Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 210521


Friday, May 21, 2021/ 03:00PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Talent2Africa

Anglophone West Africa


  • The CBN hinted that recent dips in external reserves are traceable to its effort at clearing part of the outstanding FX backlog from 2020.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had in Feb-2021 said there was an estimated $2.0bn backlog of requests for forex from the divestment of naira assets by foreign portfolio investors.
  • During the week, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the inflation report for Apr-21. According to the report, headline inflation in Nigeria moderated by 5bps to 18.12% in Apr-21 from 18.17% in Mar-21.
  • The decline in inflation rate was driven by slower growth in food prices as m/m food inflation slumped to 0.99% in Apr-21, from 1.90% in Mar-21.
  • The President has asked the National Assembly to approve N2.3tn ($6.18bn) external loan to enable him to fund part of the 2021 N13.8tn national budget. 
  • Noteworthy to highlight that the proposed external debt had been presented and approved with the 2021 appropriation bill. 
  • In its 2021 Macroeconomic report, The National Economic Summit Group (NESG) has said that only N5.73tn ($15.87bn) has been invested in the numerous opportunities in the manufacturing sector in the last eight years. This indicates that foreign investors' confidence in the sector is low and deters further investment. 
  • Ahead of the Federation Accounts Allocations Committee (FAAC) meeting, the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) at its virtual meeting accepted the recommendation that backs full deregulation of petrol and suggests that the pump price of the product should hover around N385.0/litre.
  • During the week, the CBN removed the official exchange rate of N379.0/$ from its website, although FMDQ continues to quote the exchange rate on its daily quotation list. Furthermore, news reports state that the FG now converts its USD revenues at the NAFEX exchange rate. This has led to insinuations that the CBN may have technically devalued the naira again. 


  • The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has rolled out a tax incentive scheme for taxpayers to help cushion businesses and people against the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme involves waiving the penalty and the accrued interest on tax arrears for both corporate and individual taxpayers as a motivation for them to regularise their tax obligations during the crisis period.
  • Ghana's Ministry of Finance secured a €170.0m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to establish a new national bank, the Development Bank of Ghana. Forming part of Ghana's Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, the bank aims to spur private sector-led growth to transform the local economy.
  • The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has granted a $50.0m loan facility to the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG) to support Ghana's road infrastructure development. Officials of the two financial institutions, led by the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBID and the Managing Director of the CBG, signed off the deal at a brief ceremony held at the CBG head office in Accra.
  • Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with McDavid Green Solutions (MDGS/MDPower LLC) of the United States for the construction of plants to convert waste into energy across the country. Under the MoU, the first waste-to-energy plant to be sited in Dawa, a new industrial enclave in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality in the Greater Accra Region, will cost $70.0m.



  • Following the partnership between Lonestar Cell MTN and Bea Mountain, a 4G cell phone tower has been installed in N'dablama, Grand Cape Mount County. 
  • The agreement sought to provide internet access to Bea Mountain's new N'dablama Gold Mining site because there was limited internet access in the area.


Ivory Coast

  • Ivory Coast's inflation rate accelerated from 3.3% in Mar-2021 according to Ivory Coast statistics agency from the 
  • The Central Bank of West African states sold CFA Franc worth XAF19bn ($35mn) of bills closed at 2.5% for the 181-day.
  • The Central bank of West African states also sold bills worth XAF40.5bn ($75mn with a tenor of 363-day with stop rates closing at 4.07%.


East Africa


  • According to the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya's M3 money supply rose 10.1% in March y/y.
  • April 2021 Foreign Remittances rose 43.7% on y/y.
  • Also, yesterday (20/05/2021), the Kenyan Government sold Sh24bn worth of treasury bills, the auction was oversubscribed by 110%. Stop rates for the 91-day, 182-day, and 364-day closed at 7.1%, 7.9% and 9.2%, respectively.



  • Tanzania and Uganda have signed the fifth crucial Host Government Agreement (HGA) that finally allows the construction of a $4.16bn heated pipeline to carry crude oil from western Uganda to the Indian Ocean Coast in Tanzania. 
  • The IMF has declared that it is ready to engage the Tanzania government, which has requested a rapid credit facility at 100% of its quota.



  • African -focused payments giant, Flutterwave has agreed with a deal with an Ethiopia firm, Amole, over cross-border remittances cash transfers.
  • Ethiopia will hold its delayed parliamentary elections on June 21. Initial parliamentary elections were postponed last year, citing the coronavirus pandemic and logistical issues; the elections were later postponed earlier from June 5, after the electoral board needed more time to print ballot papers, train polling staff and register voters.


South Africa


South Africa

  • In the last week, the South Africa Reserve bank decided to hold its repo rates at 3.5%.  
  • Statistics South Africa released inflationary data, which estimated CPI for April-2021 at 4.4.%, a 9bps increase from 3.5% in March-2021.
  • April-2021 inflation estimates also represented a 14-month high.
  • Following the recent uptick in South Africa's inflation, its Central Bank hinted that its next rate move would be upwards.
  • According to Bloomberg, key South African data suggests a marginal increase in output in the first quarter after the economy contracted the most in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.



  • Angola's daily oil production average for April stood at 1.1 million barrels of the predicted 1.2 mbpd, less than 115,047 barrels of crude oil, ANGOP has learnt.
  • BP PLC and Eni SPA are considering merging their Angolan oil, gas and liquefied natural gas assets into a joint venture in a bid to revive output following years if decline.
  • Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol plans to partially sell its stakes in the African country's oil concessions.
  • Sonangol disclosed it would hold an event on June 11 in Luanda to provide information about the tender procedures, oil blocks and the stakes that will be sold.


Namibia sold $NAM550mn($39mn) of bills due to mature on May 20, 2022. Investors offered to buy 1.64X the number of securities sold and stop rates for the bill closed at 4.76%. 



  • According to the Head of the Central Bank of Zambia, Zambia is close to reaching a deal with the IMF that will be crucial to resorting to macroeconomic stability.
  • Also, in the past week, the World Bank announced that it would provide Zambia with additional funding of $105mn to help secure the livelihoods of about 300,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable households.
  • The Bank of Zambia offered treasury bills worth Kwh1.14bn at the auction. Stop rates for the 91-day, 182-day, 273-day and 364-day closed at 14%, 16%, 20% and 25%, respectively.


  • Zimbabwe's government has suspended corn and corn-meal imports with immediate effect due to the country's adequate supply, the Agricultural Marketing Authority declared in the past week.
  • Zimbabwe's government also declared it hope to secure ZWD60bn ($709mn) from the private sector to buy some of its bumper corn harvests this year.
  • Lastly, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority plans to establish a fuel price stabilization fund to try and reduce the volatility of gasoline and diesel costs in the country.

Central Africa


  • According to Cameroon's Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Minette Libom Li Likeng, MTN and Orange Cameroon, the two leaders of the local mobile market, recorded a cumulated XAF500.3 billion turnover in 2020.
  • According to local media sources, the Cameroonian government is currently stepping up its efforts to get its new 2021-2024 economic and financial program approved by Jun-21. The said program will be backed by a XAF375 bn budget support and will replace the current 2017-2020 financial plan billed to end in Jun-20 but was extended to Sep-20 as public finances took a hit from the pandemic outbreak.
  • According to a release signed by the director of Commercial Bank Cameroon (CBC), General Leandre Djummo, the government of Cameroon will sell most of its 98.0% shares in the bank. Most of the shares will be sold to a strategic partner selected via a call for expression of interest. Another portion will be sold to national retail investors on the regional exchange, while the government will keep the remaining shares.


President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Republic of Chad that Nigeria ready to help the country stabilise and return to democratic rule within 18 months as promised by its Transitional Military Council President, Lt General Mahamat Deby, last month.


Gabon's headline inflation eased to 1.3% in Apr-21, from 1.7% in Mar-21. The food & non-alcoholic beverages and housing & utilities sub-indices have recorded moderate increases in 2021 while rising transportation costs (in the face of climbing energy cost) continue to add upward pressure to inflation.

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