United Capital Weekly Pan African Monitor Friday 01-Mar-2024

Image Credit: United Capital Research

March 1, 2024/United Capital

Anglophone West Africa (WAEMU)


  • BDC operators plan mergers, fault mandatory deposit

The President of the Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadebe, has announced that members of the association would consider mergers if the proposed guidelines for their operations go into effect. This came after the CBN proposed an increase in the share capital of Bureau De Change operators to N2.0bn and N500.0m for Tier 1 and Tier 2 licences respectively.

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  • Interest rate hike: Private sector, economists foresee fresh job losses, recession

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has voted to increase the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75% from 18.75%. The MPC also made a bold move to restrict money supply by increasing the Cash Reserve Ratio to 45.0%, maintaining a liquidity ratio at 30.0% while the Asymmetric Corridor was also raised to +200/-700, but the CRR was retained at 32.5%.

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  • CBN begins sales of dollars to BDCs

The CBN, in a circular issued and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Hassan Mahmud, on Tuesday announced its decision to sell foreign exchange worth $20,000 to each eligible Bureau De Change operator across the country. The Apex bank further added that the allocation will be sold at a rate of N1,301/$ reflecting the lower band rate of executed spot transactions at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market as of the previous trading day.

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  • Subsidy removal: Petrol import crashes by 990million litres monthly

According to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), into Nigeria has reduced by 50.0% since the withdrawal of subsidy on the commodity. This implies that the volume of imports into Nigeria has reduced by about 33.0million litres daily, based on NNPCL’s figures in February. This means that PMS importation has dropped by about 990.0million litres in one month.

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  • Ghana aims to complete external debt restructuring as soon as possible

President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a state of the nation address in parliament announced that Ghana aims to finish restructuring its external debt as soon as possible so it can emerge from its worst economic crisis in a generation. He added that the recent replacement of Ghana’s finance minister in a reshuffle would not affect the government’s commitment to implement its International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

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Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)


  • Senegal panel suggests delayed polls be held in June to end crisis

Senegal’s national dialogue commission will propose a delayed presidential election be held on June 2 and recommend President Macky Sall remain in office until his successor is sworn in. This was announced by commission member Ndiawar Paye on Tuesday. He further added that the recommendation will be sent to President Sall who will make the final decision.

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East Africa


  • Kenyan Inflation Rate Falls Even Before Currency Rally Registers.

Kenya’s annual inflation rate fell in February and looks set for further declines when the  impact from a recent rally in the shilling filters through. The annual consumer price index  rose 6.3% in February, compared with 6.9% the month before, according to data  released on Thursday by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. The median estimate of  five economists in a Bloomberg survey was 6.9%.

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  • Kenya Says It’s Resolving Row Over Oil-Product Flows to Uganda.

Kenya said it’s resolving disagreements with neighboring Uganda over the shipment of oil  products from one territory into the other. Kenya in an exclusive arrangement with Vitol Group, though the deal has been delayed after Nairobi declined to allow the shipments.

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  • Kenya Power Still Seeks Approval to Bill in Foreign Currency.

State-controlled power utility clarifies that it’s yet to receive regulatory approval to bill  some customers in US dollars, Nairobi-based Business Daily newspaper says, correcting an  earlier article.

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  • UK Grants Asylum to 15 Rwandans Despite ‘Safe Country’ Claims.

The UK granted asylum applications to 15 Rwandans last year — despite insisting the  African nation is a “safe country” to which it can deport refugees. Home Office data published Thursday showed 20 Rwandans lodged an asylum claim with the UK in 2023,  and three-quarters were granted protection. Nearly all of those were in the final quarter  of the year, as the government was locked in heated debate over its proposal to send  migrants arriving in small boats to the East African country.

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  • Uganda Feb. Consumer Prices Rise 3.4% y/y.

Uganda’s consumer prices rose 3.4% y/y in February versus +2.8% in January, according  to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Core prices rose 3.4% vs +2.4% in Jan.; monthly core  0.9% vs unchanged in Jan. Annual energy fuel and utilities inflation rose 8.0% vs 7.4% in Jan. Food crops and related items inflation +0.5% vs +2.6% in Jan. Monthly prices rose  0.5% vs unchanged in Jan. Inflation rate highest in six months

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  • Uganda Says China’s CNlight Eyes Local $30m Computer, IT Plant.

A delegation from the Nanhai-based company held talks with Ugandan President Yoweri  Museveni over plans to set up a computer and information-technology accessory plant  in the East African country, the presidency says in an emailed statement.

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  • Uganda in Talks to Sell State Telecom Stake to Rowad Capital.

Authorities are negotiating with Rowad Capital Commercial for partnership in Uganda  Telecommunications, Kampala-based Daily Monitor newspaper reports, citing board Chairman Grace Ssekakubo.

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  • Chinese Firms to Build $266 Million Tanzania Fuel-Storage Tanks.

Tanzania signed a deal with Chinese companies to build fuel storage tanks at the port of  Dar es Salaam as the East African nation seeks to construct infrastructure in its quest to  become a regional fuel hub. Tanzania Ports Authority awarded the project worth about $266 million to China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group and Wuhuan Engineering  Co.

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  • Tanzania LNG Slows as State Delays on Terms With Equinor, Shell..

Tanzania is delaying key agreements needed to realize a $42 billion liquefied natural gas  plant, slowing a project that developers Equinor ASA and Shell Plc warn has limited time  to become a reality before demand for fossil fuels begins to wane.

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Southern Africa

South Africa

  • South Africa producer inflation rises to 4.7% y/y in January

South Africa’s producer inflation rose to 4.7% year on year in January from 4.0% in December, statistics agency data showed. On a month-on-month basis, the producer price index was at 0.1% in January, compared to -0.6% in December, Statistics South Africa said.

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  • South Africa budget deficit at $2.84bln in January

South Africa recorded a budget deficit of 54.66 billion rand ($2.84 billion) in January, compared to a deficit of 78.63 billion rand in the same month a year earlier, National Treasury data showed.

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  • South Africa’s economic growth depends on tourism

Tourism is a catalyst for economic growth. It boosts job creation, cultivates entrepreneurship, generates revenue, and produces a multiplier effect that ripples through related sectors. In 2021, tourism contributed 3.2% to South Africa’s GDP. While updated GDP figures are yet to be released, UN Tourism’s findings that international travel was on track to reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023 suggest that this contribution has likely increased in the last two years.

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  • Government allocates funds for health sector, prioritises NHI: SA

The health sector is expected to receive an allocation of R848bn over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework with at least R1.4bn directed to the National Health Insurance (NHI).

This was announced by Minister Enoch Godongwana during the 2024 Budget Speech on Wednesday, 21 February 2024.

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  • South African fashion retailers boost local production amid port delays

South African fashion retailers are ramping up local production and using alternative sea ports and air freight to mitigate the impact of congestion at traditional ports that has caused massive delays in stock deliveries.

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  • South Africa celebrates first AfCFTA export to Ghana amidst global trade disruptions

The opportunities the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement creates for the development of intra-African trade are becoming apparent, according to Philip Myburgh, executive head of trade and Africa-China, business and commercial clients at the Standard Bank Group, amid disruptions to traditional trade routes, unpredictable shipping times, and skyrocketing freight tariffs caused by the conflict in the Red Sea region.

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  • Namibia sees economic growth improving on oil and mining

Namibia has raised its economic growth forecasts for 2023 and 2024 and lowered a budget deficit projection due mainly to strong growth in the oil and mining sectors, its finance minister said. The southern African country expects to see economic growth of 5.6% for last year and 4.0% this year, up from projections of 3.5% and 2.9%, respectively, made in October. Growth is then expected to fall to 3.9% in 2025, said Ipumbu Shiimi in a budget speech.

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  • Zambia Inflation Rate Hits 2-Year High of 13.5%

The annual inflation rate in Zambia rose for the eighth month to hit 13.5% in February 2024, the highest in two years, up from 13.2% in January and market forecasts of 12.9%. Prices accelerated for both food (14.1% vs 13.7% in January) and non-food products (12.7% vs 12.4%), of which fuels. On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced by 2.2% in February, the most in over two years, after a 2.1% rise in the prior month.

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  • Zambia plans to import and ration electricity due to drought

Zambia has drawn up plans to import and ration electricity as a devastating drought looks set to affect hydropower generation, the country’s main source of power, President Hakainde Hichilema said. The prolonged dry spell, which has already been declared a national disaster, would also hit food production and was likely to affect the mining sector, Hichilema said in a live television address to the nation.

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  • Zambian President Says China and India Signed Debt-Revamp Deal

China and India, the last two nations needed to sign a deal to restructure Zambia’s debt, have finally done so, President Hakainde Hichilema said. “We’re getting there,” he said on Zambian state-owned television. “Now we are turning our attention to the private creditors that we hope to be able to put to bed soon.”

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  • Zimbabwe Inflation Hits Six-Month High as Currency Plunges

Zimbabwe’s inflation rate jumped to its highest level in six months as the local dollar continued its losing streak against the greenback, in one of its worst starts to the year since the currency’s reintroduction in 2019. Annual inflation surged to 47.6% in February from 34.8% a month before, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency. Consumer prices rose 5.4% in the month from 6.6% in January.

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  • ZINARA rakes in ZWL$868bn

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) collected revenue of ZWL$868.59bn for the year ended 31 December 2023, which was 13% more than was projected, Business Times can report. Of this sum, ZINARA allocated more than ZW$500bn to commitments pertaining to roads.

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Central Africa


  • Cameroon’s inflation rate eases to 5.2% in January 2024 but continues to challenge household budgets

In January 2024, Cameroon experienced a decrease in its Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to data released on February 19 by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The report highlights a 0.4% drop in inflation following a 0.1% increase in December 2023. While, the general price level saw a 5.2% y/y increase in January 2024, mainly driven by a 5.4% rise in food product prices and a 17.0% surge in transportation costs.

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  • OCP Africa renews commitment to Cameroon’s agricultural sector

OCP Africa, the agro-oriented subsidiary of the Moroccan OCP Group, announced the renewal of its partnership with Cameroon’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Minader). This comes to cement the decade-long relationship between Cameroon and the OCP group, aimed at enhancing the country’s agricultural productivity. OCP Africa expects a “remarkable increase in yields, varying from 30% to 50% for cereal and vegetable crops.”

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