performance by their economic size (GDP). Morocco outperformed Greece, Denmark, Jordan, Chile, Ireland, and Australia in the ranking in addition to the world’s most attractive market for renewable investments, the United States, which placed 31st behind Brazil and China.
Source: Morocco World News
Mozambique Starts to Export Liquefied Natural Gas through Its FLNG Project
The Mozambican government recently announced the start of the export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Mozambique. Recently, the oil tanker British Sponsor left Mozambican territorial waters carrying the first LNG cargo produced by the Coral South Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project in the country’s north. This FLNG project is Africa’s largest and the second-largest in the world. Coral South FLNG is the pioneering part of Mozambique’s Area 4 mega gas project, a joint venture bringing together the Italian ENI, ExxonMobil of the U.S., China’s CNPC, Mozambican ENH, the Galp from Portugal and the Korean KOGAS. Integrating the world’s most cutting-edge deep-sea LNG technology, Coral South FLNG contains a floating production platform installed 80 kilometres offshore Mozambique in the southern part of Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin. It has a production capacity of 3.4 million tonnes of LNG per year from wells located in 2,000-meter water depth with a design life of 25 years.
Mobile Services Add USD 140 Billion to Nigeria, other SSA Economies
In 2021, mobile technologies and services generated around eight percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria and other sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries, a contribution that amounted to almost USD 140 billion of economic value added in 2021. The mobile ecosystem also supported more than 3.2 million jobs (directly and indirectly). It made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with USD 16 billion raised through taxes on the sector. The Mobile Economy sub-Saharan Africa report 2022, a report by the Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA), disclosed that by 2025 mobile services contribution will grow by USD 65 billion to almost USD 155 billion. It will be as a result of the countries in the region increasingly benefiting from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services.
Source: The Guardian
Tanzania to Sign HGA for USD 30 Billion LPG Project in December
Tanzania is expected to sign a host government agreement (HGA) for the USD 30 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project with investors in December this year, the Minister for Energy, January Makamba, has said. According to Thomson Reuters, HGA is an agreement between a foreign investor and a local or host government governing the rights and obligations of the foreign investor and the host government concerning the development, construction, and operation of a project by the foreign investor. Mr Makamba revealed recently at a launching ceremony of the macroeconomic report of the LNG in Dar es Salaam and added that negotiations with investors are going on well. Stanbic Bank has prepared the report. “We’re getting there. We have tremendous confidence we will sign in December,” said the Minister at the report’s launch, which shows the LNG project will have enormous financial and economic benefits to the nation.
Source: Egypt Today
South Africa Sets Sights on USD 250 Billion Investment in Hydrogen Sector
South Africa set its sights on attracting as much as ZAR 4.33 trillion (approx. USD 250 billion) into its nascent green hydrogen industry by 2050 to take advantage of abundant solar and wind energy sources. The industry could create 1.4 million jobs and generate as much as USD 30 billion in annual revenue by that year, according to Masopha Moshoeshoe, a green economy specialist in the presidency’s investment and infrastructure office. Green hydrogen, made by splitting water using renewable energy, is one of three ways SA aims to shift its economy away from relying on coal, which accounts for more than 80 percent of its electricity. The other ways are developing an electric vehicle industry and shifting power production to wind and solar power. The plan, included in a presentation by Moshoeshoe at the COP27 international climate conference in Egypt, would involve SA exporting as much as 8 million tonnes of the clean-burning fuel and its derivatives by 2050 and satisfying local demand of 2 million to 5 million tonnes, he said.
World Bank Annual Report
The World Bank is acting quickly to help countries adapt to a changing world as they address crises. It provides comprehensive support through data and analysis, policy advice, responsive financing, and convening power. This effort is helping countries expand access to COVID-19 vaccines; strengthen health systems; enhance social protection; address the learning crisis; work toward debt sustainability; build greener and more resilient infrastructure; invest in cleaner and more diverse energy sources; reduce gender gaps; combat fragility, conflict, and violence; and mitigate and adapt to climate change. These efforts are strengthened by a wide range of partnerships: with other multilateral institutions, UN agencies, nongovernmental organisations, civil society, academia, and the private sector. Through these engagements, countries can leverage World Bank’s comparative advantages, exchange knowledge and best practices, scale up financing, and expand their reach in the most fragile and inaccessible areas. World Bank’s partnerships have played a crucial role in combating the pandemic and are helping countries address the far-reaching impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including greater food insecurity.
McKinsey & Company | Reshaping Retail Banks: Enhancing Banking for the Next Digital Age
Retail banks have experienced respectable growth as the pandemic has abated, and it is tempting to declare that global retail banking is healthy. However, a disaggregated view reveals the unsustainable economics of the universal banking model, in which an institution offers a full range of financial services, from daily banking (deposit accounts, payments, and credit cards) to more complex lending, wealth management, and even insurance. To supercharge their financial performance and defend market share, banks will need to target profit pools in specific businesses where they can define and deliver a value proposition that can win in our new digital age. While much is said of the threat from fintech and Big Tech, incumbent banks will continue to lead in retail banking. However, banks running the old playbook will not survive; the new winners will operate like tech companies with advanced data capabilities, a cutting-edge tech stack, and an agile operating model.
IRENA | Energy Transition Support to Strengthen Climate Action 2022
The overall trend in countries’ climate ambitions is positive, indicating that energy transition plays a key role in accelerating climate action. Full implementation of the latest climate commitments would bring the world closer to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping the average global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C). However, there is still a pressing need to raise the ambition of climate action and accelerate the global energy transition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook (WETO) 2022 underscores the urgency of accelerating the global energy transition towards cleaner and more sustainable options for energy generation (IRENA, 2022a). The emissions gap between countries’ climate commitments – such as the NDCs and net-zero emission targets – and the efforts necessary to achieve the 1.5°C climate goal by 2050 is estimated to be 20 gigatonnes. Scaling up renewables and end-use electrification, together with accelerated energy efficiency measures, are essential to reduce emissions. Successful medium- and long-term energy transition plans and strategies should be supported by short-term interventions.
Oxford Economics Africa | Africa Risk-Reward Index 2022
Control Risks and Oxford Economics Africa seventh edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index illustrates the evolution of the investment landscape in major African markets and provides a grounded, longer-term outlook of key trends shaping investment in these economies. It also offers a comparative snapshot of market opportunities and risks across the continent, which will allows different organisations to develop an informed strategy for growing their business or investing in Africa. The impacts of a global economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, climate change, and conflict in Ukraine have without doubt exacerbated global uncertainty regarding growth opportunities and political stability across Africa. But in the long term, these geopolitical shocks may turn out to be the very factors that redefine Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world and its role in the world economy. In this year’s edition, Control Risks and Oxford Economics highlight the three main themes that will likely shape this transition period for the continent, as well as the business opportunities and risks that this will present.
Over the years, Africa has progressively sought to enhance access to justice through each state’s national courts, regional courts, and the African Union (AU). In furtherance of shared objectives, African states have united and formed regional blocs based on their geographical and strategic locations. Each of these regional blocs, through their respective founding treaties, established a judicial arm mandated with adjudication of disputes between member states or any dispute referred to the court by a resident of a member state.
Climate Finance to Low- and Middle-Income Countries Hits USD 51 Billion in 2021
Climate finance committed by major multilateral development banks (MDBs) rose in 2021 with over USD 19 billion committed to climate change adaptation finance, according to the Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance, published recently. The report tracks the progress of MDBs in relation to their climate finance targets such as those announced at COP21 and the greater ambition pledged for the post-2020 period. The report finds that total financing commitment by MDBs to low-income and middle-income economies in 2021 of USD 51 billion, surpassed the annual expectations of USD 50 billion set in 2019 at the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York. Of the USD 51 billion of climate finance committed to low-income and middle-income economies, USD 47 billion was from the MDBs’ own account and USD 3 billion from external resources that were channelled through the banks. Mitigation finance committed to low- and middle-income economies totalled USD 33 billion, or 65 percent, while adaptation finance totalled USD 18 billion, or 35 percent.
Source: African Development Bank
Private Wealth in Africa Set for USD 798 Billion Jump to USD 3 Trillion
Africa’s stock of private wealth is forecast to jump 38 percent to nearly USD 3 trillion over the next decade, with Mauritius and Rwanda witnessing the strongest growth. Smaller, better-organised economies in Africa are fast turning into wealth hubs, home to more and more of the continent’s dollar millionaires. According to the latest Africa Wealth Report 2022 by Henley Global, the tide is swinging in the direction of smaller emerging economies thanks to their growing exchequer hygiene. “Key drivers of this trend are the recognition by these economies that they can attract substantial capital if they have the right regulatory framework,” notes Vusi Thembekwayo, venture capitalist and MyGrowthFund Venture Partner. “This regulatory regime includes preferential terms for capital gains tax and inheritance tax and an environment that allows for ease of doing business.” In the period under review, Africa’s total private wealth – currently worth USD 2.1 trillion – will swell 38 percent by 2031, representing a USD 798 billion jump.
Source: The Independent
World Bank to include Africa in USD 127 Billion Solar Power Mini-Grid
The World Bank Group will be raising USD 127 billion for mini-grid power funding by 2030. The bank said it will be leveraging development partner funding and government investment to “crowd in” private-sector finance for the project. It explained that solar mini-grids could provide high-quality uninterrupted electricity to nearly half a billion people in unpowered or under-served communities and be a least-cost solution to close the energy access gap by 2030. “But to realise the full potential of solar mini-grids, governments and industry must work together to systemically identify mini- grid opportunities, continue to drive costs down, and overcome barriers to financing. “Around 733 million people – mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa – still lack access to electricity. The pace of electrification has slowed down in recent years, due to the difficulties in reaching the remotest and most vulnerable populations, as well as the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the rate of progress, 670 million people will remain without electricity by 2030″, the bank said.
Source: The Nation Nigeria
East African States Lead in Domestication of AfCFTA Trade Requirements
East African member states have dominated the list of countries that have domesticated the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) adequately to facilitate the commencement of trade under the trading bloc’s framework. Speaking during the launch of the Guided Trading Initiative in Accra, Ghana, AfCFTA secretary general Wamkele Mene said that so far three out of the eight countries that have set the stage for trading under AfCFTA are from East Africa. The Guided Trade Initiative facilitates trade under the AfCFTA through matchmaking businesses and products for export and import between interested state parties. “I want to thank those countries that have expressed readiness to start trading under the AfCFTA. Those countries are Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, Cameroon and Tunisia. More and more state parties are expressing interest as they conclude the process of domesticating the AfCFTA in their law,” Mene said. Kenya and Uganda have already undertaken trade under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative with Kenya having exported Exide batteries worth USD 77,000 to Ghana following importation by Yesudem Company. Kenya made its second export under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative which consisted of tea exports to Ghana.
Source: The EastAfrican
Algeria Expects its Foreign Trade Surplus to Exceed USD 17 Billion
Algeria expects its foreign trade surplus to exceed USD 17 billion by the end of the year and for exports of non-oil products to reach USD 7 billion. Prime Minister Ayman Ben Abdel Rahman said yesterday that “the trade balance obtained a surplus estimated at USD 14 billion at the end of August, and we expect it to exceed USD 17 billion by the end of 2022,” according to the official news agency. He explained that “the currently adopted foreign trade policy aims to control and streamline imports, not curb them, as some malicious parties are trying to claim.” He pointed out that the value of non-oil exports amounted to USD 4.4 billion at the end of August, adding that he expects them to reach USD 7 billion by the end of the year. In 2021, Algeria’s non-oil exports reached USD 5 billion, the highest rate in the country’s history since its independence from France in 1962. Ben Abdel Rahman said foreign exchange reserves “recorded a significant increase in the recent period, exceeding the percentages that were predicted,” without giving details of their current value.
Source: Middle East Monitor
IFC Allocates USD 3.5 billion for Private Sector Development in Morocco
Morocco celebrated its 60-year partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which has so far mobilised more than USD 3.5 billion for local projects and businesses. Since 1962, the IFC has worked with over 100 Moroccan small businesses, manufacturers, agribusinesses, and financial institutions to support the country’s development plans, including its New Development Model that aims to support public-private partnerships for inclusive socioeconomic growth. To commemorate the financial institute’s long-standing relationship with Morocco, IFC Vice President for Africa Sergio Pimenta visited the country earlier this week. He held meetings with Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister for Energy Transition Leila Banalia, and Governor of the Central Bank Abdellatif Jouahri. Speaking on the role of the IFC in advancing the development of Morocco’s private sector, Pimenta said his institute is “proud to be a strong and trusted partner of the Kingdom of Morocco, helping build the private sector into a powerful engine of economic and social development.” The official further noted the IFC’s plans to “continue working with partners in Morocco to create more impact and opportunity.”
Source: Morocco World News
Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline to Receive USD 25 Billion in Investment in 2023
The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline is set to receive a total investment of USD 25 billion next year, according to the head of the West African nation’s state oil company. Discussions for the financing of the energy megaproject are still ongoing, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Chief Executive Officer Mele Kyari saying that a final investment decision will be made next year, according to a report from the American business-focused magazine Bloomberg. The NNPC CEO did not disclose however the entity behind the investment in the 5,600-kilometer-long offshore pipeline that would travel across 11 African countries and ultimately reach Europe. The investment would cover the overall expenses related to the construction of the pipeline with a cost estimated at USD 20-25 billion, Kyari said in an interview quoted by Bloomberg. Construction would be broken down into phases, the first would take three years, while the other stages would take five years to reach completion. Earlier estimates indicate that that pipeline could take up to 25 years to become operational.
Source: Morocco World News
State Saves USD 52 Billion after Embarking on Natural Gas
The government has saved USD 52 billion (approximately 121trl/- in 18 years) since the country embarked on natural gas to boost its energy mix plan, Director General of Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) Engineer Charles Sangweni has said. He made the revelation that before 2004 when the country started using natural gas for power generation, the government spent a lot of money on the importation of fuel for power generation. He also said that natural gas accounts for 70 percent of electricity produced in the country. Eng Sangweni was speaking during a tour by the PURA Board of Directors at Ntorya, a conventional gas development area located onshore of the Mtwara Region. He said the government would save more only if it invests in natural gas infrastructures which are critical in supplying gas services to large and enough markets in and outside the country. “For the gas services to reach a majority in and outside the country, infrastructure services are very critical,” he said adding that generation of electricity using gas would help save much money usually spent on the importation of fuel which is costly. The country has 57.54 trillion cubic feet of commercially viable natural gas reserves which PURA believes could put the economy on the right trajectory if put to effective use.
Source: Daily News
Environmental Law Book
Environmental Law and Diplomacy is a collection of writings by Donald Kaniaru, which reflects on Africa’s pivotal role in the development of international environmental law over the last half-century. Regarded as renowned as “an admired pillar of the international environmental law community”, Mr Kaniaru reflects on the past and potential future of the “brilliantly vague” concept of sustainable development and the development and evolution of diverse tools of environmental governance to address urgent global priorities in the environmental arena. These writings cover a career spanning nearly five decades, and are the author’s compilation and distillation of the wisdom that helped to make the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) what it is today.
For more information about this book contact ALN Communications.
World Economic Forum | ESG Pulse Check: Getting the Basics Right for Start-ups and Venture Capital Firms
While venture capital firms are a critical force in shaping the future as they invest in the leading start-ups and disruptive technologies, the start-ups themselves have largely been left out of the conversation when it comes to ESG. Through this insight report, the World Economic Forum aims to highlight what start-up and scale-up companies are thinking and doing on the ESG front, and the assistance they are seeking to ensure that they can avoid greenwashing and implement standards and strategies early on. Key findings from the report include: ESG should not be approached as a stand-alone topic but be embedded into key corporate strategies and decision-making, ideally from the beginning so that it scales with a company. Having a practical and start-up friendly ESG framework or toolkit would be highly useful for companies and investors alike. Support from the entire start-up ecosystem, especially investors, is helpful for start-ups as they plan, execute and measure their ESG strategies.
World Economic Forum | Sustainable Development Investment Partnership Report
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a long shadow over economic and social development and, as underscored in the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP) Annual Report 2020/21, the reality is that although the challenges are global in their reach, they are not uniform in their impact on livelihoods. While the global socio-political and economic landscape has altered in many ways over the last 12 months, developing countries continue their struggle to adapt to ongoing global disruption and the lingering and far-reaching effects of the pandemic. From this context emerges a pressing question: what are the continuing hindrances to sustainable finance? The work of SDIP brings to light the fact that many of the solutions proposed to address the barriers restricting finance in developing countries often remain two-dimensional and do not address the root causes. To advance progress, SDIP emphasizes complex nuances and specificities in the national context, government contributions, innovative market mechanisms and target initiatives, among a host of other factors discussed in this report.
World Bank | Africa’s Pulse: Food System Opportunities in a Turbulent Time
African economies are facing a series of challenges to their post-pandemic recovery. Economic activity in the region is slowing to 3.3 percent amid global headwinds, including weak global growth and tightening global financial conditions. Elevated inflation rates and resulting policy tightening, as well as the rising risk of debt distress, are also impacting economic activity. While food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa was increasing before the onset of COVID-19, the pandemic and the food and energy crisis have contributed to the recent steep increase in food insecurity and malnutrition. Climate shocks, low productivity in agriculture, lack of infrastructure also contribute to rising food insecurity in the region. The economic fallout from the multiple crises affecting the region has lowered household incomes, increased poverty, widen inequality and heightened food insecurity. This report discusses short-term measures combined with medium- to long-term policy actions that can strengthen African countries’ capacity to build resilience and seize opportunities to unlock productivity-enhancing growth while protecting the poor and vulnerable.
In matters of safeguarding, the old adage ‘prevention is the best cure’ applies in full. Rules of procedure and codes of conduct penned in organisational policies play a significant role in putting the organisation in a defendable position before and during a crisis. However, operating guidelines cannot work in isolation, they are only as effective as the people responsible for implementing them. The essence of safeguarding is to protect the well-being of individuals. Where protective mechanisms are weak, sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) risks are likely to occur in varying scales. At this point, the focus on safeguarding shifts from prevention to incident management.
In recent years, there has been a rise in global powers such as the US, China and the EU (European Union) seeking to strengthen economic, political and security relations in Africa. The US has traditionally used its foreign policy framework to determine the type of relations it will have with different countries across the globe. However, this has had to change as many African countries have shifted their focus East toward China. The recently concluded US-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington D.C. will see Africa and the US reigniting relations. This summit also indicates that competition between these three major global powers will continue as we head into 2023 and beyond. According to Voice of America, the US has pledged USD 55 billion over the next three years, with trade, agriculture and infrastructure (digital, energy and physical infrastructure) getting the most attention. These three areas are critical for Africa’s growth and continue to take centre stage as global economic shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine contributed to slowed growth of these sectors. Below is a breakdown of the focus areas that the two continents made significant commitments.
Africa Seeks Bigger US Trade Slice for AGOA to Make Sense
African countries may need more trade privileges with the US even as Washington reviews the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meant to expand what the continent will export. At the end of the US-Africa summit in December, Washington pledged to renew AGOA, bringing clarity to uncertainties that had befallen exporters from countries such as Kenya. But now experts say the narrow view of AGOA should be expanded to allow them to export more goods and hence benefit more countries that can make a diversified list of goods. “AGOA has to be expanded in two ways; expanded in its product coverage and in terms of country coverage,” said Melaku Desta, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre, UN Economic Commission for Africa. “AGOA also excludes processed products as Africa is allowed to export Iron and ore but not steel products. So, it has to be expanded in terms of product coverage. It also has to be expanded in terms of country coverage.” The US Congress first passed AGOA’s legislation in 2000. It expires in 2025, having been extended four times before. Initially, it was meant to last until 2007 but was amended to clarify on preferential treatment of African goods and other standards required of goods.
Source: The EastAfrican