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 Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) inaugurates Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), Pan-African Payment and Settlement Platform
Through FEDA, Afreximbank will provide seed capital and non-financial and support services to African small and medium-sized exporters of multiple sectors, such as agriculture, consumer and retail, manufacturing, transport and logistics, and travel and tourism. FEDA is intended to support intra-African trade and value-added exports. Afreximbank also launched the Pan-African Payment and Settlement Platform, which will facilitate the “clearing and settlement of intra-African trade transactions in African currencies” to help reduce dependence on foreign currencies when settling regional trade.
For more information, see “Afreximbank Launches Equity Investment Fund for Export Development,” February 4, 2019, https://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/afreximbank-launches-equity-investment-fund-for-export-development/.

Five East and Southern African countries sign trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) in preparation for Brexit
The UK reached the agreement with Comoros, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe to ensure that bilateral trade is uninterrupted by Brexit. It generally replicates the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) the countries signed with the UK in 2009 by continuing to allow them to export goods to the UK tariff-free. The UK-Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Trade Continuity Agreement will enter into force as early as March 29, 2019, if the UK and EU fail to reach a withdrawal agreement, or as late as January 2021, when Brexit implementation is expected to end.
For more information, see “UK and Five African Countries Sign Agreement to Ensure Trade Continuity after Brexit,” February 5, 2019, http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/uk-and-five-african-countries-sign-agreement-to-ensure-trade-continuity-after-brexit-2019-02-05/rep_id:4136.

Central Africa

Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) revises Customs Code
CEMAC revised its unified Customs Code at the beginning of December 2018. Members of the CEMAC Commission, comprising experts from Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Gabon, and Chad, also discussed proposals for implementing the Customs Code in each member’s legislation.
For more information, see “The Cemac Revises Its Customs Code,” December 18, 2018, http://www.lenouveaugabon.com/economie/1812-14357-la-cemac-revise-son-code-des-douanes.

Angola modifies rules for import of 54 products
Angola modified the rules for the importation of 54 products, such as glass, wheat flour, sugar, beans, eggs, oil, onions, salt, and cement. These were modified to prioritize domestic production and accelerate import substitution.
For more information, see “Angola: Government Sets Rules for Importing 54 Products,” November 26, 2018, https://allafrica.com/stories/201811270100.html.

Angola announces imposition of two sets of tariffs upon entry to Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Angola announced that upon its entry into the SADC trade zone, it will institute two different sets of tariffs. One of these will apply to South Africa, and the other will apply to the rest of the SADC. The Angolan government argues that this distinction is necessary due to South Africa’s level of development compared to development in the rest of the trading bloc.
For more information, see “Angola with Two Tariffs for SADC Trade Zone,” December 27, 2018, http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/economia/2018/11/52/Angola-with-two-tariffs-for-SADC-trade-zone,23b28bb5-7810-4877-b6cc-9ef58d54ad61.html.

Angola is set to join Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2019
The Angolan Trade Minister stated that Angola is expected to join the free trade zone in 2019 and is currently working on reducing tariffs on imports from SADC member states.
For more information, see “Angola Joins SADC Free Trade Zone from August 2019,” January 2, 2019, https://macauhub.com.mo/2019/01/02/pt-angola-adere-a-zona-de-comercio-livre-sadc-a-partir-de-agosto-de-2019/.

Angola strengthens trade relations with Dominican Republic
The foreign ministers of Angola and the Dominican Republic convened in Angola to reiterate their governments’ intention to cooperate on a range of subjects, including energy, agriculture, and trade.
For more information, see “Dominican Republic and Angola Exchange on Economic Cooperation,” January 7, 2019, https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=242730&SEO=dominicana-y-angola-intercambian-sobre-cooperacion-economica.

Angola and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign cooperation agreement on renewable energy
The governments of Angola and UAE signed three memoranda of understanding on production, transportation, and supply of electric power and potable water. It is expected that UAE will begin investing in renewable energy in Angola.
For more information, see “Angola and UAE Sign Energy and Waters Agreement,” January 15, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901160106.html.

Angola to see increase in German investment
The government of Germany announced its intention to increase investment in Angola’s health and energy sectors.
For more information, see “Angola: Germany Wants to Increase Investment in Angola,” January 17, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901180056.html.

Angola and Portugal strengthen economic and trade relations
The governments of Angola and Portugal signed a number of agreements on the subjects of trade, finance, justice, culture, and health.
For more information, see “Portugal, Angola Vow to Strengthen Economic, Trade Cooperations,” January 21, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/23/c_137626328.htm.

Cameroon imposes tax on software imported for download
In November 2018, the Parliament of Cameroon added a tax on software downloaded for telephones, tablets, and any computer applications made outside the country. This tax will equal a flat rate of 200 Central African francs per application.
For more information, see “The State of Cameroon Wants to Tax Software Imported by Download for Phones and Tablets,” November 21, 2018, https://www.investiraucameroun.com/tic/2111-11757-l-etat-du-cameroun-veut-taxer-les-logiciels-importes-par-telechargement-pour-les-telephones-et-les-tablettes-electroniques.

Cameroon now allows imports of second-hand vehicles to be performed through the Single Window of Foreign Trade (GUCE)
The government of Cameroon now allows imports of second-hand vehicles through the Port of Douala to be performed electronically through GUCE. Prior to this, persons had to present their documents to Customs manually in order to import these vehicles.
For more information, see “Cameroon:: Second-Hand Vehicles: Two-Speed Procedures,” November 23, 3018, https://www.camer.be/71602/12:1/cameroun-vehicules-doccasion-procedures-a-deux-vitesses-cameroon.html.

African Development Bank (AfDB) finances Ring-Road in Cameroon’s North-West province
The AfDB has approved a loan of €17.96 million to Cameroon for the development of a Ring Road that will facilitate the movement of people and goods in the North-West province. The road is expected to promote domestic and regional trade due to its location close to the border with Nigeria.
For more information, see “Cameroon: African Development Bank Approves €17.96 Million Ring-Road Project to Improve Socio-Economic Growth in the North-West Province,” November 28, 2018, https://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/cameroon-african-development-bank-approves-eur17-96-million-ring-road-project-to-improve-socio-economic-growth-in-the-north-west-province-18742/.

Construction on bridge linking Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to begin soon
Cameroon’s Minister of Economy announced the results of a feasibility study that examined the possibility of installing a bridge over the Ntem River, connecting Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea through the Krabi-Campo (Cameroon) and the Bata (Equatorial Guinea) corridor. The African Development Bank has agreed to finance its construction.
For more information, see “The Announced Bridge over Ntem River Linking Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to Soon Be Erected,” December 18, 2018, https://www.businessincameroon.com/infrastructures/1812-8699-the-announced-bridge-over-ntem-river-linking-cameroon-and-equatorial-guinea-to-soon-be-erected.

Central African Republic (CAR) joins the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)
CAR deposited its instrument of ratification of the Bank Establishment Agreement in Cairo, Egypt, becoming the multinational organization’s 50th member.
For more information, see “Central African Republic Formally Joins Afreximbank,” December 5, 2018, https://www.sunnewsonline.com/central-african-republic-formally-joins-afreximbank/.

Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo will be connected through bridge over Congo River
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo have started plans to construct a 1,575 meter bridge that will connect the DRC capital of Kinshasa with the Republic of Congo capital of Brazzaville. The construction of a bridge will be accompanied by a toll bridge, a railway track, a road, and a sidewalk. It is expected that the bridge will attract businesses along the route of the bridge, including special economic zones.
For more information, see “Congos Separated by River Congo to Link up with $550m Bridge,” November 11, 2018, http://www.africanews.com/2018/11/15/congos-separated-by-river-congo-to-link-up-with-550m-bridge/.

DRC’s National Number One road to be rehabilitated
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Highway Number One road will be rehabilitated, according to an agreement made by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Office des Routes (OR) of the DRC. The US$78 million loan will be used to restore the section connecting Kinshasa and Bashamba, in the Kwilu province. National Highway Number One is essential to the DRC economy, as it connects western provinces, such as Kongo Central, Kinshasa, Kwango, and Kwilu, to eastern provinces such as Kasai Central, Kasai Occidental, Kasai, Kasai Oriental, Lomami, Haut-Lomami, Tangayika, Lualaba, and Haut-Kananga.
For more information, see “Signature of the Financing Contract between the African Development Bank and the Office des Routes,” November 29, 2018, https://www.digitalcongo.net/article/5bffd6e03482a10004a3d525/.

Equatorial Guinea and Sudan reaffirm trade relationship
The governments of Equatorial Guinea and Sudan have signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding on subjects such as the economy, trade, culture, science, and technology.
For more information, see “Equatorial Guinea’s President Concludes Visit to Sudan,” November 11, 2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/21/c_137620486.htm.

Gabon sees opening of new logistics platform for timber products
Bollore Logistics has installed a new logistics platform in Lastourville, Gabon. The platform is connected to a railway operated by Société d’Exploitation du Transgabonais (SETRAG) and will serve Gabon’s timber industry.
For more information, see “Bollore Logistics Starts New Logistics Hub in Gabon,” November 30, 2018, https://www.logupdateafrica.com/bollore-logistics-starts-new-logistics-hub-in-gabon.

Gabon and Algeria’s chambers of commerce sign economic agreement
The Algerian and Gabonese Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed an agreement aimed at strengthening economic cooperation. Algeria is an important market for Gabonese timber and agricultural products and an important source of foreign direct investment.
For more information, see “Algeria-Gabon: Agreement between the Two Chambers of Commerce,” December 1, 2018, https://www.capalgerie.dz/algerie-gabon-accord-entre-les-deux-chambres-de-commerce/.

East Africa

Comoros ratifies Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with European Union (EU)
The EPA enables Comoros to have duty and quota-free access to the EU market. It was provisionally applied beginning February 7, 2019.
For more information, see “Comoros and Samoa Join Trade and Development Agreements with the EU,” February 11, 2019, https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/476126267/comoros-and-samoa-join-trade-and-development-agreements-with-the-eu.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) imposes charge for Djiboutian imports from the United States
Implementation of the Operation Cost Contribution (OCC) charge began February 15, 2019. The purpose is to cover port operational costs in Djibouti.
For more information, see “MSC Announces New OCC from USA to Djibouti,” January 22, 2019, https://www.ajot.com/news/msc-announces-new-occ-from-usa-to-djibouti.

Ethiopia Food & Drug Authority (FDA) removes import ban on mango juice from Saudi trader
The FDA lifted the ban after determining there were no quality or safety problems with the juice. Imports of the juice were prohibited on July 30, 2018, because one of the batches experienced a significant color change.
For more information, see “Ethiopia: Authority Lifts Ban on Rani Juice Import,” January 5, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901090600.html.

Ethiopian Airlines started flights to Manchester, United Kingdom, in December 2018
The flight is available four times a week and will facilitate investment, tourism, and trade between Africa and Europe.
For more information, see “Ethiopian Launches Services to Manchester,” January 7, 2019, https://traveltradedaily.com/africa-indian-ocean-air/item/5627-ethiopian-launches-services-to-manchester.

Ethiopia and Eritrea reopen Oumhajir-Humera border crossing
The governments reopened the crossing after it had been closed for over 20 years due to hostilities. This move is expected to facilitate cross-border trade.
For more information, see “Ethiopian, Eritrean Leaders Reopen Border Crossing amid Rapprochement of Ties,” January 8, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/08/c_137726854.htm.

Electronic trading system for chickpeas and soybeans launches in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) launched the system to enhance foreign trade transactions. The system will provide more services to farmers, suppliers, corporate, and exporters, and later will include horse beans and nyjer seeds.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Embarks on Electronic Trading System for Soybean, Chickpea,” January 16, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901180526.html.

Ethiopian Airlines opens newly expanded terminal at Bole International Airport
The terminal is outfitted with security machines, duty-free shops, and other features that will triple the airport’s capacity to become an aviation hub in Africa. The project was funded by China’s Export-Import Bank and built by China Communications Construction Company.
For more information, see “Ethiopian Airlines’ Latest Chinese-Built Infrastructure to Power Continental Ambition,” January 30, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/30/c_137787562.htm.

Ethiopia Council of Ministers approves membership in Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
The Ethiopian legislature must vote on membership before the government can deposit instruments of ratification with the African Union (AU). The AfCFTA will increase intra-African trade by approximately 50 percent by 2022, remove tariffs on 90 percent of goods, and remove non-tariff barriers to intra-African trade.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Approves AfCFTA as AU Eyes Feb. 2019 Implementation Date,” February 3, 2019, https://www.newtimes.co.rw/business/ethiopia-aproves-afcfta-au-eyes-feb-2019-implementation-date.

Ethiopia Council of Ministers passes illicit arms trade bill
The bill seeks to combat financing of the illicit arms trade and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and expresses a need for Ethiopia to have a legal mechanism for cooperating with other countries in combating both the financing and illicit cross-border movement of WMD. The bill now awaits ratification by Ethiopia’s parliament.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Approves Law to Tackle Illegal Arms Trade,” February 3, 2019, https://newbusinessethiopia.com/ethiopia-approves-law-to-tackle-illegal-arms-trade/.

Ethiopian Airlines restructures U.S. network with increased flight frequencies and new destination and gateway
By the summer of 2019, the airline will offer flights to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York three times a week and will increase the number of flights to Newark International Airport, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Ethiopian Airlines also will replace the Los Angeles gateway with Houston, which will see three flights per week. This restructuring is designed to facilitate investment, tourism, and trade between Africa and the U.S.
For more information, see “Ethiopia Intensifies Competition among East African Airlines with the Restructuring of Its US Network,” February 5, 2019, http://venturesafrica.com/ethiopian-airlines-intensifies-competition-with-major-restructuring/.

Ethiopia to authorize construction of Debre Birhan Industrial Park and others
The park will be built by China Communications Construction Company and will feature one-stop shop services, such as customs and immigration. Ethiopia plans to commission 5 other industrial parks before the close of the 2018-2019 fiscal year and ultimately 30 by 2025 to help the country become a light manufacturing hub and improve the economy.
For more information, see “Ethiopia to Commission US $71m Debre Birhan Industrial Park,” February 8, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/02/ethiopia-to-commission-us-71m-debre-birhan-industrial-park/.

Roads connecting Ethiopia’s border to Eritrea’s ports to be rebuilt
The project will be financed through the European Union (EU) Trust Fund for Africa and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). It will increase trade and create jobs.
For more information, see “Roads to Peace: EU Supports Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia,” February 8, 2019, https://reliefweb.int/report/ethiopia/roads-peace-eu-supports-reconnecting-eritrea-and-ethiopia.

Kenyan government postpones construction of major roads, will build new special economic zone (SEZ)
Building of major roads, such as those leading to Kiserian and Ruiru, will be postponed until the next financial year. However, the government intends to begin construction of the Dongo Kundu SEZ in July 2019.
For more information, see “Building of Key Roads Pushed to Next Year,” January 14, 2019, https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019/01/14/building-of-key-roads-pushed-to-next-year_c1877018.

Kenya’s Bomet County government to build new roads and bridges
The county government will spend US$6.4 million on multiple roads and 10 bridges in Bomet County in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The purpose of the project is to ease the movement of people and fresh produce from farm to market.
For more information, see “Bomet County in Kenya to Invest US $6.4m in Roads and Bridges,” January 16, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/bomet-county-in-kenya-to-invest-us-6-4m-in-roads-and-bridges/.

Kenya to develop agency to limit dumping of subsidized goods
The Trade Remedies Agency will be created by the end of 2019, once the Trade Remedies Act, 2017 is enacted. The agency will curb the amount of foreign subsidized imports, including by imposing tariffs or quotas, in order to protect local industries.
For more information, see “Kenya Seeks to Curb Subsidized Goods Dumping to Protect Local Industries,” January 17, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/17/c_137752488.htm.

Kenya’s Kisumu Port and connecting railways to be rehabilitated; hyacinth to be removed from Lake Victoria
The governments of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are working to rehabilitate Kisumu Port in Kenya and restore maritime transport in Lake Victoria, thereby increasing regional trade and reducing East African Community (EAC) transport costs for imports and exports by at least 40 percent. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) also are rehabilitating the railways from Nakuru to Kisumu.
For more information, see “Kisumu Port Set for a Facelift,” January 22, 2019, https://www.kpa.co.ke/Pages/Kisumu-Port-set-for-a-facelift.aspx, and “Revival of Kisumu Port to Ease Business Cost by 40 Percent,” January 24, 2019, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001310615/revival-of-kisumu-port-to-ease-business-cost-by-40-percent.

New cargo inspection rules to be enforced in Kenya
Effective January 23, 2019, the government no longer will grant importers exemptions from Notice No. 127, which requires importers to have their cargo inspected in the country of origin in order to enter Kenya. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) will only conduct inspections for import goods with an accompanying Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVOC).
For more information, see “Ministry to Enforce Directive on Cargo Inspection,” January 24, 2019, https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Ministry-to-enforce-directive-on-cargo-inspection/1056-4948328-3il9ia/index.html.

Kenya to create one-stop office for exporters in late February 2019
The office will streamline policies to help increase exports and will assist small and medium-sized exporters in obtaining tax refunds on time.
For more information, see “State to Establish One Stop Office for Exporters,” February 8, 2019, http://www.kbc.co.ke/state-establish-stop-office-exporters/.

Kenya to begin construction of Likoni Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and related infrastructure
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives will build the 3,000-acre SEZ, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) the Dongo-Kundu Port, and Kenya National Highway Authority (KenHA) the road that connects the SEZ to the second phase of the Dongo Kundu bypass in Likoni.
For more information, see “Construction of Likoni Special Economic Zones Set to Kick off,” February 11, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/02/construction-of-likoni-special-economic-zones-set-to-kick-off/.

Kenya lifts import ban on Chinese fish to counteract recent fish shortage
The Kenyan government had imposed the ban in November 2018 because of concerns that Chinese fish were flooding the Kenyan market.
For more information, see “Kenya Lifts China Fish Ban to Boost Supply,” February 18, 2019, https://www.nation.co.ke/business/Kenya-lifts-China-fish-ban-to-boost-supply/996-4986328-cvnjw3/index.html.

Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea sign four cooperation agreements to bolster bilateral relations
Among these is the bilateral air service agreement. This could result in Rwanda’s air carrier flying to Equatorial Guinea’s Malabo International Airport, possibly having positive implications for travel and trade between the two countries.
For more information, see “Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea Sign Tourism, Airspace Agreements,” January 14, 2019, https://ktpress.rw/2019/01/rwanda-equatorial-guinea-sign-tourism-airspace-agreements/.

Maersk shipping line begins operations at Somalia’s Mogadishu Port
The new operations are viewed as a commercial opportunity for Somali businesses and people, enabling them to export goods, especially livestock and farm produce, more easily across the world and import essential items.
For more information, see “MAERSK Line Begins Operations in Mogadishu Port,” January 8, 2019, https://www.busiweek.com/maersk-line-begins-operations-in-mogadishu-port/.

South Sudan controls imports and sale of skin lightening products
The South Sudan Drugs and Food Control Authority (DFCA) issued a prohibition on the sale and import of skin-lightening cosmetics to prevent exposure of South Sudanese persons to harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing of such products. The DFCA is to approve the entry of all cosmetics to South Sudan and is requiring local cosmetics dealers to obtain new import licenses.
For more information, see “South Sudan Bans Bleaching Products,” January 22, 2019, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/health/health-news/307163-south-sudan-bans-bleaching-products.html.

Tanzania prohibits exports of unprocessed coffee
The government issued the ban because local refining of coffee purportedly would keep more money in Tanzania.
For more information, see “Tanzania Ban on Raw Coffee Exports Unlikely to Have Big Impact –Union,” January 7, 2019, https://af.reuters.com/article/tanzaniaNews/idAFL8N1Z73QO.

Tanzania to begin full operation of ferryboat for Bugolola and Ukara residents in September 2019
Upon completion, the ferryboat in Tanzania’s Ukerewe Island will ease transport and facilitate the movement of fish traders between Bugolola and Ukara to the Kirumba international fish market and neighboring areas.
For more information, see “Tanzania: New Ukara-Bugolola Ferryboat Ready in September,” February 5, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201902050555.html.

Uganda to begin rehabilitation of Tororo-Kamdini Highway in February 2019
Once completed, the World Bank-funded project is expected to boost trade between Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan because it will facilitate the movement of goods and services between these countries.
For more information, see “Rehabilitation of Tororo-Kamdini Highway in Uganda to Begin,” January 18, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/reconstruction-of-tororo-kamdini-highway-in-uganda-to-begin/.

Uganda to resume construction of Katuna one-stop border post (OSBP) along Uganda-Rwanda border
The OSBP will facilitate the clearance of goods. Its anticipated completion date is December 2019.
For more information, see “Uganda Resumes Construction Works at Katuna Border Post,” February 7, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/02/uganda-resumes-construction-works-at-katuna-border-post/.

North Africa

Algeria will replace ban on imports of selected items with increased customs duties
In June, the Algerian government announced a plan to replace a prohibition on imports of mobile phones, home appliances, and foodstuffs with higher customs duties of 30 to 200 percent. The government has not yet announced all of the specific items to which the duties will be applied.
For more information, see “Algeria Parliament Backs Higher Customs Duties in Place of Import Ban,” June 25, 2018, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180625-algeria-parliament-backs-higher-customs-duties-in-place-of-import-ban/.

Egypt will stop exporting raw materials
The Egyptian government announced in July that it would stop exports of raw materials and would require their re-manufacturing in order to increase value.
For more information, see “Egypt to Ban Exports of Raw Materials,” July 24, 2018, https://www.egyptindependent.com/egypt-ban-exports-raw-materials/.

Egypt will allow imports of rice
The Egyptian government announced in July that it would allow rice imports. The decision was in response to concerns about domestic rice shortages.
For more information, see “Egypt Gives Green Light to Rice Imports amid Water Shortages,” July 25, 2018, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/egypt-strategy-import-rice-agriculture-water-shortage.html.

Egypt ends sugar export tariff
The Egyptian government canceled the tariff in August. Previously the government had applied a 3,000 Egyptian pound tariff to each ton of sugar exported.
For more information, see “Egypt Scraps Sugar Export Tariff Imposed Last Year,” August 8, 2018, https://www.nasdaq.com/article/egypt-scraps-sugar-export-tariff-imposed-last-year-20180808-00183.

Egypt prepares new draft customs law
The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has developed a draft customs law and provided it to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to disseminate to Egyptian industry for review. The draft law is designed to modernize the Egyptian customs control system.
For more information, see “Egyptian Government Revamps Customs Legislation,” August 23, 2018, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1371261/egyptian-government-revamps-customs-legislation.

Ras Jedir border crossing point between Libya and Tunisia reopens
Ras Jedir is the main crossing between the countries. The Libyan government closed it in July reportedly because of concerns about smuggling.
For more information, see “Libya Re-opens Main Border Post with Tunisia,” September 1, 2018, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-6121973/Libya-opens-main-border-post-Tunisia.html.

Morocco to allow imports of U.S. frozen poultry
The Moroccan government agreed in August to allow commercial imports of U.S. frozen poultry meat and products. The imports must include a halal slaughter certificate and health certificate.
For more information, see “Morocco Agrees to Import US Poultry,” August 7, 2018, https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/08/251866/morocco-agrees-to-import-us-poultry/, and “Agriculture Ministry: US Poultry Imports to Morocco Must Be Halal,” August 9, 2018, https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/08/251969/agriculture-ministry-us-poultry-imports-morocco-must-be-halal/.

Sudan and Turkey sign bilateral association agreement
Sudanese Trade Minister Hatim el-Sir Ali and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeycekci signed an association agreement in July in order to boost bilateral trade. The agreement was signed with the intention of increasing the bilateral trade volume to US$2 billion.
For more information, see “Turkey, Sudan Sign Agreement to Boost Trade Ties,” July 5, 2018, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-sudan-sign-agreement-to-boost-trade-ties-134202.

Tunisia joins COMESA
On July 18, Tunisia became the 20th permanent member of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), a free trade area that includes countries in North, East, Central, and Southern Africa. Membership provides Tunisia with access to markets in the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community.
For more information, see “Tunisia Officially Becomes Member of COMESA,” July 20, 2018, https://africanmanager.com/site_eng/tunisia-officially-becomes-member-of-comesa/?v=7516fd43adaa.

Southern Africa

Members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) complete World Customs Organization (WCO) Customs Modernization Programme
The members of SACU completed the WCO Customs Modernization Programme (WCO-SACU Connect Project), which was financed by the government of Sweden. The program consisted of 114 activities in the areas of IT connectivity, trade facilitation, risk management, and legislative reform.
For more information, see “WCO and SACU Region Celebrate Successful Conclusion of the Regional Customs Modernization Programme,” December 4, 2018, http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/december/wco-and-sacu-region-celebrate-successful-conclusion-of-the-regional-customs-modernization-programme.aspx.

Botswana and Namibia rail operators agree to develop container terminal at Gobabis
TransNamib and Botswana Railways signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a container terminal in Gobabis, Namibia.
For more information, see “TransNamib and Botswana Railways Sign Container Terminal MoU” December 27, 2018, https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/freight/single-view/view/transnamib-and-botswana-railways-sign-container-terminal-mou.html.

Botswana, eSwatini, and Zimbabwe ban meat imports from South Africa
The ban is due to a foot and mouth disease outbreak in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
For more information, see “South Africa’s Neighbors Ban Meat Imports over Foot and Mouth Disease,” January 10, 2018, https://kfgo.com/news/articles/2019/jan/10/south-africas-neighbors-ban-meat-imports-over-foot-and-mouth-disease/.

Botswana resumes some meat and dairy imports from South Africa
The Director of the Department of Veterinary Services of Botswana announced the resumption of imports of cooked meat, tinned beef, polony, yogurt, cheese, and other processed dairy products from South Africa. These products will now be allowed to enter Botswana free of permits.
For more information, see “Botswana Eases Ban on South African Beef Imports,” January 17, 2019, https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/botswana-eases-ban-on-south-african-beef-imports/.

eSwatini and Taiwan economic agreement enters into effect
An economic agreement between eSwatini and Taiwan signed in June 2018 was set to go into effect in January 2019. The agreement will allow imports of eSwatini goods such as honey and avocados to Taiwan free of tariffs.
For more information, see “eSwatini – Taiwan’s Last Friend in Africa,” January 14, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46831852.

eSwatini resumes importing certain meat products from South Africa
eSwatini has agreed to lift a ban on imports of certain meat and dairy products from South Africa. The products to be imported include low-risk milk and certain processed meat.
For more information, see “eSwatini to Ease Ban on South African Meat after Foot and Mouth Outbreak,” January 15, 2019, https://wsau.com/news/articles/2019/jan/15/eswatini-to-ease-ban-on-south-african-meat-after-foot-and-mouth-outbreak/.

Namibia begins allowing biltong imports from South Africa
According to a notice released by the acting chief veterinary officer, Namibians now can begin to import non-cloven-hoofed animals, products of non-cloven-hoofed animals, cooked, processed meat products from cloven-hoofed animals, dry biltong, heat-treated milk and milk products of cloven-hoofed animals, dry, salted, and wet blue hides and skins, fully processed karakul pelts, and fully prepared trophies.
For more information, see “Namibia Okays Biltong Imports from SA,” January 14, 2018, https://www.namibian.com.na/74608/read/Namibia-okays-biltong-imports-from-SA.

South Africa to introduce automated “part-shipment” management at land border posts
The second phase of the Reporting of Conveyances and Goods (RCG) project involving “part-shipment” movements of goods across land borders will be implemented in January. The change will allow partial shipments of a single consignment of goods in multiple trucks to be electronically marked for arrival and exit at border posts.
For more information, see “Update on the Introduction of Automated Part-Shipment Management at Land Border Posts,” November 29, 2018, http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/Documents/customsandexcise/Letter%20to%20trade%20-%20Part-shipment%20update%202018.11.30.pdf.

South Africa launches Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa officially launched the Atlantis SEZ in Atlantis, Western Cape Province, in November 2018. The area is designed to be a hub for green technologies in Western Cape. Businesses involved in manufacturing of green technologies, alternative waste management, energy-efficient technology, alternative building material, and other clean technologies will see tax incentives if located within the SEZ.
For more information, see “President Ramaphosa to Officially Launch Atlantis Special Economic Zone,” November 30, 2018, https://www.globalafricanetwork.com/2018/11/30/company-news/president-ramaphosa-to-officially-launch-atlantis-special-economic-zone/.

South Africa ratifies Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
South Africa deposited its instrument of ratification of the TFTA at the African Union Ministers of Trade meeting that took place in Cairo, Egypt, December 12 and 13. The TFTA comprises the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
For more information, see “South Africa Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA),” December 13, 2018, http://www.africanews.com/2018/12/13/south-africa-deposits-the-instrument-of-ratification-of-the-agreement-establishing-the-tripartite-free-trade-area-tfta/.

South Africa and Zambia advance trade ties
The governments of South Africa and Zambia held bilateral talks to advance trade ties through the development of a Bilateral Commission. This Commission will oversee the promotion of bilateral trade, balanced trade relations, and exports and imports of products, and discuss immigration and other bilateral issues.
For more information, see “Zambia and South Africa Negotiating to Consolidate Bilateral Relations,” January 8, 2018, https://africandailyvoice.com/en/2019/01/08/zambia-south-africa-negotiating-consolidate-bilateral-relations/.

South Africa battles foot and mouth disease outbreak
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa has established three task teams to tackle the outbreak of the disease.
For more information, see “3 Task Teams Established to Tackle Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak,” January 13, 2019, https://ewn.co.za/2019/01/14/3-task-teams-established-to-tackle-foot-and-mouth-disease-outbreak.

Zimbabwe implements enhanced Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program
The government of Zimbabwe, with the assistance of the World Customs Organization (WCO), is working on the implementation of the SAFE AEO Programme, which is expected to close the gaps in its current AEO program.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe Moves Forward with the Implementation of an AEO Programme,” November 26, 2018, http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/november/zimbabwe-moves-forward-with-the-implementation-of-an-aeo-programme.aspx.

Zimbabwe fortifies trade relations with China by providing more mineral concessions
China has required President Emmerson Mnangagwa to grant mineral and oil drilling rights to China as payment for printing new currency in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government expects to launch a new currency in early 2020. It will replace the surrogate currency “bond” and will be supported by the country’s diamond and gold reserves.
For more information, see “China Strengthens Cooperation with Zimbabwe,” December 14, 2018, https://africandailyvoice.com/en/2018/12/14/china-strengthens-cooperation-zimbabwe/.

Zimbabwe temporarily eliminates tariffs on certain commodities
According to Statutory Instrument 279 of 2018, the government of Zimbabwe has eliminated duties on imports of a variety of items, including luxury and public service buses, ammonium nitrate fertilizers, fertilized eggs for hatching, and powdered raw milk. These goods are seen as essential to the development of Zimbabwe’s agricultural industry.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe Suspends Duty on Commodities,” January 9, 2019, https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-153178.html.

Zimbabwe and Belarus affirm trade relations
The government of Belarus announced its intention to increase relations with Zimbabwe. Belarus is interested in delivering freight vehicles and buses, as well as other equipment to develop Zimbabwe’s mining and agricultural industries. In addition, Belarus is planning on investing in Zimbabwe’s transport infrastructure through the establishment of a trade hub.
For more information, see “Belarus Wants to Reach Strategic Level of Cooperation with Zimbabwe,” January 17, 2019, https://eng.belta.by/president/view/belarus-wants-to-reach-strategic-level-of-cooperation-with-zimbabwe-118021-2019/.

Government of Zimbabwe will reconstruct Rwenya Bridge
The government of Zimbabwe has appropriated funds to reconstruct the Rwenya Bridge, which was destroyed by a flood over a decade ago. This bridge is important because it will connect the Manicaland and Mashonaland provinces in the east of the country.
For more information, see “Zimbabwe: Govt Intervene on Rwenya Bridge Construction,” January 1, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901020025.html.

West Africa

Gambia and Senegal launch Senegambia Bridge to facilitate travel and trade in West Africa
The bridge currently is open for cars and will be open to trucks and other heavy vehicles starting in July 2019. Official construction on the project began in 2015.
For more information, see “Long-Awaited Bridge over River Gambia Inaugurated,” January 23, 2019, https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/long-awaited-bridge-over-river-gambia-inaugurated-20190122.

Gambia imposes tax on cement imports from Senegal
Effective January 1, 2019, the government imposed a five percent excise tax to help bolster Gambia’s cement industry.
For more information, see “Gambia Raises Tax on Senegalese Imports,” January 24, 2019, https://www.cemnet.com/News/story/165748/gambia-raises-tax-on-senegalese-imports.html.

Ghana’s “First Port Duty Rule” to become operational in March 2019
The rule permits customs authorities from neighboring landlocked countries, such as Burkina Faso and Mali, to be stationed at Ghana’s ports in order to collect taxes on transit goods. The purpose of this rule is to prevent diversion of transit goods that results in loss of revenue.
For more information, see “‘First Port Rule’ Comes into Operation in March,” January 20, 2019, https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2019/01/17/first-port-rule-comes-into-operation-in-march/.

Five Ghanaian security agencies sign memorandum of agreement (MOA) on integrated border management (IBM)
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Police Service, Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), and the Bureau of National Investigation (NBI) signed the MOA to address border security challenges and facilitate the movement of goods and persons, among other reasons.
For more information, see “Ghana: Five Security Agencies Sign MOA on Border Security Management,” January 25, 2019, https://allafrica.com/stories/201901280405.html.

Phase one of Sinohydro Bauxite Barter Arrangement between Ghana and China to begin construction in first quarter of 2019
Four hundred forty-two kilometers (275 miles) of roads will be built in the first phase, while the larger project will see construction of bridges and additional roads to mitigate traffic congestion and ensure the free movement of goods and services. The arrangement between the government of Ghana and China’s Sinohydro Corporation Limited was reached in 2017.
For more information, see “Phase 1 of US $2bn Sinohydro Deal Set to Commence,” January 28, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/phase-1-of-us-2bn-sinohydro-deal-set-to-commence/.

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to implement three percent tax on the value of all gold exports
At the time of exportation, traders are required to show evidence of tax payments to the GRA before gold can be exported. Implementation of the tax is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2019.
For more information, see “3% Tax on Small Scale Gold Exports Starts Soon,” February 6, 2019, https://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2019/February-6th/3-tax-on-small-scale-gold-exports-starts-soon.php.

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and German-African Business Association sign memorandum of understanding (MOU)
The MOU aims to encourage bilateral trade and investment between Ghana and Germany.
For more information, see “GIPC Signs MoU WITH German-African Business Association,” February 15, 2019, https://dailyguidenetwork.com/gipc-signs-mou-with-german-african-business-association/.

Ghana and Tunisia sign three cooperation agreements
The agreements will see the establishment of a Tunisian-Ghanaian joint committee and political consultations to bolster bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including agriculture, industry, and trade.
For more information, see “Tunisia, Ghana Sign 3 Agreements to Strengthen Bilateral Ties,” February 18, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/19/c_137831976.htm.

Liberia imposes new requirements on import and transit containers
Liberia’s National Port Authority (NPA) now will track import and transit containers at all seaports at a fee of US$175. NPA began the Cargo Tracking Note/Advanced Cargo Declaration (CTN/ACD) system on Jan 1, 2019, requiring exporters, shippers, and freight forwarders to obtain validated CTN numbers electronically and in advance of import and transit shipments to Liberia.
For more information, see “Liberia: Port Authority Imposes Additional US$175 Levy on Container Owners for Tracking,” January 25, 2019, https://frontpageafricaonline.com/front-slider/liberia-port-authority-imposes-additional-us175-levy-on-container-owners-for-tracking/.

APM Terminals Liberia commences 24-hour vessel berthing at Freeport of Monrovia
This move has reduced vessel waiting time and logistics costs and is expected to expedite import and export shipments.
For more information, see “APM Terminals Liberia Begins 24-Hour Berthing,” February 14, 2019, https://www.liberianobserver.com/news/apm-terminals-liberia-begins-24-hour-berthing/.

Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) sign MOU to increase exports
In particular, the MOU will see both institutions build the capacity of Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and boost SME export of locally manufactured products.
For more information, see “NEXIM, SMEDAN Sign Pact to Boost Exports,” January 11, 2019, https://nairametrics.com/2019/01/11/nexim-partners-smedan-to-promote-exports-of-locally-manufactured-products/.

Head of Nigeria’s Seme Customs unit orders all persons and cargo to move through Seme-Krake joint border post
The purpose is to prevent human trafficking and the smuggling of goods. There also are plans to seal all unapproved, illegal routes along the Nigeria-Benin border by January 14, 2019.
For more information, see “Seme Customs Orders Movement of Cargo, Persons to Approved Post,” January 14, 2019, https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/seme-customs-orders-movement-of-cargo-persons-to-approved-post.html.

Twenty-eight roads to be built under Sukuk bond throughout Nigeria’s geopolitical zones
The federal government is funding the construction of nearly 643 kilometers (400 miles) of roads across Nigeria, totaling US$274.6 million.
For more information, see “Nigeria to Inject US $274.6m Sukuk Bond into Road Construction,” January 16, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/nigeria-to-inject-us-274-6m-sukuk-bond-into-road-construction/.

Nigeria and South Sudan sign multiple cooperation agreements
The agreements include cooperation in a variety of areas, including health, oil and gas, and trade.
For more information, see “Nigeria, South Sudan Sign Cooperation Agreement on Education, Trade, Others,” January 17, 2019, https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/nigeria-south-sudan-sign-cooperation-agreement-on-education-trade-others/dt2tze2.

Nigeria to resume construction of seven road projects in Osun-Fashola
The projects thus far reportedly have reduced travel time and improved businesses.
For more information, see “Nigeria to Complete US $71m Road Projects in Osun-Fashola,” January 23, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/nigeria-to-complete-us-71-m-road-projects-in-osun-fashola/.

Nineteen new roads to be built across Nigeria
Approximately 795 kilometers (494 miles) of roads will be built across the country to help reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria. The project is in accordance with the Road Construction Executive Order 007.
For more information, see “Dangote to Construct 19 Federal Roads in Nigeria,” January 30, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/01/dangote-to-construct-19-federal-roads-in-nigeria/.

Government of Nigeria approves the purchase of new X-ray scanners
The scanners will be located at “major customs ports” to examine cargo.
For more information, see “FG Approves Purchase of Scanners for Nigerian Ports – Official,” February 7, 2019, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/311060-fg-approves-purchase-of-scanners-for-nigerian-ports-official.html.

Nigeria signs export finance agreement “Made in Nigeria for Exports”
The agreement was signed between the government of Nigeria and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Africa Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, and other investment partners for Nigeria to generate approximately US$30 billion from exports manufactured domestically. A pilot of the project will begin in selected special economic zones (SEZs) in Nigeria.
For more information, see “Nigeria Signs $30 Billion Export-Financing Deal, ThisDay Reports,” February 10, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-10/nigeria-signs-30-billion-export-financing-deal-thisday-reports.

Nigeria commences road and bridge reconstruction at Ofeme Community
Once completed, the project is expected to reduce transportation costs and facilitate the movement of agriculture produce from farming hubs.
For more information, see “Reconstruction of the Roads and Bridges at Ofeme in Nigeria Kicks off,” February 18, 2019, https://constructionreviewonline.com/2019/02/reconstruction-of-the-roads-and-bridges-at-ofeme-in-nigeria-kicks-off/.

Office of Togolese Revenue (OTR) establishes Special Customs Intervention Unit (USID) to combat smuggling
USID is an armed, mobile force that will perform both police and security tasks, including investigations and interventions, during special operations.
For more information, see “Togo: Customs Gets New Intervention Unit to Fight Smuggling,” January 22, 2019, https://www.togofirst.com/en/security/2201-2391-togo-customs-gets-new-intervention-unit-to-fight-smuggling.