News Categories: Burundi News

IOTA Foundation Collaborates with WEF and Trademark Africa for Global Trade Innovation

The IOTA Foundation has unveiled a groundbreaking partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF), Trademark Africa, and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, aiming to transform international trade dynamics. Leveraging the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP), this collaboration seeks to harness IOTA's Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for enhancing trade transparency and efficiency. Announced during the WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, this initiative marks a significant step towards digitalizing global trade, promising to mitigate existing inefficiencies through a decentralized data management system. Revolutionizing Trade with DLT The TLIP, developed in collaboration with the IOTA Foundation and its partners, represents a pioneering approach to streamlining global trade processes. By ensuring document immutability and supporting decentralized data exchange, TLIP aims to significantly reduce transaction costs and enhance the efficiency of cross-border trade operations. This digital platform, built on IOTA's robust DLT framework, invites stakeholders to participate in a collaborative governance structure, emphasizing open-source technology and equitable access. Expanding IOTA's Network Utility In addition to its potential to transform global trade, the IOTA network has witnessed a notable increase in NFT activity and active addresses. This surge indicates a growing interest in IOTA's utility beyond its foundational trade facilitation purposes. As the network continues to evolve, its expanded use cases may further influence IOTA's market dynamics, providing new opportunities for stakeholders and participants within the digital asset ecosystem. Global Collaboration for a Digital Future The partnership between the IOTA Foundation and esteemed global institutions underscores a collective commitment to enhancing international...

Unpredictable global trade reveals the benefits of AfCFTA and intra-African trade as South Africa celebrates first AfCFTA export to Ghana

Amidst disruptions to traditional trade routes, unpredictable shipping times and soaring freight tariffs caused by the conflict in the Red Sea region, the opportunities the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement creates for the development of intra-Africa trade are becoming apparent, says Standard Bank. The African continent holds markets that connect 1.3 billion people with a combined gross GDP of about USD3.4 trillion. Buying and trading goods in this environment offers alternative business opportunities both now and in the future. These opportunities would ease the pressure to import goods from the rest of the world, says Philip Myburgh, Executive Head of Trade and Africa-China, Business and Commercial Clients at the Standard Bank Group. “Besides reducing the need to import goods from outside of Africa, the preferential tariff rates promote Africa’s growth. AfCFTA has the potential to boost South Africa’s economy and create new jobs by increasing economic participation.” “Last month, South Africa exported its first shipment of goods to Ghana under the AfCFTA agreement. The goods shipped were forged grinding balls and high-chrome grinding media products supplied to the platinum, gold, ferrochrome, base metal, power generation and cement industries.” However, several other markets remain to be explored, says Myburgh. “Two features make Ghana a strong trading partner: its location on the west coast and its two deepwater ports. Takoradi and Tema offer logistical advantages to seaborne traffic from South Africa. And Ghana, often called the ‘Gateway to West Africa,’ offers easy access not only to Ghanaian markets, but also...

IOTA Foundation Commits $10 Million to Boost Global Trade Digitization

IOTA Ecosystem DLT Foundation in the UAE has taken a big step toward digitizing global trade and making trade finance solutions more accessible. The foundation intends to invest over $10 million in early-stage startups, ventures, pilots, and infrastructure rollouts. It aims to accelerate TradeTech, Trade Finance, and real-world asset tokenization innovation. https://twitter.com/iota/status/1763189658597367885?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1763189658597367885%7Ctwgr%5E530be5b627ceb84002447886a9ba6bbc6adbc8f6%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fblockchainreporter.net%2Fiota-foundation-commits-10-million-to-boost-global-trade-digitization%2F IOTA Accelerates Trade Innovation with Startup Investments This announcement is a big step for blockchain and DLT giant IOTA. IOTA invests heavily in digital trade infrastructure to solve global trade ecosystem issues and make the future more connected and efficient. Tradetech ecosystem strengthening is the goal of this investment. Tradetech streamlines trade. It covers logistics, supply chain, trade finance, and compliance. IOTA wants to help early-stage startups create trade technology solutions that improve global trade operations by providing tools and guidance. Besides helping startups, IOTA will invest in Tradetech accelerator programs to develop talent. These programs mentor, fund, and network entrepreneurs to launch their businesses. IOTA wants to attract top Tradetech talent and foster innovation and collaboration. IOTA invested in Tradetech because they believe digital technologies can change global trade. Blockchain, AI, and the IoT promise unprecedented opportunities to digitize trade processes, reduce waste, and find new value sources across the trade value chain. IOTA wants to use these technologies to simplify, open, and include trade for businesses, consumers, and economies worldwide. IOTA Foundation’s Investment Paves the Way for Global Trade Digitization Following a WTO MC13 Trade Logistics Information Pipeline agreement, investment news emerged. Public global trade infrastructure...

MEPs green light bolstering trade ties with Kenya

On Thursday, MEPs voted to approve the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreement with Kenya, East Africa's main economic hub. MEPs voted by 366 in favour, 86 against and 56 abstentions to give their consent to the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that aims to strengthen trade and economic ties with the African country. It is the first agreement with a developing country in which the EU's new approach to trade and sustainable development is reflected. The agreement includes binding and enforceable provisions on international standards and agreements on labour, gender equality, climate and the environment, and prevents both parties from lowering labour and environmental standards. The trade and sustainable development clauses, which are new compared to the EU-East African Community EPA, will be binding: possible issues will be addressed through a dedicated dispute resolution mechanism. The EU is Kenya’s second largest trading partner, and its most important export market. Total trade between the EU and Kenya reached €3.3 billion in 2022, according to Commission data. The EU’s imports from Kenya amount to €1.2 billion and are mainly vegetables, fruits, and flowers. EU’s exports amount to €2.02 billion and are mainly in mineral and chemical products and in machinery. Quote Alessandra Mussolini (EPP, IT), rapporteur for the file said: “This agreement it's a catalyst for economic growth, job creation and sustainable development. It will provide duty-free, quota-free EU market access to all exports from Kenya as soon as it enters into force, as well as partial and gradual opening of the Kenyan...

IOTA: Pioneering a New Frontier in Border Trade Efficiency

IOTA’s mission to launch the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) to get the private and public sectors to come together to facilitate paperless international trade has been realised as it gains popularity in the payment industry. In 2022, it collaborated with TradeMark Africa to launch a digital portal to highlight its benefits while providing an opportunity to follow the progress of the project. In posts shared by TradeMark Africa on the social media network X, TLIP was identified to be the missing piece of the puzzle meant to address the challenges border agents face. According to reports, border agents have been dealing with document delays over the years, leading to consignment hold-ups and financial loss. On top of that, there has been limited data visibility as agencies use various systems to gather trade data from different supply chain actors. The system of customs agencies is also susceptible to fraud, leading to misdeclaration and misclassification. According to Trademark Africa, TLIP could address almost all of these challenges, and make border trade efficient. Role of TLIP in MISSION Recently, TLIP was selected as one of the 30 organizations to participate in the MISSION (MaritIme juSt in time optimiSatION). This program is reportedly part of the €95.5 billion ($102 billion) Horizon Europe program, and it got €7.5 million ($8 million) from the European Union to develop a new digital communication and logistics platform. The involvement of TLIP is reported to solve the issue of fragmentation in the maritime transport ecosystem. Maritime transport accounts...

Uganda, EABC Root for Deeper Regional Trade Ties

The EAC Secretariat’s statistics show that the region's total trade value with the rest of the world (ROW) in the 3rd quarter of 2023 (July to September 2023) was US$ 21.0 billion, which was a one percent decline compared to US$ 21.2 billion in the similar quarter of 2022 Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire has underscored the significance of intra-EAC trade and collaboration among partner states in aggregating exports to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the European Union (EU). Bagiire said the “shared resources such as Lake Victoria, present abundant opportunities for export collaboration and aggregation.” The Permanent Secretary spoke on Thursday during high-level talks between Ugandan officials and the East African Business Council (EABC) in Arusha, Tanzania aimed at fortifying regional trade and economic cooperation. The discussions encompassed various areas, including the analysis of non-tariff barriers, private sector proposals to Joint Permanent Commission Meetings, statistics, the rollout of the AfCFTA strategy, and the role of peace in facilitating trade. Bagiire was accompanied by the Director of Regional Economic Cooperation, Amb. Richard Kabonero and Amb. Anne Katusiime Kageye, Head of the Uganda Consulate in Arusha at EABC headquarters in Arusha. The EAC Secretariat’s statistics show that the region’s total trade value with the rest of the world (ROW) in the 3rd quarter of 2023 (July to September 2023) was US$ 21.0 billion, which was a one percent decline compared to US$ 21.2 billion in the similar quarter of 2022 Four of the EAC Partner States...

AU reappoints Wamkele Mene as AfCFTA Secretary-General

The Authority of the Heads of State of the African Union (AU) has reappointed Wamkele Mene as Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for a second four-year term, the continental free trade body said Monday. The decision was endorsed during the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the AU ongoing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “At the last session of AU Summit, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union unanimously expressed their confidence in H.E. Mene Wamkele reappointing him for another four years as Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat,” according to the post on the secretariat’s official X (Twitter) handle AfCFTA Secretariat Official @AfCFTA. The South African was first elected to the position by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States & Government of the African Union in February 2020 with the responsibility to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the agreement among African states. His first term at the position saw 47 countries ratifying and depositing their instruments of ratification, and 46 schedules of tariff concessions representing 85 percent of AU member states received. The AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Mechanism has also become operational, and the AfCFTA Secretariat teamed up with the Afreximbank to launch the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS) to facilitate easy transactions on the continent. In addition, Rules of Origin have been negotiated with 88.3 percent high coverage, and national implementation of AfCFTA has commenced with 25...

Powering the One Africa Market through the digital financial inclusion of small traders

Every day, millions of African small traders embark on a journey across land borders, fraught with challenges, determined to put food on their tables, send their children to school, and secure a decent livelihood. These unsung heroes are the lifeline of Africa’s informal trade sector, accounting for 30% to 72% of trade in many African economies. Yet, their remarkable resilience and contributions often go unnoticed due to the cash-based nature of their transactions. In 2024, Africa is poised for a historic transformation as we accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This landmark agreement holds the promise of uniting diverse nations, spurring economic growth, and reducing dependence on external markets. However, amid this optimism, the plight of cross-border traders, many of whom are women and youth, have come into sharp focus. To truly understand the daily hardships faced by these traders, the AfCFTA, Smart Africa, and the Better Than Cash Alliance‘s Secretariats conducted visits to pivotal border locations. These interactions shed light on the challenges they confront and the untapped potential that lies within their grasp. Today, intra-African trade remains inaccurately measured and vulnerable to substantial financial losses due to its reliance on cash transactions. One critical hindrance to financial inclusion and digital trade is the lack of interoperability of digital payment systems, particularly for micro and small traders who dominate Africa’s economy, especially at land borders. Additionally, the recurring use of third currencies in cross-border trade payments places a significant burden on national foreign exchange...

USAID’s commitment towards increased grain production in East Africa

Grain production in East Africa has received a boost after the United States (US) Government offered a three-year grant worth US$2 million (Ksh324 million) to the East African Grain Council (EAGC), aiming to increase production in the region. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Economic Recovery and Reform Activity (ERRA) program delivered by the Trade Mark Africa (TMA) with funding from Feed the Future, the initiative aims at strengthening the competitiveness of export-oriented staple food value chains in East Africa. Through the five-year ERRA US$75 million (Ksh12, 150 million) program, USAID and TMA are driving transformative trade and investment reforms in the East and Horn of Africa to create jobs in the staple crops and textiles sectors, especially for women and youth. A core part of this effort is to increase the ability of grain producers to export both regionally and to the rest of the world. The grains sector has immense potential for food production and trade but has been hindered by low production rates, poor post-harvest management, and the devastating effects of climate change. Speaking during the signing ceremony held in Nairobi, TMA’s CEO, Mr David Beer, revealed that the strategic collaboration with EAGC and USAID will boost grain exports within the region. “This includes spearheading innovative strategies such as Grain Business Hubs. They will be operated by farmers who will leverage technology to improve grain quality and drive up trade,” Mr Beer said. The challenges around grain production contribute to low competitiveness in the...

Empowering Women in Trade: AfCFTA’s New Protocol Aims to Break Barriers in East and Southern Africa

Explore how the AfCFTA protocol, guided by Dr. Maxime Houinato, is breaking barriers and empowering women traders in East and Southern Africa through gender-responsive economic policies. In the bustling markets of East and Southern Africa, a revolution is quietly unfolding, spearheaded by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and championed by Dr. Maxime Houinato of UN Women. Amid the vibrant chaos of commerce, an innovative protocol emerges, designed to weave gender equality into the fabric of trade, promising an era of inclusivity and empowerment for women traders. Challenging the Status Quo For too long, women in trade have navigated a labyrinth of challenges, from the menace of violence in informal trade sectors to the persistent plague of income inequality. The AfCFTA, under the guidance of Dr. Houinato, is poised to dismantle these barriers. Inspired by the Beijing Platform for Action and the Maputo Protocol, the newly adopted protocol is not merely a policy document but a beacon of hope. It aims at ensuring fair wages, providing social safety nets, and removing barriers that hinder women's full participation in trade. Integrating Gender Equality into Economic Policies The importance of integrating principles of gender equality into the economic policies of the AfCFTA cannot be overstated. This approach not only supports the rights of women but also promotes sustainable development across the continent. By focusing on measures that support caregiving duties and bridge the income gap, the protocol aims for an equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth. The emphasis on gender-responsive...