DHL Express invests in light of increased African security measures
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With the rise of global terrorist activities, issues regarding security and public safety have come under increasing public scrutiny; companies that transport goods and personnel internationally have been at the forefront of adapting to this troubling global trend.
A report from the University of South Africa, titled ‘Africa and International Trade: Challenges and Opportunities’ notes that whilst SSA has a population of over 800 million, (over 12 percent of the world population) its economic activity is miniscule, contributing only 1.7 per cent to total world production. These facts make the implications of international security all the more pressing for the sub-continent and it is clear that a careful balance must be achieved.
Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) spoke recently about these trends and explained how his company is working to mitigate risk.
He gave his comments in light of the recent announcement that Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti would be joining the list of ‘red’ countries that require strict security measures imposed on goods transported across their borders.
African countries currently classified as ‘red’ countries include Niger, Nigeria, Mali, and Somalia.
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Countries are classified according to their security risks, and are regarded as either red, white or green. The classification determines the level of security measures required of a country, and includes restrictions on items that can be transported, as well as screening levels packages need to be subjected to before being cleared for transportation to the EU and US.
A red country is considered high risk due to potential national security concerns. Similarly, a white country is considered to have a certain level of risk, but not as high a security risk as a red country whereas green countries have very minimal risks.
Facey said that the nature of security is changing, and that society needs to be aware of the potential implications. He said, “The business-to-consumer market in SA is growing with the emergence of e-commerce and the increased demand for consumer goods. The rise of the SME has also resulted in greater variety and accessibility to new and competing products. Goods are now just a click away, and can be sourced and ordered from anywhere in the world.”
He explained that global security breaches, including terrorist threats and the trade in illegal substances, have resulted in the global transportation of goods being subjected to a number of security regulations. “In order to trade with the EU and US, red countries have to comply with set regulations and conditions. There are certain challenges in select red African countries. For example, in Nigeria, a certain airline will be compliant with the regulations, but the country’s airport is not – which results in a package needing to be redirected so that it can undergo the required security tests and authorisation.”
As part of its plan to meet these challenges head on and to assist Africa’s continued international trade, DHL Express has invested over €3 million over the last two years to improve security processes in certain SSA countries.
Facey said that while the regulations should not hamper trade between certain red countries and the rest of the world, consumers and businesses need to be aware of them and understand that certain items may be subject to more stringent checks than others.
DHL leads the international logistics industry and is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, which in 2014 generated over €56 billion in revenues. With more than 320,000 employees in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, they connect people, businesses, and markets, facilitating trade through a thoroughly networked logistics network.
By Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.
Edited by Nye Longman, Editor, African Business Review
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”