BIZweek n°302 7 aoû 2020
BIZweek n°302 7 aoû 2020
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  • Parution : n°302 de 7 aoû 2020

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 8

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 1,7 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : comité SADC du ministère de la Justice.

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VENDREDI 07 AOÛT 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 302 On the occasion of the official opening of the virtual meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General, H.E. Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary, reminded the participants that Member States will need to comeup with ways of ensuring that the Committee discharges outstanding matters in line with the Action Plan of the Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General that was approved in July 2016. Since the last meeting in July 2019, various SADC Sectoral Committees were convened. This week’s meeting was held to, among others, consider resolutions from these Sectoral Committees that require legal inputs and clearance by the Committee. « Whereas, it is pleasing to note that a number of SADC Member States have made notable progressin the ratification and implementation of SADC Protocols and Legal Instruments, there is stilla need to move with speed in areas that are lagging behind », she said. The importance of ratifying and implementing approved SADC Protocols as enabling regional legal frameworks need not to be emphasized if the region is to fully achievethe desired level of regional integration. The SADC Board of Auditors, in its report to Council for the year ending 31 March 2019, shows that the region lags behind in signing and ratifying certain Protocols and legal instruments. The report further, indicates that, if the slow pace in Ratification of Protocols and other Instruments is unattended, it may delay the attainment of SADC objectives as stipulated in the SADC Treaty, or lead to non-attainment of the said objectives. LA TOUR SADC COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS OF JUSTICE/ATTORNEYS GENERAL « The region lags behind in signing and ratifying certain protocols and legal instruments » On the 3rd of August, the Committee of Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General was held virtually for the first time due to the extraordinary circumstances necessitated by the COVID-19. On the occasion, H.E. Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary, stated that although notable progress has been made by Member States in the ratification and implementation of SADC Protocols and Legal Instruments, there are certain areas where we lag behind In this meeting, the Committee was expected to deliberate on this very important matter, identify challenges if any, and provide guidance on how Member States can ratify SADC Protocols and other Legal Instruments within a reasonable time, with a view to ensuring that the SADC Regional Integration Agenda is not stifled. Furthermore, the SADC Heads of State and Government adopted a Protocol on Employment and Labour in 2014. This protocol was developed pursuant to the SADC Common Agenda to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic growth and contribute to poverty eradication in the region as articulated in Article 5 of the SADC Treaty. The Protocol specifically seeks to advance attainment of social justice and decent work by promoting the harmonization and setting of minimum labour standards in the SADC region, based on International Labour Standards. Notwithstanding the noble intentions of this Protocol, only a few Member States have signed the Protocol, with only one ratification. Recognising the slow pace of signing and ratification of the Protocol, the Committee of Ministers of Employment and Labour and Social Partners, at its meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in March 2020, deliberated over the matter, noted some difficulties and areas that may require further consultations, and approved the development of a new Protocol. The new protocol is expected to ensure that the Employment and Labour Sector operates within the parameters of a legally binding governance and institutional framework, and addresses the encountered difficulties. The Committee will receive a report and provide legal guidance on the matter. 4
VENDREDI 07 AOÛT 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 302 Unlocking Food Security Through Improved Seed Trade in COMESA The COVID-19 pandemic has brought issues of agriculture and food security to the fore as Africa largely depends on food and agriculture imports. Tralac (2017) suggests that Africa has remained a net food importer over the last two decades, with agricultural imports accounting for about 60% of Africa’s total trade in agricultural products. Furthermore, agricultural product imports account for around 13% of total imports. Notwithstanding, agriculture holds a very strategic position in the economies of most COMESA countries supporting food security, livelihoods, trade, rural economy and economic development. McKinsey (2019) suggests that than 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is smallholder farmers, and about 23% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture. In this regard, sustainable agriculture is an essential factor to advancing trade within COMESA and the rest of African. At the center of agriculture trade or food trade, lies issues of seed  : access to quality and affordable seeds and trade. McKinsey (2019) suggests that Africa has the capacity to produce two to three times more cereals and grains, horticulture crops and livestock, which could result in a 20% increase in global production. On 27th July 2020, COMESA Business Council (CBC) convened the webinar, ‘Unlocking Food Security Through Improved Seed Trade in COMESA’. Its focus was on facilitating a public-private consultative platformtowards agricultural transformation and improved agriculture trade within COMESA ; topics discussed included  : access to quality and affordable seed ; trade facilitation in the movement of seed across the borders during amidst COVID-19 ; measures to curb illicit trade in seed ; policy and regulatory frameworks to facilitate investment and increased seed production and trade ; and more. Recommendations I. Create simpler processes, to get permits in line and speedup the processes for clearance. Regulators need to lay down the process and speedup the process. II. There is need for one stop shop to provide relevant permits for the seed industry. Currently, some of the authorities are not at one place which in turn increase ACTA PUBLICA COMESA BUSINESS COUNCIL On 27th July 2020, CBC convened the webinar, « Unlocking Food Security Through Improved Seed Trade in COMESA ». The objective of this public-private consultative platformwas to discussissues of access to quality and affordable seed ; challenges in trade facilitation in the movement of seed across borders amidst COVID-19 ; causes, impact and measures to curb illicit seed trade in the region ; and more, towards agricultural transformation and improved agriculture trade within COMESA costs. III. In Zimbabwe, for products like maize, soya beans and wheat they have a robust supply chain and regulatory support on issues of counterfeit. Most of the seed in the market is genuine, there is peer review and the seed industry assist each other to monitor seeds in the market. IV. We need to strengthen the supply of the volumes of truly certified seeds marketed in the region, information sharing campaigns is key to sensitise farmers on quality seeds. V. Need to have harmonised information and data from within the Ministries of Agriculture and other agencies, to ensure that consolidated seed data is made available to informdecisions, investments and solve current challenges affecting the industry’s performance within regional trade. VI. There is a need to have strong inter-agency regulatory processes and information flows, in order to map out simpler clearances processes at domestic and transboundary trade facilitation. VII. There is need on the part of CBC to engage with the local seed companies and governments to strengthen the existing business environments, as this is what motivates companies to make investments in countries that they are operating in. VIII. Strengthen dialogue between different actors to in the seed sector is cardinal to sustainability of the industry. IX. Most countries are operating in countries that are not operating in COMESA, therefore not obliged to complying into COMESA regulations. However, they are aligned to ISTA or OECD regulations, it is important that COMESA will need to address these aspects of COMESA regulations aligning to ISTA regulations as alternative regulations to COMESA.X. There is need for strong penalty charges on curbing counterfeit seeds and this should be adopted at the COMESA level to be replicated across the region. XI. It is also pertinent that information sharing and sensitisation this can be done by regulators and the seed companies XII. There is need for climate of predictability, if a legislation or regulation is changing its supposed to be communicated in time so that companies are able to adjust accordingly. XIII. There is a need for harmonisation of legislation across the region, and a clear one stop process that supports the clearance of goods behind the border, just the same as it is done at the border. XIV. In Kenya and Tanzania, Bayer has introduced e-verification system, for every barcode that have been certified and sold it will carry a sticker and number. If the number is sent it will send verification. CBC should consider replicating this process across the region. XV. The issue of counterfeit seeds needs a collective approach to eradicate ; regulators, seed companies, governments, associations, so that solutions that are applied in one country, are applied across the region. XVI. The industry needs to work together to address the challenge of counterfeit trade through exchange of market information as an industry. There is need collaboration between various parties, government and agencies, seed companies, regional secretariats and associations, to address the issue of counterfeit products. XVII. This is need to strengthen market and trade information, increase penalty and fines towards counterfeiters, and strong punitive regulations to make it very costly to sell fake counterfeits in the region. XVIII. There is also an effort to comeup with COMESA Seed statistic information system, this is to address the challenge of lack of real time trade data on seeds. This is also affecting decision making process. XIX. COMESA is also working with member states to benchmark seed standards and regulations to International accepted standards. This needs involvement of both private and public sector. XX. The secretariat encourages private-public dialogue so that policies are well informedand also practical solutions can be identified. XXI. To address the challenges related to counterfeit, the COMESA secretariat can facilitate the dialogues between the actors along the seed value chain. They can work with the Governments to review and align their national seed laws to the regional one. Can also work with extension officers who are closer to farmers for them to be able to know and able to distinguish between fake and original seeds. 5

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