Snapshot on African Economy as @ 050321


Friday, February 05, 2021/ 04:00PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: How We Made it  in Africa


Anglophone West Africa


  • In its bid to deepen financial services offerings, Ghana's central bank has launched a regulatory and innovation sandbox, focusing on projects building on blockchain technology. The sandbox is in line with the bank's pledge to drive financial inclusion through innovative digital financial services. It will be available to banks, payment service providers and deposit-taking institutions. 


  • Ghana and the United Kingdom have signed a trade agreement worth $1.6bn. The deal will allow duty-free and quota-free access for Ghana to the UK market and preferential tariff reductions for UK exporters to the Ghanaian market.


  • Stanbic and Markit Economics released the purchasing manager's index for Ghana's private sector; PMI rose to 52.5 in February from 51.2 in January.


The Gambia received its first shipment of 36,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.


  • Shell Nigeria, in a statement released in the past week, indicated its commitment to the natural gas development initiative, pointing out its investments in four (4) of the FGN's seven (7) critical gas development projects.

  • OPEC has called on members of its Declaration of Cooperation (DOC) deal to remain disciplined with their production to ensure full oil price recovery as the global economy continues to rebound from the COVID19 pandemic

  • OPEC+ ministers met on Thursday (4/03/2021) to discuss output quotas going into the month.

  • Major Nigerian telco operator MTNN released its FY-2020 earnings in the past week, Results showed topline grew by 15%, whilst profit after tax increased marginally by 1%.

  • Listed oil and gas operators s Ardova PLC and Seplat PLC also released their Audited FY-2020 results in the past week. Ardova PLC reported a 3.1% growth in revenue; however, it reported a 52.6% drop in profit after tax. Seplat reported a 10.8% dip in revenue and a 131% drop in PAT (in Naira terms).

  • The governor of Nigeria's Apex bank has debunked reports that Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) will be barred from participating in Open Market Operations (OMO) auctions, noting that the OMO market remains critical to the stability of the currency market.

  • The Federal government of Nigeria announced that it is concluding negotiations with China's Exim bank on the financing of some rail projects. Including the Katsina-Maradi line and the Ibadan- Kano rail line.

Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

Ivory Coast

  • The Ivory Coast is heading for another major election, four (4) months after its presidential elections, which were marred by violence. The upcoming parliamentary elections offer its other two major oppositions parties, the Ivorian Popular front and the Democratic Party of Ivory.

  • Coast, both led by the former presidents, to gain some ground in a National Assembly dominated by the ruling party, Houphoetist Rally for Democracy and Peace.

  • Ivorian transport startup Moja ride has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Japanese investor, Toyota Tshusho corporation and its group company CFAO SAS (CFAO).


  • Clashes erupted in Senegal in the last week after the leader of an opposition party, the Pastef, Ousmane Sonk, was arrested on his way to court.

  • Amid protests and distress, Senegal also received 340,000 Covid-19 vaccines from the UN-backed COVAX facility.

East Africa


  • The Tanzanian shilling weakened against the US dollar in January and depreciating by 0.02% to an average of TSh2,298.40/$.

  •  This downward pressure was likely driven by a decline in dollar inflows.

  • Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB) received Sh17.0bn in strategic investments from the National Bank of Malawi (NBM) in a merger that was concluded last month.


  • The first batch (1.02million doses) of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines has arrived in Kenya via the global COVAX facility, kick-starting the country's vaccination campaign.

  • Kenya consumer price inflation ticked higher to 5.8% y/y in February, up 0.1bps from January, as transport prices rose due to higher domestic pump prices.

  • National carrier, Kenya Airways announced plans to resume direct flights from Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Charles De Gaulle (CDG), France. The direct flights are set to restart from 17th March 2021.


  • Rwanda received her first Covid-19 shots on Wednesday, March 3, from the World Health Organization's (WHO) global vaccine sharing scheme, COVAX. A total of 240,000 doses alongside 102,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the COVAX facility.

  • The Tony Elumelu Foundation is set to fund Rwandan startups with a total of $100.0mn.

  • The fund aims at addressing the unique challenges arising from the pandemic, lift millions out of poverty and create sustainable employment across the continent .


Southern Africa

South Africa

  • In the last week, public sector unions met with the South African government to begin wage increase negotiations and requested a wage growth of increases in CPI + 4%. Recall that the South African government had earlier maintained that it would retain the wage freeze it announced in 2020 as part of its 2021 budget plans.


  • Total new vehicle sales fell by 13.3% y/y to 37,521 units in February 2021, compared to 43,296 units in February 2020. On the other hand, vehicle exports decreased by 8.0% y/y during the same period. The domestic vehicle industry is expected to take some time before recovering to prepandemic levels.


  • The ABSA Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 53.0 index points in February from 50.9 index points recorded in January indicating a sustained recovery in manufacturing activity.


  • South Africa recorded its 9th consecutive trade surplus in January albeit narrower than the surplus recorded in December as imports rose 4.2% m/ m while exports fell 13.6% m/m.



Inflation rose for the 6th consecutive month to reach new multi-year highs as February inflation printed at 22.2%. However, improved output during the March/April season is expected to reduce pressure on food prices and consequently reduce inflationary pressures in March/April.



  • Business and labour representatives in Zimbabwe have clashed over attempts by labour unions to set a national minimum wage in a bid to cushion workers whose concerns may not be addressed through their respective National Employment Councils (NECs). The NECs are fighting back on the front that setting a minimum wage limits their ability to negotiate.

  • Zimbabwe's Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned from his office after allegations of sexual misconducts rocked the media.

  • The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has announced that the recent pause in maize importation should save the country some $14.0m amidst expectations of a bumper harvest this year.


  • Angola received 624,000 doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine from the COVAX initiative.

  • Regulatory authorities in the country also approved the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

  • According to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Angola plans to boost diamond mining and set up a new mine in the eastern region.

  • The country aims to produce 5.7mn carats at the new mine in 2023, (more than half of last year's total output).

  • Angola's gross foreign reserves grew on the back of increased FX flows due to external financing programs and stronger crude oil prices.

Central Africa (CEMAC & Congo DRC)


  • In Jan-2021 - Feb-2021, Cameroon's customs administration collected XAF119.0bn in customs revenues, up 30.5% y/y from XAF91.5bn in Jan2020 - Feb-2020. The increase in revenue was attributed to the country's diversification efforts in recent years.

  • Cameroon has completed its first bond issuance for 2021 on the CEMAC securities market. According to the regional central bank, BEAC, investor demand was strong as the issue was 1.4x oversubscribed (XAF72.3bn against the XAF50.0bn on offer by the Cameroonian Treasury). The country plans two new issuances for Mar-2021.

Congo DRC

  • Democratic Republic of Congo received over 1.7million Covid-19 vaccine shots on Tuesday via the COVAX initiative.

  • The country also elected Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, a supporter of the president, Felix Tshisekedi, as the next President of the Senate.

  • There is a renewed Ebola outbreak in the DRC, vaccination efforts in the DRC are underway.

  • The DRC plans to launch tenders for 19 oil blocks, aiming to use the revenues from the operation to finance development projects in the country

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 Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

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