An ongoing COMESA annual research forum in Nairobi has been informed that the trade block stands to gain monumental growth and saving if only it implemented electronic measures to promote trade. According to trade researchers, the region would annually gain US$17.5 billion in intra-COMESA exports if all the member States fully implemented the digital trade facilitation reforms that involves the use of paperless trade facilitation measures. Read more. Source | The Exchange
East African countries are performing well in economies, the bloc now becoming the fastest growing in the continent. A report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and made available by the East African Business Council (EABC) indicated that the region received 7.6 billion US dollars in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) last year. Read more. Source | Daily News
Weather related disasters such as flooding and landslides affecting the livelihoods of residents of Gicumbi District, Northern Province could soon be curbed following the launch of a $32.8m initiative funded by the Green Climate Fund.
The initiative is a partnership with the Ministry of Environment and aims at building resilience of small-holder farmers and communities vulnerable to climate change who have often lost their harvest due to changing weather patterns. Read more. Source | New Times
The East African Community (EAC) stands to benefit from the recently unveiled African free trade area if it consolidates its internal market, according to the East African Business Council (EABC).
“Failure to remove trade impediments means that our bloc will remain weakened,” EABC executive director Lillian Awinja said last week. She told regional press that the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) unveiled in Kigali last week could pull some EAC states into the new pact at the expense of their trade relations. Read more. Source | New Times
Regional governments should move fast and expedite integration process to give the East African Community a competitive edge in proposed continental free trade zone, the East African Business Council (EABC) leaders have said. Last week, 44 African Heads of State and government officials signed the historic agreement which will enable the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
The treaty, signed in Kagali on March 21, is expected to create largest trade bloc globally, with market share of almost $3.4 trillion and a population of over 1.2 billion people. Read more. Source | New Times
Foreign investors are weighing their options about investing in East Africa’s stock markets as the regional governments, faced with dwindling foreign direct investment flows, have started implementing programmes to attract foreign investors to certain sectors.
Stock exchanges are barometers of economic performance and data indicates that activity on the Kenyan and Uganda securities exchanges picked up during the first two months of 2018. Tanzania’s and Rwanda’s faltered, largely due to the nature of their political and economic environments. Read more. Source | East African
If the East African Community member states don’t come up with concerted efforts to industrialise as a bloc, the region will become a dumping place for cheap imports. This means that no new creation of jobs will be realised for the young population the region has and this will hinder the development goals and targets too. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has laid out a new strategy which seeks to create 25 million jobs and positively impact a total of 50 million youth over the next decade.
The Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) Strategy (2016-2025) highlights Integration, Innovation and Investment as the key strategic areas.
Through the implementation of the Innovation pillar of the JfYA Strategy, AfDB will create roll-out flagship programs in agriculture, industrialiation and ICT as well as an innovation lab that will test, assess, and scale promising solutions to accelerate job creation in Africa.
To facilitate macroeconomic policies that are conducive to jobs for youth, an Enabling Youth Employment Index for Africa is being developed. Mr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group said through Integration, the bank will equip itself (projects, staff and systems) and regional member countries by means of financial support and policy dialogues to become engines for job creation. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
World Bank has forecasted Tanzania as the third fastest growing economy in Africa next year after Ethiopia and Ghana. In a brief report, Global Economic Prospects: Sub-Saharan Africa, the WB predicted Tanzania to grow 7.2 per cent behind Ghana 7.8 per cent and Ethiopia 8.3 per cent.
The Breton Wood institute said the growth in Tanzania and Ethiopia, non-resource intensive countries, would be helped by public investment. “Growth in non-resource intensive countries is anticipated to remain solid, supported by infrastructure investment, resilient services sectors, and the recovery of agricultural production,” WB said in a statement issued on Sunday.
The report brief further said weather-related risks are elevated in East Africa. “Worsening drought conditions will severely affect agricultural production, push food prices higher, and increase food insecurity in the subregion,” the bank said. Read more. Source | Daily News
Survey to Explore Growth Barriers Faced by Female Entrepreneurs in East Africa is a publication of Graça Machel Trust. It gives an introduction and background to the challenge facing female entrepreneurs, and discusses their tendency to remain micro and small businesses if the access to finance challenge is not addressed.
The report also sets out the individual and business profiles of women entrepreneurs, and outlines findings that provide insights on the gender profile of the businesses, the support available to these businesses, and attitudes towards insuring businesses.
Its recommendations are useful in addressing identified business issues, and offers a conclusion that promotes gender lens investing.