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East African trade and investment news

The case for an integrated African market – the costs of ‘non-AfCFTA’

Published on August 15, 2018

The signing of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) on March 21 in Kigali by 44 countries represented a milestone towards achieving the long-standing goal of creating a unified African market. Yet we are only halfway there, for a number of reasons.

First, there is a need to achieve 22 ratifications by March 2019 for the agreement to go into force — and so far, only seven countries have done so. Read more. Source | East African 

Regional coffee players target domestic market

Published on August 15, 2018

Regional coffee growers, exporters and sector policy makers are turning their focus to domestic consumption, a move they say is intended to cushion them against fluctuations on the international market, which sometimes adversely affects their incomes.

They were speaking Friday at the official launch of the 17th African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition (AFCC&E) in Kigali.The event is running under the theme, ‘Specialty Coffees at the Heart of Africa’, and it is focusing production and marketing of high quality coffee. Read more. Source | New Times

Africa free trade talks pass the halfway mark on new rules

Published on August 14, 2018

Members of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) in Africa have completed more than half the work needed to finalise the rules to govern how products imported from nonmember countries are treated within the area. Called the rules of origin, these arrangements will be critical to prevent nonmember nations from flooding the free trade area via the member with the most liberal trade regime. Read more. Source | Business Day

Comesa blames barriers for low trade

Published on August 14, 2018

Non-tariff barriers remain the toughest headache for Comesa member states, and must be handled to clear way for free trade in Africa.

Comesa Secretary general Chilese Mpundu Kapwepwe said there are also a number of sensitive products which member countries would not prefer to have tariffs removed, hampering the process to smooth harmonization of trade laws.

“Once the restrictive barriers are harmonized, it will increase intra-trade among member countries,” she said on the sidelines of the heads of customs sub-committee meeting which ends today.

The Tripartite Free Trade Area which should ideally harmonise the various trade groupings, has so far been ratified by 22 of the 26 member states of Comesa, East African Community and Southern African Development Community (SADC). Read more. Source | The Star

Rwanda targets $92 million from tea export in 2018

Published on August 13, 2018

National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) has projected  tea export revenues to increase from $88M last year to $92m this year. Rwanda’s tea exports for 2017 increased by 15 per cent compared to 2016 and is further expected to do better owing to increased brand promotional activities. NAEB Tea Divison Manager Issa Nkurunziza said that Rwandan tea has been competitive on international markets. Read more. Source | New Times

COMESA to tighten surveillance to enhance consumer protection

Published on August 13, 2018

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)'s competition watchdog plans to tighten surveillance in order to enhance consumer protection, officials said on Monday.

George Lipimile, Chief Executive of the COMESA Competition Commission, told journalists in Nairobi that restrictive trade practices by member states and big firms are on the rise leading to exploitation of consumers. Read more. Source | New Times

UN urges EAC to liberalise trade services to spur manufacturing sector

Published on August 13, 2018

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on Monday urged the East African Community (EAC) to liberalise trade in professional services in order to spur growth of the manufacturing sector.

Stephen Karingi, the Director of Capacity Development Division said in Nairobi that the region’s manufacturing sector is not as competitive as it should be due to relatively high cost of services including in the insurance, legal, logistic and finance sectors. Read more. Source | New Times

Rwandan entrepreneur nominated for international export awards contest

Published on August 13, 2018

Diego Dieudonné Twahirwa, a 30 year old Rwandan entrepreneur has been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur Awards at 2018 World Forum for Export Development 2018 (WEDF 2018).

The award is an initiative of the International Trade Centre (ITC) youth and trade programme, which aims at connecting young social entrepreneurs to markets. The programme also supports social entrepreneurship to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on quality education and inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Read more. Source | New Times

Free trade area to lift Intra-African trade share to 52 percent

Published on August 08, 2018

The probable largest free trade area agreement, African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has been tipped to be a huge game changer for the intra-African trade share. Africa’s total trade share currently stands at 16 percent, but with the implementation of the trade agreement between 44 African Union member states, it could shoot to 52 percent. This would be propelled courtesy of the increased trade relations and interactions in the African continent. Read more. Source | The Exchange

Ethiopian food experts sample Chicago’s delicacies

Published on August 08, 2018

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub based in Kenya has been facilitating companies in East Africa to access markets in the US. This month, the Hub has supported nine firms from Ethiopia and Madagascar at the International Food Technologists (IFT) Expo in Chicago, U.S.A. The expo included food ingredient, equipment, processing, technology and packaging suppliers, bringing together approximately 1,200 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees interested in the science of food. Read more. Source | The Exchange