The European Business Council for Africa

Topline: In yet another “family meeting”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday evening that the country would stay on alert level 3. In addition to regulations put in place, the South African government has chosen to close all 20 land ports of entry. 

Key Facts. 

  • Land ports of entry will be closed until February, 15 for general entry and departure. These will include the six busiest border posts; Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg, and Kopfontein.
  • This decision has been made as a way to reduce congestion and the high risk of transmission as South Africa has reported nearly 190, 000 Covid-19 cases since the start of 2021. The country has also recorded more than 4,600 Covid-related deaths so far this year.
  • Alcohol sales are still not permitted, however, curfew times have changed slightly from 9 pm to 6 am to 9 pm to 5 am. 

  • Chinese customs data shows exports to the continent edged up 0.6 per cent in first 11 months, but imports from Africa plunged 23 per cent
  • Analysts say it was driven down by China’s reduced buying of raw materials and lower prices of key commodities such as oil and copper

“The agriculture sector is among the most vulnerable. Agriculture is important not only for food security issues but also for inter-regional food integration,” African Development Bank Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research, Hanan Morsy, said during a news conference on the opening day of the African Economic Conference 2020.

“We see this as an area that needs particular support, an area of opportunity going forward to increase inter-regional integration and to increase resilience against external shocks,” Morsy noted.

The African Development Bank has provided much-needed financial and technical assistance to the sector, including small scale agribusinesses. In June 2020, the Bank launched the Feed Africa Response to COVID-19 (FAREC), a strategic roadmap to safeguard food security against the pandemic's impact by supporting agriculture and creating regional food self-sufficiency.

The three-day annual conference, which opened Tuesday was hosted virtually. It is being organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the theme, “Africa beyond COVID-19: Accelerating towards inclusive sustainable development.”

How can people in Africa acquire the skills to digitize work and help diversify and grow economies?

This was one of the main questions posed at an online colloquium on Digital Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET) co-organized by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Festo Didactic on November 26.

Digital learning tools will be key to unlocking the potential of African youths, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants heard. But learners and teachers need support from the private sector and development partners.

Over 200 participants discussed innovative solutions to support DTVET in Africa. They included representatives from several African countries - Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Rwanda, and Tunisia. Regional and international development partners also joined the discussion, such as the African Development Bank, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and German government development agency GIZ, as well as civil society and private sector representatives.

The Desert Locust crisis which struck the greater Horn of Africa region earlier this year threatening food supplies for millions, could re-escalate as recent strong winds carried mature swarmlets from southern Somalia into eastern and northeastern Kenya, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday.

Although some of the swarmlets that reached Kenya may have already laid eggs before their arrival, there remains a risk of further egg-laying in sandy areas that saw recent rainfalls, according to FAO

“In this case, hatching and hopper band formation can be expected in early December,” said the agency. 

Breeding also continues in central Somalia and eastern Ethiopia where bands of hoppers – non-flying, nymphal stage locust – are present, and a new generation of immature swarms could start forming by the end of November. 

South Africa is set to conclude its one-year tenure as African Union (AU) chair at the next AU summit in February 2021. Like for many, its plans for the AU, which included silencing the guns, women’s financial inclusion and championing infrastructure development, were largely derailed by COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership and inclusive approach to handling COVID-19 on the continent have been widely acknowledged. ‘Everyone is grateful that Ramaphosa was the one chairing the AU during the pandemic,’ a high-ranking AU official told ISS Today.

Ramaphosa appointed several committees and special envoys to deal with the health and economic fallout of the pandemic. There were at least seven virtual meetings of the AU bureau, with each region of Africa represented. At the most recent gathering last week, Ramaphosa launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to ensure African countries have access to a future vaccine, for which around US$13 billion must be raised.

South Africa is set to conclude its one-year tenure as African Union (AU) chair at the next AU summit in February 2021. Like for many, its plans for the AU, which included silencing the guns, women's financial inclusion and championing infrastructure development, were largely derailed by COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's leadership and inclusive approach to handling COVID-19 on the continent have been widely acknowledged. 'Everyone is grateful that Ramaphosa was the one chairing the AU during the pandemic,' a high-ranking AU official told ISS Today.

Ramaphosa appointed several committees and special envoys to deal with the health and economic fallout of the pandemic. There were at least seven virtual meetings of the AU bureau, with each region of Africa represented. At the most recent gathering last week, Ramaphosa launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to ensure African countries have access to a future vaccine, for which around US$13 billion must be raised.

  • Lancé en présence du Ministre Camerounais des PME, ce projet permettra à des centaines de PME de bénéficier de cette facilité pour financer leur développement,
  • Cette ligne de crédit permettra de financer des investissements ou des besoins en fonds de roulement dans des conditions de décaissement plus souples,

Société Générale et la Banque européenne d’investissement (BEI) annoncent aujourd’hui la signature d’un partenariat en faveur du développement de l’économie camerounaise. Ce financement destiné à aider le secteur privé s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’appui de plus grande ampleur apporté par la BEI en vue de favoriser le développement des PME et de renforcer leur résilience en Afrique et dans le monde entier face aux difficultés économiques, sociales et sanitaires, notamment la pandémie COVID 19.   

L’initiative régionale a été officiellement lancée lors d’une cérémonie organisée à Douala en présence d’Achille Bassilekin III, Ministre des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises, de l’Economie Sociale et de l’Artisanat du Cameroun, de Marème Mbaye Ndiaye, Directrice Générale de Société Générale Cameroun, et de Nikolaos Milianitis, Chef de la Représentation de la BEI en Afrique centrale.

Mis en œuvre à partir de 2015 au Bénin, le Projet d’appui à la production vivrière et de renforcement de la résilience dans les départements de l’Alibori, du Borgou et des Collines (PAPVIRE-ABC) a permis d’améliorer de façon significative les rendements des exploitations agricoles.

Le projet, financé à hauteur de 24 millions de dollars américains par le Programme mondial pour l’agriculture et la sécurité alimentaire (« GAFSP » en anglais) via la Banque africaine de développement, s’est fixé l’objectif d’améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle et de réduire la pauvreté des populations béninoises. Il a notamment permis d’augmenter la productivité agricole sur plus de 24 000 hectares dans le pays, selon le rapport sur l’état d’exécution et des résultats (EER) publié le 2 novembre par la Banque africaine de développement.

Second in a series of blog posts on the release of the 2020 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) during the virtual 2020 ReSAKSS Annual Conference Nov. 3–5. The theme of the 2020 ATOR is “Sustaining Africa’s Agrifood System Transformation: The Role of Public Policies.” This post is based on Chapter 8. Read the first post here.

Africa’s rural transformation is hampered by the difficulties and missed opportunities farmers face in accessing markets. Many of these problems can be traced to farmers’ individual struggles—i.e., a lack of economies of scale—in consistently procuring inputs and marketing their outputs. Collective action mechanisms such as producer organizations could facilitate smallholders' access to input and output markets.