Africa looking after its own affairs

Logo of the Southern African Development Community

President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation to a special meeting of the Southern African Development Community‘s (SADC’s) security troika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday.

Zuma is attending the meeting in his capacity as chair of the SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

He will be joined by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, who together make up the organ.

High on Thursday’s agenda will be reports on recent political and security developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Madagascar, as well as Zimbabwe’s elections.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said the 15-nation SADC was still the primary vehicle for South Africa to promote regional development and integration within the southern African region.

“South Africa has a vested interest in seeing the regional political and security situation improve, which will create positive conditions for the improvement of the quality of life of South Africans and SADC citizens in general,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Zuma will be accompanied by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is already in Dar es Salaam for a meeting of the ministers involved in the body.

via Zuma to lead SADC security meeting – SouthAfrica.info.

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African free trade zone

Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Mahmoud Eissa stressed the need for consolidating inter-trade among African countries as this matter has become a must to achieve the regional economic integration, in light of the numerous challenges facing Africa and the multi-lateral trade system.

He also called for achieving reconciliation and matching by African various African blocs in order to achieve African free trade zone.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, public ...

Minister Eissa urged African countries to support all efforts to facilitate African inter-trade.

Eissa called as well for strengthening African business organization and the involvement of the private sector in carrying out the trade exchange programs. The world economic forum started Thursday in Addis Ababa with 700 African dignitaries taking part.

Egypt‘s delegation was headed by Dr. Mohamed Eissa, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister deputizing for Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Eissa gave a speech on means to give a push to the African trade Agenda. He met after the inaugural session with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who expressed his country’s keenness to cement strategic relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Eissa held several meetings with officials of a number of Egyptian companies operating in the Ethiopian market. He also met, on the sidelines of his participation in the World Economic Forum, with Egyptian members of the Egyptian-Ethiopian Business Council.

During his talks with the companies’ officials, Eissa discussed ways of boosting economic cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia within the upcoming phase.

The two sides also tackled the obstacles which hinder the increase of investments either in Egypt or Ethiopia.

via Egypt State Information Service.

 

African free trade area

English: Map of the African Union with suspend...

AMBITIOUS PLANS to create a continental free trade area in Africa, first suggested 21 years ago by regional leaders, were recently adopted by the African Union. The union says the free intra-African economic trading system should be operational by 2017.

On January 31st at the union’s 18th summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, governments were told they needed to build infrastructure worth an estimated €46 billion over the next 10 years to facilitate the free trade zone across the continent.

While this target was acknowledged as challenging, Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi was mandated to lead a seven-member heads of state committee, called the high-level African trade committee, to look into ways of raising the funds required.

Africa, my dream.

The taxation of aid money in Africa, taxes from minerals and mining deals and revenues drawn from dealings with banks and multilateral bodies have all been suggested as ways to fund the continental trade boost.

“We are determined to address the issue of stability and lead to the prosperity of our continent,” African Union chairman Yayi Boni said. “We have to ensure growth rate is above the population growth in Africa.”

The development of trade between African states has increasingly become a priority for the African Union because of its member states’ inability to tackle widespread poverty, despite annual economic growth rates above 5 per cent in many member states over the past decade.

Although African economic growth slowed in 2009 due to the global recession, regional gross domestic product (GDP) was well above rates posted in countries in Europe and the US.

By 2010, the continent had bounced back with GDP doubling to 5.4 per cent that year, according to the World Bank.

Nevertheless, despite this success South African president Jacob Zuma has pointed out that less than 10 per cent of Africa’s trade is between its states and that boosting this area should be a priority as a way to further develop the continent.

via Major challenges remain for African free trade area – The Irish Times – Mon, Feb 13, 2012.

Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a...

The hope of generating more jobs through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will soon become a reality once the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ)  begins operation. It is expected to generate about one million jobs. This is the view of many stakeholders who shed more light on the advantage of the project.

Consistent with the strategic intent to make the LFTZ a major growth driver and  catalyst for socio-economic development, the Federal Government has pledged its unflinching support to the Lagos State Government, the consortium of Chinese investors and other stakeholders to ensure the take-off of the LFTZ in earnest.

Also, LFTZ management has recorded some significant developments, thus reinforcing the viability of the project as a kickstarter  for economic transformation.

The Executive Secretary, Africa Free Zones Authority (AFZA),  Chris Ndibe, said if properly managed, the project is capable of generating about one million jobs annually, which is in keeping with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Minister for Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said this is in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to create jobs for Nigerians, especially, the youth.

via The Nation – ‘Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs’

Eastern Cape – Ciskei

Stadium Nelson Mandela Bay, in Port Elizabeth,...

The Eastern Cape as a South African Province came into being in 1994 and incorporated areas from the former Xhosa homelands of the Transkei and Ciskei, together with what was previously part of the Cape Province.

Agriculture

There is much fertile land in the Eastern Cape, and agriculture is important. The fertile Langkloof Valley in the southwest has enormous deciduous fruit orchards, while sheep farming predominates in the Karoo. The Alexandria-Grahamstown area produces pineapples, chicory and dairy products, while coffee and tea are cultivated at Magwa. People in the former Transkei region are dependent on cattle, maize and sorghum-farming. An olive nursery has been developed in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare to form a nucleus of olive production in the Eastern Cape.

The basis of the province’s fishing industry is squid, some recreational and commercial fishing for line fish, the collection of marine resources, and access to line-catches of hake.


Industry

The two major industrial centres, Port Elizabeth and East London have well-developed economies based on the automotive industry. General Motors and Volkswagen both have major assembly lines in the Port Elizabeth area, while East London is dominated by the large DaimlerChrysler plant. The largest construction project in Africa is currently underway at Coega, about 20 km north of Port Elizabeth, where a new harbour is being built. It is expected that this development will give the province a major economic boost.

With two harbours and three airports offering direct flights to the main centres, and an excellent road and rail infrastructure, the province has been earmarked as a key area for growth and economic development. Environmentally friendly projects include the Fish River Spatial Development Initiative, the Wild Coast SDI, and two industrial development zones, the West Bank in East London and, near Port Elizabeth, Coega – the largest infrastructure development in post-apartheid South Africa. Plans for the development of the area as an export-orientated zone include the construction of the deepwater Port of Ngqura.

Other important sectors include finance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, and hotels and restaurants.

via Eastern Cape – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Africa signs agreement for Africa Free Trade Zone

A Landsat image of Cape Town overlaid on SRTM ...

Image via Wikipedia

The leaders of three African regional economic blocs signed an agreement to develop a free trade zone stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.

The so-called Grand Free Trade Area would encompasses 26 countries, 600 million people and have an estimated gross domestic product of about $1 trillion, according to a statement released after a conference in Johannesburg today.

“The establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area will bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market, increase investment flows, enhance competitiveness and develop cross-regional infrastructure,” according to the statement.

The meeting was attended by leaders from the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the East African Community. It is their second since an initial summit in October 2008. They agreed to further negotiations, without publishing any timeframes.

South African President Jacob Zuma told a press conference that Africa needs to remove hurdles to the movement of goods across boundaries and that infrastructure development must lift intra-Africa trade “from the current low base of 10 percent.”

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is driving regional integration as it seeks to create a larger market for companies such as Shoprite Holdings Ltd. (SHP), Africa’s biggest retailer. Africa’s economy has grown an average of 5.7 percent each year over the past decade, according to the International Monetary Fund, fueling the expansion of a new middle class.

via African Trade Blocs Sign Agreement to Develop Continental Free Trade Zone – Bloomberg