COVID-19

COVID-19: Economists want small scale traders to accelerate trade in Africa

Published

on

Economists have emphasised the importance of putting small scale traders at the heart of initiatives focused on resetting, retooling and restarting regional integration in Africa amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

They made the call at a joint webinar, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Korea Customs Service (KCS).

Participants considered service sectors, e-commerce, digital platforms and value chain development as critical factors for accelerating trade and investment in Africa against the backdrop of the global pandemic.

Sukhwan Roh, Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service said “history has demonstrated the success of countries and businesses that seize new opportunities during times of crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed health and livelihoods of individuals across the world in less than a year.’’

Roh expressed the Korean government’s desire to “share all the achievements in system enhancement utilising new technologies with African countries.”

Participants further noted how fundamental regional integration was to the continent’s future economic prospects and to attracting foreign direct investment.

Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the pandemic had deepened pre-existing trade frictions within the continent.

Gonzalez said that it had also offered important growth opportunities and great stories of innovation and highlighted the importance of protecting Africa’s place in local value chains.

She said that there the need to “put small scale traders at the heart of the effort”.

She further urged governments to strengthen national agencies to provide support to small traders.

Meanwhile, Trudi Hartzenberg, the Executive Director of the Trade Law Center (TRALAC) said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) created a new trade and integration reality “integrating unequal partners across the continent”.

“Trade facilitation enjoys specific focus within the AfCFTA, with digital, e-payments and e-commerce particularly important,” she said, citing a 2020 World Trade Organisation report.

The report emphasied education and healthcare as fundamental to industrialisation.

In his remark, Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Industrialisation, AfDB reiterated the bank’s support to the AfCFTA.

Quaynor recalled financing the set-up of its secretariat as well as supporting member countries with technical assistance to comply with a range of AfCFTA regulations.

Quaynor, however, warned that post-crisis recovery efforts were likely to be slow.

“The AfCFTA will not in one dramatic swoop alter existing commercial and economic realities on a vast scale.

“However, through strategic measures and the right investments, policy frameworks and political backing, intra-African trade will be enhanced.”

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
(NAN)

Temitope Ponle

Temitope Ponle: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

Latest News

The role of technology in unlocking trade value in East Africa Digitalisation of economic sectors will kick-start a new growth cycle after COVID-19, Africa’s Development Dynamics report shows African Development Bank, European Investment Bank sign Joint Partnership Action Plan to fast-track development in Africa Joint Statement on Mozambique by United Nations Regional Directors for Southern and Eastern Africa MSF emergency team responds to worrying health needs in Riang, South Sudan, with high rates of malaria UNSMIL announces that Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) approves the proposal of selection mechanism of executive authority for the preparatory period Customers demand greater digital engagement from Communication Service Providers (CSPs) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – Eswatini: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 19 January 2021, 6 pm EAT Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) UNHCR finds dire need in Eritrean refugee camps cut off in Tigray conflict Coronavirus – Africa: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) East African countries better prepared, but desert locust threat ‘not over’ African messaging app ayoba assures users of full privacy and security protection, safe for younger users The END Fund welcomes Moses Bockarie and Carol Karutu as board member and Head of Programs Here’s what happened on the last day of NEF-GG 2020 Reach Africa’s 1.35-billion consumers with content in the region’s most widely spoken local languages, says Pronto Translations Pakistan approves China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru event held in Kenner, United States Head of UN Conference on Trade and Development resigns Retail stores, hair salons reopen to public in Greece Security concerns put Washington D.C. on edge as Biden inauguration nears WHO pandemic review panel highlights effective multilateralism in COVID-19 response Brazil’s financial market forecasts 3.45 pct economic growth in 2021 Nigerian troops kill 30 bandits in gunfight Roundup: United States COVID-19 cases top 24 mln two days from new administration EU plans to start spending huge recovery fund in months Chile reports 3,918 new COVID-19 cases Tunisia reports 1,795 new COVID-19 cases, 181,885 in total Start of 2021 sees overall upward trend in COVID-19 situation: WHO official Cuba reports 292 new COVID-19 cases Brazil launches mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign Egyptian defense minister, Greek chief of staff discuss military ties Authorities investigate 12 murders in eastern Mexico Speaker Berri says Lebanon reels under unannounced sanctions, siege Roadway crash kills 12 in Ecuador France registers 403 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours Roundup: Stellantis starts off strongly, replacing Fiat, Peugeot on stock exchanges Tunisia arrests 632 individuals following looting, vandalism Chinese envoy calls for strengthened UN-Arab League cooperation Roundup: Lockdown raises Israeli unemployment rate to 15.9 pct; Iran records 5,806 new COVID-19 cases, 1,336,217 in total Lebanon registers 3,144 new COVID-19 cases, 255,956 in total Morocco registers 473 new COVID-19 cases, 35 more deaths One dead after avalanche hits Russian ski resort Coronavirus – Sierra Leone: COVID-19 update (18 January 2021) UN chief appoints new envoy on Libya Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 18 January 2021, 9 am EAT