Snapshot on African Economy as @ 300421


Friday, April 30, 2021/ 03:50PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Brookings Institution

Anglophone West Africa


  • According to the Bank of Ghana, total banking sector assets at the end of Feb-2021 grew by 18.5% y/y to GHC152.0bn, higher than the 17.8% growth recorded in Feb-2020.
  • In addition, the report stated that elevated credit risk caused by the pandemic coupled with slowdown in credit demand forced banks to invest more in less risky government instruments. Consequently, Investment securities jumped 45.9% y/y in 2020 compared to 7.2% the prior year. On the other hand, Gross loans and advances grew at a subdued rate of 3.6% y/y in 2020 compared to 26.0% y/y growth in 2019.
  • Amid rapid rate of digitalization, MTN Ghana has announced a capex commitment of $149.0m to meet the demand of digital services as well as maintain the quality and availability of service for internet and mobile money users.
  • Relatedly, the company also reported that its 4G population coverage printed at 76.1% at the end of Q1-2021.  


  • The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) confirmed that another tariff review for Nigeria's 11 power distribution companies would hold in July. The commission explained that the extraordinary tariff review was because of changes in inflation, foreign exchange, gas prices, available generation capacity and capital expenditure.
  • The NNPC reiterated that the price of petrol is not going to be adjusted higher despite the fluctuations in global crude oil prices until the Federal Government, labour and other stakeholders agree on pricing issues. However, this is coming at a cost to government revenues as NNPC in a statement said it may have zero contribution to FAAC distributions in April and May.
  • Relatedly, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), with whom the Nigerian government has been stuck in negotiations with over increase in petrol price and electricity tariffs has publicly declared it has no need to meet with the FG after the congress had earlier stated the conditions on which the price increases may happen. Included in one of the conditions is that Nigerian refineries must be up working again to reduce dependence on imported petrol.
  • The Debt Management Office (DMO) held talks with the 36 states on a legal framework that would guide debt management operations at the sub-national level. The debt framework comes under the State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme, which is a collaboration between the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the 36 state governments, with the DMO as one of the implementing agencies.


Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

Ivory Coast

Last week, farmers in Ivory Coast provided an estimated 63,337 tons of cocoa for exports, this compares positively with an estimated 23,287 tons in the same period, a year ago.


  • Oil and Gas exploration company, FAR Limited, announced the sale of its Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep (RSSD) project in Senegal to Woodside Petroleum Limited.
  • The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) has provided funding worth $60.0m to fund Karpowership, which reportedly generates c.15.0% of Senegal's power supply and has been operating its 235MW powership alongside the Dakar shores since August 2019.

East Africa


  • Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) announced that its 83.3MW geothermal power plant in Olkaria will begin commercial production before the end of 2021.
  • Nation Media Group, the biggest media company in Kenya and East Africa reported a sharp 94.4% y/y decline in after-tax profit in 2020 to KSh48.0m from KSh856.0m.
  • Retail investors declined by 1,559 in Q1-2021, according to the CMA Quarterly Statistical Bulletin for the quarter, despite' efforts by the Nairobi Securities Exchange to drive retail participation.



  • Uganda has hinted at engaging its key creditors to pursue a suspension of loan repayments, amid heightened default risk concerns.
  • As of December 2020, Uganda's gross public debt had reached a new high of Shs65.82tn, up from Shs49.0tn in 2019. The Shs16.82tn spike was attributed to increased government borrowing to shore up finances following the impact of the pandemic on government revenues.



  • According to data from British technology research firm Cable, Tanzania is the country in East Africa with the lowest cost of mobile data, with a cost of 75 cents for every Gigabyte of data.
  • Enygma Ventures, a regional investment fund announced plans to expand to Tanzania in its quest to invest in more female entrepreneurs in Africa.
  • According to the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), the tropical cyclone that was expected to make landfall in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, April 25 has weakened after encountering a zone with competing winds.


The Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority (ETA) has opened bidding for the licensing of two additional telecom companies throughout the country. The bid document was opened in the presence of prospective buyers.

Southern Africa

South Africa

  • In what was seen as an admission of system failure, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa sitting before a judiciary committee panel admitted that his ruling party, the ANC allowed systematic looting over the past decade.
  • Ramaphosa estimated that looting had cost the economy tens of billions of dollars after crucial institutions such as the revenue service and state power monopoly were hollowed out.
  • South Africa plans to buy Russia's Sputnik V vaccines and shots developed by China's Sinopharm Group as it steps up efforts to tackle the coronavirus.
  • South Africa has been the hardest hit African nation by the Covid virus with almost 1.58 million Covid-19 cases and more than 54,000 deaths.



  • Zimbabwe has received $75.0m from the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB, Malaria and Covid-19, its information minister declared.
  • Zimbabwe Revenue authority declared that its gross tax revenue climbed 4.7% y/y in Q1-2021 despite the Covid pandemic.
  • Also in the past week, a 15-team delegation of prospective Indian investors toured Zimbabwe to scout for investment opportunities. The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) disclosed the delegation were mainly interested in harnessing investment opportunities in the mining, agriculture, pharmaceuticals sectors.
  • In a bid to generate public revenue, Zimbabwe is selling rights to shoot up to 500 elephants this year, its public wildlife agency disclosed. The agency explained it could generate up to $10,000 on each elephant in 2021.


  • The World Bank in the past week has approved Mozambique's eligibility to access the Prevention and Resilience Allocation (PRA) to secure up to $700.0m in funding to prevent the further escalation of conflict in its Northern region.
  • Also, in the past week the president of Mozambique highlighted his government's drive to invest over a billion dollars in the country's northern region following TOTAL's suspension of investments in the country, after increased attacks by insurgents.


  • In the past week, the Zambian Central statistics office released its April consumer price index data which showed inflation printed at 22.7%, down 1bps from Mar-2021.
  • Data from Zambia's Finance ministry showed the country's foreign debt - GDP rose to 14.4% in 2020. This was well above the ministry's target of 5.5% for the year.
  • Recall that Zambia in the past six (6) months has missed two (2) coupons payments on its Eurobonds.
  • Botswana and Zambia on Tuesday signed a one-stop border post bilateral agreement ahead of the Kazungula bridge commissioning next month. The $173.0m three-phased project comprises of the bridge and one-stop facilities on either side of the Botswana/Zambia border.


Central Africa (CEMAC & Congo DRC)


  • According to a report by the National sinking fund of Cameroon (NCCA), the Central bank BEAC injected a record XAF1,213bn liquidity into the banking circuit in Mar-2021.
  • The NCCA also declared that Cameroon debt was up by 2.1% q/q to XAF10.5bn in Mar-2021, from Dec-2020.
  • The Director of the Cameroonian treasury noted that it was the only country in SSA still raising short-term financing with interest rates below 3% and less than 7% for long-term financing.


  • BlueTech investments a private equity firm and its partners are investing $1.0bn in ethical mining projects in Congo.
  • The firm is looking to blockchain to develop a blockchain-based supply chain to track cobalt, copper and other minerals.
  • The United Nations Children's agency UNICEF said it would redistribute more than a million doses of vaccines meant for the Democratic Republic of Congo to other African countries to avoid expiration. This comes after the DRC delayed its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, following fears it could lead to rare blood clotting.


  • Botswana Central banks see annual inflation breaching the upper cap of its 3.0% - 6.0% target in the second quarter of this year.
  • In rather positive news, Botswana could the first Africa country to inoculate its entire adult population as health authorities say they have arranged for 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, enough to vaccinate its entire population


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