Nigeria, Major World Economies Consolidate Progress on Trade and Investment Facilitation

Nigeria, Brazil, China, the European Union (EU) and a host of other leading economic powers today, made tremendous progress on Investment Facilitation Initiative for Development, in Marrakech, Morocco, during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Mini-Ministerial meeting.

In a breakthrough for Nigeria, the group of WTO Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD) pledged support for the success of the High-Level Investment Forum taking place in Abuja on the 3rd and 4th of November, co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment ( and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Commission in partnership with FIFD.

Investment Facilitation for Development is an initiative by some WTO members including Nigeria as a core member to constructively and progressively drive trade and investment with concrete deliverables in mind.

This WTO Investment Coalition is made of Nigeria, Argentina, China, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada and the European Union.

A draft declaration is being negotiated for finalization at the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the deliverables for the Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ministerial Conference in December.

The Objectives of the Investment Coalition are:

  1. Place investment facilitation as a priority for the WTO Ministerial MC11 in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
  2. Achieve coherence between the trade and investment policy communities and position the WTO to be more pro-development with actual deliverables for its members.
  3. Seek active investment opportunities in their countries.

“Nigeria is part of this coalition because we see investment and trade facilitation as a positive and pro-development agenda, and ensure that the WTO is better responsive to domestic economic priorities,” said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr. Okechukwu

“This Investment Facilitation Initiative is potentially significant to position WTO better to respond to the investment needs of developing countries, in general and African countries in particular,” he added.

In his remarks, the Director General/Chief Negotiator of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe expressed delight at the progress made so far, saying: “This is for economic growth and recovery, creation of employment opportunities and connection to global value chains.”

The Abuja event titled “High-Level Forum on Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development” is expected to bring together African Investment and Trade decision makers as well private sector representatives to share perspectives on leveraging trade and investment opportunities on the continent. It seeks to connect actual investors within and outside the continent with African policy makers in order to produce concrete outcomes.

At the concluding session of the WTO Ministerial in Marrakech, Edward Yau, Hong Kong China Trade and Industry Secretary, in reporting to the Ministerial Meeting, invited the WTO to ensure the success of the Abuja event on trade and investment facilitation.

Constance C. Ikokwu
Strategy and Communications Adviser to Minister

Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Nigeria.

Source:: Nigeria, Major World Economies Consolidate Progress on Trade and Investment Facilitation


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Minister Xasa to Launch the Gauteng Tourism Monitors

The Department of Tourism in partnership with Gauteng Tourism Authority will launch the Tourism Monitors Programme in Soweto on Tuesday 17 October 2017. The launch will be preceded by a Ministerial Walkabout of the Vilakazi Precinct, and followed by a Community Imbizo at Uncle Tom’s hall.

The Gauteng Tourism Monitors programme aims to enhance the visitor experience as well as improve the safety of tourists. The programme will create employment for 200 unemployed youth, aged 18 to 35 years who will be trained, mentored and placed as monitors at tourism destination for a 36-month period. Each participant will receive a stipend and uniform in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme.

Recruitment started in June 2017 for youth with a matric, good communication skills, ability to speak English and two African Languages, prepared to work shifts; and with no criminal record. All recruited Tourism Monitors will be placed mostly in areas in which they reside. The placement areas are as follows:

  • Sedibeng – 35 monitors
  • Johannesburg area (Vilakazi Street, Carlton Centre, Park Station and Red Bus) – 60 monitors and an additional 40 monitors which will be paid for by Johannesburg.
  • Ekurhuleni – 35 monitors of which 10 will be place at the OR Tambo International Airport.
  • Tshwane – 35 monitors
  • West Rand – 35 monitors

Members of the media are invited to attend as follows:
Part One: Walkabout
Date: 17 September 2017
Time: 09:15 – 10:15
Venue: Vilakazi Precinct visiting: The Shack; Mandela House; Soweto Snake Show; Fly SA Wise; and Wired Art

Part Two: Tourism Monitors Launch and Community Imbizo
Date: 17 October 2017
Time: 11:30 to 14:30
Venue: Uncle Tom’s Community Hall, in Soweto

Kindly confirm your attendance by no later than 12 October 2017 to:
Ms. Lerato Mogorosi
Tel: 012 444 6620
Cell: 0835452411

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Africa’s Gender and Development Report nears completion

The African Centre for Gender is holding an expert group meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to finalize a Regional Report of the African Gender and Development (AGDI).

The two-day meeting began Monday, bringing together some 40 participants. They will provide recommendations that will help the Centre, which leads the work on gender and development within the Economic Commission for Africa, to finalize the report.

Participants include principal secretaries in the ministries overseeing gender affairs and representatives from national statistics offices of Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe from Phase III of the Regional Report, and Chad, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, Mauritania, São Tomé ePrincipe from Phase IV of the Regional Report. Others are statisticians and experts in the areas of focus of the Index.

“When ready, the report will provide member States with actionable data and information with which to improve policy planning, control and decision-making on gender equality and women’s advancement,” Thokozile Ruzvidzo, the Social Development Policy Division Director, said Monday.

Policy makers and gender activists will be better able to understand the issues obstructing implementation of the recommendations contained in national African Gender and Development reports, she added.

These reports are in the regional document to be finalized at the meeting. The final document will thrust the African Centre for Gender into a stronger position to mainstream gender more effectively into policies and programmes undertaken by member States toward achieving Agenda 2030.

The Centre’s programmes and knowledge products highlight the value in using gender responsive statistics in deciding national policy priorities. In this respect, the Centre’s Continent-Wide Initiative for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment aims to produce accurate statistics and policy research, including the consolidation of the African Gender and Development Index.

The Economic Commission for Africa introduced the Index in 2004. It measures the gap in the status of African men and women. It also assesses the progress African governments have made in applying policies for the equality of women and girls in society. This, then, buttresses Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which call for gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Despite the advances of African women since the independence era of the 1960s, male-centric cultural, social, economic and political attitudes still stifle women’s advancement. Gender statistics are highly needed in the planning and implementation of policies, programmes and projects and also required to monitor and evaluate policies, programmes and projects, and to provide the evidence base for research. Additionally, statisticians will be able to institutionalize the collection, analysis, management and dissemination of such data within national statistical systems.

So far, 41 countries to have undertaken the national Gender Development Index studies; South Africa has undertaken the process twice.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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Hong Kong bans import of poultry meat and products from Matjhabeng Local Municipality, South Africa

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (October 10) that in view of a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in Matjhabeng Local Municipality, South Africa, it has banned the import of poultry meat and products (including poultry eggs) from the area with immediate effect to protect public health in Hong Kong.

A CFS spokesman said that no poultry meat or poultry eggs were imported from South Africa in the first six months of this year.

“The CFS has contacted the South African authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the OIE on avian influenza outbreaks. Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation,” the spokesman said.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

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Source:: Hong Kong bans import of poultry meat and products from Matjhabeng Local Municipality, South Africa


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