Quick Guide to the private sector on the AfCFTA Rules of Origin.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) with the support of the European Union (EU) under the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme developed a quick guide to the private sector to assist with the practical implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement Annex 2 on Rules of Origin of the Protocol on Trade and its relevant appendices.

To download a copy, please click here.


Global shipping costs are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The Economist reported earlier that a wave of COVID-19 cases in China threatens to disrupt global supply chains once more.

A year ago, 109 container ships sat off the coast of California waiting for their turn to offload. 

One year later there are almost none. 

The easing of port traffic and the opening of other supply-chain bottlenecks have led to a collapse in freight rates from the all-time highs reached during the pandemic.

The cost of shipping a 40-foot container from China to America’s west coast is now $1,400, down 93% from its peak of $20,600 in September 2021, according to Freightos, an online freight marketplace. 

It is roughly equal to its value in February 2020, before the pandemic struck.

Costs along other major shipping routes are in retreat, too. 

That ought to be a relief for consumers. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that 40% of inflation between 2019 and 2021 was caused by supply shocks.

Supply chains have returned to normal thanks in part to a shift in consumer spending. 

Confined to their homes during the pandemic, people in the rich world splurged on televisions, furniture and appliances. 

But as covid cases started to fall, consumers began spending less on goods and more on services, such as dining out, travel and entertainment.

This shift has been especially pronounced in America. 

Spending on goods in America is down by 4.3%, in real terms, since March 2021, whereas spending on services is up by 8.6%. 

This has slowed port activity.

Some logistics firms, which scrambled to hire staff during the pandemic, are now cutting back. 

Freight forwarders are also aiming to reduce their headcounts. 

America’s warehousing and storage sector, which added more than half a million jobs since the start of the pandemic, has reduced staff by 65,900 since June.

This bodes well for inflation.

But a new report suggests that a recent surge in COVID-19 infections in China could disrupt supply chains again. 

The US Fed attribute this to China’s lifting of “zero-covid” restrictions, which led to a rise in infections and “worsening supply conditions”.


South Africa experienced 1 million births in 2021 and the most popular baby names were…

Lethabo (boys) and Melokuhle (girls).

… this is according to Statistics South Africa, that reported almost 1 million births occurred in 2021.

Naming of a new-born child plays a very important role in most cultures around the world. For instance, African baby names are given for reason, relevance and purpose. Similarly, South Africa is a country with many cultures and religions and this has a profound influence on baby naming. From the day (or time) a baby is born to the circumstances surrounding the birth, several factors influence the names parents choose for their children, for example, 

–                 Lethabo signifies joy and happiness, 

–                 Melokuhle represents good things, 

–                 Lubanzi signifies acceptance and

–                 Iminathi signifies standing with us (God is).

Popular baby forenames for males and females reflect positive hopes for the child, express beliefs and are inspired by positive connotations of both love and acceptance.

For both sexes, Dlamini was the most common baby surname in 2021, followed by Nkosi and Ndlovu.

Noteworthy from the data was the increasing number of teenage mothers in 2021.

A total of 45,257 births were from mothers aged younger than 17 years.

The highest proportion of births were registered in Gauteng (21%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (20%). 

Provinces with lower birth registrations in 2021 were Northern Cape at <3% and Free State at 5%.