Welcome once again to African  Trade  Policy Update!This update brings you up to speed with what is happening in the world of trade particularly those that  should be of interest to African countries.

What Can Africa Expect From G7?

Should African countries expect  much  from this year G7  meeting held  in the United Kingdom ? The Communique issued at the end of the meeting appeared to  deal with several subjects from Climate Change to Covid-19. On COVID-19 for instance , there was a  “commitment“ to end the  pandemic by  providing for one billion doses over the next year. At the same time, we will create the appropriate frameworks to strengthen our collective defence against threats to global health by: increasing and coordinating on global manufacturing capacity on all continents; improving early warning systems; and support science in a mission to shorten the cycle for the development of safe and effective vaccines, treatments and tests from 300 to 100 days.”

The above commitment is however vague and it is unlikely that poorer countries , especially those in Africa, will access this  ‘largesse’ anytime soon given  that so far there  has been  no  major contribution by the Gy7 countries to the COVAX FACILITY  or even toward the Africa CDC plans to build vaccine manufacturing capacity on the continent. It is also worth noting that the developed countries have in the past not been forthcoming on the calls for TRIPS Waiver despite repeated calls for  vaccine equity.

Is France  attempting  to retake its position In Africa?

According to the Economist, the Macron  being keen to promote broader French economic interests, and wary of competition from China and Turkey,  has courted non-French-speaking leaders. This overture has seen  France show in interest in some projects on the continent. However. was it lacking and ( which is not unusual) is the Africa agency; do African countries have a strategy for any of their ‘traditional development partners?  

Should African have A Continent Wide Strategy when dealing with its Development Partners?

And speaking of  Africa  having a strategy to engaging with its development partners, the latest  Strategy Report by Development ReimaginedFrom China-Africa to Africa- China:  A Blueprint for a Green and Inclusive Continent Wide Strategy Towards China “ recommends how African countries can engage with China in the priority sectors such as trade , finance and people  flows. Among the recommendations are suggestions  on how to institutionalize FOCAC, how to enable African countries tap more from their Geographical Indications potential, as well as how to ramp up regional infrastructure  projects that are crucial for regional integration.

Telecos and  FDI in Africa

As part of the government’s broader plan to open up the Horn of Africa country’s economy, Ethiopia has launched a tendering process for the proposed sell-off of a 40 percent stake in State-owned carrier Ethio,Telecom to private investors.  This follows  the recent events in the country with saw a consortium led by Safaricom win a licence to operate in Ethiopia and comes as Ethiopia is gearing up to join the WTO.  

Of Loans and Debt in Africa.

A debt review by the IMF shows that Kenya’s multilateral lender loans increased from $10.2 billion in 2019 to $13.7 billion in 2020, growing their share of Kenyan external debt from 33.4 percent to 39.7 percent within the period.

The Afronomicslaw’s Twenty Third  Sovereign Debt  update covers the latest loan by IMF  loan to Kenya of $750 million Boost for COVID-19 Recovery Efforts and  the country’s debt servicing obligations. It also  covers the infrastructure related debt in Uganda involving the World Bank as  well as IMF’s Standby Credit Facility to Senegal by, and the Extended Fund Facility to Gabon.

The above some of the interesting discussions and happenings worth reading , and keeping an eye on!

Should you have any trade related subjects you feel this blog can cover, please get in touch via songianam@gmail.com

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