Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 110621


Friday, June 11, 2021/ 03:00PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: iStock


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Anglophone West Africa



  • According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria's total public debt increased marginally by 0.6% from N32.9trn as of Dec-2020, to N33.0trn. Lagos State led other states with a total debt of N507.4bn, followed by Rivers, N266.9bn; Akwa Ibom, N232.0bn; and Delta, N214.0bn.
  • The Federal Government (FG), via the Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, announced the suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria. This was a response to the social media platform's decision to delete the President's tweet regarding the ongoing crisis in the Southeast. Unpleasant reactions have trailed the decision as the country gradually approaches another pre-election year.
  • Relatedly, the FG has acknowledged that Twitter and its users in Nigeria face huge financial loss following the social media platform's suspension in Nigeria. However, the FG has stated it needed to take the decision to protect national interest and integrity.
  • The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the foreign trade statistics for Q1-2021. According to the report, total trade (export and import) rose 14.1% y/y to print at N9.8tn in Q1-2021, from N8.5tn in Q1-2020. The growth in total trade was driven by a surge in imports (+54.3% y/y to N6.9tn) as exports (-29.3% y/y to N2.9tn) plunged during the quarter.
  • Consequently, Nigeria's trade deficit expanded 1095.3% y/y to N3.9tn in Q1-2021, from N329.9bn in Q1-2020. Notably, the trade deficit recorded in Q1-2021 represents the 6th consecutive quarter of trade deficits.
  • During the week, the Central Bank of Nigeria held a NTB primary market auction rolling over N93.1bn worth of maturing treasury bills. Investors' appetite at the auction remained strong, as the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day bills were oversubscribed by 1.4x, 1.5x and 3.9x, respectively. Stop rates for the 91-day and 182-day bills remained unchanged at 2.5%, 3.5%, respectively. However, rates on the longer tenor paper dipped by a marginal 1bp to close at 9.64%



  • According to IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data for Ghana, private sector activity expanded further in May, albeit at a slower pace than in April. Higher producer costs and supply shortages had a dampening effect on businesses. The expansion in May-2021 is the tenth consecutive month of expansion.
  • The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, at a two-day strategy retreat between the government and International Finance Corporation (IFC), requested that the IFC increase the funding it offers private businesses in Ghana to between $15.0m - $20.0m, from the current $5.0m.
  • According to data from the Chamber of Mines' annual report for 2020, total volume of gold produced in the country declined by 12.1% y/y to 4.0m ounces in 2020, from 4,6m ounces in 2019.
  • The Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, announced at a press briefing, that the NBSSI is expected to be renamed Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).



  • Guinea and Liberia are in talks over $20.0bn bilateral engagement for the development of a rail corridor that will be used to transport Guinean mining products via Liberia's port infrastructure.


Francophone West Africa



  • In the past week, Mali's coup leader Assimi Goita was sworn in as the West African nation's interim president on Monday.
  • Goita has sought to quell fears that he would cling to power beyond an agreed transitional period. Goita is expected to lead the country until presidential elections are held in February 2022



Ivory Coast

  • The world's top cocoa producer Ivory Coast had sold 950,000 tonnes of cocoa in contracts by the end of May for the 2021/2022 season at a country discount instead of its usual country premium, regulator and industry sources said on Tuesday.
  • Ivory Coast sold CFA38.2bn and CFA33.2bn worth of bonds due 2026 and 2031. Investors' demand was strong as both bills were oversubscribed by 1.7x and 1.1x, for the 2026 and 2031, respectively. Stop rates for the 2026 and 2031 papers closed at 5.6% and 6.0%.
  • Ivory Coast, the World's fourth-largest rubber producer, is planning to double production over the next four years from 950,000 tons in 2020, Prime Minister Patrick Achi disclosed at the World Rubber Summit.
  • The West African country aims to bring the primary processing rate to 100.0% while "radically amplifying" the manufacturing side.
  • In the last week, the World Bank approved $250.0m in total financing to support the development of the agri-food sector and the creation of thousands of jobs in rural areas of Cote d'Ivoire.



  • According to the National Agency of Statistics and Demography, Senegal's CPI rose by 1.3% y/y in May -2021.


East Africa


  • According to IHS Markit/Stanbic Bank's PMI report, PMI in Kenya rose to 52.5 points in May-2021 as business conditions improved, after the government eased Covid-19 restrictions.
  • According to details from the budget presentation for the 2021/22 financial period by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, total spending is estimated at Sh3.7tn.



  • Tanzania's current account deficit printed at $727.0m for the first four months of 2021, wider than the $431.0m recorded in the same period of 2020. The current account deficit is expected to rise in subsequent months as crude prices continue to rise (forcing cost of imported petroleum products higher) while implementation of the government's ambitious infrastructure projects is also expected to pressure the country's import bill.
  • According to the Minister of Finance and Planning, Tanzania's national debt has reached Sh60.9tn as at Apr-2021 with external debt printing at Sh43.7tn while domestic debt stood at Sh17.3tn.



  • In a sweeping move, President Yoweri Museveni has implemented a cabinet reshuffling that sees almost half of his ministers, including some senior officials from the previous cabinet replaced.
  • Uganda's trade deficit narrowed by a meagre 0.7% m/m in Mar-2021 to $383.6m from $386.4m in Feb-2021, as imports remained relatively unchanged from Feb-2021 while exports grew 0.6% m/m.
  • According to IHS Markit/Stanbic Bank's latest PMI report, Uganda's private sector lost some momentum in May-2021, dropping to 56.5 points, compared to 57.8 points in Apr-2021, albeit remaining in expansion territory, indicating sustained improvement in overall business environment.
  • At the budget presentation for 2021/22 financial year, the designated Minister of State for Planning, Amos Lugoloobi, announced the introduction of six new tax measures aimed at increasing revenue collection and safeguarding the government from the constraint of increasing public debt.  



  • Renowned Japanese-inspired lifestyle retailer, Miniso has opened its first Rwandan outlet in the Kigali Business Centre (KBC).
  • A new partnership between Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Belgium-based Ondernemers Voor Ondernemers (OVO) loosely translated as Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs, is expected to see Rwandan startups receive fully-funded training and business loans. 


Southern Africa

South Africa

  • Stats SA has published the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data for Q1-2021, showing that the economy grew by 1.1% in the first three months of 2021.
  • The growth follows a revised 1.4% rise in real GDP in Q4-2020. On an annualised basis, the economy grew 4.6% q/q.
  • According to the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, total trade between SA and Nigeria hit $2.9bn last year.
  • South Africa imported R35.0bn ($2.5bn) worth of goods, predominantly crude oil, from Nigeria and exported R6.0bn ($425.0m) to Nigeria.
  • In a bid to address the nation's failing electricity supply, South Africa's government will allow private investors to build their own power plants with up to 100MW of generating capacity without requiring a license.
  • Also, on power, South Africa's state-owned power utility company, Eskom, announced major power cuts last week. The company will begin rationing electricity to consumers to cope with increasing demand due to the cold weather as the southern winter begins. 



  • The International Monetary Fund has approved a $772.0m disbursement to Angola.
  • In line with its recent efforts to privatise state-owned assets, Angola has opened an auction to private investors for 51.0% stake in its state-owned insurance company.
  • Angola's Finance Minister, Vera Daves de Sousa, has ruled out selling debt on the international markets in 2021. The Minister stated that Angola's economic focus would be centred around attracting reforms and private investment to diversify its economy



  • Namibia's trade balance remained in a deficit of N$2.0bn, increasing from N$1.8bn recorded in both Mar-2021 and Apr-2020.
  • Apr-2021 saw Namibia's total merchandise trade increase to N$18.7bn, an increase of 0.8% m/m and 43.3% y/y, compared to N$18.6bn and N$13.1bn recorded in Mar-2021 and Apr-2020, respectively.
  • The Finance minister of Namibia has reiterated the country's commitment to maintaining its pegged exchange rate system as it is still the best framework for the country.
  • The Government of Namibia sold NAM$620.0m of bills, last week. Investor appetite was strong as it was oversubscribed by 1.5x while stop rate for the bill closed at 4.6%. 


  • Zambia Revenue Authority collected Zk31.5 bn from January to May, surpassing its target by Zk7.3bn.
  • Next Thursday (17/06/2021), the Zambian government is scheduled to sell ZK1.4bn across four tenors, the 91-day, 182-day, 243-day, and 364-papers.



Central Africa


  • The Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) delivered tons of maize, potato seeds and fruit trees to 20 farming groups in the North West region. The delivery of the farm inputs was done to enhance agricultural productivity and orchard production.
  • The vaccination progress in Cameroon has been described as progressive but timid as many Cameroonians remain reluctant to get vaccinated, according to reports from some vaccination centres.

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