Brussels Briefing 47: Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities

Experts at the 47th Brussels Development Briefing on the topic of “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities” all agreed that Africa’s largest market opportunity lies within the continent. The event, which was held at the ACP Secretariat on Friday 3 February 2017 attracted an audience of close to 200 people, who joined the organisers to discuss the progress made in integrating Africa’s regional markets, and to explore suggestions for overcoming barriers to intra-African trade. Key findings from the African Agricultural Trade Status Report (AAFTR) 2017 by CTA and IFPRI were also presented at the Briefing. The event was co-organised by CTA, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD.

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“When you come to look at intra-African trade, you can see the contrast between raw products exports to the rest of the world, and greater value added exports within Africa” said keynote speaker Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, who weighed in on some of the most topical issues that are facing the continent’s trade landscape. Given the uncertain economic climate of Africa’s major international export destinations, Dr Kituyi was keen to emphasise the resilience that African economies can develop through enhanced intra and inter-regional trade.

The potential of intra-African trade to deliver greater value addition and productivity for the agricultural sector was repeated by a number of the distinguished panellists. However, in order for this to be realised, the scale, diversity and fluidity of cross-border transactions has to be significantly augmented.

In his presentation on trends in Africa’s regional trade, Dr Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa at IFPRI noted that in terms of agricultural products, although African countries are the destination of only 20% of African exports, there has been a notable increase in the competitiveness of its regional markets, which augurs well for domestic agribusiness. This is on top of the opportunities arising from changes in demand and consumption due to the demographic transitions Africa faces. For example, the most rapid growth in intra-regional agricultural trade West Africa has been higher-value goods such as fish and animal products as well as vegetables and food oils.

Various recommendations on easing cross border trade were shared by the panellists, including Dr Badiane who argued that removal of “harassment costs” would have the biggest effect on intra-regional trade. This was echoed by Annette Mutaawe who demonstrated a number of initiatives supported by TradeMark East Africa to achieve just that. These include technology innovations, such as a mobile phone platform which allows women small scale producers to access available trucks to take their goods to market. This comes in addition to support for East African government agencies dealing with customs and transportation in order to streamline procedures, reduce costs and delays in moving goods across borders.

annette mutaawe“Agriculture produce is perishable – if you’re not able to take it through the borders quickly, that’s a huge problem. We found that there is a huge opportunity for women entrepreneurs to do business”.
Annette Mutaawe, TradeMark East Africa

Access to finance remains a predominant concern for Africa’s farmers, agribusinesses and small and medium enterprises, as well as for governments to fund large infrastructure-related projects that could ease the costs of trade between countries. It is in this context that Ishmael Sunga, CEO of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and Nana Osei-Bonsu CEO of Ghana’s the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) gave examples of successful PPPs – both public-private partnerships and private-private partnerships – as a way for producers to strengthen their presence in the marketplace and their negotiating power vis-à-vis other players in the value chain, notably banks and offtakers. The African Development Bank’s Josephine Mwangi spoke to the need to reduce the risk in agricultural investment, an area that the bank is already working on through its FEED Africa initiative and mobilisation of funding to finance Africa’s agricultural transformation.

Greater intra-African agricultural trade will depend not only on the actions of businesses and governments, but also on regional and partner institutions who can provide catalytic action on a wider scale. At the regional level, organisations such as Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), which is part of the COMESA regional block, have created an enabling environment through partnerships and investments that promotes intra-regional trade in fertilisers and other inputs.

gallina inlineThe European Commission used the Briefing as an opportunity to make a strong presentation of its support for regional trade in Africa. According to Sandra Gallina, Director for Sustainable Development at DG Trade, in terms of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) “there are gains that can be made within EPA regions, as well as between EPA groupings through the opportunity to cumulate… this regional preference is what we see in the intra-regional EPA game as massively important.” This spoke directly to concerns about the implications of the EPAs for regional integration in the ACP, particularly for Africa. In his closing remarks, Roberto Ridolfi, Director for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG EuropeAid, presented ongoing and future engagements by the European Commission to support electrification and agribusiness financing for Africa (ElectriFI and AgriFI respectively). Both these instruments aim to reduce the risk of investing into these two priority areas for Africa’s regional development, and make it easier to leverage funds from both private and public sources. Ridolfi further stressed that aid instruments must be used to leverage private finance in order to scale up successful businesses, and agreed on the need to develop an online platform which consolidates all the information on the various EC programmes supporting trade.

CTA’s director, Michael Hailu, also expressed a wish to see regional trade in Africa leading to the creation of more jobs and opportunities in rural areas, and for increased private sector involvement. In terms of future activities, CTA will be engaging with DG Devco in a preparatory exercise in April or May, which will feed into the EU-Africa Business Forum that takes place during the European Development Days 2017 (June in Brussels). A declaration by business leaders and CEOs will be presented to the EU-African Union Summit, which is scheduled to take place in Abidjan in November 2017.

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Latest Brussels Briefing 47: “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities”

The Brussels Development Briefing n.47 on the subject of “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities” took place on 3rd February 2017 in Brussels at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels) from 09:00 to 13:00.  This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with IFPRI, the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD .

Webstream: Click here to watch the event live
View the coverage on Twitter: @BruBriefings and using hashtag #BB47

Trade and regional integration have dominated the political agenda in recent years, with scores of countries pursuing trade agreements under various configurations. There is a renewed focus on the role of the private sector, and on reducing and eliminating trade barriers in order to boost economic growth by encouraging more trade and investment. The nexus between trade, integration and development is recognised to hold immense potential for sustainable growth and poverty reduction, and provides opportunities for enhancing the welfare of producers and consumers, provided that governments are able to develop and enforce policies to this effect. Under the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the role of trade in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is recognised in a number of areas. Target 2.b of SDG2 calls for the correction and prevention of trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, whereas targets 17.10 to 17.12 of SDG 17 also highlights the importance of trade, particularly for the least developed countries.

In order to maximise the benefits of regional integration and look for new opportunities for competitiveness, policymakers, the private sector and development partners need access to accurate and comprehensive data on intra and inter-regional trade in Africa with respect to agricultural goods. It is in this context that CTA and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are launching the “African Agricultural Trade Status Report”, which examines the current status, trends and outlook in African trade performance, making an important contribution towards data and analysis of developments both at regional and at continental levels. The Report, which is released in conjunction with the Briefing, builds on the work by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) of CAADP and the African Growth and Development Policy Modeling Consortium (AGRODEP) trade and also reflects the CTA’s commitment to advancing knowledge and sharing of best practices relating to agricultural trade.

African Agricultural Trade Status Report 2017 
– Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Africa global trade patterns
Chapter 3. Regional trade patterns
Chapter 4. Competitiveness of African agricultural exports
Chapter 5. Determinants of African agricultural exports
Chapter 7. West Africa trade outlook: business as usual vs alternative options
Chapter 8. Summary and conclusions

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New! on the topic of Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities

Programme and Background Note 

Highlights (available soon)

Photos 

Biodata of the speakers 

CTA Resources
– Spore no. 178 “REGIONAL TRADE: The customers next door” [2015, download]
– ‘Opportunities for Value-chain Finance in Africa’s Intra-regional Food Trade’ [2016, download]
– ‘West Africa: Regional trade – what’s the story?’ [2017, download]

Programme

8h15-9h00        Registration

9h00-9h15         Introduction to the Briefing: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office [video]

Introductory remarks: Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat [video]; Axel Pougin de la Maisonneuve, Deputy Head of Unit, Private Framework Development, Trade and Regional Integration, DG DEVCO, European Commission [video]; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA [video]

Special address:          Future prospects for Africa in global trade
                                            Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD [video]

 9h15-11h00 Panel 1: Overview of Africa regional trade

This panel will provide an overview of the main trends in inter and intra-regional trade in Africa and the main drivers of success.
Chair: H.E. Mr Tadeous Tafirenyika Chifamba, Ambassador of Zimbabwe 

Panellists
:

– Trends in African regional trade
Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)  [presentation|video]

– Innovative finance for agriculture transformation
Josephine Mwangi, Manager, Agriculture & Agro-Industry Dept, African Development Bank [presentation|video]

– New opportunities for regional trade within the EPAs implementation
Sandra Gallina, Director for Sustainable Development, DG Trade at the European Commission  [presentation|video]

– Challenges and successes in implementing regional trade agreements
Dominique Njinkeu, Executive Director, African Trade and Sustainable Development (AFTSD)  [presentation|video]

Panel 1 Debate [video]

 11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

11h15-13h00 Panel 2: Implementing regional trade: successes and opportunities ahead

This panel will look at specific examples of successes in the implementation of regional trade agreements and will bring various perspectives, including the private sector.
ChairH.E. Mr Ousmane Sylla, Ambassador of Guinea to the EU

Panellists:

– Growth opportunities for the private sector in East Africa as a result of regional integration
Annette Mutaawe, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, TradeMark East Africa  [presentation|video]

– New opportunities in regional trade
Argent Chuula, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA)  [presentation|video]

– Promoting regional trade through PPPs and agribusiness development
Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)  [presentation|video]

– Investment opportunities and PPPs
Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO, the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Ghana [presentation|video]

Panel 2 Debate [video]

Concluding remarksRoberto Ridolfi, Director for Sustainable Growth and Development, DG EuropeAid, European Commission [video]; Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat [video]; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA [video]

Concluding Debate [video]

13h00               Networking Lunch

4th African Continental Briefing – Youth & Agribusiness

4th PAFO Continental Briefing and 1st PAFO Youth Forum

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 The future of African farming and agribusiness:
New opportunities for youth

   6th-9th October 2016, Accra, Ghana

In the context of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network Conference and Expo 2016
MPlaza Hotel

Twitter: use  #AAINTSB  + #ContBrief  & follow @CTAflash 


Organised by the Panafrican Farmer’s Organisation (PAFO) and the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
With the partnership of AgriCord

This Briefing is linked to the Brussels Briefings organized by the CTA, EC/DGDEVCO, ACP Group and Concord every two months on key issues related to agriculture in ACP countries

RESOURCES

Read about CTA at the 2nd Pan African Agri-Business Incubators Conference and Expo

Successful Farmer-Led Agribusiness Models:
– Cooperative Business Models in Uganda: The Case of Nyakyera-Rukoni Area Cooperative Enterprise (NRACE) (by Paul Thangata, 2015)
– Smallholder Cashew Business Model in Tanzania: Lessons from the Tandahimba Newala Cooperative Union (TANECU) Ltd. (by Paul Thangata, 2015)

More Info:
Brussels Briefing 45: Smart Farming in Africa (July 2016, Brussels)
– 3rd African Continental Briefing:  Agribusiness & PPPs (December 2015, Durban)
2nd African Continental Briefing: Finance 4 Farmers (July 2014, Nairobi)

Learn more:
– Second Pan African Agribusiness Conference opens in Accra, Ghana
– African agribusiness incubation conference opens in Ghana

CONTEXT

The 4th PAFO Continental Briefing will focus on realising the potential of smart farming and youth entrepreneurship for African agribusiness. Taking place in the context of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network Conference and Expo 2016, the Briefing will provide an unparalleled opportunity to bring the umbrella organisation of the regional farmer’s organisations and its members together with youth agribusiness innovators in a forum attended by the leading agribusiness private and public sector representatives, successful agribusiness innovators, and stakeholders representing agriculture, technology and finance who are debating and developing solutions that are transforming Africa’s agricultural landscape.

The focus being Youth, the selected young farmers and entrepreneurs will be invited to attend the 3 days of African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) Conference & Expo in Accra and notably to the session on Youth engagement in agribusiness and agri-sessions for start-ups.

A side event to the AAIN Conference will be organised between PAFO members previously, the date and time will be provided when the agenda will be determined.

The 5th October will be a PAFO/AAIN/CTA Youth Day with sessions on agribusinesses successes and policies and tools to support them.

PAFO BRIEFING: PAFO YOUTH STRATEGY

The proposed sessions for the Briefing are:

  1. Youth Led Agribusiness Successes
    Innovative and successful agribusiness cases and new business opportunities will be shown and explored during this session, with a focus on the factors for success, including the processes and partnerships which have supported these successes. Lessons learned, opportunities for scaling up and out, and potential replication of the successes will be a priority outcome for this session.
  1. Investment in Agribusiness Services
    Participants in this session will discuss key issues related to the provision of innovative, competitive and accessible agribusiness services for farmers. The challenges faced in service development and delivery, and the opportunities for investment by various stakeholders, particularly in the context of PPPs, will be explored. A key priority will be the identification of lessons learnt from successful initiatives, and action needed from farmers, FOs, private and public sectors to overcome bottlenecks and create incentives for greater innovation and scaling up of service delivery.
  1. Smart Farming and the role of young farmers and entrepreneurs
    The goal of this session will be to advance the dialogue and share best practices on smart farming, mechanisation and technology-based innovations for farmers and agribusiness in Africa, improved uptake of appropriate data and ICT tools for African farmers, establishing better information baselines in respect of the technology needs of farmers, existing and successful agritech and mechanisation solutions. It will also identify partnership opportunities at various levels.
  1. Enhancing Policy Dialogue and Partnership Engagement
    Empowering PAFO and its members to engage with and drive policy dialogue with stakeholders is critical for promoting an enabling environment for the future of agriculture in Africa, both in terms of youth capacity and technology. This session will focus on strategies and priorities for developing, identifying and scaling up successful policy dialogue within PAFO and its members, and how partners can work with FOs to support this objective.
  1. Towards a PAFO Youth Strategy
    This session led by youth will aim at exploring a Youth Strategy for PAFO, identifying the key issues that can be addressed by the strategy and the priorities and strategic areas it should reflect. It will build on existing frameworks within its membership (for example, ROPPA’s Collège des femmes et des jeunes and SACAU’s Regional Young Farmers’ Forum). Strengths and weaknesses of the current approach will be discussed with a view to developing a clear plan of action to deliver a visionary, inclusive and sound Youth Strategy.

PARTICIPANTS AND EXPECTED RESULTS

The invited participants will represent the African Regional Farmers Organizations, Youth representatives, Co-organisers and development partners and experts/speakers on the selected areas, as well as Experts from relevant disciplines (ICTs, agribusiness, financial institutions…) and Partner organisations (local, regional, international).
Expected results are:
Exchange of experience around successes and potential opportunities for young farmers and entrepreneurs in agribusiness

  • Hands-on sessions on applications of smart-farming tools which facilitate production, market access and management of resources
  • Design of 1-2 regional projects for investment in youth in agribusiness
  • Innovation space for youth in agribusiness and PAFO Youth in agribusiness platform
  • PAFO Youth strategy designed

 Programme

Thursday 6 October afternoon (Conference Centre)
The 6th October afternoon is dedicated to ICT training especially training on the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for professional purposes.

Friday 7 October: Field visit (Nsawam – a district in the Eastern Region of Ghana)

The field visit, exclusive for CTA-supported participants, is dedicated to smart farming applications to visualise and better understand smart farming technologies accessible and affordable to farmers’ organisations and small-scale farmers.

Thus, CTA organises a field demonstration about the use of drones for agriculture. The demonstration will be carried out by different service providers, AIRINOV having headquarters in France and Uhurulabs in Tanzania. It will include presentations of hardware and software used; the launch of drones and observing them flying at different altitudes. Participants will be exposed to different types of drones (fixed wing and quadcopter) and flights at different altitudes which will generate imagery at variable resolutions and for different usages. The drone operators will explain how the devices are operated, data captured and analysed.

Saturday 8 October

8:00-9:00       Registration

9:00-9:15      Introductory remarks: PAFO, CTA. AUC

 9:15-11:00 Panel 1: Youth Led Agribusiness Successes
This panel will discuss innovative and successful agribusiness cases and new business opportunities will be shown and explored with a focus on the factors for success, including the processes and partnerships which have supported these successes. Lessons learned, opportunities for scaling up and out, and potential replication of the successes will be a priority outcome for this session.

Panelists:

– Mrs Caroline Nabukonde (Uganda)
– Youth Participation in agro-processing in Malawi: The case of Lakeshore Agro-Processing Enterprise (LAPE)
Mrs Maness Ngoma Nkhata, SACAU Young Farmers Forum, Malawi
– Famers-led successful business models: lessons learned
Mrs Marie Joseph Medzeme, value chain expert, PROPAC
– Successes in youth-led agribusiness
Mr Ken Lohento, Coordinator, ARDYIS, CTA

11:00-11:15  Coffee break

11:15-13:00 Panel 2:  Investment in Agribusiness Services
Participants in this session will discuss key issues related to the provision of innovative, competitive and accessible agribusiness services for farmers. The challenges faced in service development and delivery, and the opportunities for investment by various stakeholders, particularly in the context of PPPs, will be explored. A key priority will be the identification of lessons learnt from successful initiatives, and action needed from farmers, FOs, private and public sectors to overcome bottlenecks and create incentives for greater innovation and scaling up of service delivery.

Panelists: Discussion on capacity building programme

-Mrs Stella Tsiko (Congo)
– Investment in Agribusiness Services: Starting and growing a business from limited resources – success factors
Mr Sibusiso Gule, SACAU Young Farmers Forum, Swaziland
– Transforming services delivering with data management
Mr Chris Addison, Senior Coordinatorm, Data4Ag, CTA

13:00-14:00  Lunch

 14:00-15:45 Panel 3:  Smart Farming and the role of young farmers and entrepreneurs
The goal of this session will be to advance the dialogue and share best practices on smart farming, mechanisation and technology-based innovations for farmers and agribusiness in Africa, improved uptake of appropriate data and ICT tools for African farmers, establishing better information baselines in respect of the technology needs of farmers, existing and successful agritech and mechanisation solutions. It will also identify partnership opportunities at various levels.

Panelists:
– Mr Michael Neligwa (Tanzania)
– Smart Farming and the role of young farmers and entrepreneurs: Smart Management of a poultry farm by a young farmer
Mr Teboho Mosebo, SACAU Farmers’ Forum, Lesotho
– UAVs for Agriculture: the potential for young farmers
Mr Giacomo Rambaldi, Senior Coordinator, ICT4Ag, CTA

 15:45-16:00  Coffee break

 16:00-17:45 Panel 4:  Enhancing Policy Dialogue and Partnership Engagement
Empowering PAFO and its members to engage with and drive policy dialogue with stakeholders is critical for promoting an enabling environment for the future of agriculture in Africa, both in terms of youth capacity and technology. This session will focus on strategies and priorities for developing, identifying and scaling up successful policy dialogue within PAFO and its members, and how partners can work with FOs to support this objective.

Panelists:

– The Impact of State and Organizational policies in promoting youth in Agriculture – the case of Southern Africa
Mr Benito Eliasi (SACAU)
– Youth in AR4D case study of the PAEPARD project
Mrs Marygoretti Gachagua (EAFF)
– Enhancing Policy Dialogue and Partnership Engagement: Linking Young farmers with Services providers – Sokoine initiatiave in Tanzania
Ms. Magdalene Shirima (SACAU Young Farmers Forum)
– Partnership engagement for PAFO youth
Fatma Ben Rajeb, CEO, PAFO
– Supporting young farmers in policy dialogue: opportunities and next steps
Isolina Boto, Manager CTA Brussels Office, CTA

 Conclusion 1st day.

Sunday 9 October morning

9:00-9:15      Wrap up of the 1st day

9;15-11:00  Working Groups / Plenary: Towards a PAFO Youth Strategy

11:00-11:15  Coffee break

11:15-13:00 Working Groups / Plenary: Towards a PAFO Youth Strategy (Continuation)

Closing

Lunch