Foreign Trade Developments in Africa

Click on any of the following to see the latest foreign trade developments in that region:
Central Africa
East Africa
North Africa
Southern Africa
West Africa

African Continental Free Trade Area agreement took effect May 2019
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement entered into force on May 30. Signatories are negotiating rules of origin, tariff concessions, and other elements to operationalize the AfCFTA. It is expected to increase intra-African trade in the next few years by approximately 50 percent and Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by approximately US$40 billion.
For more information, see “Africa: AfCFTA Comes Into Force – So, What Next?” May 31, 2019,, and SECURUS Trade analysis – “Agreement Establishing African Continental Free Trade Area Goes into Effect,” July 2019,

COMESA secretariat signs agreement with UNCTAD to facilitate and expedite regional trade
On May 24, 2019, the Secretariat for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), an African free trade area, signed a US$3.34 million agreement with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to use technology to facilitate and expedite regional trade. Under the agreement, UNCTAD will work with the COMESA secretariat for three years on building a customs automation regional support center. UNCTAD also will help the 21 member states of COMESA establish or improve trade information portals (TIPs) to inform traders of import and export requirements in the region.
For more information see, “UNCTAD and COMESA Partner on €3 Million Project to Speed up Trade,” June 7, 2019,

Afreximbank, Roscongress, and REC sign agreement to support trade and other areas
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Roscongress Foundation, and Russian Export Center (REC) signed the agreement on June 21, 2019. The agreement is the basis for cooperation between Russia and Africa, including through provisions of mutual support in exports, imports, investment, financing, and cultural and tourism interactions.
For more information, see “Roscongress, Afreximbank and REC Sign Agreement to Promote Trade,” June 26, 2019,

East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) complete negotiations on bilateral tariff liberalization
The conclusion of the EAC (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) and SACU (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa) negotiations is a stepping stone toward realization of the benefits of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The EAC-SACU private sector now will have access to new, dynamic markets for exports and new sources of inputs for domestic production processes, thus improving intra-regional trade. The TFTA launched in June 2015 with the intent of creating a single market for 27 African countries.
For more information, see “SACU, EAC Concludes Tariff Negotiations,” June 28, 2019,

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) provides support for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement
One of Afreximbank’s initiatives is a US$1 billion AfCFTA Adjustment Facility that will help countries to adjust to “sudden significant tariff revenue losses” caused by implementing the agreement.
For more information, see “Afreximbank Announces $1B Adjustment Facility, Other AfCFTA Support Measures,” July 9, 2019,

UNCTAD and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) sign agreement to facilitate trade in East Africa
UNCTAD and TMEA signed the US$3.1 million agreement on July 4, 2019, which will finance a four-year second phase of a project to facilitate trade in East Africa. The second phase will assist the national trade facilitation committees (NTFCs) of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda in simplifying cross-border trade procedures.
For more information, see “UNCTAD, TradeMark East Africa Extend Deal to Ease Trade,” July 24, 2019,

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to build trade centers in capitals of Nigeria and Zimbabwe
Afreximbank selected Abuja, Nigeria, and Harare, Zimbabwe, to have the first Africa Trade Centers, which will offer one-stop shops for trade services. The centers will reduce Africa’s trade information gap, harness intra-African trade, and transform Nigeria and Zimbabwe into trade hubs. Afreximbank intends to build multiple trade centers in commercial cities in Africa.
For more information, see “Afreximbank Picks Zim, Nigeria for Trade Centres,” July 25, 2019,

Central Africa

Angola parliament eliminates double taxation with Portugal, China, and UAE
The Angola parliament signed into effect proposals that will eliminate double taxation and incentivize prevention of tax evasion on income tax with Portugal, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These measures are expected to allow for an increase of foreign direct investment, transfer of knowledge and skills, infrastructure development, and creation of more jobs for Angolan citizens.
For more information, see “Angola’s Parliament Approves Elimination of Double Taxation with Portugal, China and UAE,” January 25, 2019,

Angola creates National Oil and Gas Agency (ANGP)
ANGP was created in Decree No. 15/19. According to the decree, concessionaire responsibilities will be transferred from Angola’s national oil and gas company (Sonangol) to ANGP.
For more information, see “Angola Creates National Oil and Gas Agency,” January 28, 2019,

Angola and Zambia sign agreement to build an oil pipeline
The governments of Angola and Zambia signed an agreement to build a pipeline that will go through both countries and export oil from Angola to Zambia. The project is expected to cost US$5 billion.
For more information, see “Zambia, Angola Sign Agreement on Oil and Gas,” January 29, 2019,

Angola and Qatar transport ministers sign air transport agreement
The agreement will enable Qatar Airways to expand its operations to Angola.
For more information, see “Qatar, Angola Sign Air Transport Agreement,” February 3, 2019,

Angola and Italy sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) on promoting economic and commercial cooperation
The MOU aims to promote stronger economic and commercial cooperation in the tourism, agribusiness, fishing, and renewable energy sectors.
For more information, see “Angola, Italy Strengthen Cooperation,” February 7, 2019,

Angola and Ethiopia sign trade agreement
The governments of Angola and Ethiopia have agreed to strengthen cooperation on trade, tourism, agriculture, and the aviation industry.
For more information, see “Ethiopia, Angola Vow to Strengthen Bilateral Ties,” February 20, 2019,

New Luanda Airport to undergo more construction prior to becoming operational
The Angola Ministry of Finance has announced that it will spend US$5 billion on the New Luanda Airport, which is expected to be ready in 2022. This new airport is being built in the northern Bengo municipality of the Luanda province. Once operational, this airport will be an alternative to the existing Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda.
For more information, see “New Luanda International Airport in Angola to Undergo Correction Works,” March 7, 2019,

Cameroon inaugurates customs building in Adamaoua
The government of Cameroon has inaugurated a customs building in Adamaoua, which is on the border with Chad and the Central African Republic. The government hopes that this new edifice will help facilitate the fight against illegal trade.
For more information, see “Cameroon – Ngaoundéré: the New Building of the Customs Sector Inaugurated,” January 22, 2019,

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea reopen border closed since 2017
The governments of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have announced the reopening of their border in the locality of Kyé-ossi. The border was closed on December 28, 2017, after Equatorial Guinean authorities responded to a coup attempt against its regime.
For more information, see “Announced Reopening of the Border between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea,” January 25, 2019,

Cameroon: Multipurpose terminal in Port of Kribi now operational
The multipurpose terminal in the Port of Kribi is now operational. It is managed and operated by the Cameroon consortium Kribi Polyvalent Multiple Operators (KPMO). The terminal accommodates conventional vessels of 25 to 30,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) and is expected to process 500,000 tons of traffic during the first 2 years of operations.
For more information, see “Cameroon: Start of Operation of the Multipurpose Terminal of the Port of Kribie,” January 26, 2019,

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea agree to build a bridge linking both countries
The governments of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have announced their intentions to build a bridge over the Ntem River, on the corridor linking Campo in Cameroon and Bata in Equatorial Guinea.
For more information, see “New Bridge to Be Built Linking Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea,” February 3, 2019,

Cameroon removes checkpoints on Central African Republic and Chad borders
The Cameroon General Directorate of Customs announced that it will close underutilized border posts on Cameroon’s borders with the Central African Republic and Chad.
For more information, see “Cameroon Removes ‘Superfluous’ Checkpoints for CAR and Chad,” February 11, 2019,

Cameroon begins to use sniffer dogs at airports
The Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) has announced that it will begin using sniffer dogs to reinforce security at the country’s airports. The CCAA expects that this new measure will allow it to better detect drugs and prohibited explosives.
For more information, see “Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority Plans to Use Sniffer Dogs at Airports,” February 26, 2019,

Cameroon curbs imports of cosmetics
As part of its “Made in Cameroon” initiative, the Ministry of Trade of Cameroon announced its intention to extend the government’s efforts to curb the importation of cosmetic products.
For more information, see “Cameroon: Cosmetic Products – Govt to Curb Importation,” February 26, 2019,

Cameroon lifts ban on six baby diaper brands
The government of Cameroon has announced that it will lift a ban on the sale of six baby diaper brands. Cameroon had imposed a ban on the diapers for containing harmful chemicals.
For more information, see “Cameroonian Trade Minister Lifts Ban on Sale of Six Baby Diaper Brands Including Pampers,” March 12, 2019,

Government of Cameroon to rehabilitate 400 km of roads
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINHDU) of Cameroon announced its intention to rehabilitate 400 km of roads in the country. The project will include the construction of 132 km of access roads in the cities of Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Bandjoun, Foumban, Bangou, Bangangté, Garoua, and Douala.
For more information, see “The State of Cameroon Plans to Complete the Rehabilitation of 400 km of Roads on the National Territory in March 2019,” March 18, 2019,

Chad and Central African Republic sign air agreement
The aeronautical authorities of the Central African Republic and Chad have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services. The agreement includes provisions on the designation of airlines for the operation of services between the two countries and the traffic rights of the companies designated by each party.
For more information, see “Air Agreement Chad-Central African Republic,” December 19, 2018,

DRC bans all imports of pork from the EU
The Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced that it will prohibit all importation, marketing, and consumption of pork imports from the European Union (EU).
For more information, see “DRC: Bussa Bans All Imports of Pork Products from the EU,” February 21, 2019,

Republic of the Congo: Import declarations subject to a new regulation
The Ministry of Finance and Budget of the Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville announced that importers now will be required to submit a prior import declaration (DPI) on goods valued at or over CFA1 million francs. In addition, the Customs Service has been tasked with carrying out pre-verification duties prior to the arrival of goods at the border in order to speed up customs clearance procedures.
For more information, see “Customs: Import Declarations Submitted to a New Regulation,” January 21, 2019,

Gabon suspends export of Iboga
The government of Gabon has suspended the exportation of Tabernanthe iboga, commonly known as Iboga. Iboga is a plant that is highly valuable in the country because of its psychotropic qualities and claims that it can help cure many degenerative diseases. Special export authorizations, however, may be granted based on technical advice from the Directorate-General for Industries, Trade, Timber and the Valorization of Forest Products and the Ministry of Forestry.
For more information, see “Iboga: Export Suspended in Gabon,” February 9, 2019,

Local IT business provides Gabonese Customs new server to expedite trade
The local company Scan-Gabon has provided the Directorate General of Customs with a computer server that will help it to increase the level of effectiveness of its information system and management.
For more information, see “Gabon-Customs Scan Partnership: IT Equipment to Boost Customs Performance,” February 23, 2019,

São Tomé and Principe will see road infrastructure work financed by the World Bank
The World Bank has announced that it will finance the repair of an important road linking São Tomé and Neves in the district of Lemba.
For more information, see “World Bank Finances Repair of São Tomé and Príncipe’s Main Highway,” January 21, 2019,

São Tomé and Principe and African Development Bank (AfDB) sign agreement to develop deep water port at Fernão Dias
The agreement will provide São Tomé and Principe US$2 million to co-finance the expenses related to the development of the port.
For more information, see “Sao Tome & Principe: $2 Million NEPAD-IPPF Grant from the African Development Bank for the Preparation and Structuring of the Project for the Development of a Deep-Water Port,” March 1, 2019,

East Africa

Ethiopia exempts the import of certain agricultural technologies and equipment from taxes
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) exempted from taxes the importation of agricultural mechanization, irrigation, and animal feed technologies and equipment. The purpose of the exemption is to provide incentives to invest in importing and producing the items locally in order to enhance the agriculture sector.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Allows Tax Free Imports of Agricultural Mechanization, Irrigation and Animal Feed Technologies,” May 9, 2019,

Ethiopia officially opens toll road that connects to Djibouti
The 220-kilometer (~137-mile) toll road connects Ethiopia’s Dire Dawa city to Dewale city bordering Djibouti. The road is expected to facilitate Ethiopia’s import-export trade and reduce driving times. Use of the road will cost drivers of heavy trucks approximately US$7, drivers of medium-sized trucks approximately US$5, and automobile drivers approximately US$3.50.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Inaugurates Toll Road Linking with Djibouti,” June 26, 2019,

Ethiopia begins process to resume World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations
The government of Ethiopia (GOE) formed a national committee on June 10, 2019, to recommence the process for acceding to the WTO. The GOE held three rounds of WTO negotiations prior to 2013, before halting its accession process, and now is expected to hold its fourth round of negotiations in the next few months. At that time, the GOE is expected to submit price offers for goods and services to WTO members and answer questions forwarded from the previous round of negotiations.
For more information, see “Ethiopia to Reinstate WTO Negotiations,” June 27, 2019,

MOU signed in Ethiopia on testing laboratories and exports of honey
The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on June 20, 2019. The MOU will see the development of internationally accredited quality testing laboratories for honey in order to increase revenue from honey exports. Currently, Ethiopian honey exporters cannot export their honey without first sending samples of it to accredited companies in foreign countries for quality testing and assurance. The ATA project will reduce the costs and time local honey exporters incur during this process.
For more information, see “Ethiopia: New Partnership Sprouts to Boost Honey Export,” June 27, 2019,

Ethiopian Airlines launches cargo flight connecting Southwest China with Africa and South America
The weekly cargo flight began on June 26, 2019, and will support the development of Africa-China bilateral trade.
For more information, see “Ethiopian Airlines Connects Chongqing with Freight Corridors of the World,” July 9, 2019,

Ethiopia Customs Commission (ECC) begins providing import-export service at Hawassa
ECC service at Hawassa branch in southern Ethiopia began on July 8, 2019. It will reduce traders’ costs and time since they previously had to travel to Addis Ababa to receive the service.
For more information, see “Ethiopian Customs Commission Begins Import/Export Customs Service at Hawassa,” July 12, 2019,

Kenya and Tanzania reach agreements to facilitate bilateral trade, expedite goods clearance
In April 2019, the governments agreed to: implement fully a single customs territory to expedite the clearance of goods; expedite the harmonization of domestic taxes, fees, and levies to facilitate bilateral trade; and adhere to procedures on the inspection and clearance of goods established in East African Community (EAC) legal authorities.
For more information, see “Kenya, Tanzania Agree to Effect Single Customs Territory,” April 28, 2019,

Kenya’s Embu County secures new market for agricultural exports
The Embu County Department of Agriculture secured the Sh1.2 billion (~US$11.63 million) export market from Habitat Intertrade Company.
For more information, see “Kenya: Embu County Secures Export Market for Agro-Produce Valued at Sh1.2 Billion,” May 2, 2019,

Kenya begins construction of Naivasha Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Mai Mahiu
The SEZ will cover 1,000 acres of land. Construction began in May 2019.
For more information, see “Construction of Naivasha Special Economic Zone in Kenya Begins,” May 7, 2019,

Kenya and the United States sign economic and security agreement
The agreement is to promote bilateral trade and investment, enhance security, and strengthen multilateralism.
For more information, see “Kenya and US Sign Agreement on Economic Prosperity,” May 8, 2019,

Kenya Airways adds daily, direct flight from Nairobi to Burundi’s Bujumbura
The new direct flight will reduce waiting times and increase travel and trade among East African Community (EAC) countries.
For more information, see “Kenya Airways Increases Flights to Bujumbura,” May 10, 2019,

Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) enforces import prohibition on 17 categories of used car parts
According to KEBS standard KS2190:2013, imports of multiple used car parts, including bearings, brake pads, clutch plates, and spark plugs, are authorized only if they are in new condition. KEBS is enforcing this standard now in order to support the government’s agenda of creating a demand for new vehicles assembled in Kenya.
For more information, see “Jobs at Stake as Kebs Bans Import of Used Car Parts – VIDEO,” May 20, 2019,

Kenyan bodies sign charter to enhance efficiency of cargo clearance and boost regional trade at the Port of Mombasa
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and Kenya Shipping Agents Association (KSSA) signed the transshipment standard operating procedures (SOPs) charter on May 20, 2019. The SOPs are in line with international standards and are expected to expedite and increase the clearance of transshipment cargo at the port.
For more information, see “Kenya Revenue Authority Signs SOPs to Boost Regional Trade,” May 20, 2019,, and “Taxman, KPA in Deal to End Cargo Delays at Port,” May 28, 2019,–KPA-in-deal-to-end-cargo-delays-at-port/4003122-5135550-4jnxk6/index.html.

Trade facilitation and expeditious measures to be implemented at Kenya’s Port of Mombasa
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will start conducting pre-arrival clearance for import goods. In addition, the president of Kenya issued a directive to reduce the number of government agencies operating at the port to three or four: KRA, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and possibly Kenya Railways (KR). Also according to the presidential directive, import goods that were cleared at their place of origin and have certificates of conformity will not be re-inspected at the Port of Mombasa, unless authorities receive prior intelligence or there is evidence of non-compliance.
For more information, see “Taxman, KPA in Deal to End Cargo Delays at Port,” May 28, 2019,–KPA-in-deal-to-end-cargo-delays-at-port/4003122-5135550-4jnxk6/index.html, “Uhuru Directive on Cargo a Huge Relief for Traders,” June 4, 2019,, and “Goods Inspection at Port Stopped,” June 13, 2019,

Kenya to vet and register import and export cargo consolidators
Only vetted and registered cargo consolidators will be authorized to work with small-scale traders. This process is intended to stop consolidators from evading taxes and delaying cargo clearance at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD).
For more information, see “Kenya to Vet, Register all Cargo Consolidators,” May 27, 2019,

Kenya and Uganda lift respective bans on poultry and beef
The government of Kenya (GOK) lifted the approximately two-year ban on the import of poultry and poultry products from Uganda, while the government of Uganda (GOU) lifted the approximately ten-year ban on the import of beef and beef products from Kenya. The GOK imposed the poultry ban following outbreaks of bird and swine flus in Uganda, and the GOU issued the beef ban due to concerns that Kenyan beef exports failed to meet required standards.
For more information, see “Uganda Resumes Exporting Poultry to Kenya,” June 5, 2019,, and “Uganda to Extend Ban on Kenyan Meat Products,” September 15, 2015,

Kenya closes Lamu border crossing along Kenya-Somalia border
The government closed the border and prohibited border villages and residents from engaging in cross-border trade due to intensifying security operations in the area.
For more information, see “Somalia: Kenya Closes Border with Somalia in Lamu,” June 11, 2019,

Kenya commissions KEBS office and laboratories in lake region to curb imports of fake goods, become a regional hub
The government commissioned the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) office and laboratories to curb the importation of fake goods through the Busia and Isebania border crossings. The regional facility also will help the lake region become a “hub of goods and services that meet international standards” by testing and certifying products in various industries, including food, hospitality, and water packaging, and calibrating various equipment, such as that used in road construction.
For more information, see “Kebs Seeks to Curb Trade in Counterfeits in Lake Region,” June 12, 2019,

Kenya’s decision to replace old banknotes impacts cross-border trade
On June 1, 2019, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced it would withdraw the old generation 1,000 currency notes from circulation by October 1, 2019, and replace them with currency notes that have more security features. CBK also will phase out smaller denominations over the next three years. CBK subsequently issued directives to the Banks of Uganda (BOU) and Tanzania (BOT) to suspend conversion and repatriation of all Kenyan currency, which BOU and BOT did, effective immediately. The suspension is creating obstacles to cross-border trade since many businesses in Kenya’s border towns still have the old generation notes in their possession.
For more information, see “Tanzania and Uganda Freeze Exchange of Kenyan Bank Notes,” June 10, 2019,, “Uganda Stops Use of Kenyan Currency,” June 11, 2019,, and “Kenya’s Withdrawal of Old Banknotes Disturbs Cross-Border Trade,” June 20, 2019,

Kenya and South Sudan sign agreements to enhance trade ties
The governments agreed to establish a joint border commission to manage their shared border. In addition, the government of Kenya agreed to hold a trade expo in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, in November 2019, and to allocate land to South Sudan for a dry port at Kenya’s Naivasha Special Economic Zone and for a logistics hub near Kenya’s Lamu Port.
For more information, see “Kenya, South Sudan Ink Deals to Shore up Trade Ties,” July 1, 2019,

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) commences use of the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) at land and sea border crossing points (BCPs)
KRA launched the iCMS at land and sea BCPs on July 7, 2019. The iCMS will enable pre-arrival processing of goods, facilitate the automatic upload of import cargo information, and ultimately expedite customs clearance. Shippers or their agents must submit cargo clearance documentation, such as import declarations and cargo manifests, to the iCMS.
For more information, see “KRA to Roll out Port Cargo Clearance Hub,” July 6, 2019,

Kenyan insurance companies to use single system to process marine cargo and customs bonds
Customs bonds will be processed solely through the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) National Electronic Single Window System portal, and marine cargo insurance still will be processed through the KenTrade Kenya TradeNet System online portal. These KenTrade portals allow for integration between Kenya’s insurance companies, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and all stakeholders in the supply chain.
For more information, see “Insurers Back Single System to Process Customs Bond and Marine Cargo,” July 11, 2019,

Kenya signs agreement to export oil for the first time
Under the agreement, 200,000 barrels of oil exports are priced at US$12 million.
For more information, see “Kenya in Sh1.3bn Oil Export Deal,” August 1, 2019,

Rwanda-Uganda border issues persist; Rwandan side of the border reopened temporarily
The Gatuna/Katuna border post on the Rwanda-Uganda border largely has been closed since February 2019, allegedly causing traders on both sides of the border to turn to smuggling to fund their daily needs. The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) reopened the Rwandan side of the border on June 10, 2019, but it only remained opened until June 22 for heavy trucks in order to evaluate the operationalization of the one-stop border post (OSBP) construction. Some traders also reported difficulties in crossing the border during this period.
For more information, see “Uganda: Traders Resort to Smuggling as Rwanda Border Remains Closed,” May 23, 2019,, “Rwanda: Uganda-Rwanda Gatuna Border Temporarily Reopens to Heavy-Duty Trucks,” June 10, 2019,, and “Uganda-Rwanda Border Closed Again,” June 24, 2019,

Parliament of Rwanda passes bill that prohibits single-use plastics
The bill bans the manufacture, importation, use, and sale of single-use plastic items, such as coffee stirrers, cups, most food packaging materials, plastic bags, soda and water bottles, and straws.
For more information, see “House Passes Bill to Ban Single-Use Plastics,” June 13, 2019,

Rwanda and China sign agreement to expand road
The government of China will provide US$42.8 million to expand Prince House Remera-Nyandungu-Masaka road to alleviate traffic congestion. The road expansion also will improve access to Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport, Kigali Special Economic Zone, and markets.
For more information, see “Rwanda, China Sign $42.8M Deal for Road Expansion,” June 18, 2019,

Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry signs agreement with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to improve trade
Under the agreement, the ministry received US$11.2 million to construct and operationalize cross-border markets and support the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC). The funds will improve the business environment and reduce trade barriers.
For more information, see “Government Gets Rwf10bn to Ease Cross-Border Trade,” June 20, 2019,

Rwanda issues common East Africa e-passport to promote regional integration
A single, common East African Community (EAC) e-passport will increase cross-border travel and trade and deepen EAC integration. The e-passport database features the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to reduce fraud, forgery, identity theft, and passport skimming.
For more information, see “Rwanda Starts Issuing East Africa E-Passport,” June 29, 2019,

Rwanda ratifies Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) agreement
Rwanda became the fifth country to ratify the agreement. The TFTA agreement is a US$1.2 trillion FTA that brings together the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC) – a total of 27 countries. The agreement seeks to eliminate trade barriers and ease the movement of people among member states.
For more information, see “Rwanda Ratifies TFTA Treaty,” July 13, 2019,

Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) takes action to combat smuggling
The RRA recently announced tough penalties for those involved in smuggling goods. It also will increase cooperation with neighboring countries, create cargo control monitoring systems, and raise public awareness on identifying smuggled items in retailer outlets.
For more information, see “RRA Imposes Tougher Penalties on Smuggling,” July 25, 2019,

Rwanda and the Philippines sign first air service agreement
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on July 25, 2019. It will allow both countries seven weekly flights for designated airlines and cargo operations of up to 400 tons.
For more information, see “PH, Rwanda Ink Air Service Agreement,” July 27, 2019,

Seychelles signs two agreements with China to facilitate bilateral trade
One of the agreements will create a “direct line” between Seychelles and China to address any trade issues. It also will notify the government of Seychelles when places in China are not selling genuine items so as to prevent those items from entering Seychelles.
For more information, see “Seychelles and China Sign Two Deals to Advance Trade between the Nations,” May 8, 2019,

Seychelles prohibits plastic straws
Effective June 1, 2019, the manufacture, importation, and use of plastic straws is prohibited to help protect the environment. Plastic straws on small packets of juice and milk are exempted from the prohibition.
For more information, see “No More Plastic Straws: Ban Comes into Full Force in Seychelles,” May 31, 2019,

Seychelles gains extra flights with the return of Air Mauritius after 14 years
The flights will increase connectivity and also could increase economic benefits to Seychelles, which “depends greatly on tourism, trade, and investment.”
For more information, see “Air Mauritius Returns to Seychelles, Increasing Regional Trade, Tourism and Airline Competition,” July 2, 2019,

Seychelles suspends imports of pork from Belgium
Effective July 2, 2019, the National Biosecurity Agency suspended the importation of pork due to an outbreak of African swine fever in Belgium.
For more information, see “Seychelles Blocks Pork Imports from Belgium over Swine Fever Outbreak,” July 6, 2019,

President of Somalia’s Puntland state signs agreement with Chinese company to build port
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) will build the port in Eyl, which is one of Somalia’s main fishing hubs.
For more information, see “China Signs Deal to Build Port in Ancient Somalian Town of Eyl,” June 3, 2019,

South Sudan introduces digital technology to increase trade and investments
The technology will provide online information to likely investors.
For more information, see “South Sudan Launches Digital Technology to Boost Investments, Trade,” May 15, 2019,

South Sudan opens European Union-funded bridge in Bar El Ghazal area
The bridge will reduce travel times and costs and facilitate the movement of goods and services.
For more information, see “South Sudan: New Bridge Slashes Travel Times in South Sudan,” June 8, 2019,

South Sudan integrates online portal to eliminate non-tariff barriers (NTBs)
The portal will provide information on institutions and mechanisms to combat NTBs to trade. Increasing the exchange of this information with East African Community (EAC) member states will reduce the cost of import goods to South Sudan and facilitate exports.
For more information, see “South Sudan Integrates Online Portal to Slash Non-Tariff Barriers,” June 25, 2019,

Technology firms in South Sudan launch the country’s first mobile money transfer service
The service, M-Gurush, enables customers to pay for goods and services across South Sudan. This development is significant since it removes the need to use a bank account, which most South Sudanese reportedly lack.
For more information, see “South Sudan Gets Mobile Money Service,” July 25, 2019,

Tanzania removes 16 charges and 23 fees payable to Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority and the Government Chief Chemist
On July 1, 2019, the charges, including those on imports of cosmetic raw materials and drugs, and fees, including those for export permits, were removed. The purpose of this decision is to attack investments to Tanzania’s pharmaceutical industry.
For more information, see “Tanzania: Government Abolishes 16 Charges,” May 8, 2019,

Tanzania’s plastic bag ban took effect June 1, 2019
Plastic carrier bags are prohibited from importation, exportation, manufacture, sale, storage, supply, and usage, per the Environment Management (Prohibition of Plastic Carrier Bags) Regulations, 2019. Exemptions include plastic or plastic packaging for the agricultural sector, construction industry, foodstuff, industrial products, medical services, and sanitary and waste management, and Ziploc bags used by foreign visitors to carry toiletries when traveling.
For more information, see “It’s Official: Plastics Ban in Tanzania from June 1,” May 21, 2019,, and “Plastic Bags Regulations in Tanzania Gain Momentum,” May 25, 2019,

Tanzania’s Weights and Measures Agency (WMA) new cargo charges affects cargo movement
The charges are now applied to each export or import item as opposed to charging the entire cargo at once. This has resulted in long lines of cargo trucks along the Tanzania-Kenya border.
For more information, see “Confusion at Tanzania-Kenya Border as Agency Imposes New Charges,” May 29, 2019,

Tanzania suspends the manufacture and import of electrical PVC conduit pipes
The suspension was issued to enable authorities to verify the quality of construction materials. A previous inspection in Dar es Salaam showed the availability of substandard pipes.
For more information, see “TBS Hauls, Bans Substandard Blue Electrical Conduit Pipes,” June 24, 2019,

Tanzania eliminates certification process for Ugandan goods
Following the change of the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards, Uganda-certified products now can enter the Tanzania market without having to undergo an additional round of certification.
For more information, see “Trade Barriers between Uganda and Tanzania Eliminated,” July 23, 2019,

Governments of Tanzania and Zimbabwe sign five memoranda of understanding (MOUs)
The MOUs include topics such as cooperation on economic, industry, and trade relations. In particular, two MOUs will promote development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
For more information, see “Zim, Tanzania Sign 5 MoUs,” August 1, 2019,

Uganda prohibits brokers from handling consolidated cargo imports
The purpose of the prohibition is to protect small traders from exploitation by the brokers and prevent tax evasion leaks.
For more information, see “Uganda Bans Small Cargo Import Brokers,” May 18, 2019,

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) establishes centers to restrain trade misinvoicing
The URA established the centers in China, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Uganda exports different commodities, such as coffee. “Trade misinvoicing” refers to the misrepresentation of the value of a product.
For more information, see “URA Sets up Centres to Curb Misinvoicing,” May 23, 2019,

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) issues notice on foreign registered vehicles
According to the notice, the URA is to impound foreign-registered vehicles that do not have temporary importation licenses and charge them a fine.
For more information, see “URA to Impound Vehicles with Foreign Number Plates,” June 11, 2019,

Mobile cargo scanner installed at Uganda’s Katuna border post in June 2019
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) installed the scanner to ensure trade compliance. The scanner will expedite cargo clearance and enhance security.
For more information, see “Uganda: Cargo Scanner Installed at Katuna Border Post to Crack Down on Smuggling,” June 19, 2019,

Uganda issues import quotas on Kenyan poultry products
The government of Uganda only will permit imports of processed chicken from Kenya for four months and 2,000 kilograms of chicken sausages in order to protect its poultry industry.
For more information, see “Uganda Imposes Quotas on Kenya’s Poultry Products,” June 23, 2019,

Memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed to build Free Port Zone facilities at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport
The National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) and Uganda Free Zone Authority (UZFA) signed the MOU on June 24, 2019. Target sectors include food processing, horticulture, mineral processing, and logistics.
For more information, see “NEC, UFZA Sign MoU to Construct Free Port Zone Facilities at Entebbe International Airport,” June 24, 2019,, and “Free Zones Authority, NEC Sign MoU for Construction of Public Free Port Zone,” July 3, 2019,

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) launch the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS)
The governments launched the RECTS in order to reduce diversion risk and facilitate regional trade.
For more information, see “Uganda, DR Congo Launch Regional Cargo Tracking System,” July 10, 2019,

North Africa

New decree in Algeria calls for development of indigenous arms and military equipment
The Algerian government published a decree in July authorizing the Algerian military to create a “Technical System Development Establishment” with the purpose of designing and manufacturing arms and military equipment, including missiles and air-to-surface weapons. The decree enables the new establishment to undertake buying, selling, importation, and exportation of items related to its objective.
For more information, see “Algeria to Indigenously Develop Weapons and Ammunition,” August 15, 2019,

Egyptian government preparing stronger anti-counterfeit products legislation
In June, the Industry Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives adopted a bill that would establish stronger criminal offenses and penalties for activities involving counterfeit products and intellectual property infringement.
For more information, see “Egypt’s Parliament Adopts Draft Legislation against Counterfeit Brands,” June 22, 2019,

Egypt will construct six public free zones
The Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) announced on June 30, 2019, that it will construct six public free zones located in Sharqiya, Minya, Giza, Kafr al-Sheikh, South Sinai, and Aswan that are to be completed in 2019-20. The free zones will focus on developing different industries that will export to markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
For more information, see “Egypt’s GAFI to Establish 6 Public Free Zones during 2019/2020,” June 30, 2019,

Egypt maintained customs rate for strategic and essential commodities in July and August
The Egyptian Ministry of Finance maintained the customs exchange rate at EGP16 to the U.S. dollar for strategic goods and essential commodities in July and August 2019.
For more information, see “Egypt Maintains Customs Exchange Rate for Essential Goods in July,” July 1, 2019,, and “Egypt Keeps Custom Dollar at LE 16 for Essential Commodities in August,” August 1, 2019,

Egyptian government considering legislation dealing with export of genetic resources
In July, the Energy and Environment Committee of the Egyptian House of Representatives approved a bill that would establish penalties of EGP50,000 to 200,000 (US$2,750-11,000) for those who collect genetic resources for exportation without a license. “Genetic resources” are the genetic material (any material of plant, animal, microbial, or other origin containing functional units of heredity) of actual or potential value, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
For more information, see “Draft Law to Combat Illegal Export of Genetic Resources,” July 9, 2019,

Egyptian government issued new standards for import and export of foreign currency
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued the new standards on August 5, 2019. The standards call, in part, for banks wishing to import or export foreign currency surplus to obtain licenses from the CBE every January, establish policies and procedures covering all operations related to import and export of foreign currency and anti-money laundering and -terrorism financing, and implement robust internal compliance and screening systems.
For more information, see “CBE Issues Import, Export Standards on Foreign Banknotes Surplus,” August 7, 2019,

Morocco and Brazil inked deal to share military technology
The deal was signed in June 2019 during a visit by the Moroccan Foreign Minister to Brazil. It followed similar Moroccan deals with Spain and the United Kingdom and comes during a time in which the Moroccan government is prioritizing the development of an indigenous military industry.
For more information, see “Brazil, Morocco Sign Military Technology Transfer Deal,” June 18, 2019,

Moroccan government inaugurated Tanger Med 2 port facility in June
The Crown Prince of Morocco inaugurated the new port facility on June 28, 2019. Tanger Med 2 is the third phase of development of the Tanger Med port complex, following the opening of the Tanger Med 1 container terminal and the passenger and roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) terminal. Tanger Med 2 has two container terminals: TC3 (with a capacity of 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units, TEUs) and TC4 (with a capacity of 5 million TEUs). The Tanger Med complex is the largest port in Africa with respect to container capacity.
For more information, see “Tanger Med 2 Officially Launched,” July 1, 2019,, and “Morocco to Inaugurate ‘Tanger Med 2’ Port in Tangier,” June 26, 2019,

Casablanca Finance City (CFC) will begin taxing companies’ export activities in 2020
The decision came following criticism by the European Union (EU) that CFC companies’ export activities were not taxed in the same way as their local business activities. The EU had included Morocco on a gray list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. CFC is one of the leading financial centers in Africa.
For more information, see “Morocco’s Finance Hub to Change Tax Regime after EU Criticism,” July 6, 2019,

Port fees increased at Port Sudan in July
The Sea Ports Corporation, an independent state corporation that serves as the national port authority and operator, raised the Sudanese pound to euro exchange rate for Port Sudan port fees from SDG 24 for 1 euro to SDG 50 for 1 euro. Port fees at Port Sudan must be paid in euros at the designated exchange rate. Port Sudan, located on the Red Sea, is Sudan’s main cargo port.
For more information, see “Port Sudan Fees Doubled: Commodity Prices to Rise,” July 26, 2019,

Southern Africa

Botswana announces plans to build a new heavy haul railway
The government of Botswana announced plans to build a railway that will connect the Mmamabula area with South Africa’s coal fields. The railway is also expected to connect Botswana’s mines to South African ports. Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications has stated that this development will be conducive to more regional integration and trade through the Mmamabula-Lephalale corridor.
For more information, see “Botswana to Construct Heavy Haul Railway That Will Link with South Africa,” February 4, 2019,

Botswana and Zambia sign African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
Both Botswana and Zambia were among the latest countries to sign the AfCFTA at the African Union Summit in February. Botswana expects to see an increase in its exports of live animals, beef, salt, vaccines, minerals, and leather products, while Zambia expects that its participation in the AfCFTA will help to harmonize rules among the regional free trade areas to which it already belongs.
For more information, see “Botswana, Zambia Sign AfCFTA to Fast-Track Access to African Markets,” February 18, 2019,

Railway under development will link Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe
The governments of Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the development of a railway that will link the three countries. The railway will connect the cities of Francis in Botswana and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe with the Port of Techobanine in Mozambique. Funding for the project will come from public-private partnerships.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique to Develop a Joint Railway,” March 19, 2019,

Botswana partially bans fruits and vegetables from South Africa
Due to an outbreak of Asian fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) in South Africa, Botswana has decided to partially ban certain fruits and vegetables from South Africa. All permits that were issued before March 5, 2019, have been canceled and importers have been advised to seek new permits. Of particular concern are crops susceptible to this species of fruit fly, including tomatoes, citrus fruits, cucumber, mango, and cashew nuts.
For more information, see “Botswana Bans Fresh South African Imports over Fruit Fly Outbreak,” March 19, 2019,

Eswatini joins African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)
The kingdom of Eswatini has deposited the instrument of its accession to Afreximbank, becoming the 51st African country to join. Initiatives that Afreximbank seeks to finance in the country include support for purchase of wagons for Eswatini Railway and an equipment import facility for Swazi Mobile.
For more information, see “Eswatini Joins Afreximbank as 51st Participating State,” March 18, 2019,

Lesotho implements phytosanitary inspections at its borders
The goal of the Phytosanitary Border Inspection Project is to ensure that importers and exporters properly declare all their produce in order to prevent the spread of pests and disease.
For more information, see “Lesotho Now Implementing Phytosanitary Border Inspection,” January 29, 2019,

Malawi bans meat from South Africa
The government of Malawi has banned the importation of meat and meat products from South Africa due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in South Africa. At the time the ban was imposed, it also applied to in-transit movement of all cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs.
For more information, see “Malawi Bans Meat Imports from South Africa,” January 26, 2019,

Karonga-Songwe road opens Malawi to international trade
The road was recently renovated with US$24 million of funding from the World Bank under the Southern Africa Trade and Transportation Facilitation Project. The Karonga-Songwe road is important to Malawi because it provides the landlocked country with access to Tanzania and the Port of Dar es Salaam. The road is also important for intra-African trade because it is part of the North-South Corridor, running from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the Port of Durban in South Africa.
For more information, see “Newly Updated Karonga-Songwe Road Brings Malawi More Open to Int’l Trade, Says President,” March 9, 2019,

Mozambique and Mauritius sign memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on trade and investment and trade promotion
The governments of Mozambique and Mauritius signed three MOUs dealing with subjects such as the environment, tourism, trade and investment, and trade promotion.
For more information, see “Africa: Mauritius and Mozambique Sign MOUs to Enhance Engagement in Africa,” January 31, 2019,

Mozambique and EU sign agreement dealing with trade
The government of Mozambique and the European Union (EU) have signed four agreements that will extend funding to the African country to support the country’s trade, biodiversity, agribusiness, and transport.
For more information, see “EU, Mozambique Sign 240 Mln USD Financing Agreements,” March 7, 2019,

Namibia ratifies African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
Namibia deposited its instrument of ratification to the chairperson of the Africa Union Commission on January 31, 2019.
For more information, see “Namibia Has Ratified AfCFTA, Ministry Confirms,” February 27, 2019,

Namibia and Ghana sign port agreement
At the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in Windhoek, Namibia and Ghana signed two agreements, one on higher education and one on ports. Additional agreements on trade and investment, transport and technology, maritime affairs, and fisheries and aquaculture are still being negotiated.
For more information, see “Namibia and Ghana Sign Port, Education Agreements,” March 1, 2019,

Namibia promotes ties with Kenya
The governments of Namibia and Kenya announced that they are reaffirming their economic ties. This will include promoting intra-Africa trade through their participation in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
For more information, see “Kenya, Namibia to Promote Bilateral Ties,” March 15, 2019,

South Africa updates Customs External Policy on Removal of Goods
On January 25, 2019, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) updated South Africa’s Customs External Policy on Removal of Goods. The updated policy changes some of the terminology used to describe the actors, locations, and procedures related to the removal of goods in bond or in transit by road.
For more information, see Customs External Policy Removal of Goods of January 25, 2019,

South Africa and India strengthen trade and defense ties
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa conducted a series of talks that concluded a three-year strategic program to boost cooperation in trade and defense.
For more information, see “India, South Africa to Boost Defence Ties, Trade,” January 25, 2019,

South Africa signs memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mozambique
The governments of South Africa and Mozambique signed an MOU that will provide the basis for broad cooperation between the countries on agriculture and agro-processing, special economic zones and industrial parks, mining and processing of natural resources, transport and communications infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, tourism, clothing and textiles, creative industries, and manufacturing.
For more information, see “MoU with Mozambique a Milestone, Says Davies,” February 20, 2019,

South Africa signs continuity trade deal with the United Kingdom
The government of South Africa signed a trade deal with the UK in preparation for Brexit. The deal replicates the current arrangement that South Africa has with the European Union (EU), avoiding potential tariffs if the UK exits the EU without a customs union agreement.
For more information, see “Brexit Success: South Africa Scrambles to Strike Trade Deal with Britain,” February 26, 2018,

South Africa temporarily stops exporting corn to contribute to SADC strategic reserves
The government of South Africa has announced that it will stop exporting corn to the international market in order to satisfy internal demand within the drought-prone Southern African Development Community (SADC). Droughts are expected throughout the year.
For more information, see “SA Halts Global Maize Exports to Boost SADC,” March 6, 2019,

South Africa and Zimbabwe establish one-stop border post (OSBP)
At the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission Summit of South Africa and Zimbabwe, the countries agreed on the establishment of an OSBP at Beitbridge.
For more information, see “South Africa: Zim, SA Embrace One-Stop Border,” March 14, 2019,

Joint Crime Prevention Operation between South Africa and Namibia begins
The operation was launched to detect and prevent transnational crime across the South Africa-Namibia border. Participants in the operation looked for the transportation of stolen goods, vehicles, illegal firearms, drugs, and other illegal substances.
For more information, see “South Africa and Namibia Cross-Border Operation,” March 21, 2019,

Kazungula Bridge to link Zambia and Botswana
The bridge is being built at the intersection of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers, where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet. The project includes a single-line railway track, pavement for pedestrians, and two one-stop border posts. The bridge is expected to transform the dynamics of travel and trade in the region, by linking the markets in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
For more information, see “Kazungula Bridge to Link, Open up Markets in Eight African Countries,” January 21, 2019,

Zambia will enforce new tax on copper imports
The government of Zambia has implemented a new five percent copper import tax that will allow it to keep a greater share of mineral resource profits. The new tax also includes a small percentage of royalty on copper production that will increase as the price of copper rises.
For more information, see “Zambia Will Enforce Copper Import Tax – Mining Minister,” February 4, 2019,

Zambia conducts rigorous inspections at its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to prevent Ebola outbreak
Health authorities in Zambia have begun conducting rigorous inspections at its border with the DRC in order to prevent Ebola from entering its territory.
For more information, see “Ebola: Zambia Intensifies Screening at Congo Border,” February 18, 2019,

Zambia lifts ban on cattle imports from South Africa
The government of Zambia has lifted a ban on imports of cattle and other live cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa. The ban originally extended to imports from anywhere in South Africa. The lifting of the ban will allow importers to import cattle from anywhere in South Africa, with the exception of products originating in the Limpopo province, where the outbreak began.
For more information, see “Govt Lifts Ban on SA Cattle Imports,” February 24, 2019,

Zambia lifts ban on corn exports
The government of Zambia has lifted a ban that it had originally imposed on the export of corn and mealie-meal to neighboring countries. The ban was lifted after the government consulted with stakeholders such as the Millers Association of Zambia, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), and Grain Traders Association of Zambia, determining that it had 700,000 metric tons of the grain in strategic reserves. The grain is under export control regulation from the government due to its importance to food security in Zambia.
For more information, see “Zambia Lifts Costly Maize Export Ban,” March 11, 2019,

Zimbabwe promotes SMART borders at Beitbridge and Chirundu border posts
The government of Zimbabwe has announced that it will implement a Secure, Measurable, Automated, Risk-based, and Technology-driven (SMART) security management system at the Beitbridge and Chirundu border posts. These border posts are some of the busiest on the African continent.
For more information, see “Zim Promotes SMART Borders Concept,” February 4, 2019,

Zimbabwe hikes customs and excise duties by 300 percent
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) announced that it has increased customs and excise duties by 300 percent at the same time that the government has created a new currency called the real time gross settlement (RTGS) dollar. The RTGS dollar is a virtual currency, and it now affects the clearance of designated goods “by converting current balances in the nostro foreign currency account prepayment account to ZWR at the prevailing exchange rate with the United States dollar.”
For more information, “Zimbabwe Hikes Customs, Excise Duty by 300%,” March 2, 2019,

Zimbabwe and South Africa to implement 45 memoranda of understanding (MOUs)
Zimbabwe and South Africa signed 45 MOUs dealing with subjects such as mining, trade, railways, and air transport.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe, SA to Implement 45 MoUs,” March 13, 2019,

Zimbabwe ratifies African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
The Zimbabwean Parliament has ratified the AfCFTA, making Zimbabwe the 15th country to ratify the agreement. The AfCFTA will come into effect once 22 member states have ratified it.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe: Parly Ratifies Free African Trade Pact,” March 19, 2019,

West Africa

West African mango exporters will be subject to new requirements under European Union (EU) sanitary directive
Effective September 1, 2019, mango exporters from West Africa must verify that their mangoes have undergone effective treatment to ensure it is free from fruit flies. This information must be captured in phytosanitary certificates accompanying the mango exports to the EU.
For more information, see “West Africa’s Mango Exporters to Soon Be Hit by New Sanitary Directive Regulating Exports to EU,” May 7, 2019,

Law enforcement agencies in the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal sign anti-drug trafficking MOU
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will enable the governments to share information and intelligence and conduct joint training and border patrols to combat drug trafficking and other organized crimes.
For more information, see “Gambia, Senegal & Guinea Bissau Sign Agreement to Combat Drug Trafficking,” August 1, 2019,

Benin and Nigeria sign interconnectivity agreement to integrate border trade operations
The agreement is expected to create a trade window that will expedite bilateral cargo movement.
For more information, see “Nigeria, Benin Republic Sign Interconnectivity Agreement,” May 11, 2019,

Benin Customs Administration launched authorized economic operator (AEO) program May 14, 2019
AEO status enables traders, customs brokers, freight forwarders, transporters, and other actors in the supply chain to benefit from simplified customs clearance procedures. The AEO program also helps to secure international trade.
For more information, see “Benin Customs: Authorized Economic Operator Program Launched Today,” May 14, 2019,

Benin and Nigeria receive cargo scanner from the European Union
The cargo scanner will be located at the Seme-Krake joint border post. It will facilitate trade and expedite cargo clearance.
For more information, see “West Africa: EU Supports Nigeria, Beninoise Customs with N8.1 Billion Scanner,” June 21, 2019,

Burkina Faso deposits instrument of ratification with African Union (AU) for AfCFTA agreement
On May 29, 2019, the government of Burkina Faso became the 24th AU member state to deposit its instrument of ratification for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
For more information, see “As Burkina Faso Deposits Instrument of Ratification with AU on May 29, AfCFTA Roll out Is Possible,” May 27, 2019,

Côte d’Ivoire temporarily prohibits imports of rice from Singapore-based trader
The government issued the ban for one year due to Singapore-based Olam International’s previous shipment of spoiled rice.
For more information, see “Ivory Coast Bans Olam Rice Imports for One Year after Spoilt Shipment,” April 30, 2019,

Côte d’Ivoire suspends cashew export licenses
The Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA) issued the temporary suspension to control sales agreements.
For more information, see “Ivory Coast: CCA Announces Suspension of Cashew Export Permits,” May 24, 2019,

Côte d’Ivoire implements Verification of Conformity (VoC) program
The pilot phase of the VoC program ended on June 30, 2019, and the fully operational program launched the next day. Effective July 1, 2019, Customs will reject shipments arriving to Côte d’Ivoire without a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) and apply penalties. Shippers must obtain CoCs prior to loading.
For more information, see “Côte d’Ivoire: Implementation of VoC (Verification of Conformity) Program,” June 26, 2019,

Côte d’Ivoire signs trade memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s Hunan Province
The MOU was signed on June 27, 2019, to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
For more information, see “Côte d’Ivoire-China Cooperation: Memorandum of Understanding Signed between Côte d’Ivoire and Hunan Province,” June 29, 2019,

Council of Ministers in Côte d’Ivoire issues order granting tax incentives to cashew nut processors
The country’s cashew nut processors will be exempt from customs duties and value-added tax (VAT) four five years on purchases of equipment and spare parts. The purpose of the order is to increase local processing of cashew nuts.
For more information, see “Cote d’Ivoire Incentivizes Cashew Processors,” July 5, 2019,

Côte d’Ivoire signs cooperation agreement with Russia
The agreement focuses on anti-terrorism, economic stability, education, energy, industry, trade, and security.
For more information, see “Côte d’Ivoire Seeks Reinforced Cooperation with Russia,” July 25, 2019,

The Gambia deposits instruments of accession to the Harmonized System Convention
The government became the 158th contracting party to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System Convention) on June 29, 2019. The convention will take effect in the Gambia on January 1, 2021.
For more information, see “Gambia Becomes 158th Contracting Party to the Harmonized System Convention,” July 4, 2019,

The Gambia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign investment protection agreement
The agreement will encourage and protect mutual investments in both countries and create a “conducive environment” for investments and licensing.
For more information, see “UAE, Gambia Sign Investment Protection Agreement,” July 16, 2019,

Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) signs MOU to revitalize river transport in the Ports of Banjul and Basse
On July 29, 2019, GPA signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CPCS/INFRACO – an international organization dealing with transport and infrastructure. The MOU is to revitalize river transport in Banjul and Basse ports to facilitate the movement of goods and services and enhance trade.
For more information, see “Gambia: GPA, CPCs/INFRACO Sign MOU to Revitalize Maritime Transportation,” July 30, 2019,

Ghana launches Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App
The app functions as a one-stop shop for trade information and clearance processes and reduces costs and time of conducting business at ports. It enables importers to monitor the status, movement, and location of their expected shipment and provides them with an estimate of the amount of duties they will be charged.
For more information, see “Relief for Importers as Ghana Trade Hub Mobile App Goes Live,” April 29, 2019,

Ghana and U.S. export credit agencies sign US$300 million agreement
The agreement will improve the financing opportunities of Ghana’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and support their procurement of American goods and services.
For more information, see “US Boosts Exports to Ghana with New Framework Agreement,” May 1, 2019,

Ghana’s GCNet deploys updated smart clearance system
Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) deployed the Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP) to boost the government’s revenue collection. The TFP is an integrated platform for submission of trade-related documents, such as declarations, certificates, and permits, in a single window format and will improve the ease of doing business.
For more information, see “GCNet Deploys Smart Trade Facilitation Platform to Increase Revenue Mobilisation,” May 1, 2019,

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) enacts prosecution policy to enforce laws on taxes and duties
GRA will prosecute persons who commit tax evasion and customs tax fraud.
For more information, see “GRA Launches Policy to Prosecute Tax Defaulters,” May 2, 2019,

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) creates operational task force to combat smuggling
The task force will randomly stop vehicles on certain roads to verify they entered the country legally and confirm import duties were paid. It also will strengthen controls at bonded warehouses and free zones and perform escorts of certain commodities in transit to reduce diversion risks.
For more information, see “GRA Unleashes Taskforce to Fight Smuggling,” May 9, 2019,

Ghana and Slovenia sign cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU)
The MOU will see the countries develop and strengthen bilateral economic cooperation to benefit from each other’s trade and investment opportunities.
For more information, see “Ghana Signs MoU with Slovenia on Economic Cooperation,” May 17, 2019,

GCNet introduces upgraded cargo manifest to expedite clearance of goods at Ghana’s ports
The new Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) manifest is designed to ensure that all relevant cargo information is received prior to vessel arrival by enabling shipping lines to submit required information from any location in the world to the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS)/Ghana Integrated Cargo Clearance System (GICCS). The new manifest will reduce clearance and turnaround times and clearance costs, and improve Ghana’s risk management and business competitiveness.
For more information, see “Ghana: GCNet Deploys Upgraded Cargo Manifest to Deepen Port Reforms,” May 28, 2019,

Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) suspends exports of selected vegetables to the European Union (EU)
MOFA suspended the export of capsicum (peppers), solanum, including eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes, luffa (cucumbers), and leafy vegetables to the EU for six weeks. The suspension was issued to improve the regulatory system and ensure conformity to international phytosanitary standards.
For more information, see “Ghana: MoFA Suspends Four Vegetables to the EU,” May 30, 2019,

Ghana opens first phase of Tema Port expansion project
The port will be operated 24/7 to help improve turnaround time and make it more competitive. Other new features include more berthing facilities to increase port capacity, a non-intrusive inspection platform, import and export scanners, and a refrigerated facility.
For more information, see “First Phase of Tema Port Expansion Opens for Business Friday,” June 27, 2019,

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) signs cooperation MOU with Malta Enterprise
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will see GIPC and Malta Enterprise, Malta’s economic development agency, cooperate in creating mechanisms to exchange information on economic and trade updates, laws, regulations, policy measures, investment projects, and other matters.
For more information, see “Ghana, Malta to Deepen Trade, Investment Cooperation,” July 10, 2019,

Ghana begins construction of phase 2 of Tema Port’s MPS Terminal 3
The new Terminal 3 is expected to improve port productivity and capacity, accommodating the world’s largest vessels, reduce trade costs, and increase trade volume for Ghana’s importers and exporters. It is to be completed by 2020.
For more information, see “Ghana Begins Construction Phase 2 of Tema Port MPS Terminal 3,” July 30, 2019,

Guinea receives US$81.1 million from African Development Bank in new agreements
The agreements were signed on April 23, 2019, and include the financing of the Boké-Québo road over a four-year period. The road will link Guinea and Guinea Bissau and deepen integration and sub-regional trade.
For more information, see “Guinea: AfDB Provides $81.1 Million for Transportation, Environment and Agriculture,” April 29, 2019,

World Bank to provide US$460 million in funding for Guinea’s bauxite project and port and rail infrastructure
The funding is to strengthen the connection between Guinea’s mining sector and world markets and help Guinea become a world-class producer and exporter of bauxite.
For more information, see “Guinea: $460 Million Granted by IFC and MIGA to Boost the Mining Sector,” May 30, 2019,

Guinea-Bissau reduces taxes on exports of cashew nuts
The reduction in taxes will help local entrepreneurs in the cashew industry compete in the sub-region.
For more information, see “Guinea-Bissau Cuts Export Taxes on Cashew Nuts,” April 29, 2019,

Liberia’s Global Logistics Services (GLS) and InfraCo Africa sign warehouse development agreement
Under the agreement, Liberia will receive its first commercial, modern storage facility and operations. The open-access, temperature-controlled storage facility will be built within Monrovia Industrial Park and is expected to increase the country’s trade potential and reduce the risks of doing business in Liberia.
For more information, see “Liberia: Global Logistics Services, InfraCo Africa Sign US$6 Million Agreement for Modern Warehouse Construction,” July 31, 2019,

Mali signs economic, trade, and other agreements with UAE to increase bilateral cooperation
One agreement will see the funding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mali.
For more information, see “UAE, Mali Sign Strategic Trade Agreements,” May 21, 2019,

Mali launches Mali Trade portal
The portal will provide local and foreign traders with information on Mali’s import, export, and transit procedures, such as processing times, required documents, and fees. The portal was created to improve transparency and the business environment.
For more information, see “Mali’s Foreign Trade Procedures a Portal for Making Information Available to Businesses,” May 28, 2019,

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) deploys General Strike Force to Nigerian seaports, then decentralizes body
On April 25, 2019, NCS released a circular that deployed the strike force, giving it the power to re-examine goods inside seaports and make seizures. NCS deployed the strike force because they claimed customs officers were not properly examining 100 percent of cargo at the ports. Approximately three weeks later, NCS released another circular that decentralized the strike force, allowing it to operate only at a zonal rather than a federal level.
For more information, see “Customs Gives ‘Strike Force’ Powers to Seize Cargo inside Port,” April 29, 2019,, and “Clearing Agents React as Customs Reconstitutes Controversial Strike Force,” May 20, 2019,

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) approves US$471 million to construct and rehabilitate 10 roads
The road projects will help with the movement of goods and services and the government to achieve its objective of restoring its road network as part of the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
For more information, see “Nigeria Approves US $471M for Construction of 10 Roads,” May 10, 2019,

Nigeria-Cameroon border in Amchide locality reopens after five years
On May 15, 2019, the border reopened after having been closed for five years due to actions by Boko Haram. The reopening is significant because Amchide is a trade hub for Nigeria and Cameroon.
For more information, see “Cameroon-Nigeria Border in the Town of Amchide Officially Reopened on May 15, 5 Years after Boko-Haram Caused Closing,” May 17, 2019,

Nigeria approves new rate on cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) for imported goods
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a rate of 0.2 percent on CIF that will be levied on imports from African Union (AU) countries and non-AU countries. However, FEC announced there are some exceptions to the import tariff, including goods originating from non-AU countries for the purpose of domestic consumption and goods destined to Nigeria for aid purposes.
For more information, see “Nigerian Govt Approves 0.2% Import Levies,” May 21, 2019,

First private vehicle bonded terminal built and licensed in Nigeria
The terminal is located in Kano in northwest Nigeria. It is outfitted with forklifts, cranes, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and other equipment and is connected to the Kano Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). NCS and other security agencies have offices at the terminal. With the introduction of the vehicle bonded terminal, an importer is not required to pay duties on imported vehicles for 28 days.
For more information, see “Nigeria Gets First Private Vehicle Bonded Terminal,” May 28, 2019,, and “Customs Licences First Vehicle Bonded Terminal in Nigeria,” July 7, 2019,

Nigeria approves US$2.3 billion loan for the Lagos-Calabar coastal railway project
The coastal railway line is expected to run through most Nigerian states in the south and southeast and create business hubs for commercial activities. Once construction is complete, all seaports in Nigeria will be linked.
For more information, see “US $2.3Bn Approved for Construction of Coastal Railway Project in Nigeria,” June 3, 2019,

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raises import duty to over 6.1 percent
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) began implementing the new duty rate immediately to increase revenue collection. The regime has increased prices on commodities and consequently caused some importers to close their businesses or leave Nigeria.
For more information, see “Nigerians May Pay More for Commodities, as New Duty Regime Bites,” June 27, 2019,

Nigeria and Benin sign African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement; AfCFTA agreement is operationalized
On July 7, 2019, the governments of Nigeria and Benin signed the AfCFTA agreement, leaving Eritrea as the only African Union (AU) member state not to have signed. On the same date, AU officials launched the operational phase of the agreement, including rules of origin in selected sectors and an online mechanism for monitoring, reporting, and eliminating non-tariff barriers (NTBs). AfCFTA preferential trade is expected to begin July 1, 2020.
For more information, see “African Trade Pact Starts Operations with 54 Signatories,” July 7, 2019,, and SECURUS Trade analysis – “Agreement Establishing African Continental Free Trade Area Goes into Effect,” July 2019,

Nigeria and the Netherlands sign trade and international cooperation agreement
The agreement is intended to bolster bilateral economic relations.
For more information, see “Nigeria, Netherlands Sign Trade Cooperation Agreement,” July 9, 2019,

Nigeria commissions US$10 million cargo handling equipment at Onne Port
The government commissioned two mobile harbor cranes, ten terminal trucks, and reach stackers due to an increase in vessel traffic at eastern ports. The equipment is intended to expedite the movement of vessels at Onne Port’s West Africa Container Terminal (WACT).
For more information, see “Nigeria Commissions Cargo Handling Equipment at Onne Port,” July 30, 2019,

Import goods and services in Togo are subject to quality standards
The Ministry of Trade and Industry issued a decree on May 9, 2019, requiring importers of goods and services to conform to accreditation, certification, environmental protection, normalization, and quality promotion standards established in Togo. Importers must provide proof of standard conformity. The purpose of this decree is to improve imports and protect consumers.
For more information, see “Togo: Importation of Goods and Services Is Now Subject to Quality Standards,” May 10, 2019,

Togolese Office of Revenue (OTR) offers discounts on vehicle clearance at the Port of Lomé
The discounts range from 25 to 40 percent, depending on when the vehicles entered stores and customs clearance areas in Togo.
For more information, see “OTR Offers 40% Discount on Vehicle Clearance,” June 26, 2019,–de-reduction-sur-le-dedouanement-des-vehicules, and “Togo / Customs Clearance at PAL: OTR Cuts Prices!” July 3, 2019,

Agricultural support project launches in Togo
ProMifa is to provide actors in the agricultural value chains with sustainable market access and financial and non-financial services.
For more information, see “Togo: ProMifa Has Been Officially Launched,” July 8, 2019,

Government of Togo prohibits the importation of bromate
The government issued a decree prohibiting the importation, sale, and use of bromate, following a warning by the local development and food organization (OADEL) that the compound is linked to cancer. Bromate is often used by bakeries.
For more information, see “Togo: Government Officially Bans Import, Sale and Use of Bromate,” July 12, 2019,