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Middle East – Africa


On November 26, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published a final rule amending the Syrian Sanctions Regulations (“Final Rule”). The Final Rule expands the existing general license at § 542.516 to authorize nongovernmental organizations to engage in certain assistance-related investment activities in support of not-for-profit activities in Syria.

On November 18, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (“EO”) 14054 which terminates US sanctions related to Burundi by revoking EO 13712 of November 22, 2015. EO 13712 imposed sanctions related to Burundi due to “the killing of and violence against civilians, unrest, the incitement of imminent violence, and significant political repression” occurring in Burundi at the time and designated several parties as Specially Designated Nationals.

Our Banking & Finance, Competition & Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trade partners in Johannesburg outline ten reasons to turn your attention to African trade and investment opportunities in the coming year. Some of these reasons include the rise in commodity prices, shifting patterns and alternative financing, digitization and competition law and enforcement.

The growth in demand for online retail services has led to extensive disruption in the Consumer Goods and Retail (CG&R) sector in Africa. Africa-based CG&R businesses have been adapting their digital operating models to keep up with demand, and multinational e-commerce organisations operating in the region are recording rapid growth. However, this digital expansion in the CG&R sector has numerous tax implications, both locally and regionally.

Trade under the African Continental Free Trade area is now underway and 36 countries, and counting, have ratified the agreement. Countries including South Africa and Ghana are early beneficiaries of the agreement due in part to their existing customs infrastructure. The agreement has many benefits and is expected to drastically boost the continent’s post-pandemic recovery, but there are still many challenges to overcome.

In brief A new Rwanda Ministerial Order published in the gazette in December 2020, replacing the country’s transfer pricing framework with more comprehensive rules for different types of domestic and cross-border transactions. For the most part, this Order is consistent with prevailing transfer pricing principles, closely tracking the OECD Transfer…