United Capital Weekly Pan African Monitor Friday 21-June-2024

Image Credit: United Capital Research

June 21, 2024/United Capital Research

Anglophone West Africa (WAEMU)


  • Nigeria’s share of global FX reserves falls to 0.26%, as global FX reserves hit $12.3 trillion

Global forex reserves hit $12.3tn at the end of 2023 representing a 3.5% y/y increase from the $11.92tn recorded a year earlier. Nigeria’s forex reserves at the end of 2023 were $32.3bn representing just 0.26% of the global FX reserves.

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  • Nigeria seeks 18-month deadline extension for World Bank’s $800 million palliative loan

Nigeria has requested an 18-month extension (from June 30, 2024, to December 31, 2025)on the closing date of the World Bank’s $800mn palliative loan in a strategic move to bolster its social safety net programs amidst rising inflation and economic challenges.

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  • FG eyes $4.4bn new loans as debt hits N101tn

The Federal Government has borrowed a total of $4.95bn in loans from the World Bank in the past 12 months, pushing the total public debt to N101tn amidst worries about the increasing costs of servicing external debt. The nation’s public debt was put at approximately N97tn as of December 2023, according to the Debt Management Office data.

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  • Nigeria’s trade with UK crashes by 25% in Q1 2024 on lower exports

Nigeria’s total trade with the United Kingdom has plummeted by 25.0% in the first quarter of 2024 despite Naira’s devaluation. The total trade between Nigeria and the UK dropped from N602.36bn in Q1-2023 to N451.45bn in Q1-2024. When compared to Q4-2023, where the total trade was N522.79bn, there is a q/q decrease of 14.0%.

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  • Economy grows 4.7% first quarter

Ghana’s economy grew by 4.7 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, compared to the 3.8 per cent recorded in the same period last year, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed. The GDP growth rate without oil and gas (non-Oil GDP) for the first quarter of 2024 is 4.2 per cent, compared to the 4.4 per cent recorded in the same period in 2023.

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  • Recapitalisation of the central bank should be prioritized

The Bank of Ghana has recorded a loss of GH¢10.5 billion for the 2023 financial year, an improvement over the 2022 loss of GH¢60.8 billion. The 2023 loss was attributed to a rise in the cost of the central bank’s open market operations. With interest rates at high levels, the cost of conducting open market operations surged to GH¢8.4 billion, up from the GH¢1.7 billion recorded in 2022. In addition, impairments on newly issued Government of Ghana Bonds, per IFRS standards, added to the loss position reported in the year.

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Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

Ivory Coast

  • Ivory Coast expects threefold oil output increase by 2027

Ivory Coast expects a more than threefold increase to its oil output by 2027, boosted by recent oil and gas discoveries at the West African nation’s Baleine and Calao offshore fields, President Alassane Ouattara said on Tuesday. The world’s top cocoa-producing nation is hoping to become a major regional oil and gas producer and regional energy hub.

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East Africa


  • Kenya Protesters Push Ruto to Take Extra $1.6 Billion Budget Hit

Police sealed off Kenya’s national parliament on Thursday as anti-tax protests spread to more towns days after the government said it would amend a raft of levies in the face of popular opposition.

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  • Kenya Risks Deficit Target After Bowing to Anti-Tax Protests

Kenyan authorities bowed to public protests and pledged to walk back a raft of tax proposals, jeopardizing President William Ruto’s plans to reduce the nation’s budget deficit.

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  • Kenya Eyes 10-Fold Jump in Minimum Bank Capital to Boost Lenders

Kenya plans to raise the minimum capital requirement for the country’s banks 10-fold to 10 billion shillings ($78 million), Treasury Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u said. He presented the strategy in his budget speech to lawmakers in capital, Nairobi.

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  • Rwanda 1Q Economy Expands 9.7% y/y Buoyed by Services

Rwanda’s economy witnessed a notable growth of 9.7% in the first quarter of 2024. This surge can be attributed to the robust performance of the industry and services sectors. Notably, the agriculture sector demonstrated significant improvement during season A of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, particularly in the production of food crops, which experienced substantial growth.

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  • Rwanda Lawmakers Approve $110 Million Loan from Korea Exim Bank

Rwandan lawmakers approve loan agreement for technical and vocational education and training, the African nation’s finance ministry says in post on X.

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  • EU Set to Double Funding for Rwandan Force in Mozambique

Under the proposal, the EU would pay €40 million ($42.8 million) for non-lethal military equipment and airlifts for Rwandan Defence Force soldiers that have been deployed to Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province since 2021, two EU officials said, asking not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media.

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  • Bank of Uganda Revokes Licence of Mercantile Credit Bank, Orders Liquidation

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda announced the revocation of the licence of Mercantile Credit Bank Limited, which has also been placed under liquidation, and made an order for the winding up of its affairs. The central bank is exercising its powers under Sections 99 and 17 (b) & (f) of the Financial Institutions Act, 2004, as amended.

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  • Uganda’s April Trade Gap Narrows 23% m/m to $309 Million

In April 2024, Uganda’s trade deficit with the rest of the world reduced by 23.4% to $309.01mn (about sh1.1trn) from $403.41mn (about sh1.4trn) the previous month, a new report by the Ministry of Finance indicated.

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  • Uganda May coffee exports up 22% – UCDA

Uganda’s coffee exports in May surged 22% from the same month last year, boosted by a bumper harvest from one of the major producing regions, according to the state-run sector regulator.

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  • Uganda MOF Presents FY 2024-2025 Budget Speech

The Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development June 13 presented the financial year 2024-2025 budget speech. The speech describes measures to: 1) exempt VAT on supplies of specified domestically manufactured electric vehicles (EVs), including for charging stations, batteries, and related services…

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South Africa

South Africa

  • Malaysia preparing to join BRICS economic group.

Malaysia is preparing to join the BRICS group of emerging economies, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in an interview with Chinese media outlet Guancha. The BRICS group of nations originally included Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which gave it the acronym. The group last year began to expand its membership as it looks to challenge a world order dominated by Western economies.

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  • South Africa unity government parties back rapid economic growth.

South Africa’s African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance committed to “rapid, inclusive and sustainable” economic growth in an agreement on forming a so-called government of national unity. The accord, signed in Cape Town on Friday, sets the revival of South Africa’s economy as the first of 11 priorities that the incoming administration will focus on. It touts fixed capital investment, structural reforms and fiscal sustainability as key objectives to getting the economy back on track.

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  • Economists expect SARB to cut the repo rate in November.

South Africa’s Reserve Bank will probably wait until November before it cuts its repo rate as economists continue to roll back their expectations when policy easing kicks off in response to slowing inflation, a poll by Reuters has found.

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  • South African inflation stable but still above central bank objective.

South African inflation was stable in May, data showed on Wednesday, but analysts do not expect interest rate cuts any time soon as it remains above the central bank’s desired level. Headline consumer inflation came in at 5.2% year on year in May, the same as in April, in line with the forecast of economists polled by Reuters.

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  • OECD African Tax Transparency Sees Explosive Progress.

There’s a tax case brewing in South Africa involving one of the country’s banks, an alleged gold smuggling ring, and accusations of cross-border money laundering. The scheme, which has been dubbed the “Gold Mafia,” reportedly centers on a Zimbabwean tobacco magnate — Simon Rudland — whom authorities allege built a black market cigarette empire across southern Africa. Those purported black market earnings needed to be laundered, so his associates allegedly routed the cash through a complicated web of businesses, including a gold smuggling operation, and bribed officials across several South African banks.

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  • Zimbabwe Plans to Overhaul Tax System to Boost ZiG Currency

Zimbabwe plans to introduce regulations that will require businesses to settle a portion of their taxes in ZiG to boost the new bullion-backed currency that’s had a “positive impact” on the economy, the finance minister said. The “Treasury is stepping up to complement the fiscal and monetary policy framework aimed at further anchoring the currency, exchange rate and price stability,” Mthuli Ncube said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

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  • CBZ Secures U.S.$80m Loan From Afreximbank to Support Exporters.

CBZ Bank has secured a US$80 million loan facility from the African Export-Import Bank to support trade financing for the country’s productive sectors of the economy as well as for capital expenditure financing. The agreement was signed on Wednesday at the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings 2024 in the Bahamas. In a joint statement, the parties said the facility had a tenure of three years with an option to roll over for another two years, and demonstrated the Afreximbank’s commitment to supporting African economies when such assistance is required.

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  • IMF Mission to Assess New ZiG Currency’s Impact On Zimbabwe’s Economy.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) consultation mission will later this June visit Zimbabwe to assess the country’s economic performance on the back of a newly introduced currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG). ZiG has been the official currency since April 8, 2024, backed by US$575 million worth of hard assets: foreign currencies, gold, and other precious metals. IMF spokesperson, Julie Kozack, confirmed the routine consultations, which will also focus on the impact of the new currency.

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  • Government to Recall 100 Megawatts from Export Market Amidst Power Crisis.

In a proactive move to address the ongoing electricity challenges, the UPND government has announced its decision to recall at least 100 megawatts (MW) of power currently being exported. This decision was revealed during a media engagement held by the Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, alongside the Minister of Energy, Hon. Peter Kapala.

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  • Government Announces Measures to Address Power Supply Deficit and Adjust Electricity Tariffs.

Energy Minister Peter Kapala has announced a series of measures to manage the country’s power supply deficit and the implementation of a revised electricity tariff structure. The statement was delivered in response to an urgent query by Roan MP Joel Chibuye regarding electricity supply issues in educational institutions.

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  • Sonangol to support Angola’s oil and gas industry by expanding production, exploration efforts, African Energy Chamber reports.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) – led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk – met with Sonangol CEO Sebastião Gaspar Martins in Luanda to discuss Sonangol’s vision for the oil and gas industry. The AEC believes that Sonangol is a strategic partner for Angola’s oil and gas industry and will continue to play a major role in facilitating investment and driving project developments. With a focus on expanding exploration and production, the company plays a critical role in Angola’s efforts to boost its oil and gas industry and bolster economic growth.

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Central Africa


  • French Firm I-Tek Eyes CFA 5bn Pig Farm Project in Cameroon

French company I-Tek has expressed interest in constructing and commissioning 500 pig farms in Cameroon. This announcement was made during a ceremony advocating for the development of pig farming, held on June 11, 2024, at the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock, and Forests of Cameroon (Capef) in Yaoundé. I-Tek, established in 1992, is known for its expertise in building innovative livestock facilities and providing equipment for various species.

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  • Apesa Fund Placed in Liquidation, Valentine Ojong Oben Appointed Liquidator

In financial trouble for several years, the second-tier microfinance institution Apesa Fund (African Private Equity and Savings) has been placed in liquidation. Valentine Ojong Oben has been appointed as the banking liquidator. This information was announced in a statement by the liquidator on June 13, 2024, citing two decisions from the Central African Banking Commission (Cobac) dated December 27, 2023, and April 15, 2024.

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  • CEMAC Banks Snub BEAC’s First Refinancing Offer in Over a Year

Banks across the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) have shown limited interest in the central bank’s (BEAC) recent liquidity injection offer, marking its first since February 2023. On June 11, 2024, BEAC proposed a CFA 120 billion refinancing package, yet banks only requested and received CFA 55 billion, indicating a modest 45.8% subscription rate.

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  • SABC claims CFA100mln investment in water projects across Cameroon in 2023

Cameroonian brewer SABC claimed it has built 11 potable water wells nationwide in 2023. These projects, part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy, cost a total of CFA100 million, we learned.

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  • Cameroon Welcomes Two New Cocoa Processing Plants

The Puratos Group, which specializes in bakery, patisserie, and chocolate, plans to set up a cocoa bean processing plant in Ebolowa, the capital of the South Region. This information was revealed on June 7, 2024, during a meeting between Puratos representatives and local authorities in Ebolowa.

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  • CEMAC growth dropped to 1.7% in 2023 (World Bank)

The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) experienced an economic slowdown in 2023, with growth falling to 1.7% from 3.1% in 2022, according to the semi-annual CEMAC Economic Barometer published by the World Bank on Monday, June 17, 2024. Growth is expected to rebound to 2.5% in 2024.

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  • Cameroon Allows Seizures of Livestock, Businesses, and More for Debt Recovery

Since February 16, 2024, Cameroon and 16 other member states of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) have authorized seizures of livestock, business assets, electronic money holdings, movable property belonging to third parties, and negotiable debt securities. This decision follows the revision of OHADA’s uniform act on simplified debt recovery procedures and enforcement measures.

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  • Cameroon spends CFA174bn on fertilizer imports in 3 years as local projects stall

From 2021 to 2023, Cameroon spent CFA 173.9 billion on fertilizer imports, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS) in its annual foreign trade report. The imports surged by 76.2% in 2023, following an 82% increase in 2022, reported the agency responsible for Cameroon’s official statistics.

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  • Beac’s Latest Liquidity Offer Draws Strong Interest from Cemac Banks

On June 18, the Bank of Central African States (Beac) launched a CFA65 billion liquidity offer to banks in the Cemac region. The central bank revealed a strong response from credit institutions, with demand reaching CFA292 billion, over 449% of the amount offered.

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