Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 200821


Friday, August 20, 2021/ 12:00 PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Wikipedia


Anglophone West Africa


  • The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the inflation figures for Jul-2021. Notably, the headline rate rose by 17.38% y/y, 37bps lower than the rate recorded for the month of June (17.75%). On a m/m basis, the headline inflation rate ticked upwards by 0.93% m/m (vs. 1.06% in Jun-2021). Inflationary pressures continue to be driven by higher food prices, while the high base impact from H2-2020 continues to drive deceleration in inflation.
  • The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, this week, signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law. The bill would see the introduction of two new regulatory bodies in the oil & gas industry, one for the upstream segment and another for the downstream segment. NNPC would become a limited liability company managing the government's interest in the oil & gas sector via existing Joint Ventures (JVs) and Product Sharing Contracts (PSCs).
  • On Wednesday, at the FGN bond auction, as expected, investors' appetite for bonds was strong as all the bonds on offer were oversubscribed with the 2028s, 2036s, and 2050s recording subscription rates of 1.21x, 1.15x, and 1.69x respectively. To give context, the DMO offered to sell N150.0bn worth of bonds but received bids worth N360.1bn.
  • Consequently, the DMO took advantage to oversell the auction by allotting N260.0bn to investors. In addition, the marginal rates closed lower, with the 2028s, 2036s and 2050s closing at 11.6%, 12.75% and 12.80%, from 12.35%, 13.15% and 13.25% at the previous auction.
  • The Federal Government's total borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has hit a staggering N15.5tn, rising by 2,286% in six years according to data released by the CBN. The N15.5tn owed by the Federal Government is not included in the country's total public debt stock, which stood at N33.1tn as of Mar-2021, according to the Debt Management Office. The debt to the CBN is a form of overdraft called "ways and means". Concerns have been raised regarding this as the FG has constantly overdrawn its prescribed constitutional limit


  • The Ghanaian government has announced plans to allocate a minimum of 1.0% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to supporting research, science, technology, and innovative activities. The government is in the process of establishing a National Research Fund, which researchers and all potential innovators will have access to raise funds.
  • The Bank of Ghana is set to create a Financial Trust Corridor (FTC) with the Monetary Authority of Singapore for mutual recognition and closer relationships between businesses, including SMEs, and financial institutions on the platform. The Governor of the Bank of Ghana announced the FTC would comprise of a governance framework and digital infrastructure for banks and FinTech companies in both Ghana and Singapore.
  • This week, the President of Ghana broke the ground for the commencement of the Government's agenda to build 111 hospitals across the country. This comes following the drastic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He disclosed each hospital's estimated cost at $16.0m including cost of purchasing medical equipment, and other facilities. Construction would begin in the latter part of 2021 to be completed in 18 months. A total of 25,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created as a result


  • The Liberia Electoral Support Project recently received $1.7m from the Government of Ireland with the aim of supporting Liberia's progress towards consolidating peace and strengthening its democratic processes. Ireland has a strong focus on poverty reduction, gender equity, nutrition, food security, and the promotion & protection of human as well as women's rights in the county.

Francophone West Africa

Ivory Coast

  • Headline inflation rate in Senegal rose to 2.9% y/y in Jul-2021 from 2.0% in the previous month, its highest level since Aug-2020. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 1.9% m/m in Jul-2021, after an uptick of 0.5% in Jun-2021.
  • The United Kingdom on Sunday donated 140,160 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to Senegal as part of the countries aim to donate 100.0m doses with the rest of the world to help battle COVID-19.

Ivory Coast

  • The Minister of Health announced Ivory Coast has recorded a first case of Ebola late Saturday, the first occurrence of the deadly disease in nearly three decades. Officials confirmed the case after testing samples taken from an 18-year-old Guinean woman, who had left the city of Labe in Guinea by road, arriving in Ivory Coast on Wednesday. It has been reported as an isolated and imported case and identification and surveillance of anyone who had encounter the patient have commenced.

East Africa


  • Kenyan banks reported decent earnings in the past week. The largest bank by customer base, Equity Group, saw an c.30.0% y/y increase in interest income in H1-2021 as Net profit surged 98.3% y/y.
  • Kenya's second largest bank by assets, KCB Group, reported c.14.0% y/y growth in interest income in H1-2021 while Net profit grew by 101.3% y/y.
  • Tax collection by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Tax reached KSh121.8bn in Jul-2021, 29.0% higher than recorded in the same period in 2020.
  • In its most recent assessment, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) kept petrol, kerosene, and diesel pump prices unchanged for the second time since setting a price cap in Jul-2021.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a $50.0m partnership with FMO, a Dutch development bank, to support small businesses in Kenya amid the pandemic, by providing them with funds for working capital and expansion.


  • The government of Uganda plans to import reagents of Covid-19 vaccines to start its own vaccine production, to step up inoculation. The chemical imports is expected to fast-track vaccine production in the country.
  • According to a report from the Ministry of Health, Uganda has administered only 1.2m jabs out of 21.0m targeted before the country can fully remove restrictions imposed to contain the virus.


  • The US shipped about 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Rwanda. Amid rising cases in recent weeks, this will help ramp up vaccinations in Rwanda, which is critical for moving past the pandemic.


  • MTN Group officially announced withdrawal from the telecom license bidding race in Ethiopia, on the heels of its unsuccessful bid in Apr-2021.


Southern Africa

South Africa

  • South Africa's inflation eased from 4.9% y/y in Jun-2021 to 4.6% y/y in Jul-2021, the second consecutive fall and the biggest decrease in more than 14 months. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index increased by 1.1% m/m in Jul-2021, as against 0.2% m/m in Jun-2021. Also, the core inflation slowed to 3.0% y/y in Jul-2021 from 3.2% y/y in the previous month.
  • According to Statistics South Africa, the country's retail sales grew by 10.4% y/y in Jun-2021, moderating from 16.3% y/y recorded in May-2021. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose by 0.6% m/m in Jun-2021.
  • Reports on the second quarter review of business conditions for the motor vehicle manufacturing industry indicated that new vehicle market has recorded recovery in H1-2021, up 40.1% y/y from the period when covid pandemic hit. However, performance is still 11.7% below that recorded in H1-2019 (pre-pandemic levels).
  • Following a new proposal from the Department of Social Development, South Africans may be required to contribute up to 12.0% of their earnings to a new government-backed fund, National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The fund is proposed to provide retirement, disability, and unemployment benefits.


  • Angola's annual inflation rate edged higher for a fourth consecutive month in July, reaching 25.7% y/y, its highest level since October 2017. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up 2.1%, the same pace as in the previous month. Upward pressure came mostly from prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages, furnishings, health, clothing, and footwear.
  • Angola plans to export 1.2mbpd of crude in Oct-2021 more than 1.1mbpd in Sept-2021. The plan includes 38 cargoes carrying a total volume of 36.5m barrels for export.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Angola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Innovation Demonstration Park to strengthen economic cooperation, technology transfer and investment promotion.


  • The Central bank of Namibia has kept the benchmark rate unchanged at 3.8%, as it assesses the trajectory inflation and growth.
  • The Agricultural Bank of Namibia has advanced a total of N$3.5bn to farmers in a bid to fulfill its mandate to promote growth and development in the agricultural sector.


  • In the just concluded Presidential election, the president-elect, Hakainde Hichilema, beat the incumbent Edgar Lungu, by almost a million votes in a spectacular landslide victory. Mr Hichilema polled 2.8m votes to beat Mr Lungu who had 1.8m votes in an election of over 7.0m registered voters.


  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care confirmed that Zimbabwe is expected to take deliveries of 1.5m Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines in three batches, with the first consignment to arrive today and the last on Saturday.
  • The government of Zimbabwe is considering borrowing money directly from private investors to fund the first half of a $3.5bn compensation with white farmers whose lands were seized.

Central Africa


  • According to the National Cocoa and Coffee Board (NCCB), Cameroon's cocoa production during the just concluded Aug-2020 to Jul-2021 season rose 16.5% from the previous season. A total of 292,471 metric tons of cocoa beans were produced compared to 251,151 metric tons in the previous season.


  • The government of Gabon has declared that the Covid-19 restrictions currently in place would only be lifted after 60.0% of its population has been vaccinated. With a population estimated at 2.0m, 60.0% of the population would stand at 1.2 million. However, only 71,000 Gabonese have so far been vaccinated.


  • The Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) has granted the Republic of Congo approximately $59.0m to finance the construction works of the Dolisie-Kibangou road.

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