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- Rwanda slams US statement saying it undermines regional peace process
- EAC Heads of State order immediate cease fire in Rwanda-DRC conflict
Rwanda should stop supporting the rebel group and withdraw its soldiers from the DRC, the US State Department has said in an official statement.
This US call for Rwanda to ‘cease and desist’ aiding rebel groups and to also recall its troops from the DRC is the latest effort by the international community to intervene in the protracted dispute between the two countries.
The US says Rwanda’s alleged aid to rebel factions in the DRC is undermining the regional peace process.
The statement comes only days after the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State met in the Burundi capital of Bujumbura. The meeting was an Extra-Ordinary Summit held to evaluate the “Security Situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo …
- The DRC is viewed as a most promising member of the regional bloc offering a market of over 96 million people.
- DRC is also rich in many coveted minerals such as cobalt and Nickel, gold, and diamonds, which has caused a long-standing conflict.
- The EAC peace forces in the DRC were sent in early last year to restore peace and stability in the region.
The East Africa Community (EAC) has been touted as a model for regional economic blocs in Africa but the tension between Rwanda and the bloc’s newest member, DRC, is threatening to derail the region’s social and economic integration.
The two neighboring countries have had a dicey relationship in the recent past with the largest country of the EAC, the DRC, accusing the smallest country in the region, Rwanda, of supporting rebels within its borders.
The DRC is viewed as a most promising member of the regional
- The country is considered East Africa’s strongest economy.
- It is among countries facing a huge challenge of illicit trade, estimated to be valued at above USD6.34 billion (Ksh800 billion).
- According to official government data, up to 70% of imported goods are counterfeits.
Kenya has a domestic market of over 50 million people and is among the leading economies in sub-Saharan Africa.
The country is considered East Africa’s strongest economy, with the region having a GDP of about USD163.4 billion (at purchasing power parity, about USD$473 billion), and the average GDP per capita is about USD941 (at purchasing power parity, $2,722).
In addition to the EAC market, investors in the partner States have access to other African markets such as COMESA, SADC and AfCFTA, as well as international markets through preferential trade arrangements.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) comprises 21 Member States with a population of 560…
Africa is huge continent with untapped potential. With the rest of the world opening up for the best international trade and travel relations, Africa is learning and following the same path, with countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda easing entry restrictions by issuing visa on arrival and hence turning themselves towards open borders opportunities as members of the East African Community (EAC).
Unrestricted movement of people and goods between African countries holds the key to unlocking this trade potential. That is why trade analysts are touting the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCTA) as a game changer in inter-Africa trade.
According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Intra-African trade is currently low at 14.4 percent of total African exports. UNCTAD estimates that the AfCFTA could boost intra-African trade by about 33 percent and cut the continent’s trade deficit by 51 percent.
The possibility of more open
Because of erratic economic policy, Zimbabwe continues to be the sick man of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
The country perennially goes from one economic crisis to the next. Presently Zimbabwe is battling with resurgent inflation after managing to rein it in from the hyperinflationary levels reached in the years 2019 to 2020 and during the early months of 2021, peaking at over 837%.
Currently, Zimbabwe’s inflation stands at approximately 257%. Conventionally, the origins of inflation have been and always will be excessive money supply that outstrips the rate of growth in an economy resulting in too much money chasing too few goods and services. In the case of Zimbabwe, the inflation malaise was compounded by the fact that the economy is virtually stagnant, growing only marginally.
- Zimbabwe’s economic policy has been erratic.
- The government in Zimbabwe has recently adopted a scorched earth policy against inflation by tightening
The shrinking economy and resulting unemployment have given birth to an informal economy that has spiralled out of control. Treasury and monetary authorities have been at pains to find ways they can tax the informal sector. The informal economy is difficult, if not impossible, to absorb into the formal economy or to include in the tax pool from which the government can draw revenue.
As the formal economy shrinks, so has Zimbabwe’s effective tax revenue stream, and this problem can only be arrested and mitigated by a growing economy.
An economy characterized by slow or negative growth makes it more difficult for the government to repair its finances. This is because there is a positive relationship between a country’s tax pool and the growth of the economy. A shrinking economy brings with it the added cost of having to provide social safety nets for the vulnerable members of its society.…
The AfCFTA presents a significant opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day. The AfCFTA is the new anchor to pull multinationals to invest in Africa.
This agreement not only brings hope to African governments but also encourages current efforts on the ground, which improve jobs in Africa.
The World Bank points out that the AfCFTA will create the largest free trade area in the world, measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion.
It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures. …
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In June, Zawya Projects announced that Namibia had received 25 submissions for pilot projects, from which it plans to select no more than five.
The four projects – the Daures, Namport, Cleanergy, and TransNamib projects – have a combined value of over N$890 million (53,39 million euros), and some of the funds will be sourced by the initiators of the projects. The four projects will be located in the Erongo region, which has been marked as ‘valley 1’ of the envisaged national hydrogen ecosystem.…
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will collaborate with Botswana Rail (BR) to fix parts of the 126 km rail line between Swartruggens, in South Africa’s North West province, and Mafikeng, on the border with Botswana, helping South Africa’s landlocked northern neighbor get its minerals, including thermal coal, to market.
According to an article by Reuters published on August 5, 2022, the rail revamp will enable heavy haul trains to travel from Botswana to South Africa’s ports of Richards Bay and Durban, TFR said. The project aims to be up and running in the next 24 months. However, financial terms were not disclosed.
TFR and BR will also build a rail line from Mamabula in Botswana to Lephalale in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
The two rail companies will work together to fight the “scourge of cable theft and infrastructure vandalism” that is impacting rail services, TFR said, adding this was a “rising …
- When the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on March 2 to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, African countries accounted for almost half of the 35 abstentions including South Africa.
- The conflict triggered by Russia’s invasion has complicated the challenges and sources of stress already facing Southern Africa.
- A few countries are sensing long-term growth opportunities from the crisis. Specifically, Africa’s natural gas could reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended the existing world order and with it the global energy, production, distribution, and financial systems. Russia and China are openly challenging the Pax Americana. But the question of what the next world order will look like remains wide open.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, its neighbour to the southwest, marking a dramatic escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014, Putin announced a “special military operation” in…