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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.

Import and Export in Nigeria

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

The central bank of Nigeria has devalued the naira (NGN) by 7.6% against the dollar (USD) as the country moves towards a unified exchange rate system for the local currency being the biggest oil producer in Africa. The CBN replaced the fixed rate of 379 NGN to a USD used for official transactions with the nafex or the I&E exchange rate of 410.25 NGN per USD, following the date curated from the CBN's website. The unification of these rates is supposed to improve the Nation's currency-management system and assist in meeting the conditions of investors and the International Monetary Fund for transparency.

Nigeria’s economic growth quickened in the first quarter as oil output started to recover and manufacturing production increased for the first time in a year. Gross domestic product in the continent’s biggest oil producer expanded 0.5% in the three months through March from a year earlier, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in a report published on Twitter on Sunday. That compares with 0.11% growth in the fourth quarter. The median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for an increase of 0.9%. The slow pickup in growth could reinforce central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele’s view that it’s still

There are reports that Nigeria has not been able to sell some of its oil. Indian refineries have slowed down buying Nigerian oil as a result of COVID-19. India is a large buyer of Nigeria’s Agbami, Akpo, Bonny Light and Forcados. According to private sources, there are about 5 shipments of Nigeria Bonny deferred into June (with 2 of them already delayed from April). When cargo is “deferred,” it does not mean that there was some kind of logistical issue, it generally means that no buyers were found. A source who pleaded anonymity also confirmed that “the problem with the lack of demand for Nigeria’s

French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting leaders of African countries and heads of global financial institutions for a summit that will seek to provide the continent with critical financing swept away by the impact of COVID-19. Some two dozen African heads of state are attending Tuesday’s summit in Paris, one of the biggest in-person top-level meetings held during the pandemic. International financial leaders attending included International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva as well as World Bank managing director of operations Axel van Trotsenburg. The summit got under way at 11:00 GMT and is due to wind up with a 16:00 GMT

European, American and African leaders, together with financial institutions, are looking for ways to help restart growth in Africa after the Covid health crisis when they meet in France this week. Described as a “New Deal” for African economies, they aim to find solutions to Africa’s international debt, which could see the continent fall into recession. The BBC’s Maggie Mutesi says it’s the big economies that are at the table and they’ll be looking at a range of problems. For Zambia, a country which is indebted to China, the problem is one of how to meet its obligations now. While countries like Mozambique, suffering

Bank deposits rose by N6.95tn between February 2019 and February 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria said. The CBN disclosed this in its report on some of the personal statements of members of the Monetary Policy Committee obtained by our correspondent on Thursday. Part of the statement read, “However, there were moderate declines in returns on equity and returns on assets and a significant rise in the share of operating incomes in total interest incomes of Deposit Money Banks. “All measures of bank size, total assets, credit, and deposits significantly rose year-on-year. Over N4.56tn additional credit was created in the last one year,

A Nigerian civic tech group BudgIT Tuesday released a report in which it claimed that the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari approved 316 duplicated projects in the 2021 budget. The Nigerian Government is yet to react to the content of the report. The report explained how the Nigerian Government agencies have billions of naira reportedly earmarked as security votes – a fund usually given to state governments by the government to equip the security arms. “Our analysis of the #2021Budget reveals over 316 duplicated capital projects totaling N39.5bn, among other loopholes for corruption,” BudgIT said in the report. BudgIT said it also found zero audit

•approves FIRS budget, • grants Fed Govt permission to borrow $1.5b The House of Representatives yesterday increased the revenue target of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) from N1.4 trillion to N1.6 trillion as expected revenue for the 2021 fiscal year. The House also approved about N257, 183, 671, 694. 71 as budget for the NCS for this year and another N216, 646, 579, 231. 00 as budget for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the same period. The House also approved the request from the president to borrow about $1.5 billion and Euro 995 million to finance projects under the 2021 budget. Presenting

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

New Release: The African Economic Congress 2020 Report.