Gabon’s WTO ambassador Marianne Odette Bibalou Bounda submitted her country’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 5 December. On 6 December the Kyrgyz Republic’s WTO ambassador Daniiar Mukashev submitted his country’s instrument of acceptance to DG Azevêdo.
Earlier, on 17 December 2014, Gabon submitted its Category A notification to the WTO outlining which substantive provisions of the TFA it intends to implement upon entry into force of the Agreement. The Kyrgyz Republic submitted its Category A notification to the WTO on 31 July 2014.
The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement.
In addition to Gabon and the Kyrgyz Republic, the following WTO members have also accepted the TFA: Hong Kong China, Singapore, the United States, Mauritius, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Niger, Belize, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, China, Liechtenstein, Lao PDR, New Zealand, Togo, Thailand, the European Union (on behalf of its 28 member states), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama, Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Viet Nam, Brunei, Ukraine, Zambia, Lesotho, Georgia, Seychelles, Jamaica, Mali, Cambodia, Paraguay, Turkey, Brazil, Macao China, the United Arab Emirates, Samoa, India, the Russian Federation, Montenegro, Albania, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Madagascar, the Republic of Moldova, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iceland, Chile, Swaziland, Dominica and Mongolia.
The TFA broke new ground for developing countries and LDCs in the way it will be implemented. For the first time in WTO history, the requirement to implement the Agreement was directly linked to the capacity of the country to do so. In addition, the Agreement states that assistance and support should be provided to help them achieve that capacity.
A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) was also created at the request of developing and least-developed country members to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to reap the full benefits of the TFA and to support the ultimate goal of full implementation of the new agreement by all members. Further information on TFAF is available at www.TFAFacility.org.
Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has the potential to increase global merchandise exports by up to $1 trillion per annum, according to the WTO’s flagship World Trade Report released on 26 October 2015. Significantly, the Report also found that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing more than half of the available gains.
Distributed by APO on behalf of World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has dismissed as outrageous insinuation by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) David Maynier, that it funded the Progressive Youth in Business to the tune of R200 000. With facts that were provided by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies in response to a parliamentary question that was raised by DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, it is evident and disappointing that the DA choose to mislead the public with regard to the beneficiary and the amount that was dispersed by the dti towards youth economic development efforts.
The department funded the Regoapele Capital Wealth to Engineering and not the Progressive Youth in Business as alleged by the DA. Such political opportunism do not serve the public interest and undermines youth empowerment economic efforts. The department wishes to reiterate as per the response provided by the Minister that it funded the Regoapele Capital Wealth Engineering to the tune of R100 000 and not R200 000 as alleged by the DA MP David Maynier.
The amount paid was for a Mobile based Application initiative that will serve as a platform to connect youth led initiatives with government departments, DFIs, JSE listed companies amongst others in providing access to information, technical and expert advice as well as improved access to incentives.
The remaining R100 000 will be used for other youth development strategic projects in line with the mandate of the department. The department remains committed to contribute towards youth development and empowerment in line with the National Development Programme.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
UNDP and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management are organizing a national validation workshop for the National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy at Dembesh Hotel. The workshop is a practical follow-up to the national high-level briefing on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Juba on Tuesday. The consultative workshop will be attended by officials from the states, national line ministries, and representatives from the Embassy of Japan and UNDP.
What: National Consultative Workshop on Disaster Risk Management Policy in the Republic of South Sudan
When: Wednesday December 7 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Where: Dembesh Hotel
For further information, please contact: Kymberly Bays, UNDP, email@example.com and +211 954 396 893.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
European experts will be arriving in Liberia this week to conduct a two-day training of Liberian fisheries inspectors and monitoring personnel. The capacity-building event will take place in Monrovia on 8-9 December.
Representatives of the European Commission (EC), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), the Spanish Fishing Monitoring Centre (FMC), the Liberian FMC and the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF) will participate in the training.
On the request of Liberia, the workshop will focus on remote tracking of tuna vessels. Participants will reinforce their knowledge of vessel monitoring tools such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).
The training has been organised in the framework of the five-year Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and protocol between the European Union and the Republic of Liberia, signed on 9 December last year.
Under this agreement, Spanish and French purse seiners and surface long-line vessels who pay the appropriate licence fees can fish for tuna and tuna-like species in Liberian waters.
In addition, the EU pays an annual compensation to Liberia, including money to support the Liberian fisheries policy. This includes measures to reinforce fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance, as a way to ensure sustainable fisheries in Liberian waters. This training further contributes to that goal.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia.
An exacting endeavour of the Central African Economic Community (ECCAS) member states – supported by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – has yielded fruits with the adoption by countries of the sub-region of model laws on telecommunications, cyber security and the regulatory framework to govern cross-border interconnection. Such is the outcome of a session of the meeting of Ministers of Posts and Telecommunications of the Economic Community of Central African (ECCAS) member States, which has just taken place in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
The adoption is the outcome of a long process (initiated in 2011) and of a request by Ministers in charge of Telecommunications and ICTs of ECCAS member states in 2010, requesting the statutory Council of ECCAS Ministers to submit for approval to the ECCAS Conference of Heads of state and government four policy documents, including one on harmonization of national policies and regulations and plans of action for development of ICTs in the Central Africa sub-region.
The ECCAS Secretary General was tasked to initiate forthwith and in cooperation with ECA and ITU, the drafting of model laws and regulations pertaining to (a) electronic transactions, (b) protection of personal data and (c) cyber security.
In a bid to provide technical assistance to the Secretariat General of ECCAS and CEMAC, the sub-regional Office of ECA for Central Africa, in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), co-organized a workshop on harmonization of the cyber-security legal framework for Central Africa in 2011 in Libreville, Gabon. This workshop culminated in draft model laws on the protection of personal data, electronic transactions and cybercrime control to be adopted by the statutory organs of both communities.
Subsequently, three sub-regional meetings on these preliminary draft laws were organized by the ECA in collaboration with ECCAS (2012, 2013 and 2014) to sufficiently mature the document for adoption by ECCAS Telecommunications/ICTs Ministers. Accordingly, it is in December 2016 that the Ministers of Posts and telecommunications of ECCAS member states adopted these laws and drafted a declaration dubbed ‘‘The Brazzaville Declaration’’.
This harmonized legal framework is an essential frame of reference propitious for the development of ICTs through a sound, transparent and robust regulation, but especially a tremendous catalyst for attracting investors and capital that would, inter alia, help the sub-region to successfully achieve digital transformation. It should also greatly contribute to bolster citizen’s confidence in using ICTs and electronic communication services on the one hand and, on the other hand, foster the development of a digital economy or other online transactions while ensuring protection for personal data.
One of the recommendations of the declaration urges the ECA to support the ECCAS Secretariat General in (i) developing a roaming frame of reference in the Central Africa sub-region and (ii) in establishing mechanisms for the monitoring and evaluation of the level of adaptation of legislative and regulatory frameworks.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
President Jacob Zuma has accepted the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers recommendations for the adjustment of Public Office Bearers annual remuneration for the 2016/2017 financial year.
The Commission recommended that there would be no adjustment (0 %) to the remuneration of following Public Office Bearers:
The Commission further recommended a four percent (4 %) cost-of-living adjustment to the remuneration of the Local government: Municipal Councillors and six percent (6 %) for all Magistrates and from full-time member of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) to Headmen/Headwomen as well as sitting allowance for all members of NHTL and PHTL.
Salaries and allowances of different categories of public office bearers are determined by the President, after taking into account, amongst others, the recommendation of the Commission.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.