According to Tanzania Minister for East Africa Cooperation Ibrahim Msabaha, Trade among Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda has grown by about $22 million since the adoption of the EA Customs Union in January 2005. Dr. Msabaha told the Tanzanian Parliament that business among the original EAC countries has increased by 19 percent from $95.4 million in 2004 to $117.1 million last year, despite all the huddles being faced in implementing the customs union. Tanzania's trade volume with the other two neighbors grew by 23.4 percent, earning $174.4 million last year up from $137.7 million in 2004.
Fossil Flown Out of Ethiopia
After 3.2 million years in East Africa, one of the world's most famous set of fossils was quietly flown out of Ethiopia for a U.S. tour that some experts say is a dangerous gamble with an irreplaceable relic. The fossilized partial skeleton, of what was once an adult of an ape-man species, was discovered in 1974 in northeastern Ethiopia.
SA’s Economic Performance Strong
According to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) 2007 Article IV Staff Report on South Africa, South Africa's recent economic performance has been strong. This is amidst real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, rising employment, a strengthening fiscal position and rising international reserves. Article IV reports are a result of bilateral discussions between the IMF and its member countries, about economic and financial information as well as the country's economic development policies. According to the report, the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) has the ability to relieve pressing capacity constraints and productivity -enhancing reforms could further raise the potential growth rate of the economy.
Meanwhile, South Africa's second telephone network operator, Neotel has signed an agreement to build a new private equity-funded submarine cable. The cable, which will boost broadband Internet capacity, will connect South Africa to India and Europe and is expected to enter service by early 2009. South Africa has only one cable linking it to the rest of the world and this has been controlled by former monopoly Telkom, whose exclusivity is due to run out in September.
COMESA Countries to Integrate their Securities Markets
Stock exchange heads from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region have agreed to work towards integrating their securities markets. Bourse chief executives from Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and South Africa met in Egypt and agreed on an action plan for the development and integration of the eight securities markets in the COMESA region. The executives agreed that the deepening of existing stock exchanges and elimination of investment barriers would ensure the availability of long-term financial resources for the region while minimizing the risk of financial instability. The roundtable also emphasized the need to eliminate barriers to cross-border investment and cross listing of securities by way of harmonizing investment rules, legal and regulatory frameworks.
Education Ministers Meeting on Education in Africa
The third Conference of the Ministers of Education of the African Union (COMEDAF III) will be held on August 9-10 in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the theme "Education in Africa". The meeting follows the two preparatory sessions held on May 29 - 31 at the AU headquarters in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. Over 200 delegates, comprising Ministers of Education of the African Union, international organizations and education experts from across the globe are expected to attend the conference. The conference, to be preceded by the expert's meeting, will look into the follow-up of the strategic mechanism and partnerships for the implementation of the action plan for the second decade of education for Africa. It will further examine the progress report on the setting up of an African Education Fund presented by the representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as the progress made in formalizing the collaboration between the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the AU.
Japan Expresses Interest to Buy Kenya’s Local Goods
Japan has expressed intentions to buy local agricultural and manufactured goods with the launch of a training programme for local exporters in Nairobi. The training is likely to turn exports east, away from traditional markets such as the US, Britain and Afghanistan. The three-year training is intended at re-directing Kenya's tea, apparel and manufactured food from destinations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and the US to Japan. Mr Yoshiaki Kano, the resident representative Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) said that the Asian giant was opening up her markets to Kenyan goods and that the export training would educate local business people on how to trade internationally, especially with Japan.
Compiled by Anne Mugoya
Inter Region Economic Network
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