11th September 2020 Trade & Financial Services Round Up

September 11, 2020 - 5 minutes read
ETHIOPIA
  • President Sahlework Zewde called on all Ethiopians to continue their support to successfully realize the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the New Year. 
  • China will continue providing support for Ethiopia’s development endeavors as per China’s Ambassador Tan Jian.  The ambassador, who attended the inauguration ceremony of Sheger Park, told ENA that there are many areas that the two countries are working together. 
     
KENYA
  • Major-General Mohammed Abdalla Badi, the Director-General of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), this week took an oath of secreacy, a requirement of all persons who attend Cabinet Meetings or participate in the conduct of Cabinet Business. The Director-General shall henceforth attend all meetings of Cabinet and its Committees, pursuant to Executive Order No. 3 of 2020.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has rejected the Bill seeking to award former MPs KES 100,000 (approx USD 921.4) in monthly pension for life, saving taxpayers billions of shillings and safeguarding the independence of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
  • Workers and businesses can file their returns and pay taxes through their mobile phones after the Kenya Revenue Authority launched an app for accessing its services in the race to ease duty payments and boost collection. 
  • Mobile phone operators, including Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya, will compensate businesses and customers when network outages knock out voice, data and text services under new draft regulations. 
  • Businessman Chris Kirubi has received an additional KES 348 million (approx. USD 3.2 million) as part of his staggered payment following the sale of his BIC stationery, lighters and shavers franchise to French multinational Société BIC, which owns the brand.
  • Family Bank has partnered with a dairy farming investment advisory firm in a deal that targets about 100,000 farmers with KES 1 billion (approx. USD 9.2 million) loans for fodder production. 
  • Marketing services firm WPP Scangroup  has signed up more than 8,000 small businesses on its e-commerce platform Goby which helps firms to sell their merchandise online.
  • The Court of Appeal has suspended execution of an order requiring Kenya Revenue Authority to pay a sugar importer KES 527 million (approx USD 4.9 million) as damages for illegal confiscation of its consignment for close to two years. 
RWANDA
  • As the world starts to recover slowly from a year of constant disruptions and challenges, East Africa is leading other regions as the fastest growing economy, with Ethiopia and Rwanda recording strong growth. The Brookings Institute report that East Africa’s share of the continent’s economic growth rose from less than 20 per cent in 2018 to more than 32 per cent in 2019. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), digital transformation, a fast-growing service sector, has contributed more than half (53.8 per cent) to the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), replacing agriculture’s contribution which declined from 33.4 per cent in the early 2000s to only 28.3 per cent in 2018.
TANZANIA
  • Bolt, the leading on-demand transportation platform in Africa, has launched an affordable ride option dubbed ‘Bolt Lite’ in Arusha, Mwanza and Dodoma, targeting passengers seeking low budget e-taxi.  
  • Two research reports on oil released Thursday highlight major risks of oil projects by French energy company Total in Uganda and Tanzania. Oil from Uganda is to be pumped through pipelines to Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam. But many residents on land through which the pipes are planned to pass have been affected. At least 12,000 families in Tanzania and Uganda have lost land, according to reports. There is also endangerment of sensitive and vital ecosystems. The reports, “Empty Promises down the Line?” researched by Oxfam and “New Oil, Same Business?” by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), question the way oil companies are executing business in the Albertine Rift region.
UGANDA
  • Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of Total, a company worth more than USD 100 billion, is expected in Uganda today, September 11, for the first time since his private meeting with President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe, in November 2019. He comes at the tail end of negotiations between the oil companies and the government of Uganda, which have been ongoing since May. Both the oil companies – France’s Total E&P and China’s Cnooc – are looking to conclude the negotiations and move towards signing the Host Agreement, which will govern the construction and operation of the crude oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanzania. Total E&P is leading the process of having the pipeline constructed.
  • Micro, small and medium enterprises that were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to access affordable credit that will help them bounce back into businesses.  
  • MoneyGram, Dallas-based remittance company and one of Ripple’s most prized partners, is expanding its presence in the East Africa region by joining forces with Uganda’s largest commercial bank, Centenary Bank.
GHANA
  • Ghana plans to use part of the proceeds from an initial public offering in a gold royalty fund to invest in similar entities. 
  • Consumer inflation for August 2020 declined to 10.5 percent from 11.4 percent in July 2020, data from the Ghana Statistical Services has shown.
  • Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng has revealed that the government would in the coming months cut the sod for the reconstruction of the abandoned Boankra Inland Port Project in the Ashanti region.
  • The Ghana Airports Company Limited, the country’s airport infrastructure manager, has resorted to auctioning the properties of defunct local airline Antrak Air to recover an outstanding debt of GHS 1.9 million(approx. USD 329,245) 
  • The final feasibility report for the proposed Keta port project is expected to be submitted  to government by December, Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has told Members of Parliament in Accra.
  • Former Gender Minister, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo has said the next National Democratic Congress is seeking to reorient Ghana’s agriculture and agribusiness if given the nod in the upcoming 2020 elections. 
  • MTN Ghana says it is sustaining investments in infrastructure and strategizing to become a “full digital operator” by 2023. Mr Selorm Adadevoh, MTN Ghana Chief Executive Officer, said the Company was leveraging the strength of its “fintech” and some six pillars to “deliver a bold new digital world to customers.” 
NIGERIA
  • Business mogul and former Chairman, United Bank of Africa, UBA, Hakeem Belo-Osagie has called on regulators to reduce the barrier to entry into financial technology industry in Nigeria to grant more entrepreneurs opportunity to key into the sector. 
  • The Federal Government has constituted a committee to draw up guidelines for the disbursement of the NGN 10 billion (approx. USD 26 million) palliative fund for road transport operators and workers. 
  • The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic which created unprecedented challenges in global economies led to a near shut down of eight subsectors of the country’s manufacturing sector.
  • Succour has come the way of farmers affected by flood in Sokoto state of adequate response to cushion the effects of flood in the state. The management of Veritas Kapital Insurance through the Managing Director, Mr Kenneth Egbaran, stated this when he visited some of the flooded farms in the state
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