Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 040621


Friday, May 28, 2021/ 03:00PM / United Capital Research / Header Image Credit: Trendsnafrica


Anglophone West Africa



  • According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) report for the month of April, the company's crude oil export proceeds plunged 98.0% to N0.7bn in Apr-2021 from N35.7bn in Mar-2021. As a result, it made no remittance into the Federation account for the month of May-2021 following knock-on effects of subsidy payments (difference between the landing cost of PMS and ex-coastal price).
  • According to media reports, quoting data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria's external reserves fell by $640.0mn in May-2021 to $34.2bn. The CBN governor at the MPC briefing had earlier confirmed the decline in external reserves due to sales to the foreign exchange market and some third-party payments.
  • At the meeting of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators (ABCON), the President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, disclosed the association has resolved to commence what it called "operation no street trading" in an attempt to stop the hawking of foreign exchange by BDC operators.
  • According to media reports, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has announced the possibility of unbundling and privatisation of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as part of activities aimed at reforming the company.


  • Although inflation averaged 10.2% y/y in Q1-2021, as food price pressures remained elevated while non-food inflation started to accelerate, inflation numbers in Apr-2021 dropped sharply in April to 8.5% y/y, from 10.4% y/y in March as food prices eased while base effect kicked in.
  • Given the foregoing, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) elected to cut its policy rate by 100bps to 13.5%. It opted to focus on promoting the country's economic recovery.
  • At the Bank of Ghana treasury auction, the BoG sold GHc1.8bn worth of treasury securities across the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day instruments, exceeding its initial plan to raise GHc1.2bn. Yield movement on the various instruments mixed as 91-day and 364-day instruments inched higher by 2bps and 7bps. However, the 182-day bill closed lower by 3bps.


According to the Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Ingrid Wetterqvist, the Swedish government has approved and adopted Sweden's new development cooperation strategy in Liberia from 2021 to 2025. The latest development strategy is valued at $212.0m, which is c.40.0% higher than the previous strategy.

Francophone West Africa


  • The African Union has suspended Mali from the regional block, following the country's second coup in nine (9) months.
  • The regional bloc has also threatened the country with economic sanctions in the coming months.


Ivory Coast

 In the past week, Ivory Coast received 100,000 doses of the Oxford University vaccine from Niger. Niger currently has a relative surplus of the Covid vaccine.


  • The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved $134mn (half of the funds in grants) from the International Development Association (IDA) to enable safe, affordable and equitable access to Covid-19 Vaccines and ensure effective vaccine development in Senegal.
  • The project aims to vaccinate nearly a 9.5million people, about 55% of the county's population.
  • Senegal has issued international bonds worth €775mn with a coupon rate of 5.3%. The paper is due to mature in 2037.

East Africa


  • Kenya recorded a slight increase in May's inflation rate, as inflation rose to 5.9% in May-2021 from 5.8% in April-2021.
  • The National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) attributed the modest increase to higher transport costs, food and non-alcoholic beverages. Food inflation rose by 1.3% m/m and 7.4% y/y in May.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya held a treasury bill auction where it sold Kwh23.0bn across three tenors.
  • Investor appetite across all tenors was decent as a bid-to-cover ratio closed at 1.0x for the 91-day and the 182-day paper. The bid-to cover ratio for the long tenor paper closed stronger at 2.4x.
  • Stop rates closed at 7.1%, 7.8% and 8.9% across the 91-day, 182-day and 362-day papers.


  • The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has sounded the alarm as it appealed for over $203.0m in funding to tackle the problem of hunger in the Ethiopia Tigray region.
  • The UN's WFP sounded the alarm saying about 90% of people in the region require food assistance.


  • The Central Bank of Tanzania revealed that the current account deficit widened to 246.6m in April, from a deficit of 204.9m in the previous month, a 20.2% m/m.
  • According to the Central Bank, Tanzania's money supply (M3) rose by 7.8% in April y/y
  • Tanzania plans to begin constructing a delayed $30 billion liquefied natural gas project in 2023, following the resumption of talks with companies including Equinor ASA. Construction is expected to take about five years.


  • The IMF has approved a $1.0bn three-year loan facility to Uganda under the Extended Credit Facility. The agreement remains subject to approval by the IMF's management and its board. Uganda's government hopes the facility will help it recover from the pandemic, which hurt the country finances in 2020.
  • A report by the Bank of Uganda disclosed that the performance of Supervised Financial Institutions was not adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic induced disruptions to economic activity. The report further states that the profitability of Commercial Banks increased, albeit marginally, by 6.4% to Shs855bn. At the same time, the value of non-performing loans was largely unchanged throughout the year ending December-2020.
  • The World Bank has approved $200.0m to finance access to high fast, affordable internet, improving the efficiency of digitally enabled public service delivery, and strengthen digital inclusion in Uganda.
  •  According to the statement, $200.0m finance will be broken into $140.0m loan and $60.0m grant.
  • The Bank of Uganda sold treasury bills worth 241.9bn in the past week. The bills were split across three tenors 91-day, 182-day and 364-day tenors.
  • The bills were oversubscribed at 3.4x, 2.3x and 1.5x across the three tenors as mentioned above. Stop rates closed at 6.8%, 9.50% and 10.5% across the three tenors, respectively.


  • The African Development Bank (AFDB) Group has approved $84.2m in loans and grants to electrify nearly 77,470 rural households in South Rwanda.
  • The approved funds would consist of a loan of $36.7m and a grant worth $47.4m.
  • Rwanda sold 45.8bn worth of treasury bills across four tenors, 27-day, 82-day, 181-day and 363-day tenors. Stop rates closed at 6.4%, 6.5%, 7.50% and 8.60% across the 27-day, 82-day, 181-day and 363-day tenors respectively.

Southern Africa

South Africa

  • According to Stats SA, South Africa's electricity production rose by 25.6% y/y in April vs 1.8%.
  • Electricity consumption rose 25.7% y/y vs 3.0% in March. 
  • South Africa's struggling power utility Eskom Holdings SOC LTD has announced it will cut electricity supplies nationwide until Friday. The cut follows a loss of 2,000MW from the grid due to the shortages caused by plant failures. 
  • On Friday, the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB) plans to sell bills worth R7.5bn across the 91-day, 182-day and 273-day tenors. 
  • Absa bank Purchasing Managers index showed an uptick in May, as PMI improved to 57.8 points from 56.2 points recorded in April. 


  • Russian diamond producer Alrosa finances and delivers 25,000 doses of Sputnik v Covid-19 vaccines to the Angolan capital, Luanda, in a joint donation with the Russian Embassy in the country. 
  • The National Bank of Angola (BNA) has revised inflation upwards for 2021, expecting it to reach 19.5% at the end of the year against the previous forecast of 18.7%. The BNA justification for the increased projections was due to the supply shocks registered in the first four months of 2021. 


  • The Finance Ministry of Zimbabwe, Platinum production declined to 3,369kg in the Q1-2021 from 3,544kg in the corresponding period in 2020. 
  • Diamond output jumped to 70,2639 carats from 61,1331 carats in Q1-2021.
  •  Zimbabwe is projecting a growth rate of 7.4% this year, compared to a contraction of 4.1% last year, compared with a contraction of 4.1% y/y. 
  • Zimbabwe's government records a budget surplus of Z$9.8bn in Q1-2021.  



The Bank of Namibia issued treasury bills for the 91-day and 273-day paper, the bank issued 550bn and 550bn, bid to cover ratio 1.07x and 1.07x. 


The IMF sees Botswana GDP growing by 8.3% Vs April Estimates of 7.5%


Central Africa


  • According to media reports, Viettel Cameroon, operating under the brand name Nexttel, will launch its mobile money services by the end of 2021. The service called "Nexttel Possa" will be launched in conjunction with UBA Cameroon.
  • The legal dispute between the state of Cameroon and Sundance Resources Ltd is expected to take a new turn, with the Australian mining firm opting to seek international arbitration. Sundance has been in dispute with the government of Cameroon over the Mbalam-Nabeba Iron Ore Project which it claims the Cameroonian government gave its subsidiary, Cam Iron S.A exploitation permit and has failed to honour it. 
  • The Cameroonian government has reportedly held talks with their Congolese counterpart concerning beginning the project's development without involving Sundance. This has prompted the company to file a case at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.



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