- The Central Bank of Zimbabwe left its benchmark lending rate for February 2020 unchanged at 35% in order to contain inflation and stabilize the exchange rate by managing money supply in the country.
- The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has introduced a mobile-based bond application and trading platform. The Treasury Mobile Direct (TMD) service will make it easier for individuals to invest in government debt securities which offer guaranteed returns with no risk of default.
- Financial sector players in Kenya have called for credit information sharing reforms to improve loan pricing and transparency. They stated that the proposed reforms should include establishment of strong credit reporting systems, collateral registries, legal structures and a regulatory framework.
- The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) will launch a 4 BN KES (33.6 MM USD) initiative aimed at improving access and quality of water in four major towns of East African Community (EAC). The program will be implemented in Kisumu in Kenya, Kampala in Uganda, Mwanza in Tanzania and Kigali in Rwanda.
- The World Bank (WB) has advised Ugandan government to direct more investment in human capital development, saying it is important to invest in children and youth to raise living standards. Noting that the WB is planning to lend Uganda 9 BN USD for three years through 2023 to help finance the East African nation’s budget deficit.
- Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya have registered a decrease in inflation rate registering 3.7%, 3.4% and 5.78% in January 2020 compared to 3.8%, 3.6% and 5.82% in December 2019, signaling stability of prices of goods and services. Maintaining low and predictable inflation rate is important to attract more investments.
- The World Bank (WB) will support the second phase of Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) by issuing a loan of 03 TR TZS (445.9 MM USD). The program aims to empower poor household with funds, known as “Productive Social Safety Net” with which they can conduct their income generating activities.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered Uganda growth projection to grow by 0% in 2019/2020, compared to an earlier projection of 6.3%, due to delays in the public investment needed to start oil production.
- Zambia Ministry of Finance revealed that the country’s external debt stock increased reaching 2 BN USD in January 2020 compared to 10.2 BN USD in July 2019. Noting that the increase is explained by the issuance of Government securities to finance the budget deficit for 2019.
- The Zambian government has prioritized the Industrialization policy as a key driver in the attainment of economic development. Noting that Zambia is pursuing to be competitive especially when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) will come into force in July 2020.
- Turkey and Zambia held the Inaugural Session of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) agreeing to promote mutual trade and economic cooperation between the two countries focusing on key sectors such as agriculture, energy, health, mining, tourism and education. The inauguration session of the JEC was held in Zambia’ capital, Lusaka from 12th to 13th February 2020.
- The World Food Program (WFP) has appealed to the international community to support Zimbabwe in order to help millions of people facing hunger due to a prolonged drought and economic collapse.
- Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) launched a Request for Quote (RFQ) platform for execution and settlement of trades, which will allow market participants to transact in debt securities. The NSE RFQ platform can be accessed by eligible participants all regulated entities, listed corporates, institutional investors etc.
- Companies trading on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) have opened the New Year with poor performance. Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CQCIL) shares have fallen below the Initial Public Offering (IPO) price. The insignificant price movements at the market for all the counters means that there is little activity in terms of buying and selling of shares, a trend that has characterized the market over the years, according to market analysts.Note: Weekly values are calculated on Friday of each week.
- Total has launched a 4 MM USD project as part of which half of its service stations in Zimbabwe will be equipped with solar arrays within five years. Installing solar facilities at the service stations will cut by 30% the energy dependence on the power grid or alternative sources like diesel-powered generators.
- Isuzu East Africa has started assembling its D-Max pick-up trucks in Kenya, ending the tradition of importing ready made light commercial vehicles from South Africa. Importing car parts and assembling them locally will give the company tax benefits that will allow the Kenyan unit to lower the selling price of its Isuzu D-Max pick-up trucks.
- San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech start-up Flutterwave plans to grow its customer base in Kenya and increase the volume of annual transactions by targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Flutterwave, which provides a payment service for global merchants and payment service providers, processed 107 million transactions worth 543 BN KES (5.4 BN USD) globally.
- Nairobi-based African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has reduced its gross exposure to risks in the local market by 3 BN KES (101.9 MM USD) as it seeks to diversify its portfolio geographically.
- Guernsey-incorporated Shanta Gold will invest 24 MM USD (2.4 BN KES) in gold exploration costs in Kenya after buying seven mining licenses covering the Western part of the country from Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation.
- Safaricom will launch Kenya first fifth generation (5G) mobile internet services targeting major urban centers in 2020, making it the inaugural operator to offer commercial and superfast services in the region.
- Large manufacturers, among them cement, steel and roofing such as Roofings, Movit and Hima Cement are no longer exporting to Rwanda citing difficulty in accessing the country’s market. Other exporters such as producers of personal care products, petroleum products, beverages and consumer goods, are also no longer sending exports to Rwanda.
- The government of Rwanda has signed with the government of China a framework agreement to enable China Exim bank to provide a 214 MM USD loan for the 43.5 MW Nyabarango II hydropower project in Northern Province, Rwanda.