“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

Africa could see income rise by $ 450 billion for continental free trade agreement

The report further indicates that obtaining such results will be particularly important given the economic consequences of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which is expected to cause production losses of up to $ 79 billion in Africa in 2020. La pandemic has already caused major disruptions in trade on the continent, especially for essential goods such as medical supplies and food.

Africa could see income rise by $ 450 billion for continental free trade agreement

Measures to reduce bureaucratic brakes and simplify customs procedures within the AfCFTA are expected to account for most of the increase in revenues. The liberalization of tariffs, along with the reduction of non-tariff barriers such as quotas and rules of origin, would increase revenues by 2.4%, or about $ 153 billion. The remaining $ 292 billion would come from trade facilitation measures that cut red tape, lower compliance costs for trading companies and facilitate the integration of African businesses into global supply chains.

The successful implementation of the AfCFTA would help cushion the negative effects of the coronavirus on economic growth, supporting regional trade and value chains through reducing the cost of trade. In the longer term, the continental accord would open up opportunities for African countries for integration and pro-growth reforms. By replacing the patchwork of regional agreements, streamlining border procedures, and prioritizing trade reforms, the AfCFTA could help African countries build their resilience to future economic shocks.

"The African Continental Free Trade Area has the capacity to increase employment opportunities and income, which helps broaden the prospects of all Africans," said Albert Zeufack, the World Bank's chief economist for the Africa. It is expected to lift around 68 million people out of moderate poverty and make African countries more competitive. Nonetheless, successful implementation will be paramount, and in particular, careful monitoring of its effects on all workers - women and men, skilled and unskilled - in all countries and sectors in order to ensure that the agreement fully bears its fruits. "

The report also states that the AfCFTA could help reorganize the region's markets and economies, leading to the creation of new industries and the expansion of key sectors. Overall economic gains would be variable, with the largest benefiting countries that currently bear high trade costs. Thus, the Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe, where trade costs are among the highest in the region, would record the most favorable results with a 14% increase in income in each country. The AfCFTA would also significantly boost African trade, especially intraregional trade in the manufacturing sector. Intracontinental exports would increase by 81%, while the increase to non-African countries would be 19%.

Implementation of the agreement would also result in larger pay hikes for women than men by 2035, with increases of 10.5% and 9.9% respectively. It would also increase the wages of unskilled workers by 10.3% and those of skilled workers by 9.8%.

The publication of this report aims to help African countries implement policies that can maximize the potential benefits of the agreement while minimizing the risks. Creating a continent-wide market will require proactive action to reduce all trade costs. This will require the adoption of laws that allow goods, capital and information to flow freely and easily across borders. Successful countries will be able to attract foreign investment and stimulate competition, which can increase the productivity and innovation of domestic firms. Finally, governments will also need to prepare their workforces to take advantage of new opportunities through further reforms designed to reduce the costs of career change.

The World Bank Group, one of the primary sources of finance and knowledge for developing economies, is taking swift and far-reaching action to help these countries step up their response to the pandemic. We are committed to supporting public health interventions and ensuring the flow of essential medical supplies while supporting the private sector to allow businesses to continue operating and maintain jobs. We plan to provide up to $ 160 billion in funding over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses and help turn the economy around. This includes $ 50 billion in new grants and highly concessional credits provided by IDA.