Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 100921


Friday, September 10, 2021/ 12:00 PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: iStock


Anglophone West Africa


  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria recorded a trade deficit of N1.9tn in Q2-2021. The total value of trade during the period increased by 23.3% y/y to N12.1tn compared to Q1-2021. This comprised N7.0tn of imports and N5.1tn of exports.
  • Nigeria's state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) published audited financials for FY-2020. The corporation's Revenue declined by 19.8% y/y to N3.7tn in 2020 from N4.8tn in 2019.
  • The NNPC attributed this loss to the decline in production and price of crude oil due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria's loans from China, France, Japan, India, and Germany rose to $4.1bn as of Dec-2020 from $1.7bn as of Dec-2015, an increase of $2.4bn (144.6%) in five years.


  • Headline Inflation in Ghana quickened to 9.7% y/y in Aug-2021, from 9.0% in Jul-2021, according to Ghana Statistical Services. Food prices rose by 10.9% y/y from 9.5% in July, while non-food inflation accelerated by 8.7% y/y from 8.6% in July.
  • According to the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, the Ghanian government is spending over $1.4bn in expanding access to safe water across the country, through 8 major water projects.

Francophone West Africa


  • India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation is reportedly looking to acquire a minority stake in the Sangomar oil project situated off Senegal's coast from Australia-based Woodside Petroleum Limited. Woodside currently owns c.82.0% of the project.

East Africa


  • Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released the annual Economic Survey 2021, estimating that Kenya's GDP contracted by 0.3% y/y in 2020, from 5.0% y/y  in 2019. The contraction was mostly attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
  • Kenya's GDP was revised higher to Sh10.8tn, after the Kenyan government changed the base year to 2016 from 2009.
  • The NBS projects the Kenyan Economy to grow by 6.0% y/y in 2021, with support from the manufacturing sector.
  • In an apparent consequence of the proliferation of mobile banking and agency banking in Kenya, data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Kenya fell to 2,393 machines in Jul-2021, the lowest since July 2013.
  • Lastly, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has requested a cash bailout from the Kenyan Treasury amid rising debt. The agency cited the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the Treasury's decision to mop up Sh12.5bn surplus cash from its books in 2019 as factors contributing to its weak financial position.


  • Ethiopia's central bank increased the statutory reserve requirement for commercial banks from 5.0% to 10.0% in a bid to tame inflationary pressures. The country's CPI increased to 30.4% y/y in Aug-2021, the highest since 2012, amid food supply shortages.
  • The World Food Program said it requires $426.0m in emergency funding over the next 6 months to provide food for Ethiopians, particularly in the Tigray region bedevilled by conflict. The UN agency estimates that over 13.6 million Ethiopians are food insecure.


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of a total of $567.3m to Tanzania. The allocation comprises a $189.1m Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and a purchase equivalent to $378.17 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).
  • This IMF disbursed the funds to finance Tanzania's balance of payment needs, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The government of Tanzania signed a €25.0m (Sh67.8bn) grant agreement with the German Development Bank (KfW) for financing sustainable development of protected area ecosystems, including the Serengeti ecosystem and the Katavi, Rukwa and Greater Mahale ecosystems.
  • South African retailer Massmart announced plans to sell its store in Tanzania, as well as 3 stores in Kenya.


  • According to the Ministry of Finance Performance of Economy report, Ugandan government revenue collection in Jul-2021 totalled Sh1.384tn, a 90.6% performance against the budgeted Sh1.5tn. The underperformance was attributed to Covid-19 restrictions during the period.
  • The report also revealed that expenditure in Jul-2021 amounted to sh2.7tn, a 103.0% performance against the budget.

Southern Africa

South Africa

  • South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.2% q/q and 19.3% y/y in Q2-2021. Recovery in the transport and personal services subsectors drove expansion during the quarter. However, the SA economy is 1.4% short of pre-pandemic levels.
  • According to South Africa's Reserve Bank, the country's Current account to GDP ratio widened in Q2-2021 to 5.6% from 4.3% in Q1-2021. The current account surplus stood at R343.0bn in Q2-2021, compared to R261.0bn. Notably, the Q2-2021 figure is the largest quarterly surplus on record.
  • The Rand Merchant Bank/Bureau of Economic Research (RMB/BER) Business Confidence Index (BCI) fell to 43.0pts in Q3-2021 from 50.0pts in Q2-2021. The coronavirus 3rd wave, as well as social unrest in certain parts of the country, have left business owners more uncertain about the future.
  • South Africa's National Coronavirus Command Council met to examine the current pandemic-related restrictions amid a sustained slowdown in new Covid-19 infections. The government is set to ease restrictions imposed to tackle the spread of the virus.


  • According to the State Secretary for Petroleum and Gas, Jose Barroso, Angola plans to keep its oil production above 1.1mbpd in the coming years. In a bid to achieve that, the country plans to add 2 more oil rigs to its existing 4 oil rigs by the end of the year.
  • Fitch Ratings has affirmed Angola's long-term foreign-currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at "CCC".


  • In a bid to boost the country's fight against coronavirus, the United States (U.S.) has provided an additional $6.7m in covid-19 assistance for Zambia, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 
  • The governor of Zambia's Central bank, Christopher Mvunga, has resigned from his position. The newly elected President, Hakainde Hichilema has appointed Francis Chipimo, the former deputy governor, as acting governor of the Bank of Zambia (BOZ).
  • The BOZ has disclosed that the unprecedented rise in demand for cash across the country during the past few months has led to the shortage of banknotes and coins, posing the threat of a severe liquidity crisis.


  • According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe will increase monitoring and surveillance on cement imports from the region to protect local companies and shield customers from sub-standard shipments.
  • Zimbabwe has eased lockdown restrictions against Covid-19 as the country continues to ramp up vaccinations. The country has fully vaccinated c.2.7m people of its c.15.0m population

Central Africa


  • According to the Ministry of Basic Education, Cameroon's primary and secondary schools reopened on Monday amid continued and strict anti-covid measures. The teachers and school administrative personnel have been asked to be vaccinated in order to protect school children and reduce the transmission rate.


  • The government of Gabon is set to receive 268,620 doses of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The consignments of the covid-19 vaccines are expected this month and Oct-2021.

DR Congo

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of meningitis in a northeastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where 261 suspected cases and 129 deaths have been reported.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo received 250,000 doses of Moderna vaccine donated through the COVAX programme on Monday, 6-Sep-2021.

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