July 29, 2022 - 5 minutes read

29th July 2022 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

By Naisiae Simiren
KENYA

Kenya inks cheap power deal with Ethiopia

Kenya on Tuesday officially signed a Power Purchase contract with Ethiopia for the purchase of cheap hydroelectric power even as Nairobi nears completing the transmission line to evacuate power from its northern neighbour. Kenya is expected to purchase 200 megawatts (MW) from Ethiopia in the first phase of the multi-phased project before it is scaled up to 400MW in the next phase.  The PPA was signed by the company’s acting Chief Executive Geoffrey Muli and his Ethiopian counterpart from the Ethiopian Electric power (EEP) in Naivasha in the presence of senior officials from both countries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was making a tour of Nakuru County where he commissioned five projects including the 172MW Olkaria 5 and 86 megawatts Olkaria 1 Additional Unit (AU) 6 geothermal power plants in Naivasha.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Ethiopia-Kenya Electricity Highway Project involves the construction of an electricity highway between the two countries made up of about 1,068km of transmission line.

About 631km of transmission line is being built by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) that will allow for transmission of power of up to 2,000MW between Kenya and Ethiopia in either direction.

(Source: Nation Africa)

I&M Bank eases cross-border deals for customers with new product

I&M Bank customers are now able to transact seamlessly in three countries through a single account allowing easy movement of cash for its clients doing business across the East African region.

The new product called I&M Brisk allows the bank’s customers to access real-time withdrawals, deposits and funds transfer at any of the lender’s outlets in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania using their existing account.

The financier also plans to extend the service to other countries such as Uganda and Mauritius where the group has a presence in the next few months.

Previously, a Kenyan I&M customer would have to undergo a long and tedious process to withdraw cash, make a deposit, or transfer funds when he moves to Rwanda or Tanzania. By launching the service in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania I&M bank will join lenders such as Equity Group and KCB Group that offer the same service across their regional markets.

(Source; Business Daily)

TANZANIA

Tanzania, World Bank launch renewed drive to make Dar greener

The Government of Tanzania has asserted its commitment to making the city of Dar es Salaam more resilient to climate change, particularly through incorporating greening infrastructure to its fast-growing urban centres.

The President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Government (Poralg) said the city was increasingly becoming vulnerable to impacts of climate change as it loses around 10 percent of its tree cover every year. Poralg’s deputy permanent secretary Charles Msonde said currently only 2 percent of Dar es Salaam’s total area was designated as public green space with only 0.1 percent designated as a park.

Dr Msonde was opening a two-day workshop under the theme: ‘Greening Infrastructure for Dar es Salaam’ organised by the World Bank (WB) and the Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project (DMDP). In the programme to upgrade open spaces, the World Bank has also incorporated the greening initiative through the DMDP that will see support for strengthening green infrastructure, urban and community planning.

The DMDP is an ongoing World Bank’s project of $300 million, co-financed with the Nordic Development Fund. WB’s country operations manager Preeti Arora said investment to the adaptation of climate change was very critical, as the institution projects that climate change impacts may push over 130 million people globally into poverty come 2030

(Source: The Citizen)

UGANDA

Fear of default forces banks to cut back on lending – BoU

Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Michael Atingi-Ego has said the banking sector has cut back on lending due to fear of default. Speaking during the fifth Annual Bankers’ Conference in Kampala, Dr Atingi-Ego said uncertainty about economic growth expectations due to several shocks hitting the economy had made banks shy in advancing credit to the private sector for fear of potential defaults due to poor business prospects. 

This, he said, has created a financing gap that is expected to constrain the rejuvenation and enhancement of local industrial capacity, which the government had hoped would cover supply shortages that continue to present challenges to the economy. 

However, Dr Atingi-Ego indicated that banks still have sufficient capital buffers to spur economic recovery given that they remain solid and resilient, having entered the Covid-19 period with sufficient capital and liquidity buffers.

(Source: The Monitor)

RWANDA

New loan comparator will increase consumers’ bargaining power – National Bank of Rwanda

Gereranya, a platform developed by the National Bank of Rwanda to guarantee transparency and fair pricing of financial products and services as well as compliance with global market prices, was launched in March. The platform fills the gap and need for accurate, transparent, and consistent financial service information. It aims to protect financial services consumers from, among others, being fleeced due to lack of information. It gives information about what products and services different commercial banks offer and gives consumers the liberty to compare interest rates and prices. 

(Source: The New Times)

ETHIOPIA

Ethio telecom generates over 61 billion Birr revenue

Ethio telecom announced that it has earned 61.3 billion Birr revenue during the just concluded Ethiopian fiscal year. Briefing journalists today, Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamiru said the achievement shows 8.5 percent increment over the last budget year.

Given the current challenging environment in the country, the performance is remarkable, according to Frehiwot.

The CEO further stated that the performance was a result of network and system expansion and optimization works to enhance customer experience and satisfaction by offering 67 new and 77 revamped local and international products and services.

The revenue share in terms of service types shows 51 percent share for mobile voice, 27 percent for data and internet, 10 percent for international business, 5.7 percent for value added services, and 6.6 for other services.

The number of subscribers has reached 66.59 million, achieving104 percent of the target, an increase of 18.4 percent from the same period last Ethiopian fiscal year, she stated.

Frehiwot added that mobile voice subscribers reached 64.5 million, data and internet users 26.1 million, fixed services 885,300, and fixed broadband subscribers 506,800.

Furthermore, “our mobile money business ‘telebirr’, which was introduced with the aim of meeting the country’s growing demand for digital finance services, has shown a tremendous growth surpassing the industries trend by acquiring more than 21.8 million subscribers within a short period of time with a total transaction value of 30.3 billion Birr.”

(Source; ENA)

ERITREA

Federation of National Associations of Women in Business summit

COMESA Federation of National Associations of Women in Business Horn of Africa Summit was conducted today, 28 July, at the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers Hall, here in Asmara, in which representatives of Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti are taking part.

Addressing the summit, Mr. Arefaine Berhe, Minister of Agriculture, indicated that the opportunity created has a significant contribution to the economic development of women in particular and that of society in general, said that if organised it will create an opportunity for exchanging experiences among countries.

Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Zefrework Fesehaye, Director of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, indicating that at present 50% of the population of the State of Eritrea are women, said that right after independence the Eritrean Government issued a labor proclamation to protect women employees from all forms of discrimination and ratified seven core conventions of the International Labor Organization to secure working condition and safeguard the equal treatment of women.

The participants also observed exhibition of agricultural products and handicrafts organised by Eritrean women agricultural experts. The COMESA Federation of Women in Business comprises 21 countries including Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sudan from the Horn of Africa.

(Source; Ministry of Information)

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