Snapshot on African Economy as @ 260321


Friday, March 26, 2021/ 12:50PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Worldbank Group


Anglophone West Africa



  • Rating agency, Fitch assigned Ghana's (B/Stable) proposed senior unsecured foreign-currency bonds a 'B' rating. Fitch highlighted the bond's sensitivity to certain factors such as public finances, external finances, and the general macro-environment in Ghana.
  • Ghana's central bank held its benchmark interest rate for a sixth consecutive meeting as it monitors the impact of new tax measures on inflation. Ghana's central bank choose to keep benchmark interest rates constant amid galloping inflationary pressures.
  • Ghana has received 167,000 doses of the 7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines, donated to the African Union's vaccination program by telecoms Giant MTN.
  • Redbird, a Ghanaian health start-up that allows easy access to convenient testing for doctors and patients, announced that it had raised a $1.5 million seed investment.



  • The Debt Management Office of Nigeria (DMO) held its Mar-2020 bond auction. FGN bonds worth N150.0bn were auctioned across three tenors. The bonds were oversubscribed by 1.2x. Stop rates closed marginally higher across all tenors as marginal rates closed at 10.5% (prev. 10.25%), 11.5% (prev.11.25%) and 12.0% (prev.11.8%) for the FGN Mar-2025, FGN Mar- 2037 and FGN Jul-2045 respectively.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) held its second monthly policy meeting of the year. As expected, the CBN held all monetary policy rates constant.
  • ding Nigeria cement player Dangote cement released its audited FY2020 financials; the result showed revenue increased by 16.0%, y/y, whilst PAT was up by 37.7% y/y in the period under review. The firm proposed a N16 per share dividend payment.
  • Lafarge Africa also reported an 8.0% y/y growth in revenue and a 98.8% y/y increase in PAT in 2020. The firm proposed a N1 per share dividend payment to its shareholders.
  • Lastly, Stanbic IBTC released its audited financials for FY-2020. The result showed the firm's Gross earnings remained flat, printing a 0.3% growth y/ y. However, PAT increased by 10.9% y/y in the period under review. It announced a dividend payment of N3.60 per share and a bonus issue of one for every six shares (1 for 6) held in the company. At the current price of N52.90, it implies a total yield of 23.5%.



  • A recent world bank report on Covid-19 impact on remittance inflows showed that 84.3% of households in Gambia experienced a drop in remittance inflows between Mar-2020 and Sep-2020. On the flip side, only 1.3% of households saw an increase in remittance inflows in the period under review.
  • The Gambian central bank sold 750bn worth of Dalasi 2024 bonds at a 10.0% yield. The investor appetite for the paper was strong as the offer was oversubscribed by 1.7x


Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

Ivory Coast

  •  The Ivory coast disclosed that 40.0% of its food sector support program had been implemented. The program aims to increase local food production to ensure food security
  • At a conference titled 'French Water Tour', France and the Ivory coast looked to Increased bilateral relations between themselves. The two countries looked to strengthen cooperation and promote their expertise to boost their economic exchanges.
  • In a meeting held by Koffi Komenan Geoffroy, the executive director of the Onion Interprofession of Côte d'Ivoire (IOCI), he stated that the national production of onions does not cover 5.0% of domestic needs, which is an estimated at 120,000 tonnes per year. The remaining 95.0% are imported. At this meeting, he disclosed that the country's mediumterm production goals were to increase production to at least 30.0%.


  • In a bid to strengthen their bilateral relationship, officials from Senegal and Sierra Leone met earlier this week at the Senegalese Presidential Palace. The meeting focused on strengthening cooperation and exploring investment opportunities between the two countries.
  • Protests continued in Senegal, as youth in the past week were out again on the streets, this time protesting the bleak job opportunities in Senegal. Increased demonstrations in the past two months will affect Senegal's ability to attract FPI flows in the short-term. 


East Africa


  • Rwanda's Covid-19 vaccination process could cost up to $120.0m with short term costs standing at $47.0m according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The vaccination process, which commenced in March is expected to cover at least 7.8 million people representing 60.0% of the population by June next year.
  • According to the Minister of Environment, Rwanda is set to privatize at least 80.0% of state-owned forests by 2024 for better forest management and value addition.
  • Rwanda Minister for Health made it known that at least 97.0% of the Covid vaccines that were received in the country have been administered as first shot, to high-risk groups.



  • The African Development Bank and Equity Group Holdings (EGH) have signed a $100.0m (Kshs 11 Billion) loan facility to support the commercial bank's expansion across Eastern and Central Africa, enhancing its ability to serve small and medium enterprises as it grows.
  • A bid to remove the deputy leader of Kenya's ruling Jubilee Party, William Ruto, has been put on ice.


  • Uganda Interest rate dropped to an industry average of 17.4%, according to the Ministry of Finance. The drop follows Bank of Uganda's sustained monetary policy stance, which has seen the Central Bank maintain accommodative rates since April last year.
  • Health workers implementing Covid-19 guidelines at Mirama Hills on the Rwanda-Uganda border have gone on strike over non-payment of their allowances by Ministry of Health for more than six months. The strike has crippled businesses and with an ensuing traffic at the border point.



  • Following the sudden death of now former President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, his former Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as President in line with constitutional requirements becoming the first female president in Tanzania.
  • Foreign reserves in Tanzania surprised to the upside at the start of 2021. The country's forex holdings rose to $5.2bn at the end of Jan-2021, from $4.8bn at the end of Dec-2020.
  • The current account deficit in Tanzania widened from $54.0m in Jan2020 to $83.0m in Jan-2021. Tanzania's positive terms of trade shock is coming to an end, as the price of gold is under pressure and global oil prices have risen sharply.

South Africa

South Africa

  • South Africa's Producer Price Index (PPI) surged to 4.0% y/y in Feb-2021 following a 3.5% y/y print in Jan-2021. On a m/m basis, PPI grew by 0.7% in Feb-2020 following a 0.8% rise in January. Higher fuel costs and expected electricity price hikes expected to continue to drive factory prices higher.
  • On the other hand, consumer inflation slowed to 2.9% y/y in Feb-2021 from 3.2% y/y in Jan-2021. This is the lowest growth in the CPI since June2020 (2.2% y/y). Noteworthy to mention, it marks the third time in the past year that consumer inflation has fallen below the SA Reserve Bank's mandated range of 3.0% - 6.0%.
  • At its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the MPC held its benchmark interest rate at 3.5% in a unanimous vote by members of the panel. The committee raised its inflation forecast for the year. This is the fourth consecutive meeting the MPC has chosen to hold its policy rate.
  • South Africa's plans to vaccinate two-thirds of its population has suffered severe setback due to acute shortages of shots. This comes as the National Coronavirus Command Council considers whether to introduce more restrictions ahead of the upcoming holidays.



  • According to an emailed statement from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZNSA), Zimbabwe's exports in Jan-2021 fell to $282.9m from $488.3m in Dec-2020. Imports also dropped to $460.3m in Jan-2021 with Trade deficit printing at $177.4m.
  • Furthermore, the ZNSA stated that consumer inflation for March slowed to 240.6% in Mar-2021 from 321.6% in Feb-2021. On a m/m basis, prices rose 2.3% in Mar-2020 compared to 3.5% in Feb-2020.


  • According to health authorities in Angola, 87,022 of its population (or 0.3% of its population) have been vaccinated as at 24-March. The vaccination exercise which began on 2-February is initially focused on health workers, teachers at all levels of education, senior citizens over the age of 65 with comorbidities, employees of the Defence & Security bodies, people with sickle-cell disease and chronic renal shortage.
  • According to health authorities in Angola, 87,022 of its population (or 0.3% of its population) have been vaccinated as at 24-March. The vaccination exercise which began on 2-February is initially focused on health workers, teachers at all levels of education, senior citizens over the age of 65 with comorbidities, employees of the Defence & Security bodies, people with sickle-cell disease and chronic renal shortage.
  • According to a report from Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency (AIPEX), Angola has received 345 proposals for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) valued at $3.4bn.



In the ongoing terrorism war, insurgents attacked the town of Palma, less than 25km from Total SE's $20.0bn liquefied natural gas project raising uncertainty about work resuming after attacks at the end of last year prompted the company to evacuate staff.



  • Zambia's annual inflation accelerated for a seventh straight month in March to a 5-year high as food prices surged and the depreciation of the currency made imports more expensive. Inflation surged to 22.8% y/y in Mar-2021 compared to 22.2% in Feb-2021. Food inflation climbed to a record 27.8% y/y.
  • At its recent Treasury auction, the Bank of Zambia sold bills worth ZMW59.5m, ZMW103.8m, ZMW52.4m, ZMW752.2m across the 91-day, 182- day, 273-day and 364-day tenors. The stop rates printed at 14.0%, 16.0%, 20.0%, and 25.8% respectively.
  • According to the Zambian Central Statistics Office, the country's trade surplus narrowed to ZMW8.1bn in Feb-2021 from ZMW9.3bn in Jan-2021.


Central Africa (CEMAC & Congo DRC)


  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) reported that Cameroon's public debt size is troubling in its 2021 forecast on African economies. By September 2020, the stock of public debt had risen from 12.0% of GDP in 2007 to 45.8% of GDP (about two-thirds are foreign and one-third domestic), according to the bank.
  • The General Directorate for the Economy and Public Investment Programming announced that save for aluminum, all of Cameroon's raw materials exported in January 2021 saw major price changes on foreign markets.
  • The Yaoundé-Nsimalen international airport, situated on the outskirts of Cameroon's capital, recently acquired a power plant from the French firm Ineo Energy & Systems. The electricity grid has a capability of 680 KVA x 2 and costs XAF4.8bn.


  • The agents of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) embarked on a strike in Gabon due to the non-payment of the Differential Residence Allowance (IDR) for the benefit of workers stationed in Gabon since January 2021. Starting 22-March, there will be a three-day alert.
  • Despite the pandemic in 2020, Total Plc, Gabon made a net profit of $87.0m, compared to $50.0m the previous year. Despite the operational limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company kept its activities running at all its locations.



  • The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has pledged support for the advancement of manufacturing in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the aim of improving the country's industrial sector.
  • The new Petroleum Code was enacted in 2015 to aggressively transform the country's energy sector by providing clear and attractive policies for foreign investment and is set to increase energy developments and associated economic growth dramatically.

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