Trade and Financial Services Round-Up

  • 17 Jul 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Kennedy Osore


Desperate for loans, Kenya offers highest returns in 7 years

The Kenyan government is increasingly borrowing more expensive loans from the domestic market in a trend that has set up households and businesses for a new season of costly loans.

The interest rate on a one-year Treasury bill, which sets the benchmark for determining interest rates charged on other borrowers, peaked at 12.452 percent in this week’s auction whose results were announced on Thursday, representing the highest rate since February 2016.

With commercial banks basing interest rates charged to customer loans on the government securities return (the reference rate), which is widely regarded as the risk-free rate, borrowers can expect to pay a higher premium to access funds from their respective banks.

(Source: Business Daily)


Tanzanian farmers’ payments made easier through Tigo Pesa

Farmers in Tanzania have for years been grappling with multiple challenges ranging from a lack of access to market information, financing, inputs, technical knowledge, and access to markets to sell their produce.

They also contend with such issues as delayed payments, the costs and risks associated with carrying cash and the high administrative costs of cash management at the administrative level.

It was against this backdrop that Tigo Tanzania, through its Mobile Financial Services, Tigo Pesa, intervened with a view to providing practical solutions to farmers’ financial transactions and making payments for their produce faster, easier, and more convenient.

(Source: The Citizen)


Absa announces UgShs200m KH3 7 Hills Run proceeds

Absa Bank Uganda has declared a total of Shs200 million as proceeds from the inaugural Absa KH3 7 Hills Run held on May 28, 2023. The 21km run spanning the seven iconic hills in Kampala organized in partnership with the Kampala Hash House Harriers, was an initiative intended to support a significant social cause – keeping the girl-child in school.

“We strive to be an active force for good in everything we do and believe that education is a right that every child should have access to. In the spirit of accountability, we are pleased to announce the allocation of funds through partners whose work is aligned with the overall cause of keeping the girl-child in school,” said Mumba Kalifungwa, managing director, absa Bank Uganda.

(Source: The Independent)


Business owners react to new noise pollution guidelines

In response to the newly introduced new noise pollution guidelines, business owners, who have long decried the absence of clear standards, have expressed their support for the government’s move to have well-stipulated standards in place.

The Ministry of Environment unveiled the new noise pollution guidelines on Wednesday, which provide explicit decibel thresholds for various public spaces, including hotels, bars, nightclubs, and churches. The guidelines establish safe sound levels for different locations and times of the day, using decibels (dB) as the standard unit of measurement.

According to the guidelines, the sound level in residential areas should not exceed 55 dB during daytime and 45 dB during nighttime. In commercial areas, it should not exceed 65 dB during daytime and 55 dB during night-time.

In industrial areas, the sound level should not exceed 75 dB during daytime and 70 dB during night-time. In quiet zones, which include areas near health facilities, schools, libraries, courthouses, and public offices, the sound level should not exceed 50 dB during daytime and 40 dB during nighttime.

(Source: The New Times)


Ethiopia: NBE and National ID partner to roll out digital id for all financial institutions

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and the National ID Project have agreed to roll out a Digital ID for all financial institutions. The move is part of NBE’s plan which aims to modernize the financial industry while fostering financial inclusion and preserving market stability.

In the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the first project between NBE and National ID intends to onboard all consumers in the financial sector into the digital ID platform. By lowering entrance barriers and adhering to legal and technical protections, such as cyber-security and personal data protection standards entrenched in the current legislative framework, the move intends to improve financial inclusion. All financial institutions will be able to accept the Digital ID as their primary Bank ID.

(Source: 2merkato)


Sudan airspace closure extended: ‘Humanitarian and evacuation flights only’

The closure of Sudan’s airspace to all air traffic has been extended until July 31, it was announced today. This will exclude humanitarian aid and evacuation flights ‘after obtaining a permit from the relevant authorities’.

In a statement via the Sudan News Agency (SUNA), and a NOTAM bulletin for pilots today, the Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended the closure of Sudan’s airspace until July 31. The announcement points out that the closure excludes humanitarian aid and evacuation flights “after a relevant permission obtained from the competent authorities”.

Sudan’s airspace was initially closed to regular traffic after the erupted between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in mid-April. The closure has since been extended several times. In the wake of the hostilities, several countries scrambled to evacuate their citizens from Sudan, which resulted in a massive international airlift operation.

(Source: Dabanga)