IEA creating world’s first roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050
The International Energy Agency (IEA) will produce the world’s first comprehensive roadmap for the energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The special report, ‘The World’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050’, will detail what is needed from governments, companies, investors and citizens to fully decarbonise the energy sector and put emission on a path in line with a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report is part of a series of new IEA projects to support efforts to reach global energy and climate goals. It will be released on 18 May 2021 and build momentum ahead of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November, under the presidency of the United Kingdom. Though most of the world’s largest economies and many leading companies have announced plans to bring their emissions down to zero by 2050, much work remains to be done to translate the ambitious targets into actual reductions in carbon emissions.
Source: ESI Africa
Africa’s energy generation unlikely to go green this decade
A new study into Africa’s energy generation landscape uses a state-of-the-art machine-learning technique to analyse the pipeline of more than 2,500 planned power plants and their chances of successful commission. The study shows the share of non-hydro renewables in African electricity generation is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, although this varies by region. The research, published in Nature Energy, from the University of Oxford predicts that total electricity generation across the African continent will double by 2030, with fossil fuels continuing to dominate the energy mix – posing potential risk to global climate change commitments. The study predicts that in 2030, fossil fuels will account for two-thirds of all generated electricity across Africa. While an additional 18% of generation is set to come from hydro-energy projects. These have their own challenges, such as being vulnerable to an increasing number of droughts caused by climate change. The energy generation research also highlights regional differences in the pace of the transition to renewables, with southern Africa leading the way. The study further suggests that a decisive move towards renewable energy in Africa would require a significant shock to the current system. This includes large-scale cancellation of fossil fuel plants currently being planned.
Source: ESI Africa
West African LNG exporters show resilience, eye benefit from price spike
Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from West Africa's four producers showed impressive resilience in 2020 despite the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on gas demand generally, an analysis of S&P Global Platts Analytics data showed. Total LNG exports from the four exporting countries in the region – Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria – totalled 39 billion cubic metres, broadly in line with 2019, the data showed. That was despite sharp falls in LNG utilisation rates in other parts of the world last year, particularly in the United States over the summer, while spot-exposed Egypt halted LNG exports almost completely in the April-September period. Now, with spot LNG prices having surged to all-time highs in early 2021 – the JKM benchmark price was assessed by S&P Global Platts at USD32.49/MMBtu on 12 January – the West African exporters will be looking to keep their LNG supplies at elevated rates.
Source: S&P Global Platts
Investment Commission inaugurates FDI Tracking Tool
The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has inaugurated a web-based platform called the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Tracking Tool that would provide all-round information including FDI inflows in the country. The commission developed the platform in collaboration with the Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) project, part of Manufacturing Africa (MA), a flagship program of the United Kingdom foreign, commonwealth and development office. The tracking tool will enable the EIC to mitigate access to quality investment data challenges and step closer to becoming a modern and digital-driven institution among other functionalities. The tracking tool will further help track investment performance along key indicators, store information on actual investment inflows and enable analysis and reporting of investment data in any desired format, according to the EIC.
FDA to start strict enforcement of import regulations on 1 February
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has hinted at the strict enforcement of the requirement of registration prior to the importation of products with effect from 1 February 2021. The FDA said despite the requirement of registration ahead of importation, over 20% of imports regulated by the FDA arrived at the ports unregistered, hence the need to strictly enforce such regulation. According to the FDA, measures had been put in place to facilitate registration of regulated products, including the reduction of registration fees to about 10-20% of the previous fees with a risk-based approach to expedite such registration. Mr Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng, head of division, Import and Export of the FDA, speaking at a stakeholder engagement in Tema, stated that “effective 1 February 2020, unregistered imported food, cosmetics and household chemicals will be sampled at the port and tested before the clearance.” He said importers would also be required to initiate the registration process before the clearance of the consignment from the port, adding that importers would further be required to pay the appropriate administrative charges or penalties for importing unregistered products.
Ghana ranked 12th out of 54 African countries that trade within continent
Ghana ranked 12th among African countries that export to countries that are signatories to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Trade Statistics. The country accounts for 17% of total exports to the 54 signatories to the AfCFTA. However, intra-African trade still remains low, though that of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has improved significantly. The country trades more with Europe than any other continent. But West Africa accounted for almost 29% of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) from Ghana in 2019, increasing the market share by a substantial 12.7%. Burkina Faso and Togo were the biggest importers from the country. In terms of the intra-African trade, Rwanda is ranked first with 46.6% of total exports, followed by Lesotho which controls 39.9% of African exports. Neighbouring Benin and Ivory Coast are the only two ECOWAS nations, at 9th and 10th place respectively, ahead of Ghana. According to the IMF, the impact of trade liberalisation in Africa should be positive for the region’s economic potential, but the scale of the impact is likely to be small.
Government searches for co-managers for the 2021 medium term ICM programme
The Government of the Republic of Ghana intends to launch a 2021 International Capital Market (ICM) funding programme for the medium term. Accordingly, the government says it is looking for co-managers for the 2021 Medium Term ICM Programme. For the 2021 portion of the programme, the government intends to raise up to USD5-billion to support growth-oriented expenditures in the 2021 budget and conduct liability management, including refinancing domestic debt and a buyback of some selected outstanding Eurobonds. As such, the Ministry of Finance wishes to request Expressions of Interest (EOI) from qualified and reputable co-managers to partner with the International Transaction Advisors for the various instruments under the programme. “It must be noted that, in accordance with the Requirements and Responsibilities of Primary Dealers and Bond Market Specialists, the co-managers would be sourced from among those who qualify as Bond Market Specialists and/or Investment Advisors,” a statement published by the Ministry of Finance said.
KRA offers defaulters new deal
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has offered taxpayers who have defaulted on payments in the last five years relief options. Taxpayers will get full or partial relief on penalties and interest on undisclosed taxes dating back to 1 July 2015. This will be effected through the newly introduced Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programme (VTDP), aimed at “providing relief to taxpayers during the challenging economic times brought about by COVID-19 pandemic”. “The Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programme introduced in the Finance Act, 2020 commenced on 1 January 2021, and shall run for three years to 31 December 2023,” KRA said in a statement signed by Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Department Rispah Simiyu. The three-year window aims at aiding defaulters to clear their outstanding tax dues and enhancing compliance through disclosure of unpaid taxes. “The programme seeks to grant relief on penalties and interest on any tax liability disclosed in respect to the period running from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2020,” added KRA. The KRA noted that the waiver would depend on when payment of disclosed taxes is made. Those who make full payment this year will get 100% relief in penalties and interest, while those who pay in 2022 and 2023 will get relief of 50% and 25%, respectively.
Source: The Standard
NSSF, NHIF dues to be remitted on single date to tame non-compliant employers
Statutory deductions towards employee medical, retirement and training schemes will be remitted on a similar date to curb evasion by employers if Parliament passes a new Bill. The Business Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2020 proposes that workers’ contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) be remitted on the ninth day of every month. The changes are aimed at supporting a smooth implementation of a unified payroll system which the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) recently rolled out for joint declaration and payment of the three deductions as well as Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). This will be a departure from the current practice where NSSF and NHIF deductions are submitted by the 15th and the ninth day of every month, respectively while training levies are remitted on the tenth day of every month. The KRA has previously said bringing all payroll-related contributions under one platform would improve efficiency for the taxpayers.
Source: Business Daily
You will need a digital health pass to leave, enter Kenya
All inbound and outbound travellers to Kenya are now required to present digitally verified proof of a negative COVID-19 test, the Health ministry has announced. In line with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Traveller (TT) initiative, an online system designed to authenticate and verify travellers' COVID-19 certificates, no Kenyan laboratory will issue COVID-19 certificates without TT codes. In a statement by Health cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the digital verification codes will ensure integrity of presented certificates. This means that if you intend to depart the country, you must first visit an authorised laboratory, obtain a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test with a negative result, and be issued a TT code that can be verified by airlines and immigration authorities. According to the government, all PCR COVID-19 testing laboratories are now part of the TT system. The government, however, did not issue clear procedures on how the verification system works for incoming travellers, who also need to present a negative COVID-19 certificate.
Source: The EastAfrican
PPDA moves to empower SMEs
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) has encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country to utilise the recently gazetted order aimed at empowering them and affording them a chance to be competitive when bidding for government contracts. In an interview, PPDA Advisory Services manager, Mirriam Salika said SMEs needed to have all the necessary documentation as the authority moves to bridge the competition gap between them and big business. According to Salika, the order has set aside more than 50 types of contracts that SMEs would be allowed to compete for. She, however, said only SMEs duly registered by the Ministry of Trade will have a chance to secure such contracts. “The SMEs will have to meet all the requirements in a procurement setting. They have to be registered with the Registrar of Companies, be compliant in their tax payment and the Ministry of Trade will be registering them as SMEs,” she said.
Source: The Times
Rwanda adopts new transfer pricing rules, embracing OECD transfer pricing guidelines and anti-BEPS recommendations
On 14 December 2020, Rwanda’s new general rules on transfer pricing (New TP Rules) which are in line with the key aspects of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) transfer pricing guidelines and anti-base erosion and profit shifting recommendations were published. The New TP Rules replace the previous rather simplistic rules which have been in force since 2007. The New TP Rules apply to transactions between related persons (known as controlled transactions) where one of the parties is a Rwanda tax resident, as well as transactions between non-resident related persons if the transaction concerns the permanent establishment of one of those persons in Rwanda. Although the detailed New TP Rules will certainly assist in preserving Rwanda’s tax base and fighting the shifting of profits to low tax jurisdictions, they will inevitably increase taxpayers’ compliance burden. Transfer pricing audits by the Rwanda Revenue Authorities with corresponding significant tax adjustments based on these rules are anticipated in the near future.
China finances renewable energy to the tune of USD11-million
China is multiplying its investments in renewable energy in Africa. In the Seychelles, which Wang Yi, the Chinese minister of Foreign Affairs, has visited, Beijing is promising an USD11-million envelope dedicated to the production of renewable energy. In this financing, USD4.6-million will be destined for the construction of small off-grid solar power stations. These off-grids should enable several islands of the archipelago to become autonomous in terms of electricity. According to Flavien Joubert, the Seychelles minister of Agriculture, Climate Change and the Environment, the other part of the Chinese funding will enable the installation of solar panels on the roofs of public buildings, particularly schools. “Both countries are working on the same issues such as climate change and the environment. China is now focusing on greener and more sustainable development. It is the same for the Seychelles, because we cannot opt for rapid development as it would lead to the destruction of the environment,” says minister Joubert.
Source: AFRIK 21
Tanzania sets sights on conference tourism
Tanzania has set up a National Convention Bureau (NCB) to promote conference tourism as a way of speeding up the industry's recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The NCB will function as a department under the coordination of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and handle all arrangements and bookings for international conferences, symposiums, conventions and other meetings, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Dr Aloyce Nzuki, explained. He described conference tourism as a key tourism product that has not been properly tapped in the past despite its huge potential to complement the numerous beach and wildlife attractions that abound in Tanzania. The ministry recently launched an electronic database to monitor the quality of tourist and visitor accommodation services in the country. The Accommodation Services in Tanzania will match the East African Hotel Classification criteria to determine the quality of service delivery to tourists and other visitors to Tanzania and other East African Community (EAC) states, Dr Nzuki said. The World Bank recommended in December 2020 that Tanzania and other African countries should focus on tourism diversification to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their respective economies.
Source: The EastAfrican
Tanzania / China
Magufuli secures USD1.32-billion China support for Tanzania SGR
Tanzania has signed a contract for USD1.32-billion in Chinese support for the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). President John Magufuli recently signed the contract with visiting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi who has been on a traditional New Year whirlwind tour of African capitals. The injection will cover construction of the 341km stretch of railway between Mwanza and the Isaka dry port. Under the agreement, two firms will undertake the project: the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway Construction Corporation. The Chinese minister also pledged USD150,000 to support the expansion of a vocational training centre in President Magufuli’s hometown of Chato, and another USD20,000 to boost fishing activities in the Lake Victoria zone. Tanzania is looking to tap into China's huge market through reciprocal import and export trade, even as China makes diplomatic inroads on the continent.
Source: The EastAfrican
Uganda / Kenya
Uganda’s export receipts to Kenya rise to UGX175-billion – BoU
Uganda’s exports to her biggest neighbouring market Kenya are showing signs of recovery after months on slugging. The never ending trade wars between the two countries negatively impacted on export receipts which have been declining for more than a year and half. However, the last three monthly reports from Bank of Uganda (BoU) show signs of recovery, with the latest released figures for November last year, indicating a 9% increase in Uganda’s exports receipts to Kenya. The report shows: “In November, Uganda’s export receipts to Kenya climbed to USD57.5-million (UGX194-billion), up from USD47.4-million (UGX175-billion) earned the previous month of October.” This was higher than the USD42.1-million (UGX155-billion) realised in September. Some goods which Uganda exports to Kenya include agricultural products such as maize, milk, sugar, fruits, eggs, beans and other manufactured goods in the fast moving consumables.
Source: Daily Monitor
Zimbabwe set to establish virtual courts amid COVID-19 pandemic
Zimbabwe is moving towards virtual court sittings as the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) moves to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not disrupt the delivery of justice, the country's top judge said on Monday, 11 January. Chief Justice Luke Malaba said court sittings had been highly affected by lockdown measures instituted by the government since last year to curb the spread of the pandemic, government news agency New Ziana reported. "Courts could not afford to lag behind in harnessing the potential of ICT in ensuring that access to justice is not disrupted," he said while opening the 2021 legal year. "To this end, plans to introduce virtual court sittings are at an advanced stage. The process involves presentation of submissions by litigants and parties to disputes without them being required to be physically present at court," he said. Malaba said the digitisation of the courts and their processes had already been adopted in other jurisdictions in the region and beyond. He said the JSC had entered into memoranda of understanding with cooperating partners to assist with the establishment of virtual courts throughout the country.
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