- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has clarified that Zambia with a few other African countries is not in the priority bracket for accessing debt relief package from the Fund. Zambia among with Burundi, Zimbabwe and Congo including Cote d’Ivoire are some of the countries that have missed out on the Covid-19 debt relief.
- Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu stated that Zambia budget has been thrown into panic by the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic and the government needs to take action to support businesses.
- The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that the shilling opened last Friday at an average 24 units to the dollar in contrast with the previous Friday’s level of 106.20 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hurt export trade and slowed down remittances. This has, in turn, reduced the stock of dollar reserves. The Friday opening performance meant that the shilling had dropped 4.7% of its value since March 12 when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya
- Demand for government short-term debt has improved but remains depressed in the wake of reduced subscription as investors remain on the sidelines amid increased market uncertainty. The CBK received bids worth 61 BN KES (182.86 MM USD) in the auction last week against 24 BN KES (223.79 MM USD) it offered investors, an equivalent of 81.7% uptake.
- The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) posted a flat growth in collections for Q1-2020 reflecting a slowdown in business activities and jobs that started even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic shocks kicked in.
- Sugar imports in February 2020 increased by 88% reaching 51,423 tons compared to 27,375 in February 2019 as the county shipped in more commodity to bridge local deficit following increased demand.
- The World Bank approved total financing of 2 MM USD to enable Uganda to improve sustainable management of forests and protected areas and increase benefits to forest-dependent communities, including refugees and their host communities.
- The Central Bank of Uganda has dropped its policy rate from 9% announced in February 2020 to 8% for April 2020, to counter the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic on commercial banks, micro deposit taking institutions, the economy and borrowers.
- Key global aviation industry players plan to launch the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Blockchain Alliance, the first industry-wide investigation into the use of blockchain to track, trace and record aircraft parts.
- In Rwanda, the lockdown measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus have complicated many activities including access to certain medical services, including cancer treatment. Rwandan Doctors are using drones to deliver cancer drugs to patients.
- China is expected to deploy more medical experts to Zimbabwe to help the struggling country fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Noting that China was the first country to record a Covid-19 case and was also the first country to have preliminary success in containing the disease.
- Rwandans abroad will be flown back after government finalized a deal with the national carrier, RwandAir, and other partners to introduce weekly flights from Brussels. The national airline will be flying back Rwandan citizens, especially students, and residents during weekly flights that will be departing from the Belgian capital Brussels, every Friday starting from May 1.
- Kenya Airways’ share price Wednesday dropped below the 1 KES mark to trade at 97 KES at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The drop represented a 6.73% decrease compared to the previous day. The national carrier lost 31 MM KES (289,071 USD) to record 5.57 BN KES (51.93 MM USD) in market capitalization compared to 5.9 BN KES (55 MM USD) the previous day.
- The global Covid-19 pandemic has deepened pressure on shareholder dividends as companies move to hold onto the money they have earned in the last financial year in the wake of the uncertainty. Companies are considering holding on to the cash to ensure they have enough reserves to carry out their businesses after the pandemic. Note: Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.
- Egypt’s largest private lender, Commercial International Bank (CIB), will inject 7 BN KES (35 MM USD) into Mayfair Bank following its acquisition of a 51% majority stake in the Kenyan tier three lender. The acquisition by CIB will see the lender operate under the new name of Mayfair CIB Bank Limited as from May 1. CIB plans to expand the bank by prioritizing corporate banking, trade finance and the retail sector, turning it eventually into a hub for trade finance in Kenya and neighboring countries.
- E-commerce platform Jumia Kenya and Twiga Foods have signed a partnership agreement that will enable shoppers on the platform to buy fresh produce as well as processed foods distributed by the farm produce aggregator. Through the deal, shoppers can now buy pre-packed bundles whose cost will range between 1,230 KES (11.47 USD) and 3,180 KES (29.65 USD) depending on the goods.
- Expatriates in Kenya are paying up to three times normal ticket prices to return to their home countries as airlines provide charter flights for repatriation. Foreign governments have organized for charter flights from firms, including Kenya Airways and Ethiopian airlines, which are charging a premium for the services.
- Safaricom will take 5 BN KES (51.28 MM USD) hit on its M-Pesa revenue in the three months from mid-March after it waived transaction fees on mobile money transfers under 1,000 KES (9.32 USD).
- KCB Bank Rwanda has contributed 100 MM RWF (106,951 USD) towards emergency interventions to help vulnerable citizens affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will be channeled through the Covid-19 Donation Fund under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
- Rwanda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the World Intellectual property day. The day is celebrated each year on the 26th of April, a date the WIPO convention came into force in 1970. This year's intellectual property day focuses on “innovation for a green future.”
- In Namibia, the First National Bank has confirmed relief measures for SMEs with an annual turnover of less than 10 MM NAD (529,380 USD) and with initial lending facilities of less than 5 MM NAD (264,690 USD). In order to qualify, customers must have a good track record of honoring their payments prior to 1 March 2020.
- De Beers’ Namibia joint venture, Namdeb, increased diamond production by 8% in Q1-2020 compared to Q1-2019. Mining in Namibia was not disrupted by the global coronavirus pandemic in Q1-2020, as the country only went into partial lockdown on March 27.
- In a bid to help fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), more than 400 participants gathered for the StartUp Namibia hackathon initiative. The hackathon took place entirely online from 17th to 19th of April as Namibia is under a nationwide lockdown as it also tries to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Bezant Resources PLC has acquired 30% interest in the Kalengwa exploration project in Zambia for 750,000 USD as part of a joint venture. Shares in Bezant closed 10% higher in London at 0.072 pence.