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  • Author: Egoh Aziz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has caused waves of horror and anxiety across many nations in the world. Considering the intense unravelling of the pandemic, no exact figure as per the number of confirmed and death cases worldwide is definite because the situation changes almost every hour. However, on April 14, 2020 3:40 GMT, Worldometer reported 210 countries and territories across the globe having a total of 1,925,179 confirmed cases, and a dead toll of 119,699 deaths. The impact of the pandemic is disastrous globally affecting a variety of sectors including the service and supply chain, as well as trade, manufacturing, and tourism. This article aims to provide a synoptic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on Sino-African trade activities. It stresses that, if African policymakers revamp their efforts to quickly address COVID-19, the human casualty will be less and African economic growth may experience lesser shock as previewed by the IMF. On the other hand, if they relent their efforts, the human casualty will soar while the growth rate may decline. The effect of COVID-19’s outbreak in China has caused a slowdown on exports and services directed towards China.According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, in 2018, China’s total import and export volume with Africa was US$204.19 billion, a yearly increase of 19.7%, surpassing the total growth rate of foreign trade in the same period by 7.1 percentage points. Among these, China’s exports to Africa were US$104.91 billion, up 10.8% and China’s imports from Africa were US$99.28 billion, up 30.8%; the surplus was US$5.63 billion, down 70.0% every year. The growth rate of Sino African trade was the highest in the world in 2018. This shows that Sino-African trade has a significant contribution to the growth of African economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Trade, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Kagame
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Perspectives on African Integration, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Security, Development, International Trade and Finance, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, New York, Rwanda, East Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: Chinese investment is flowing fast into Uganda, and spreading into the agriculture and forestry sectors. The government needs to keep pace with these developments so the benefits can be shared by Ugandans. A new analysis shows that, while the jobs and new businesses created are well received, the working conditions and environmental practices of Chinese companies are often poor. Many people evicted from their land to make way for new projects have not been compensated. To hold Chinese companies to account, government agencies, with support from NGOs, must share information about these investments and introduce stronger regulation — in particular to uphold community rights. In turn, Chinese companies must be more transparent, responsible and legally compliant. With a proactive and accountable strategy for Chinese investment management, Uganda could make major gains for sustainable development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Business , Accountability, Investment, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, China
  • Author: Eme Dada
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The objective of this policy brief is to inform the Ministers of Trade and Investment of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) countries about the importance of the linkage between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade for developing countries. FDI is considered an important means of promoting export of the host countries. This is true of inward FDI, which comes for efficiency reasons. Conversely, there is concern that large flows of outward FDI results in a decline in the host country’s exports and loss of jobs. This in turn assumes that the exports of the source country will fall as FDI substitutes for trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Gambia
  • Author: Cobus van Staden
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Several ambitious schemes have been proposed to link Africa’s east and west coasts, some of which are closer to full realization than others. Most notable in this respect is a plan to expand the existing Trans-African Highway 5 (TAH5) into a true cross-continental road and rail link, the early stages of which China has helped bring to fruition where Western consortiums failed. Likewise, Chinese investment in African infrastructure through Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may help create expanded sub-regional linkages, particularly in East Africa, that could help facilitate the emergence of an eventual, true East-West link in the long term. However, in the short-to-mid-term, the obstacles to a truly robust set of East-West transport links are formidable, and it is unlikely that China’s involvement will be a panacea.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Adam Frost, David J. Bercuson, Stephen Blank, Monica Gattinger, Sarah Goldfeder, Colin Robertson, Hugh Stephens, Laura Dawson, Randolph Mank, Ferry de Kerckhove, Colin Robertson, Andrew Caddell, Robert Hage, David Perry, Kelly Ogle
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: During the 1947 Duncan & John Gray Memorial Lecture then-minister of external affairs, Louis St. Laurent, outlined guiding principles for Canada’s engagement with the world. In his address, he recognized that Canada could not maintain the standard of living Canadians had come to enjoy in isolation from the rest of the world. He said, “[we] are dependent on markets abroad for the large quantities of staple products we produce and cannot consume, and we are dependent on supplies from abroad of commodities which are essential to our well-being.” This irrefutably remains true today. Canada’s ability to utilize its vast wealth of resources has afforded it the opportunity to become one of the most affluent and developed nations in the world, making the preservation of such ability of vital national interest. However, trade in the 21st century is more complex than ever before. Technology allows for transactions between parties scattered across the globe to occur near instantaneously, and complicates the tracking and classification of many goods and services. Moreover, global political developments and economic transformation are threatening the liberal world order built and protected by the United States since the Second World War. China’s emergence as an economic juggernaut is shifting the global economic centre of gravity. Furthermore, reactionary domestic political forces within much of the western liberal democratic world, including the United States, question the value of continued support for the status quo. Tectonic change is afoot. In response, Canada is charting its path to navigate the challenges of 21st century global trade. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is pursuing a progressive trade agenda as it seeks to modernize existing agreements, implement newly minted agreements, and explore potential future opportunities. The lead package of this issue examines a multiplex of challenges and opportunities presented to those currently crafting Canadian trade policy. Geographically, it spans not only the management of relations with the United States and NAFTA renegotiation, but also the geopolitical considerations of bolstered engagement with Asia and the underappreciated opportunities present in Africa and South America. In addition to "with whom", this package also addresses the "how and why" of trade: the difficulty of adapting trade practices to the digital age and the costs, benefits and limitations of projecting Canadian values via trade relations. In computer simulated and professional chess matches white consistently wins more often than not. The lack of first-mover advantage is a formidable deficit to overcome. Those who are not leading, are fated to play catch-up. The challenges facing Canada’s policy-makers responsible for protecting and advancing our national interest via trade are legion. To optimally address these challenges, Canada is best served by being proactive at the forefront of negotiations. The benefits of cultivating a proactive posture are enticing, and the costs for failing to do so are avoidable. Canada must adapt to the dynamism of the global economic order, or fight to catch-up.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Internet, NAFTA, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, Canada, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Pamela Anne Bayona, Vincent Martin Beyer, Olayinka Oladeji
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Trade-Restrictive Measures (TRM) are an area of huge concern to importers and exporters in African Union Least Developed Countries (AU LDCs) located in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report identifies and analyses discriminatory government policies that adversely affect AU LDCs over the period 2009 to 2017 by using the Global Trade Alert database, a database that collects information on trade-discriminatory measures implemented by countries worldwide. The research by the students shows that the most frequently encountered TRM types are import tariff measures, tax-based export incentives, trade finance measures, public procurement localisation and export taxes. However, the Global Trade Alert excludes Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures that are formally justifiable as serving public interests, but are typically the most commonly cited as the biggest obstacles to trade. The report also provides policy recommendations and negotiation positions to the AU LDC Countries to move from a defensive trade agenda to an offensive one.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Developing World, Global Political Economy, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, African Union
  • Author: B.I.B. Kargbo
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The Sierra Leone economy is a net importer with a chronic negative balance of trade. Imports as a percentage of GDP averaged 40.8% between 2001 and 2010. Imports of food, mineral fuels and lubricants accounted for 50.8% of the total value of imports within the same period. Also, the value of the leone depreciated from Le 920.75 in 1996 to Le 4,000 in 2010 while inflation averaged 12.6% for the same period. As a result of the interplay of these forces, fuel prices are most times adjusted upwards to compensate for the depreciation of the leone against the dollar or to match up with increases in the world price of crude oil. This study determines the effects of monetary environment as well as exchange rate movement and petroleum prices on domestic prices in Sierra Leone by estimating a hybrid model of inflation in which inflation responds to its own lags, lags of other variables, and a set of error-correction terms that represent short run disequilibria from the money market, external sector and output that feed into the inflation process.The empirical results from the parsimonious model show that petroleum product prices and exchange rate, as well as monetary factors determine inflation in Sierra Leone.What is also significant from the findings is that the contribution of petroleum prices to domestic price formation is unfounded in the long run, meaning that it is only a short-run phenomenon. The results also support the view that a fair portion of fluctuations in domestic prices is driven by its own shocks.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Odongo Kodongo, Kalu Ojah
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: In this paper, we sought to establish whether Africa’s volatile currencies drive equity risk premium. We use the stochastic discount factor (SDF) framework to estimate various conditional specifications of the International Capital Asset Pricing Model through generalized method of moments technique. Our results show strong evidence of conditional, time-varying currency risk premium in equity returns. Currency risk is also perceived by international investors as important in informing the equities pricing kernel. We also find evidence that international investors are worried about Africa’s small size equity markets and build anticipated low trading into their pricing calculus.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy, Economic growth, Capital Flows, Currency, Profit
  • Political Geography: Africa