Pan African mobile provider, Celtel International, is set to relocate its regional office from the Netherlands to Kenya. The move serves as a major boost to the East African region as it points to its growing potential to attract serious foreign capital besides endorsing it as an excellent destination for direct investment and good logistical network. The relocation of the continental headquarters is also bound to herald even better fortunes for the East African states, thanks to its proximity that would support local operations by offering a number of synergies.
Malaysia’s Trade with SA Increases
Malaysia's total trade with South Africa has increased to US$447.4 million during the January to May 2007 period, up by 14.9 percent from US$368.1 million in the same period last year. Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, in providing the figures, said South Africa had become Malaysia's largest trading partner in the African region. "Total trade with South Africa last year was valued at US$1.1 billion, an increase of 27.8 percent from 2005," he said at a seminar on "Malaysia-South Africa Business Opportunities" in Cape Town.
Africa and EU Negotiate New Trade Deals
African countries and the European Union are going 50-50 in negotiations for a new trade deal between the two blocs, a senior trade negotiator with the Kenyan government said recently. According to David Nalo, Kenya’s Trade Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Europe did not pushed the 31 December 2007 deadline on Africa. It is part of the Cotonou agreement that all parties agreed to and signed The Cotonou Agreement in June 2000 between the EU and a group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP). It was signed in Cotonou (Benin) by 79 ACP countries and the then 15 EU states.
Sierra Leone Holds Peaceful Elections
The European Union Election Observation Mission has so far concluded that the 11 August 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone have been generally well administered, peaceful and competitive. If this commitment to the election process continues, it will mark a significant and positive development in Sierra Leone’s progress towards the consolidation of democracy and peace.
For the first time in the country’s post civil war history national institutions have been solely responsible for preparing elections across the country.
Mozambique President Supports Private Sector
According to the Mozambique President, Armando Guebuza, the private sector enterprise and investment will spur Mozambique’s economy. “While debt relief helped spur Mozambique’s growth, we realize that its long-term sustainability will result primarily from the true engine of economic growth: private sector enterprise and investment,” he observed ahead of the SADC meeting. He said it was not by coincidence that they have embarked on a number of aggressive reforms to stimulate the growth of private sector activity. Besides overhauling the financial sector and holding government spending leading to a significant drop in inflation from 70 percent in 1994 to 9.4 percent in 2006, Mozambique has privatized more than 1,200 state-owned enterprises and has encouraged private sector participation in infrastructure. “We have also liberalized trade by reducing customs duties and streamlined customs administration and our trade imbalance is improving as exports multiply,” he added.
Compiled by Anne Mugoya
Inter Region Economic Network
Comment on this article!