NEWS: 06.07.2023


6 July, 2023

SADC Members States participate in International Human Rights training

The African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) are jointly organizing a 10-day Training of Trainers course on compliance and accountability in international human rights law for 56 delegates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States. The objective of the course is to enhance the AU's capacity to ensure that Peace Support Operations (PSOs) are conducted in compliance with international human rights and humanitarian laws. Rear Admiral (JG) Gottlieb Pandeni, Commandant of the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC), emphasized the importance of the training in improving the capacities of SADC personnel and encouraged participants to leverage the expertise of the AU and UN to enhance their understanding and contribute effectively to peacekeeping support operations in the region.

SADC Joint Committee deliberates on Science, Technology, and Innovation programs

The Joint Meeting of the Committee of Ministers responsible for Education and Training and Science, Technology, and Innovation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took place in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The meeting reviewed the progress of SADC protocols, policies, and programs in these sectors and discussed various initiatives. Key topics included the promotion of education for vulnerable groups, the operationalization of the SADC University of Transformation, the implementation of the Southern African Development Community Qualifications Framework, and the development of a digital transformation strategy. The meeting also addressed issues related to open science, artificial intelligence, and women in science, engineering, and technology.

Crises and challenges in the COMESA region

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) shares that its region has been facing numerous crises and challenges that impact its growth and development, including conflicts, disasters, economic downturns, migrations, and geopolitical interests. These factors have led to complex inter-state and diplomatic relations in the region with implications for peace, security, and regional integration. The annual conference on International Relations and Diplomacy in the COMESA Region will explore the impact of these developments on interstate relations, propose policy suggestions for promoting peace and development, and analyze the consequences of failing to address these challenges. The conference aims to employ various theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches to deepen understanding and stimulate academic and policy discussions.

EAC Peace Tour for Border Communities in Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan

The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, along with Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan, in partnership with the AU Border Program (AUBP), has launched a peace caravan and benchmarking tour for border communities in selected areas where border disputes have been peacefully resolved. The objective is to promote peaceful coexistence, good neighborliness, and the peaceful resolution of disputes among border communities through learning from successful practices in the region. The caravan aims to sensitize border communities on ongoing initiatives to resolve border issues and to learn from experiences and best practices in resolving disputes.

Safaricom plans two new venture capital subsidiaries

According to Julians Amboko from The Business Daily, Safaricom, Kenya's largest telecommunications company, plans to establish two venture capital firms to support and invest in technology start-ups. The new entities will focus on identifying and incubating start-ups at the seed-stage as well as investing in growth-stage businesses. Safaricom aims to inject capital into these ventures to fuel its growth and expand its presence in the technology sector.

World Bank lauds Kenya’s new digital taxes

Julians Amboko from The Business Daily shares that the World Bank has expressed support for Kenya's efforts to expand its tax base in the digital marketplace. The introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on digital supplies and withholding tax on financial derivative gains by non-residents are expected to generate an additional tax revenue of 0.7 percent of GDP (approximately $930 million) by 2024. The World Bank also commended Kenya's streamlining of the Excisable Goods Management System to improve excise tax collection and traceability of products.

Harnessing the demographic dividend in West Africa and contributing to the achievement of the SDGs

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Regional Consortium for Research in Generational Economics (CREG) organized a technical workshop in Niamey, Niger, from July 4th to 7th, 2023. The workshop aims to build the capacity of five selected member states in assessing investments required to harness the demographic dividend and performing budget elasticity analysis. The workshop will help align the Demographic Dividend Monitoring Index (DDMI) with functional budgeting and finalize the remaining technical stage of the Budgeting Sensitive to Demographic Dividend (BSDD) process.

Kagame promotes cooperation between land and sea-locked countries

The New Times shares that President Paul Kagame has called for a coalition between land-locked countries and sea-locked islands in the Caribbean, suggesting that by working together, their collective voice would be amplified. Speaking at the CARICOM meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, Kagame emphasized the importance of regional collaboration and integration in tackling common challenges. He highlighted the potential for joint initiatives in areas such as vaccine manufacturing, connectivity, and digital job creation, while also urging leaders to take ownership of their countries' development and forge unified paths forward.

WTO and World Bank seek better trade deal for Nigeria among others

According to Tobi Awodipe from The Guardian, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Bank are calling for progress in trade negotiations for developing economies, including Nigeria, to enable them to benefit more from expanded trade and investment in services. They emphasize that trade, economic diversification, and deeper integration are crucial for pursuing broader developmental goals. The publication, 'Trade in Services for Development', launched by the WTO Director-General and the World Bank President, highlights the importance of services trade for growth and resilience, particularly in the digital and green sectors, and calls for international cooperation and increased resources to support developing economies in diversifying and expanding their services exports.

Pertamina strikes Algerian oil production contract

Natasha Doris from African Law and Business shares that Indonesian state oil company Pertamina has entered a new production sharing contract with Repsol and Sonatrach to develop the Menzel Lejmat Nord oil field in Algeria. The contract involves an investment of over $800 million for various projects, including drilling oil wells, a solar energy project, and a liquified petroleum gas extraction plant. The deal was executed under Pertamina's subsidiary PT Pertamina International EP and was advised by law firm ADNA.

Ugandan KTA Advocates joins international legal network

Natasha Doris from African Law and Business reports that KTA Advocates, a Ugandan law firm, has joined the Alliott Global Alliance (AGA) legal network, becoming the representative for Uganda. The move allows AGA clients to access legal, compliance, and advisory services in Uganda through KTA Advocates, with additional accounting expertise provided by Alliott accounting member Tervuren GMS. The alliance is expected to support KTA Advocates' plans for further expansion and enhance its international service offerings.

Nigeria and Angola Tie for Sub-Saharan Africa Oil Drilling

According to AllAfrica, Nigeria has emerged as the largest oil drilling market in sub-Saharan Africa, equaling Angola in terms of drilling campaigns. Both countries have confirmed eight offshore drilling campaigns this year. While Nigeria has faced challenges in the past, such as crude theft and pipeline vandalism, it is now showing signs of recovery and increased drilling activity. A total of 38 drilling rigs have been contracted in sub-Saharan Africa this year, indicating a higher level of activity compared to previous years.

Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend cut in oil production of one million barrels a day

AfricaNews reports that Saudi Arabia has announced an extension of its oil production cut by one million barrels per day in an effort to boost prices. Russia also stated that it would reduce its exports by 500,000 barrels per day in August. These measures are being taken by major oil producers to stabilize prices amidst market volatility, including fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's struggling economic recovery. The market reaction to the announcements was relatively muted, with analysts expressing doubts about the lasting impact on prices.

Positive results from China-Africa Trade Biennial

According to AfricaNews, the third China-Africa economic and trade expo concluded with $10.3 billion worth of projects signed, aiming to boost business links and open the Chinese market to products made in Africa. The event attracted over 100,000 visitors and resulted in 74 cooperative projects, showcasing the expanding economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa. China is Africa's largest trading partner and the fourth-largest source of investment, with bilateral trade reaching $282 billion in 2022.

EVENTS- 07.06.2023

"Nairobi Arbitration Week." African Arbitration Association. Nairobi, Kenya. 18-22 September 2023.

"Intra-African Trade Fair 2023." Invest Africa. Cairo, Egypt. 9-15 November 2023.