Tanzania ratifies Africa free trade area treaty

TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania has ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), joining a pact connecting countries with a total gross domestic product of US$3.4 trillion. AfCFTA was first opened for signing in April 2018 but came into application in 2019 after the requisite minimum of 21 of the 55 member states ratified it. Tanzania had not formally joined although former President John Magufuli signed on the agreement in 2019. After signing, parliamentary approval is required for the ratification of the agreement. Its East…

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Rebeca Grynspan officially takes over as head of UNCTAD

WORLD – Rebeca Grynspan has taken up her new role as secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for a four-year term. The former vice president of Costa Rica is the first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general. Ms Grynspan, a former vice president of Costa Rica, and the first woman to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general was nominated for the post by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and approved by the General Assembly “I am honoured to begin work at UNCTAD at a critical time…

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IFC partners BMCE Bank to support cross-border trade in Africa

MOROCCO – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank, and BMCE Bank International Plc UK announced a partnership designed to support cross-border trade in Africa and prevent shortages of essential goods, including grains and building materials, amid the COVID-19 crisis. IFC will enter into a risk-sharing facility with BMCE Bank International Plc UK, a leading regional lender, allowing the bank to scale up the financing it provides to importers and exporters. That capital, known as trade financing, is considered the backbone of the international trading system. The…

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Kenya joins USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative

KENYA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has welcomed Kenya as its 14th partner under the Global Procurement Initiative (GPI): Understanding Best Value. Under this partnership, USTDA will train public procurement officials to obtain the greatest value for money for Kenya’s public infrastructure investments.  Kenya’s induction into the GPI was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between USTDA and the National Treasury and Planning Ministry of the Republic of Kenya (NT&P).   “USTDA has a long history of engagement with Kenya. Our GPI partnership builds…

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Somalia launches trade information portal to boost cross-border trade

SOMALIA – To facilitate cross-border trade and provide more transparent trade information for businesses, Somalia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, supported by IFC, today launched a trade information portal to lower costs and simplify trade procedures for Somali importers and exporters. The portal provides a single source for all cross-border trade information and over 90 laws, regulations, procedures, and other trade-related measures from over a dozen government agencies can now be accessed online. Businesses can also access licenses, permits, and applicable fees.  The portal will provide Somalia’s business community with…

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AfDB launches new Transaction Guarantee to support SMEs and trade in Africa

AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB), through its Financial Sector Development’s Trade Finance operations, has launched a Transaction Guarantee instrument designed to provide up to 100% cover for non-payment risk to regional and international banks, for trade transactions initiated by local banks in Africa. The guarantee will cover an array of trade finance instruments, including confirmed letters of credit, trade loans, irrevocable reimbursement undertakings, avalized bills and promissory notes. In opening remarks at the virtual launch of the guarantee held 29 July 2021, Bank Director for Financial Sector Development,…

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COMESA, Djibouti sign US$3m agreement to upgrade Galafi border post

DJIBOUTI – The COMESA Secretariat and the Government of Djibouti have signed an agreement that sub-delegates the implementation of coordinated border management activities at the Galafi border post, on the Djibouti- Ethiopia border. A total of US$3 million is allocated to this project under the European Union-funded Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP). The objective of the sub-delegation agreement is to enhance Djibouti’s progressive participation in regional and international integration agenda through progressive removal of trade barriers at the border. Djibouti will receive support in the development of improved and harmonized regulatory…

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Durban to host Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 after Kigali pulls out

SOUTH AFRICA – The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will be taking place in Durban, the organizers have announced. This event is organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat and is expected to take place from November 15 until November 21. The continental trade fair was previously due to be held in Kigali, Rwanda. The decision to move the fair to Durban was made by the Advisory Council of IATF2021 and was arrived at after formal…

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Nedbank partners with IFC to support trade in Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE – Nedbank Mozambique S.A., has joined International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) to boost a vital economic engine of growth that has been strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. IFC announced a trade finance facility guarantee of US$10 million under its GTFP to Nedbank Mozambique which will provide support to strengthen the bank’s trade finance operations and assist in redesigning its trade solutions to promote Mozambique’s cross-border trade. IFC has already started to provide Nedbank Mozambique with technical expertise under the GTFP through a workshop that took…

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TradeMark East Africa and TDB ink deal to support trade in Eastern and Southern Africa

EAST AFRICA – TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Eastern and Southern African Trade & Development Bank (TDB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that establishes a framework for collaboration ultimately seeking to boost trade in the region served by both institutions. By leveraging the two institutions’ expertise in project development and finance, TMEA and TDB will endeavor to jointly pursue targeted investments in trade logistics and production systems, including roads, ports and industrial parks projects, and to facilitate structured trade finance transactions of commodities. Moreover, institutions will work…

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