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News from Africa

News from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

One of the contacts EFA made at the AfCFTA Business Forum (see above) was with the Imani Development consultancy firm, which is carrying out research for COMESA on how that REC can remain relevant and a leader in trade over the next 5 years. COMESA includes all the members of the smaller East African Community (EAC) which has been one of the leaders in reducing barriers to trade between its 7 member states. EAC has started moving towards requiring products traded between its members to apply one test, one standard and one certificate. EFA proposed that COMESA concentrated on introducing e-documentation and smart contracts. This is already in process between some COMESA member states (Tanzania and Kenya) in a pilot programme put in place by an EFA ally, Logistics Natives, a German consultancy. Trademark East Africa, an EFA founding member, has also been working on introducing e-documentation for customs for a considerable time particularly in the EAC region. EFA also suggested that COMESA studied the possibility of creating a trading currency (a stable coin) between its members based on the value of a basket of commodities.

The 1st Africa Sustainable Supply Chain Summit, held in Ghana and hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Africa Investment Group in Accra on 29-30 March 2023 heard from stakeholders from across the public and private sectors committing to strengthen collaboration with governments to address infrastructure deficit, ineffective trade facilitation processes, and invest in innovation and technology to promote trade across borders in Africa, to accelerate sustainable development.

Alastair Tempest

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