Snapshots on African Economy


Friday, February 12, 2021/ 12:40PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Umaizi

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Anglophone West Africa


  • Ghana's Parliament has shut down for at least three weeks over a surge in coronavirus cases among lawmakers and staff.
  • At least 17 members of parliament and 151 support staff have been infected with the coronavirus, which had already forced lawmakers to limit their assembly meetings.
  • Ghana's Inflation rate dropped from the 10.4% recorded in December 2020 to 9.9% in January 2021. The improvement in the inflation number was driven by decline in food inflation, down to 12.8%, from 14.1%.
  • Asante Gold to seek Secondary Listing and $3.0Mn Capital Raise on Ghana Stock Exchange.



  • IROKO plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market in 2022. The media company plan to raise between $20.0mn and $30.0mn valuing the company at $80.0mn to $100.0mn.
  • Ecobank is in the market to raise a 5-Yr Eurobond paper at 7.125%, we think this is an attractive deal compared to equivalent sovereign and corporate Eurobond issues.
  • Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after the US dropped its objection to her appointment.


The Gambia

  • The Gambia remittance and capital transfers stood at $588.0mn in 2020, a 78% rise compared with 2019.
  • The surge in remittance compensated for the COVID-19 induced decline in the travel industry, leading to a positive balance of payments. 


Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

Ivory Coast

  • Cote d'Ivoire raised a further 850.0mn Euros in a re-opened Eurobond sale. This sale comes less than three months after the country raised 1.0bn Euros, also in Eurobonds. Authorities stated that 66.0% of this 1.0bn Euros will be used to finance the 2020 budget deficit.
  • Cote d'Ivoire's domestic cocoa trader's association recently increased its calls for sectoral reform as it aims to increase the participation of local firms in the domestic market. Concurrently, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire have increased their efforts to improve market coordination.


East Africa


  • This week, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Tanzania releasedthe inflation data for the month of January reporting that inflation rose to 3.5% y/y in January 2021. Demand-side pressures particularly on nonfood items drove inflation.
  • According to the Minister of State for Finance and Planning, Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) will be rolled out countrywide by April 2021 and all registered taxpayers will be required to use it in their transactions to drive digitization of tax collection.



  • According to Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget would have a spending plan designed with a focus to revive the economy which has been weighed down by the Covid-19 pandemic, declining revenue collection, growing expenditure needs, and bloated debt levels.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta hinted at plans to re-open the country fully by lifting most of the containment measures implemented last year. This follows as the country has managed to keep infection rates low.



  • Internet operations are now fully operational in Uganda following the countrywide shutdown of internet facilities prior to the general elections.
  • According to a reportedly leaked communication, a budget consultative meeting between the Ministry of Finance, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Communications Commission, Bank of Uganda and Telecom Operators concluded at plans to begin to tax cash withdrawals at commercial banks. This is part of a move to encourage cashless transactions in Uganda, improve tax compliance and drive government revenue growth.



  • During the week, Fitch downgraded Ethiopia's Long-Term ForeignCurrency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to a "CCC" from a "B" previously. The downgrade comes amid uncertainty surrounding private sector participation under the untested G20 common framework.
  • The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has prohibited making over five cash transfers a week from a single bank account to multiple accounts via any electronic payment or mobile money service channel reversing the prior unlimited policy. However, certain accounts (particularly relating to government establishments, financial institutions) and transactions (utility payments, mobile top-ups, and salary payments) are exempted from the restriction.



  • The Rwandan government has announced plans to raise its 2021/2022 budget by $220.8m to $3.4bn in bid to drive infrastructure expansion and purchase of equipment for the education and health sector. The proposed plan is awaiting approval from the parliament.
  • The All-Rwanda sub-index inflation rate slowed to 3.5% y/y in January 2021, extending the disinflationary trend observed in the past 4 months.

Southern Africa


  • Angola's parliament has moved to toughen regulation on banks and financial institutions. In the past week, there were debates in the Angolan's parliament with regards to which bodies should regulate the Angola's non-banking financial institution offering, such as foreign exchange businesses, collective investment organizations, micro-credits institutions.
  • Following similar moves in Nigeria and Kenya in recent years, Standard Chartered Kenya is looking to raise its stake in its Angolan unit. This follows as a partner was detained and had shares seized due to fraud accusations.
  •  The African Export and Import Bank (AfreximBank) has set aside $1.3bn to finance projects in the energy and water sectors in Angola, according to the Afexim Bank and the Angolan government.



  • According to Statistics South Africa, SA's manufacturing output expanded 1.8% y/y in Dec-2020 after falling by 4.1% y/y in Nov-2020. Mining production notably rose 0.5% m/m in December, driven by Manganese and Diamond production.
  • This week, South Africa temporarily halted the deployment of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after new research showed that the vaccine offers minimal efficacy against the Covid-19 variant found in South Africa.



  • Following ratification by parliament on 4th February, Zambia deposited the instruments and documents of ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to the African Union (AU) Commission, according to the AU.
  • Zambia formally requested a debt restructuring under the new G20 common framework to debt treatment, which paves the way for addressing debt transparency and sustainability plans.



  • Zimbabwe's inflation rate printed at 362.6% y/y in January as CPI surged 5.4% m/m.
  • This week, Zimbabwe purchased 600,000 coronavirus vaccine jabs from China's Sinopharm, in addition to the 200,000 donated by China last week.


Central Africa (CEMAC & Congo DRC)


  • Following its lack of finances and a scrap for cash, Gabon's government will reduce its stake in three major government firms, the country's parliament authorized the state to sell its assets held in the Gabon
  • Energy and Water Company (SEEG), the Gabonese Banking Union (UGB) and Moov Africa Gabon Telecom.
  • Sticking of the loss of revenue theme, TOTAL E&P Gabon, an upstream drilling firm, saw revenue fall by 46.0% in 2020, from $808.0mn to $435.0mn, owing to lower crude prices and a drop in production by 18.0% to 2,500bpd in 2020 following demand and supply shocks during the pandemic.
  • Gabon has halted its imports of irons as it plans to boost its local production and hereafter begin to export the commodity. Data from the ministry of trade shows that Gabon's output currently stands at 2,000 tons covering 75% of local demand.



  • In a partnership with foreign Spanish investors, the Cameroon government will develop lands for fodder in the country's Northern region. Th agreement aims to develop a 35,000 hectares area in Adamaoua, including 30,000 hectares on sites belonging to the Societe de developpement et d'expansion des productions.
  • According to the Bank of Central African countries (BEAC), in the 10 years since the public securities for Cameroun treasuries was launched on the BEAC, the volume of funds raised by CEMAC countries on the market has risen by 6024% to XAF3, 3,323.0bn as of January 31, 2021 from XAF351.0bn in 2011.
  • The BEAC also noted the strong appetite for Cameroonian treasuries by investors. The CEMAC public securities market issued XAF773bn of new debt instruments (bond and treasury) in the Cameroonian securities in 2020. The bills were oversubscribed by 250%.


Congo DRC

  • DRC has had another outbreak of Ebola in the past week as its Ebola cases rise to two (2), the country now dealing with a twin outbreak of Ebola and Covid-19. This report emerges three months after the country had been declared free of its eleventh (11th) outbreak of Ebola.
  • Orange DRC has entered an agreement with NuRAN, for a service offering agreement worth CAD500mn. Under the terms of the agreement, NuRAN is partnering with an ecosystem of partners and Orange DRC for the purpose of constructing and operating 2,000 new NuRAN towers over the next 40 months throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Central Africa to meet pent-up demand, with a particular focus for rural communities with populations. Orange Cameroun and NuRAN have signed a similar deal in 2020.


Looking Forward

Jan 2021 Nigeria Private Sector Credit YoY-15 Feb

Jan-2021 Ghana PPI-17 Feb

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