Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 230721

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Friday, July 23, 2021/ 06:00PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: World Bank Group


Anglophone West Africa

Nigeria

  • The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the inflation figures for June-2021. Notably, the headline rate rose by 17.8% y/y, which is 0.2% lower than the rate recorded for the month of May (17.9%). This implies that prices continued to rise in June but at a slightly slower pace. In addition, the headline inflation rate ticked upwards by 1.1% m/m (vs 1.0% in May-2021). The highest increases were recorded in the cost of food.
  • According to the latest figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country's external reserve has lost $180.0m in two weeks. The CBN's forex reserve stood at $33.3bn on July 1, and it dropped to $33.1bn as of July 12.
  • Nigeria's first Startup Bill is set to be before the National Assembly in October. The bill is a joint initiative by Nigeria's tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of the country's digital economy through co-created regulations. It will provide Nigeria's tech entrepreneurs with an environment to pursue their ambition to better the larger Nigerian economy.
  • The Nigerian Export Promotion Council is implementing a N50.0bn Export Expansion Facility Programme (EEEP) as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, whose development and the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, lead implementation.
  • The EEFP would establish top-notch warehouses close to airports where Nigerian goods meant for export would be packaged to globally competitive standards ahead of their exportation.
  • Over 2.2m farmers are to receive about N12.3bn as agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government.  The Presidency has already approved N6.2bn for the first batch of 1.2m farmers.
  • A committee comprising officials of the Federal and Ogun State Governments has been set up to create a developmental plan for the Lagos/Ibadan railway corridors and forestall illegal activities that may threaten commuters and rail services.


Ghana

  • Ghana's Producer Price Inflation (PPI) rate for Jun-2021 fell to 10.1% compared to 11.8% recorded in May year-on-year. The rate represents a 1.7% decrease in producer's inflation relative to the rate recorded in May-2021. The month-on-month change in producer price index between May-2021 and Jun-2021 was 1.1%.
  • The Ministry of Education since Jan-2021 has released a total of GH¢316.4mn to the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) and Heads of Senior High Schools for the payment of food items for the School Feeding Programme. On July 9, it released an amount of GH¢88.1m to the NAFCO and the Headmasters of the schools to purchase perishable food items and other needs in the schools.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lauded Ghana for exiting the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) Lists in Jun-2021. The country was initially added after it was discovered that its AML/CTF regime lacked the needed strength to combat illicit practices.
  • The Ghana Health Service (GHS) warns that there could be a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The Service said it was due to the recent increase in cases and the detection of the delta variant in communities.

Liberia

  • The management of Liberia's third-largest producer of rubber, Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC), has begun providing for the health and other essential needs of local people near its plantation in upper Margibi County, amid the surge in COVID 19 Cases in Liberia.
  • Lonestar Cell MTN's services, Liberia's leading telecommunications company, are now mobile in Monrovia. The company is bringing its services to customers in their communities with the Lonestar Cell MTN Kekeh.


Francophone West Africa

Ivory Coast

  • The rating agency, Fitch Ratings, upgraded Ivory Coast's long term credit rating to BB- from B+, with a "stable" outlook.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pledged $300.0m to Ivory Coast under the Africa Medical Equipment Facility (AMEF). According to IFC, the funds will be used to support private players in the country's health sector.

Burkina Faso

The World Bank announced a $470.0m investment to accelerate the Lome-Ouagadougou-Niamey 1,065km road corridor. The corridor connects the three capitals and is a strategically important trade route.


East Africa

Kenya

  • Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows that fixed bank deposits held by Kenyans hit a historic high of Sh1.6tn in May, up from Sh1.5tn in March. Deposits in foreign currency bank deposits dropped by Sh34.6bn, suggesting the rich were shifting their savings to the local currency fixed accounts, currently paying an average return of 6.3%.
  • Kenya will conclude a review of bilateral labour agreements (BLAs) with three Middle East countries, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, by December. This agreement is intended for handling migrant workers' pay, welfare and dispute resolution.
  • Kenya's merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $980.0mn (8.8% m/m) in April, as import growth softened and export receipts remained stable for the third straight month.
  • Bungoma county youth are set to benefit from the Community Road Empowerment Programme sponsored by the government of Japan through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Uganda

  • The World Bank has ranked Uganda 12th in ease of doing business in Africa with the country's average cost of starting and running a small to medium-sized enterprise valued at Shs600,000. The World Bank also indicated that starting a business, a key variable in ease of doing business varies between days and several months.
  • Following a surge in covid-19 infections and restrictions announced by the government of Uganda, the fiscal deficit reached Ush1.3tn in June, as revenue shortfall and overspending contributed to a wider deficit.


Tanzania

  • The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has issued an approval in principle to Cellulant Corporation to operate as a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) in Tanzania, having satisfied all the requirements.
  • Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) has said it is committed to supporting the farmers' contract farming through its agri-business initiative that incorporated over 400 local farmers spread in eight regions across the country.
  • The government of Rwanda has abolished the tender process for fertiliser importation in the country, thus opening doors for any trader who intends to bring fertiliser into the country to have the opportunity. The purpose of abolishing the tender procedure was meant to increase competition among the businesspeople, who import bulk fertiliser and thus impact the commodity price.


Rwanda

  • Rwanda's parliament has approved €6.0m (Over Rwf7.0bn) financing from Nordic Development Fund (NDF) to control floods and construct drainages in Kigali City. Under the financing arrangement, €4.0m is a loan while €2.0m is a grant. The 31-year loan will attract an interest rate of 0.8% with a grace period of six years.
  • Rwandese authorities have approved the KCB Group deal to buy Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) from London-listed financial services firm Atlas Mara Limited. Atlas Mara had previously made regulatory disclosures that it had obtained approvals to sell its banks in Rwanda.


Southern Africa

South Africa

  • According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the country's consumer inflation for the month of June retreated to 4.9% y/y from May's 30-month high of 5.2% y/y. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index increased by 0.2%, up from 0.1% m/m in the previous month.
  • Core inflation rose to 3.2% y/y in June from 3.1% y/y in May.
  • A South African firm, Biovac Institute based in Cape Town, will begin producing the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the first time the shot will be produced in Africa. The move will help address the continent's desperate need for more vaccine doses amid a recent surge of cases.
  • At least 40,000 South African businesses have been looted, burnt and vandalised during the widespread rioting that broke out after the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma.
  • South African government, business and labour leaders, are discussing the payment of a relief grant to alleviate suffering after the worst unrest since the end of apartheid. However, the debate is if the stipend should be a temporary or a permanent payment.


Angola

  • According to statistics released by the Ministry of Economy and Planning, exports of products of Support Production, Diversification of Exports and Substitution of Imports Programme (PRODESI) amounted to around $24.8m during the first half of 2021.
  • During this period, the three most exported products were cement worth $1.8m, beer estimated at $5.2m and glass packaging for various purposes standing at $2.5m.
  • Weak oil and construction industries weigh on Angola's Q1 GDP growth rate.


Namibia

  • The Ondangwa Town Council says upgrading informal settlements and providing essential services to residents during the current financial year is a priority. The council has allocated N$50.0m for development projects during the 2021/2022 financial year.
  • Headline inflation in Namibia accelerated to 4.1% y/y in June due to higher food and transport price pressures.


Zambia

  • The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and an Italy-based business and trade promotion agency have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance trade between the two countries.
  • Zambia's Telecommunication (ZAMTEL) has started expanding critical data network equipment to improve internet connectivity. The expansion of the data core network, which the steady increase in internet usage has necessitated, will increase internet speed.


Zimbabwe

  • The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited (ZSE) has been granted a licence to operate a central securities depository by the Zimbabwe Securities and Exchange Commission. This development will improve the bourse's operational efficiencies in the market, among other benefits.
  • Zimbabwe-Stock-Exchange-listed cement maker Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe posted an inflation-adjusted ZW$3.1bn profit after tax during the year ended Dec-2020 after revenues surged as management applied tight cost containment measures.


Central Africa

Cameroon

  • Data from the Ministry of Finance (MINFI) shows that between 2015 and April 2021, the number of taxpayers in Cameroon's taxpayer directory grew from 89,741 to 140,000, representing a 58% rise. 
  • According to the MINFI, this growth was recorded thanks to several actions undertaken by the tax administration, which included an enhancement of the withholding tax mechanism that allows taxes to be collected when companies operating informally carry out commercial transactions with large companies.
  • Between 2006 and 2020, the special council support fund FEICOM raised over XAF894bn of communal taxes, the fund reveals. Also, FEICOM injected XAF292 bn into 3,601 projects submitted by decentralized territorial units over the same period.



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