Home > Insights > The World Bank has downgraded Zimbabwe to a low-income economy a few months after it had upgraded Zimbabwe to a lower-middle-income economy
Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019

The World Bank has downgraded Zimbabwe to a low-income economy a few months after it had upgraded Zimbabwe to a lower-middle-income economy

Insights Africa

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • The World Bank has downgraded Zimbabwe to a low-income economy a few months after it had upgraded Zimbabwe to a lower-middle-income economy. Zimbabwe now has an inflationary economy due to a number of issues including the foreign currency, fuel, electricity, the collapse of the local industry and drought.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has widened its estimated contraction for Zimbabwe economy to 7.1% by the end of 2019 owing to worsening macro-economic challenges.
  • Britain has announced a 1.3 BN KES (12.5 MM USD) fund to help Kenyan startups working to disrupt the financial sector through technology specially on fintech that increase financial inclusion for low-income and under served consumers.
  • Kenya total public debt load is stepping closer to 6 TR KES (57.8 BN USD) in the first week of October 2019 by the 44 new foreign loan agreements that have recently been under negotiations. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has collected nearly 100 BN KES (9.6 MM USD) from the financial markets since March 2019, potentially shrinking liquidity for the current infrastructure bond.
  • Eliud Kipchoge was the first man in history to run a full marathon under two hours as well as Brigit Kosgei who won the Chicago marathon a day later and set a new world record. All these wins and more can be used to turn Kenya into a great sporting destination and to earn extra revenue for the government.
  • In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame announced the official launch of Dubai Ports (DP) World Kigali Logistics Platform, a new modern inland cargo handling facility expected to ease trade of goods and encourage Rwanda to become the regional logistics hub.
  • Turkey will establish a new Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) school in Rwanda. Rwanda is attracting international academic institutions that provide a quality education that is desperately needed to position the country into a knowledge-based economy.
  • Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe stated that there is no need for people to panic over the hunger situation in some parts of Zambia as there are enough stocks to feed the 2.3 million people in need of relief food.
  • The Zambian government is planning to launch the biometric system which will be used for disbursement of funds under the Social Cash Transfer before the end of 2019. This is to avoid the bottlenecks that affected the successful implementation of the program.
Political Events

Political Events

  • The Rwandan Cabinet has approved an agreement with Russia to advance the use of nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes," a move that is expected to bolster relations between the two countries and advance Russia interests in the region. Russia has also signed similar co-operation agreements with KenyaUganda and Tanzania.
  • The United States of America (USA) has promised to support the Nigerian government in its war against terrorism. Consequently, the U.S. government has donated two Mobile Radiation Detection System (vehicles) to the Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) formalized the proposed partnership with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The two stock exchanges launched for the first time, a joint investor forum dubbed the China-Kenya Capital Market Service Initiative which aims to link the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Kenya to investors in Shenzhen so as to allow a capital formation platform on a larger scale.
Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Swvl has reportedly defied orders from Kenya transport regulator to stop operations because it doesn't have the permission to operate. Kenya National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) reportedly issued the order on 1st October, but the ride-hailing app continued to operate routes within Nairobi.
  • East Africa's top banks are ranked among the world's 1,000 best lenders. They faced a tough operating environment in 2019 to post stronger growth while cushioning themselves against further shocks.
  • Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has opened a new branch in EastleighNairobi in an expansion strategy focusing on bringing banking services to the doorsteps of its customers. It will be the bank's third branch in Nairobi and the fourth outlet to be opened by the bank countrywide.
  • Telkom Kenya and Airtel have received the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission greenlight to merge at a time the deal has run into local headwinds. It is expected that the takeover would lead to a vibrant market.
  • The move by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to list and shame listed firms that break boardroom rules and corporate governance standards is a step in the right direction. According to the CMA, the new measure will take effect in 2020.
  • Barrick Gold Corp. announced a deal with Tanzania that will see the gold miner pay 300 MM USD to settle all outstanding tax and other disputes over its mines in the African country. The Toronto company and Tanzania will share the future economic benefits from the mines on an equal basis.
  • INV Metals Inc. announced a non-brokered private placement of common shares for gross proceeds of 11.9 MM USDDundee Precious Metals Inc., a Canadian based international gold mining company (DPM), will become a strategic shareholder by investing 7.6 MM USD in the Private Placement, representing an approximate 19.5% equity interest in INV Metals upon closing, subject to certain terms and conditions.
  • The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) is incredibly cheap at the moment and provides a viable and liquid hedge for long term savings such as pension funds, which are at risk of being wiped out by raving inflation.


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