The multilateral trading system overseen by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has contributed significantly to the unprecedented economic development that has taken place over the last decades across the world. Trade has allowed developing countries to benefit from the opportunities created by emerging markets enabling them to integrate into the world market through global value chains.
With the global fluctuation in trade and rapid increment, the structure and pattern of trade vary significantly by-products and regions. Undoubtedly, trade has come with both benefits and daunting challenges to countries involved, especially in African nations, where primary and intermediate merchandise formed a substantial share of exports.
African trade in goods and services fluctuated in value terms over the 2005-19 period and gradually rose. Despite this increase, however, its global share has remained relatively constant at about 3% of both global exports and imports, averaging a total of US$760 billion, compared with $4,109 billion from Europe, $5,140 billion from America, and $6,801 billion from Asia.
With these, it is seen that Africa has performed poorly when global trade is concerned. Nigeria which is the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $442.98 billion, depends heavily on importation and does little on exportation. As seen from the chart below, Nigeria made over $ 1 trillion on exportation in 2020 and spent almost $2.5 trillion on importation which is doubled the money made from exportation. This reflects the level of participation in global trade of the country.
In spite of the significant reduction of trade tariffs on various commodities and products that African countries have taken advantage of, trade still faces stringent constraints largely because of restrictions and other distorting measures. Despite the fact that the WTO has gained ground in pressuring countries to reduce restrictions, trade policies and rules may have favored developed economies at the expense of frail economies, particularly in Africa.
The South African minister of finance has highlighted that one of the significant challenges hindering trade in Africa High tariffs, but “non-tariff barriers, such as arbitrarily imposed rules on the international standards on the health of and animals plants (sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)), further limits trade in Africa.
Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are quarantine and biosecurity measures which are applied to protect human, animal, or plant life or health from risks arising from the introduction, establishment, and spread of pests and diseases and from risks arising from additives, toxins, and contaminants in food and feed. These measures are governed by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), and its Committee of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS committee). Measures like too high level of Aflotoxins have been used by some developed countries to hampers trade on goods coming
For quite a long while in the late 1990s, for instance, European nations prohibited fish from Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania due to concerns about these countries’ sanitary standards and control systems. Uganda lost $36.9 million in potential earnings during the ban. In Tanzania, where fish and fish products accounted for 10 percent of annual exports, fishermen dependent on EU sales lost 80 percent of their income, according to reports from the United Nations. Several other health and standards issues relating to products like meats and dairy products have also restricted Africa’s trade to the US and Japan.
These measures only seem to favor the already developed countries, as many developing countries in Africa do not have the money, manpower, or infrastructure needed to abide by the standards created.
On the other hand, although these measures appear to be though, it is important to also emphasize the fact that they are ostensibly aimed at protecting citizens from everyday food hazards because some of these developing countries make products that are harmful to the health and expect them to be purchased by other countries, and when they are not, it leads to a downturn in export which then reflects on their GDP.
The best solution to this hamper in trade for Africa is to trade in Common Terms. Countries at the same level of compliance to the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures need to do more Intra-African trade with themselves and other similar eternal countries, as this will help ease the burden on them and prevent wastage of locally produced product (e.g, Nigeria’s annual tomato harvest is estimated to total at around 1.5 million tons, 900,000 of which rot as waste each year, thebusinessyear).
With the inception of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Afcfta), trade in Africa was expected to create a boost in intra-trade trade amongst African countries but the organization has made no significant impact since its inception. Although 54 countries have signed the pact and 31 of them have ratified it, only Ghana has traded under this agreement as other countries like Nigeria do not have the capacity and infrastructure for the agreement’s benefits to kick in.
In as much as these sanitary and phytosanitary measures seem intense, it is really not expected of already developed countries to comply with lower measures. Developing countries need to work towards improving the quality of their products as these measures were established to ensure the safety of both parties.
The multilateral trading system overseen by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has contributed significantly to the unprecedented economic development that has taken place over the last decades across the world. Trade has allowed developing countries to benefit from the opportunities created by emerging markets, enabling them to integrate into the world market through global value chains. With the global fluctuation in trade and rapid increment, the structure and pattern of trade vary significantly by-products and regions. Undoubtedly, trade has come with both benefits and daunting challenges to countries involved, especially in African nations, where primary and intermediate merchandise formed a substantial
Malian soldiers unhappy with the new government announced by the transitional authorities took the president and prime minister by force on Monday to the Kati military camp, a few kilometres from Bamako, in a coup shaking the country plunged in a deep crisis. "The president and prime minister are here in Kati on business," a senior military official told AFP. A government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the information, confirmed that the heads of the transitional executive, President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, had been taken to Kati, the centre of Mali's military
Angeline Mukandutiye, the only woman in a group of 21 Rwandans facing terrorism charges, has admitted to recruiting girls for a Rwandan opposition group that operated in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. The group includes Paul Rusesabagina, the man portrayed as a hero in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda about the Rwandan genocide. He denies any wrongdoing. Ms Mukandutiye, 70, showed judges at a high court in the capital, Kigali, some of her co-accused who were together with her in CNRD – FLN. The former school inspector fled Rwanda in 1994 and took up the role of commissioner in charge of family and
After 27 years of marriage and $146 billion in collective wealth, Bill & Melinda Gates announced their divorce via a statement posted on Bill Gates’ Twitter account on the 4th of May. The internet was abuzz instantly; the Twitter threads and think pieces went up hastily. Not only was theirs yet another in a long list of celebrity and billionaires’ divorces, but their separation also put hundreds of public health initiatives and research hinged on their donations in a precarious position. Since the inception of the Gates Foundation, the philanthropic couple has donated over $36 billion of their wealth to
Air pollution has been termed ‘a silent health Killer’, with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, calling it 'the new tobacco'. It is a scourge that kills 7,000,000 individuals consistently, making it a more pressing threat than any other kind of pollution. Just as it affects the Global populace, it likewise impacts virtually all parts of the body. Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk. According to a number of recent reports and as is communicated regularly in news bulletins from Beijing and New Delhi, the problem of air pollution in today’s
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sacked some key board members of First Bank Nigeria (FBN) and First Bank of Nigeria Holding Plc. Among those affected are chairmen of the twi entities Mr. Oba Otudeko of FBN Holdings and Mrs Ibukun Awosika of FBN. The CBN, in a swift sanction, appointed replacements for all those sacked on Thursday. Addressing journalists on the development in Abuja, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, explained why the apex bank wielded the hammer. According to him: “The insiders who took loans in the bank, with controlling influence on the board of directors, failed to adhere to the terms for
Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, has called on deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country to end unofficial charges on bank accounts operated by their customers. According to a statement on Monday, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker’s special adviser on media and publicity, said Gbajabiamila made the call when the board and management of Standard Chartered Bank, led by Lamin Manjang, the chief executive officer, visited him. The speaker said there are claims that commercial banks exploit customers through what he described as “hidden charges.” He said such unofficial deductions need to be addressed, alongside other exploitative measures such as high
It is no longer news that Nigeria was once the giant of Africa; these recent times have called for a re-evaluation of the country’s economic stand and position. Despite the fluctuations in the world prices from 1960 to 1961, the Nigerian GDP was at a growing rate because exports were on the increase. Food produced by farmers was sufficient to feed the entire nation. Several developmental strides were witnessed across every sphere of the country as a result of the infrastructure put in place from the proceeds of the farm produce. However, in these current times and seasons, the tables have turned.
(Bloomberg) -- Used car prices in the U.S. are soaring. The Manheim U.S. Used Vehicle Value Index, a gauge of pricing trends, soared to a fresh record Tuesday as factors ranging from chip shortages to a rebounding economy conspired to keep pressure on automotive inventories. The index, which updates mid-month, rose by 6.8% in the first 15 days of April from the final March figure and jumped 52% from the same period a year ago to a level of 191.4. The index is compiled by market researcher Cox Automotive Inc. The data takes into account all U.S. sales through Cox’s Manheim automotive auctions
Cameroonian, Nigerian, and Chadian troops have successfully rescued over 50 former fighters and civilians from Boko Haram camps. Most of the civilians are women and children, some with fresh scars and amputated body parts. Thirty-five children, 12 men, and 11 women were taken to the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration center in Meri, a Cameroonian town on the border with Nigeria and Chad. Oumar Bichair, the coordinator of the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration center in Meri, said some of the rescued mothers said they were sexually assaulted by terrorist fighters. He said most of the 35 rescued children, ranging from 6 months