Connect with us

Business News

Afreximbank, ITFC, BADEA Launch $1.5 billion Collaborative COVID-19 Response Facility

“COPREFA is designed to support African economies to overcome myriads of challenges including commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing.”

Published

on

The African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, in collaboration with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has announced the launch of a $1.5 billion collaborative COVID-19 Pandemic Response Facility (COPREFA), aimed at supporting African countries with finance to navigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

The Bank announced this on Wednesday in a statement that the funds will be made available to African Central Banks and Trade organizations and will also be used to finance equipment needed to deal with food security challenges.

Read also: Afreximbank, ITFC Partner With ARSO to Facilitate Intra-African Trade

Part of the statement says that “COPREFA is designed to support African economies to overcome myriads of challenges including commodity price shocks, a significant drop in tourism and disruption to supply chains and export manufacturing.”

“It will also address the sudden declines in financial flows, including a drop-off in trade and project finance, migrant remittances, portfolio investment, and Foreign Direct Investments.”

The Pan-African multilateral trade finance institution also stated that the support will be done through regular channels including direct funding, lines of credit, confirmation, and refinancing of documentary credits.

In March 2020, a financial package called the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) was launched solely by Afreximbank to support economies through the pandemic, a facility of which over five billion dollars has been disbursed will be implemented alongside COPREFA.”

Read also: COVID-19: Zenith Bank Gets $200M From Afreximbank

Afrexim President, Benedict Oramah, said the scheme will work with other schemes in Africa to help the continent battle the economic downturn.

Also, in April, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) headed by Akinwumi Adesina announced the provision of a $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility for Nigeria and other regional member countries to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In September, the bank disbursed $200 million to Zenith Bank Plc Nigeria, in a bid to support critical imports under emergency conditions, and maintain foreign currency trade flows impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business News

East Africa Optimistic The U.S. Will Revive Trade Talks

This came to the fore as leaders from the EAC congratulated Biden for his election win, with many expressing hopes that his presidency will boost ties with the regional bloc.

Published

on

The East African Community is optimistic that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will revive the negotiations and implementations of the EAC-U.S. Trade and Investment Partnership.

This came to the fore as leaders from the East African Community congratulated Biden for his election win, with many expressing hopes that his presidency will boost ties with the regional bloc.

The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which is a trade pact that establishes a framework for expanding trade and resolving outstanding disputes between countries, was agreed between U.S. and EAC partner states in June 2012, but was never implemented.

TIFA was signed on July 16 2008, as a framework for expanding trade and investment between the U.S. and EAC.

But since United States President Trump took over from his predecessor Barack Obama in 2016, not much has been heard from the arrangement.

Read also: Kenya, UK, Secure Trade Deal

“We all look forward to working with the new US administration and of course hope that America’s trade and investment policies will also advance the interests of East Africa. Reviving TIFA is one of them,” said Prof Manasseh Nshuti, EAC chairperson of the Council of Ministers, who is also Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of the East African Community.

“EAC is better negotiating multilateral trade rather than bilaterally. This is because at the end of the day, what happens in Kenya affects Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania, in terms of trade and investments.”

In April 2016, Ministers from EAC and U.S. signed the EAC-US Co-operation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) but so far very little has been implemented despite the existence of agreed work plans.

Under the United States-East African Community-Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, partners consult on a wide range of issues related to trade and investment, but under President Donald Trump, this was never implemented.

Related: Kenya to be in breach of EAC, AfCFTA rules in proposed American trade deal

Topics for consultation and possible further cooperation include market access issues, labour, the environment, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, and in appropriate cases, capacity building.

However, since 2016, the negotiations for the regional investment treaty stalled due to lack of consensus on the approach for discussions on the regional investment treaty.

“The U.S. has TIFAs with countries at different levels of development and trade and investment interests but none with the EAC,” said Dr. Peter Mathuki, CEO East African Business Council.

“As the private sector, we are expecting the revival of an up-scaled US-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership under U.S. presidential elect Joe Biden.”

EAC’s Director-General of Customs and Trade Kenneth Bagamuhunda also said he looks forward to a return to a multilateral trading system “where the trade rules will prevail over unilateralism”.

“We look forward to engagement with the US as a bloc at EAC and Continental level.”

Continue Reading

Business News

Ivory Coast, Ghana Cancel Hershey’s Cocoa Sustainability Schemes

Published

on

The world’s largest producers of cocoa, Ivory Coast and Ghana have cancelled sustainability schemes organised by US-based chocolate manufacturer, Hershey.

Both countries accused the company of avoiding the payment of a cocoa premium, aimed at improving the financial state of farmers in their countries.

According to Reuters, both countries found Hershey demanding very high volumes of physical cocoa on the ICE futures Stock exchange. The countries, who produce 2/3rd of the world’s total cocoa said the company did that to avoid paying the premium, called the living income differential (LID).

The countries have also accused Fuji Oil Holdings of playing a part in helping Hershey in the schemes.

The schemes, according to the chocolate manufacturers are to protect cocoa of any environmental and human rights abuses, meaning it was rightly sourced and is devoid of any problems that will affect its global sales. The company added that by the West African giants’ disruption of the schemes, farmers may not be able to get premium on their products again.

Hershey is the manufacturers of Hershey’s Kisses and Kit Kat and source for their cocoa mainly from Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Hershey recently entered into a deal to make physical cocoa available at the ICE Futures exchange. This is expected to reduce demands in cocoa from Ghana and Ivory Coast and also avoid the premium charged by the government.

Last year, the Ghanaian and Ivorian governments set the LID for cocoa at $400 a tonne. This is to ensure that farmers make as much money as possible but the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic have dealt sales a huge blow.

“The Cocoa Merchants Association of America (CMAA) is condoning and conniving with American companies against poor West African cocoa farmers”,  regulators in both countries said.

Continue Reading

Business News

Aviation: Airlines Fares up 100% And Operating Costs Rise

Published

on

Continue Reading

Trending