Friday, February 19, 2021/ 04:00PM / United Capital Research /
Header Image Credit: World Bank Group
Anglophone West Africa
- 2020 data reports show that Ghana's trade surplus
fell sharply as exports declined by 7.8% due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Ghana's main export commodity, Gold (47% of total
exports), increased by 9.1% due to a significant rally in prices. Meanwhile,
oil exports and imports declined substantially.
- The Gambian Ministry of
Agriculture and the United Nations World Food Program has launched an emergency
Covid-19 relief package to provide food assistance for 42,750 households across
the region. The relief package will last from February 2021- May 2021.
inflation rate climbed to 5-Year high of 16.5%, with the main driver being food
inflation which hit a 12 year high of 20.6%.
the reopening of the borders in December 2020, supply shortage persists amid
incessant clashes between herders and farmers.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation announced that petrol prices will be
hiked this month, despite the recent rally in crude oil prices amid concerns of
a potential increase in pump prices.
Debt Management Office (DMO), auctioned bonds worth N150bn during the week with
marginal rates spiking across maturities.
the DMO allotted only N80.55bn out of the N150.0bn initially offered with the
2027, 2035 and 2045 instruments closing at 10.25% (from 7.98% previously),
11.25% (from 8.74% previously) and 11.80% (from 8.95% previously) respectively.
reports published during the week indicated that Nigeria's GDP rebounded from the recession, as Q4-2020 GDP growth came in at 0.11% y/y. However, 2020 full year
GDP declined by 1.9%.
West Africa (WAEMU)
- According to the Finance
Ministry, Senegal received 200,000 doses of China's COVID-19 vaccine by
Sinopharm during the week.
- 1.4 million more vaccine doses
are expected to arrive via the WHO's COVAX initiative (AstraZeneca and
Sinopharm) by the end of the month.
- The total amount of vaccine
remains grossly inadequate to ensure herd immunity for a population of 16.7
- In the same week which witnessed
Nigeria the appointment of Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Head of WTO, Senegal's
ex-finance minister, Makhtar Diop, has been appointed to head IFC's Private
Sector Finance unit, bolstering Africa's international diplomacy.
- According to farmers in the
region, dry heat, and shortage of rainfall in Ivory coast central region will
lead to a drop in quality and quantity in Cocoa this year. Data collected by
Reuters showed rainfall in Daloa (central, Ivory coast) was 4.0 millimetres
last week, 3.6 millimetres below the five-year average.
- According to the Ivorian
government, the country lost about 47,000 hectares of land in 2020, and about
85% of its forest cover since the 1960s due to deforestation from the Cocoa
- On the bright side, Ivory Coast
has secured a $300 loan from the World Bank to shore up its response to the
Coronavirus pandemic, The World Bank is backing reforms taken by the Ivorian
government to support
- households and businesses hit by
- This week, the President of Zanzibar
(a self-governing state in Tanzania) announced the death of its first Vice
President, Seif Sharif Hamad. He died weeks after he was hospitalized with
- According to media reports, the
Tanzania government continues to claim that the country is Covid-19 free, thus,
avoiding lockdowns and other safety measures.
- While the government has gone
ahead to reject free vaccines offered to them, with the recent death of a
prominent citizen, authorities are struggling to defend this claim
- During the week, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Kenya reached an agreement to support the
country's economic recovery and fiscal consolidation efforts with a $2.4bn
- President Uhuru Kenyatta
announced some sweeping changes to his cabinet, with many opposition party
members benefitting from the reshuffling. The reshuffles, according to him, are
aimed at improving efficiency within his government.
- Following the outcome of the last
elections in Uganda, several members of the international community are
threatening to sanction the country following alleged anti-democratic practices
during the election.
- This is coming after the
government restored social media and internet services across the country.
- The last election in Uganda has
negatively impacted economic activities in January as the recent PMI data
showed that new orders and employment level declined within the month.
- According to the Minister of
Water, Irrigation & Energy, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has
reached a 78.3% completion level and is expected to reach 82.0% before the
upcoming rainy season. He further stated that the country is very keen to
complete the project by 2023.
- According to observers in
Ethiopia, general elections is expected to hold in June 2021 after a protracted
period of postponement due to Covid19.
weeks of protest from conservative activists against anticipated government
legislature, the Angolan government has passed legislation allowing oil &
gas and mining licenses in 14 national conservation areas. Angola, the
second-largest oil producer in Africa, has been lauded in the past for its
the last week on the visit to areas along the Lobito Corridor, the acting Dutch
ambassador to Angola stated that the Netherlands plans to import avocados and
lemons from Angola and export to the other European countries.
to Stats SA, Headline Inflation quickened marginally to 3.2% in Jan-2021 from
3.1% in Dec-2020. Consumer Inflation accelerated in January amid higher food
prices and service costs.
from Stats SA also revealed that retail sales contracted by -6.9% in 2020.
Notably, this is the worst y/y decline on record and the first decline since
the global financial crisis, which saw sales contract by -3.2%.
employment numbers bounced-back in Q4-2020 with 2.1million people getting jobs
after the 2.8million job losses recorded in July, according to a Nids-Cram
- Zambia's Monetary Policy
Committee hiked the benchmark interest rate by 50bps to 8.5% from 8.0% in the
face of increasing inflationary pressures.
- The Bank of Zambia Governor
(BOZ), Christopher Mvunga, said that the Central Bank would continue to
purchase more gold deposits to boost its reserves.
- The Governor also reported that
Zambia had scaled down, deferred, and scrapped several projects to minimize the
country's debt exposure in the light of debt relief negotiations with the
International Monetary Fund.
- Zimbabwe's Monetary Policy
Committee hiked the benchmark policy rate to 40.0%, to reduce excess liquidity
and control FX market speculation.
- The Central Bank reiterated its
aim of keeping inflation below 10% in 2021 and its GDP growth forecast of 7.4%
for the year.
- Zimbabwe received the 200,000
doses of the SinoPharm vaccine from China as promised. The country also
commenced its citizens' inoculation this week and it expects a further 600,000
doses of the SinoPharm vaccine in March.
Africa (CEMAC & Congo DRC)
- Rating agency Fitch has affirmed
Gabon as a CCC rating. In a report published earlier in the week, Fitch states
that the country faces challenges securing sufficient funding to meet its needs
in the medium term.
- The report also states that the
prolonged absence of a new IMF programme and the shallow nature of the regional
bond market would increase risks to Gabon's ability to service its debt in a
- Gabon and the EU have agreed on a
new protocol which allows boats from the EU to access Gabonese waters. The deal
comes as the Gabonese government has looked to open its fisheries industry to
more competition and boost value-addition.
Cement will launch a 1 million Mta cement plant in the deep seaport's
industrial zone of Kribi. The move will deepen competition in Cameroon cement
industry, where other foreign players, namely Dangote Cement (1.5mta) and
Cimencam (the local subsidiary of Lafarge-Holcim (2.2mta), control more
extensive portions of market share.
to Hootsuite and We are Social, two companies monitoring internet usage in
Cameroon, Cameroonian internet penetration grew to 9.2mn users in 2021 from
7.8mn in 2020. This represents 34% penetration in 2020, a considerable
improvement considering internet penetration was only at 2% a decade.
reports of an outbreak of Ebola in the DRC in the past week, the United Nations
allocated $15mn in funding to the DRC, Guinea, to combat the disease.
- After weeks of
a reported struggle between former president Joseph Kabila and Current
President Felix Tshisekedi, the president has appointed the head of state
mining company, Gecamines, Sama Lukonde Kyenge, as Prime Minister. He replaced
former PM Ilunga, who suffered a vote of no-confidence in parliament last
central bank held its benchmark rate at 18.5%, the highest level in more than
two years. However, the apex bank guided that policy rate may be eased in
coming months, following a projected drop in inflation to 5.5%.
rose to 15.7% in the earlier months of the pandemic in 2020, following a
decline in reserves after commodities prices tanked.
- Jan 2021 Nigeria Manufacturing
- Jan-2021 Nigeria Gross Reserves-26
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