Many times, the cumbersome and punitive inspection protocols for animal, human and plant products across the countries, which have different requirements and standards, has made it difficult for intra trade between the two countries.
To ease the cross border trade in fish and fish products, that will allow increased intra trade within the two countries, and by extension, export to other countries, a number of activities and facilities are to be established at the Busia border point that will provide quick inspection of human, animal and plant products health both at and behind borders. Read more. Source | Business Daily
The East Africa Community registered six private equity deals in March, signalling a rising popularity with investors.
The bloc said the private equity deals were mainly in infrastructure, manufacturing and real estate.
Investors and multinational executives attending this year’s East Africa Trade and Commodity Finance Conference convened by the Global Trade Review in Nairobi said banks should rethink their traditional loan offerings to remain relevant. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
East African Community member states have failed to reach a deal on a common tax rate as the bloc’s smaller economies worry about significant revenue losses.
The failure to harmonise value added tax, income tax and excise tax rates has left the regional bloc deliberating on how to harmonise legislation and regulatory frameworks governing the operations of these taxes in each country.
A three-day meeting — convened by the EAC’s Sectoral Council on Finance and Economic Affairs in Arusha Tanzania from May 5-7 — to deliberate on the issue failed to agree on a policy framework to guide the process and instead sent the document to a consortium of experts. Read more. Source | East African
Weaker commodity prices and slowing demand in emerging economies have dampened the outlook for Africa’s commodity export revenues. Western donor attention has substantially shifted to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, and tighter external financial conditions for Africa's frontier markets have led to sizeable capital outflows.
The planned Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) has the potential to reinvigorate Africa's development at this watershed moment. It could prove crucial for the creation of well-paying jobs, especially for Africa's youth, but political leadership focused on African integration will be decisive.
UNCTAD estimates that implementing the CFTA will roughly double the share of intra-African trade (currently around 13% of African exports) by early next decade. And if past experience is any guide, tariff reductions may even increase trade tax revenue.
Read more. Source | World Economic Forum
Rwanda has emerged top in East Africa in global competitiveness, making it the region’s most attractive investment destination.
The latest survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that Kigali moved up seven places this year, to position 63 out of 144 countries surveyed.
Buoyed by investor-friendly rules and regulations implemented by President Paul Kagame’s administration, Rwanda’s standing also improved in sub-Saharan Africa, where it was third behind South Africa at position 52 and Mauritius at 54. Read more. Source | East African
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) in partnership with Indian-based agrochemical maker UPL Limited Wednesday launched a $2 billion cold storage project to address challenges of post-harvest losses for potato farmers in the continent.
The public-private initiative dubbed ‘one million tons of cold storage’ was unveiled in Kigali during the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa. Poor storage of farm produce accounts for 40 per cent of food losses in Africa.
Agra and UPL said they will set up the post-harvest storage facilities across sub-Saharan Africa within the next ten years for potatoes and other perishable produce including fruits and vegetables. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Rwanda Standards Boards (RSB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to reinforce standards in commodity trade within the region.
Dr Marc Cyubahiro Bagabe, the RSB director-general said,
The partnership will help upgrade value addition in this sector and bring in economies of scale. In Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, warehousing standards are in place but there is a challenge of lack of warehouses that meet the requirements
Mr. Bagabe added that reinforcing grain standards will improve commodity value chain and promote inter-linkages between grain stakeholders among the East African Community (EAC) partner states. Read more. Source | New Times
The East Africa Exchange (EAX) will soon launch a Sh.200 million grain trade credit line for lending to small scale grain farmers in Kenya, in collaboration with ABC bank.
The initiative will not only give small scale farmers access to affordable credit services from ABC bank; it will also solve the challenges of grain storage through warehouse services, give farmers better access to post-harvest management services, link them with reliable agricultural and financial markets and facilitate competitive pricing for their crops.
The deal is also supported by East Africa’s largest farmer organization, East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) which represents approximately 20 million farmers across eastern and central Africa. Read more. Source | FootPrint to Africa
Over the weekend, Camp Kigali was a hive of activity in readiness to host the World Economic Forum for Africa which is set to kick off on Wednesday this week. The forum will convene over 1500 delegates from Africa and beyond under the theme ‘Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation.’
When the theme for World economic forum for Africa was being streamlined, there was an understanding of the over arching theme for the forum. It sought to inform how Africa can participate in The Fourth Industrial Revolution. It came down to what is the underlying mechanism that Africa can actually participate in the Fourth Industrial revolution as whole. Africa is 54 countries, a fact which is sometimes forgotten and seen as an entity.
The first question was how Africa can be brought together to participate in the revolution as a whole. Read more. Source | New Times
The cost and time for testing goods at border points have dropped sharply in the region as the five East African states continue to adopt uniform quality standards.
It costs an average of Sh20,705 ($205) to test goods meant for regional markets, a 59 per cent drop from Sh50,500 charged before the five EAC states launched their harmonisation and conformity testing programme five years ago.
A report prepared by an independent consultant and released on Friday shows that it takes only 10 days to test goods as opposed to 38 days before the programme was launched in 2011.
The report states,
The number of products complying with quality and standards requirements has also increased through certification thus contributing to increased intra and extra EAC trade
Read more. Source | Business Daily