14th October 2022 Trade and Financial Services Round Up

October 14, 2022 - 5 minutes read

KENYA

Treasury disowns official papers on Sh1.3bn China fine for SGR loans

The Treasury Thursday disowned an official statement indicating that Chinese lenders penalised Kenya Sh1.312 billion for delayed payments of loans provided to build the standard gauge railway (SGR).

Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani maintained that Kenya has not defaulted on its public debt, arguing that the country has not accumulated repayment arrears for decades.

He was reacting to a Business Daily story that indicated the delayed payments to the Chinese lenders, led by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The story relied on confidential Treasury documents that revealed the performance of the SGR in the year to June, including the disclosure of the Sh1.312 billion penalties on the on-lent loan.

(Source: Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Tanzania slashes park fees to woo East African tourists

Tanzanian authorities have lowered park fees for East African citizens to attract more tourists from neighbouring countries.

According to latest programme by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania is targeting visitors from the East African Community (EAC) member states to visit wildlife parks, historical sites, and adult EAC citizens will now pay Tsh10,000 ($ 4.2), the same fee adult Tanzanians will also be charged.

Dr Pindi Chana, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said the Tanzanian government will also focus on meetings and conference visitors through exhibitions, conferences and other tours.

(Source: The East African)

UGANDA

CMA makes recommendations to improve investor protection

Investor education and protection, sustainable financing and product diversification in the equity market are among the key issues that emerged during the events to mark the World Investor Week organized by the Uganda Securities Exchange together with other partners from October 3 – 9.

Keith Kalyegira, the chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority said: “Investor education is a powerful tool against fraud, and is a means of improving financial resilience. A smart investor understands that risk exists in all investments and never invests based solely on a celebrity endorsement.”

Kalyegira added that the various activities being undertaken, such as Twitter Spaces on fraud and asset allocation with the institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society East Africa and Uganda Securities Exchange World Investor Week meetings will go a long way in empowering local investors.

(Source: The Independent)

RWANDA

Six key changes in proposed pro-poor income tax law

The new law establishing taxes on income is expected to reduce the tax burden on low-income formal workers, ease doing business, and at the same time, help the country to collect revenue to fuel economic growth, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

It was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on September 15, 2022, and awaits publication in the official gazette. It is a result of the review of the tax income law of 2018.

Key changes in this draft law include the following:

  • Incentives to investors into KIFC
  • Extension of the list of entities subject to corporate income tax
  • Increasing tax-free income to Rwf60, 000 a month
  • Tax cut for workers earning Rwf60,000 up to Rwf200,000
  • Extension of payments subject to the 15 per cent withholding tax
  • Startups exempted from withholding tax

(Source: The New Times)

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopian Airlines completes conversion of Africa’s first B767 passenger aircraft into freighter

Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s best airline, has announced the completion of passenger to freighter conversion of one of its three B767 aircraft. Ethiopian partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and launched a B767-300ER freighter conversion line at Ethiopian MRO facilities in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian has been expanding its cargo operation in all corners of the globe introducing latest technology freighter fleet. Currently, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services covers more than 130 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and 67 dedicated Freighter services.

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within Ethiopian Airlines Group, has won Best Cargo Airline-Africa and Cargo Airline of the Year at the Air Cargo News Awards 2022.

(Source: 2merkato.com)

SUDAN 

Sudan trader strikes continue, more market closures to come

Traders and merchants in El Gedaref went on strike again and closed all stores and stalls in the main market and other markets yesterday to protest a tenfold tax increase.

Kamal Ibrahim El Amir, a member of the steering committee of El Gedaref traders, told Radio Dabanga that the strike was happing at 100 per cent, referring to the closure of the main market and all smaller markets in the city.

There were protest marches to the office of the tax appeals committee as an expression of the merchants’ opposition to the committee’s work and their rejection of the exorbitant tax increases recently imposed by the federal Ministry of Finance on traders. The increased taxes are a new strategy of the government to fill the national treasury.

(Source: Radio Dabanga)

SOMALIA 

What has come out of the Somalia conference and the donor countries that have ended?

The special meeting (roundtable) between Somalia and the donor countries led by the IMF and the World Bank was concluded in Washington DC, the capital of the US.

Minister of Finance of Somalia, Dr; Elmi Mohamed Nur, who was part of the meeting, said that the leaders of the IMF and the World Bank shared the efforts and progress made by Somalia in the financial reform process.

The Minister of Finance of the Government said that the participants of the special conference, whose theme was “Table-Analyzing the Stage of Somalia” had a happy result and unanimous support.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)

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