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Tuesday, 23 Jun 2020

Gumzo, Kenya-based video conferencing startup hopes to rival Zoom

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • The World Bank approved 54 MM USD aid to Uganda to improve the lives of refugees and their host communities as the African nation deals with the economic impact of COVID-19.
  • The Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile is concerned over the increase in the government indebtedness, warning that the decline in tax revenues due to COVID-19 may cause more distress.
  • The election of Zimbabwe into the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) places the country at the front seat of high-level decision making on issues around international economic and social development policy.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited around 216 BN NGN (556.7 MM USD) from the country’s banks with excess cash holdings as part of measures to strengthen the Naira. An action that caused a spike in money market rates.
  • The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) unveiled today a five-year (2020-2025) Strategic Management Plan (SMP) in line with the objective of creating a seamless strategy to improve its management and regulation of the telecommunications sector in the country by leverage the national digital economy policy.
  • In 2020, Rwanda is the only African country ranked in the top 10 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. It ranked in the top four in the Report’s political empowerment category, in recognition of the high proportion of Rwandese women lawmakers and ministers.
  • Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced the reopening of tourism activities as well as the resumption of international travel for charter flights. Stressing that travelers health safety is their top priority by placing robust health and safety guidelines in place.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced that the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) increased to 13.1% in Q1-2020 which is the highest since August 2007 when it stood at 14.41%.
  • The European Union (EU) announced 2 BN KES (about 67.4 MM USD) package to help tackle the health and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in eastern Africa. The funds will support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization, in its mandate to coordinate national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Political Events

Political Events

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered courts to take a step and jail corrupt politicians and businessmen found guilty of corrupt deals. John Walukhe a parliament member found guilty in the maize scandal worth over 300 MM KES (2.8 MM USD) which they allegedly received from a state agency.
  • The African Union Commission received medical supplies from the Kingdom of Morocco that will boost the continental capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The supplies included the following items: 500,000 Non-Woven face Masks; 4,000 Coats; 40,000 Hygiene Caps; 60,000 Visors; and 2,000 litres of hydro alcoholic gel.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • About 5% of Kenyan retirees’ money invested in quoted securities at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in December 2019. However, by the end of May 2020, Kenya’s stock market plunged to a 17-year low with the NSE 20 Share Index decreasing to 1,958.5 points compared to 2,666.9 points in January 2020.
  • Nigeria investment climate, especially that of the stock market, is taking a hit as investors show indifference towards banking stocks despite a strong combined profit in excess of 260 BN NGN (670 MM USD) by 11 banks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGSE).

                         Note:  Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • A small Kenyan startup is moving to secure its space in the booming telecommunication industry. Gumzo which means chatting in Swahili costs revealed that to host any online meetings for a week duration would cost only one dollar compared to Zoom’s pro plan triples price. The app stands out with its adaptability on all mobile phones, not just smartphones.
  • Medium-sized businesses owned by women are set to get a boost as the coronavirus continues to weaken the economy. This is after the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) entered into a partnership with Educate Global, a private equity management firm. Under the partnership, women involved in food, health and education sectors will receive technical assistance to their investment portfolios.
  • Apple is planning to start making iPhones in India in 2020, as the company seeks to tap into a booming middle class while sales in China slow. Apple remains a relatively small player in India, where sales of its smartphones lag those of rival Samsung. Apple has only a 2% share of the Indian market, well behind rival Samsung on 23%.
  • Teachers in public schools can now buy laptops loaded with the current syllabus and training material following a public/private partnership initiative which aims at integrating e-learning in the education system. The partnership is between Safaricom, Equity bank, Microsoft, Intel, Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) and Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) and the Teachers Service Commission targeting about 240,000 teachers.
  • Supply chain software company MACmobile has launched a new platform that can support "live" streaming of formal market retail "sales out" data as well as map the relevant stock holding in-store simultaneously in the Kenyan Market. This follows a partnership with Cognizance Processing who built the platform and will be available for Kenyan wholesalers and retailers.
  • Marketing firm QNET has partnered with Red Cross to donate foodstuffs to families left vulnerable by the Covid-19 crisis. The partnership is part of the company’s annual global Ramadhan charity to improve the lives of poor families.
  • In Zambia, ZCCM Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has prioritized investments in the mining sector particularly in other minerals such as gold and manganese. As mandated by Government to harness the gold potential in the country, ZCCM-IH strategy is to forge partnerships with any industry player within the gold value chain.
  • The Equity Bank announced a decrease in Q1-2020 profits on provision for high loan loss. Aggressive provisions saw the cost of risk rising to 3.24% up from 0.37%. However, the group’s total income grew by 13% to 19.7 BN KES (184.45 MM USD) in Q1-2020 compared to 17.5 BN KES (163.85 MM USD) in Q1-2019.


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