Africa

African Union pushes for Agoa extension by 15 years

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By Jane Kariuki

Ministers from the African Union attending the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit have agreed to support a move to expand the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for another 15 years in order to extend and deepen trade and investment relationship with Sub- Saharan Africa.

AGOA was signed into law by former United States President Bill Clinton in May 2000. The objectives of the legislation include the expansion and deepening of the trade and investment relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa, to encourage economic growth and development as well as regional integration, and to help facilitate the integration of Sub-Saharan Africa into the global economy.

Meanwhile Kenya has been ranked among top democratic States in Africa in a report published in the Washington Post.

 

African governments commit energy revenues to trim ‘Infrastructure Gap’

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By Joseph Mwangi and

Agencies

New revenue streams arising from recent and upcoming crude oil and natural gas production would be channeled into investments in roads, railways, ports, and power, African finance officials said.

Three finance ministers and a central bank governor told a Washington news briefing that Africa’s “infrastructure gap” is a significant development obstacle that will have to be overcome for the continent’s economic growth to be more inclusive.

The officials told reporters during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings that investment in infrastructure is a major priority for Africa as the continent’s governments strive to create more jobs and expand social services.

They noted that many African countries had achieved macroeconomic stability with steady growth and relatively low inflation. Governments were now aiming for better-quality growth by focusing on creating jobs and improving health and education.

 

Weak demand for metals and other key commodities to hit Africa’s trade in 2014

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By Fridah Nkibuga

Weaker demand for metals and other key commodities, combined with increased supply, could lead to a shaper decline in commodity prices and affect African countries.

The World Bank warns in its recent report on continent’s trade prospects in 2014 that weaker demand from China could negatively affect resource-rich countries that depend on minerals for their exports.

“In particular, if Chinese demand, which accounts for about 45 per cent of total copper demand and a large share of global iron ore demand, remains weaker than in recent years and supply continues to grow robustly, copper and iron ore prices could decline more sharply, with significant negative consequences for the metal-producing countries,” warns the report Africa’s Pulse

 

Africa’s economic growth to hit 5.2 per cent this year, says World Bank report

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By EA Trade Review Reporter

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to rise from 4.7 per cent in 2013 to a forecasted 5.2 per cent in 2014.

This performance is boosted by rising investment in natural resources and infrastructure, and strong household spending, according to the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects.

Growth was notably buoyant in resource-rich countries, including Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It remained steady in Cote d’Ivoire, while rebounding in Mali, supported by improved political stability and security.

Non-resource-rich countries, particularly Ethiopia and Rwanda, also experienced solid economic growth in 2013.

 

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