NEWS: 4.21.2022

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April 21, 2022

Japan Overtakes China in Kenya Loan Race

China reduced a new financial commitment to Kenya’s development projects by nearly four times in seven years, falling behind Japan on the list of top bilateral lenders to the East African nation for the second year running. Estimates for the financial year starting July listed Japan as the largest source of bilateral loans and grants, leapfrogging China which has been the biggest financier for nearly a decade. Beijing is projected to lend Kenya Sh29.46 billion for the fiscal year 2022/23, a sharp cutback from Sh140.03 billion in the 2015/16 budget.

Nokia Kenya Avoids $260,000 Fine in Service Center Contract Dispute

A Kenyan court reportedly rejected a petition filed by Kenyan dealer TechnoService seeking Sh150-million ($257,832.60) from cellphone manufacturer Nokia for allegedly selling some of its businesses to Microsoft which, according to the company, was a breach of contract. The presiding judge dismissed the application by TechnoService, saying that the courts cannot interfere with proceedings before arbitration. The judge pointed out that the two parties were referred to arbitration in September 2021, in line with a specific clause in their agreement.

The Dual Equation of Economic Diversification and Structural Transformation in São Tomé and Príncipe

A micro island State, São Tomé and Príncipe face many challenges that seriously impede its development process. Its governance capacity must be strengthened to allow for the formulation of development policies needed to address its current needs in a relevant and coherent manner. The country's infrastructural deficit (in areas such as transport, water, health and electricity) amidst dispersed populations contributes to high levels of public expenditure.

DRC Joins EAC

One of Africa’s trading blocs is about to become much larger, following the accession of one of the continent’s most populous countries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo recently became the seventh member of the East African Community, expanding the regional common market into a new country. DRC President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo and EAC Chairperson and President of Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the accession agreement on April 8, 2022 at the EAC’s Arusha, Tanzania headquarters. The signing ceremony was attended by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as well as Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Tanzania Showcases Touristic and Investment Potentials in the United States

Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan is on a mission to revive the tourism sector in her country and strengthened bilateral ties with the United States in mid-April, 2022. Before the meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris outlined the areas of discussion: "The focus of this trip includes in the United States focusing on the investment opportunities as it relates to the economy as a general matter, but also in the area of tourism.

WTO Tasks Governments and Development Agencies on Trade Facilitation to Check Inflation

The World Trade Organization has urged governments and multilateral organizations to work together to facilitate trade to address inflationary pressures heightened by supply chain challenges due to the war in Ukraine. Indeed, the WTO projected that Russia’s war in Ukraine could almost halve world trade growth this year and drag down the growth of the global gross domestic product as well. According to the WTO, restricting trade will threaten the well-being of families and businesses alike and make the task of building a durable economic recovery from COVID-19 that much more difficult.

By 2035, AfCFTA Implementation Could Almost Double Tunisian Exports to the Rest of Africa

The Ministry of Trade and Export Development of the Republic of Tunisia organized a workshop on April 15, 2022 in Tunis, to present stakeholders with its strategy for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The draft strategy identifies Tunisia’s comparative advantages, how the country can achieve its full trade potential within the context of the AfCFTA and accelerate its economic diversification. It was developed with technical support from the Economic Commission for Africa and EU financing as part of its Global Gateway Strategy.