ABCHealth, ECA announce partnership to improve health in Africa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) have signed a partnership to develop two key initiatives: the Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa (HEGA 2) report and the West Africa ‘African Continental Free Trade Area’ (AfCFTA)-anchored Pharma Initiative. Both initiatives will be jointly executed. HEGA 2 aims to leverage innovation and extend the focus on building resilient national health systems in a post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) era. The West Africa AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative is the blueprint for the local production of drugs and medical equipment across West Africa. The initiative focuses on strengthening the supply side of West Africa’s health sector by mobilising investment and capital to develop domestic production of internationally accepted standards and quality. Vera Songwe, UNECA executive secretary, stated: “The AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative represents lucrative private sector investment and innovation opportunities that will change lives, reduce poverty and contribute to Africa’s inclusive and sustainable economic development.”

Source: UNECA

Africa

Digitisation an opportunity to propel African economies even as COVID-19 rages

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard the economies of many African countries, and pushed many more citizens into poverty, but some countries like Rwanda and Togo have used digitisation to keep their economies running. Speaking during the launch of a Pan-African peer exchange series on the benefits of responsible digital government payments, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Vera Songwe, said the pandemic had a huge toll on African economies with gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimated to have dropped from 3.3% in 2019 to -2.6% in 2020. It is, however, anticipated that growth would return to 3.3% in 2021. “Digitizing tax payments and related processes can raise additional resources for African governments to fight COVID-19 and help move countries back to growth,” said Ms Songwe in opening remarks during the launch of the series that will see policymakers sharing challenges and successes and setting a high bar for what can be accomplished on the continent through digitisation of government payments.

Source: UNECA

Africa

FAO and BADEA sign MoU to advance African agriculture at Africa high-level dialogue on food security

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for future collaboration to promote agricultural infrastructure development and skills training for women and youth. The agreement would also advance climate-smart agriculture in Africa. FAO director-general Dr Qu Dongyu and BADEA director-general Sidi Ould Tah signed the agreement on 29 April 2021 in a virtual ceremony during a high-level dialogue organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and the CGIAR global partnership. The MoU also covers private sector engagement in agriculture, market information, agricultural value-chains development, and scaling up production and productivity for pastoralists as spheres for collaboration. Under a partnership with Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde told the virtual dialogue audience that “the government has identified key priority intervention areas to increase productivity of small-scale farmers and expand large-scale commercial wheat production with an ambitious plan to achieve wheat self-sufficiency by 2023.”

Source: African Development Bank

Angola

Angolan bid round for onshore leases opens

Angola’s hydrocarbon industry regulator, the National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG), as national concessionaire, announced, under the terms of articles 6 and 7 of Presidential Decree No. 86/18 of 2 April, the opening of the Public Tender for the bidding of new oil blocks, namely, the Terrestrial Basin of the Lower Congo (CON 1, CON 5 and CON 6) and the Terrestrial Kwanza Basin (KON 5, KON 6, KON 8, KON 9, KON 17 and KON 20). This announcement was made within the scope of the General Strategy for the Attribution of Petroleum Concessions for the period 2019-2025, approved by Presidential Decree No. 52/19 of 18 February. For each of the oil blocks, the proposals to be submitted must comply with the specified requirements.

Source: Africa Oil+Gas Report

Angola / Zambia

Angola and Zambia sign oil pipelines agreement

Angola has signed a USD5-billion Memorandum of Understanding with its neighbour Zambia, with an aim to carry out studies to assess the feasibility of constructing oil and gas pipelines between Lobito (Angola) and Lusaka (Zambia). According to a statement by Angola’s Ministry of Petroleum, the studies may take two years. They will be submitted to the two governments for a final decision regarding the feasibility of implementing the AZOP project (Angola-Zambia Oil Pipeline). If implemented, the oil and gas pipelines will have several terminals and sub-terminals in both territories. As reported by Anadolu Agency, this agreement is expected to bring an end to a more than 10-year old complex negotiation process that would lead to cheaper fuel for Zambia. Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, and Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation will be strategic equity partners in the pipeline project, Ambassador of Zambia to Angola, Lawrence Chalungumana said, as reported by The Zambian Observer.

Source: Oil Review Africa

Botswana

Revised AGOA plan to spur US-bound exports

The revised African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy that is expected to provide a comprehensive plan for Botswana to spur its exports to the United States (US) has been launched. The strategy, which was approved in March, will assist local businesses to take advantage of the non-reciprocal trade arrangement. Exports through the AGOA programme will provide local entrepreneurs with a chance to revive their firms that suffered heavily from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also create employment to revitalise the ailing economy. The Trade and Industry minister, Mmusi Kgafela, said consultations have taken place with respective sectors to ensure that specific issues are understood and impediments are addressed to increase the export base. Speaking at the launch, the US Ambassador to Botswana, Craig Cloud, said there are some successful entrepreneurs who have exported to the US. He encouraged them to take full advantage of the revised AGOA strategy.

Source: Mmegi

Ethiopia

Nation secures over USD2-billion from FDI – commissioner

Ethiopia has secured USD2.05-billion from foreign direct investment (FDI) in the past nine months, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC). Briefing journalists about the performance of the EIC, commissioner Lelissie Nemi said that the revenue has surpassed that of the same period last year by 6.7%. The manufacturing sector has contributed 85% of the stated revenue obtained in nine months of the fiscal year, while the agriculture and services sectors contributed 5% and 37%, respectively, she added. According to her, the commission has been striving to attract more FDI to the country despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and instability in some parts of the country. Lelissie noted that despite the increase in export products from the industrial parks and manufacturers, COVID-19 lockdowns have become major challenges that hinder access to European and United States markets.

Source: ENA

Ghana

200 police officers deployed to safeguard large-scale mining concessions

Two hundred police officers have been commissioned to provide security for large-scale mining companies’ concessions across the country. The officers, deployed on Wednesday, 5 May, underwent a 10-day redeployment training programme from 24 April to 5 May at the Ghana Police Command and Staff College in Winneba in the Central Region. They studied mineral law, voluntary principles, human rights, officer safety, weapon handling, and the use of minimum force, among other courses. Mr George Mireku Duker, the deputy minister-designate of Lands and Natural Resources, who delivered the keynote address on behalf of the sector minister, said the deployment formed part of government’s determination to build a viable and sustainable mining industry to mutually benefit the state and the investment community. The chief executive officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemana Koney, expressed the chamber’s appreciation to government for agreeing to provide security for mining companies.

Source: Ghana Business News

Ghana

Bank assets up 18.5% hitting GHS152-billion – BoG

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has said that the total banking sector assets as of end-February 2021 increased by 18.5% year-on-year to GHS152-billion, marginally higher than the annual growth of 17.8% as of the end of February 2020. The higher growth in total assets reflected similar stronger growth in domestic and foreign assets of 19.1% and 11.1%, compared to the respective rates of 18.7% and 8.2% a year earlier, the banking sector development report said. It noted that growth in banks’ investment holdings outpaced other asset classes due to the higher propensity of banks to invest more in less risky government instruments as a result of the pandemic-induced elevated credit risks and slowdown in credit demand. In summary, the balance sheet performance of the industry for the first two months of 2021 shows sustained growth in key indicators except for the pandemic-induced weakness in credit growth. It is expected that growth in the sector will remain strong as the economic recovery process takes hold in 2021.

Source: Pulse Ghana

Ghana

Ghana set to receive first LNG cargo at end of May

Ghana is expected to receive its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo at the end of May, a project spokesman said on 4 May, as the country prepares to become sub-Saharan Africa's first LNG importer. The project – consisting of separate regasification and storage vessels – has the capacity to import 1.7 million metric tonnes per year of LNG and had been expected to receive its first cargo by the end of the first quarter of 2021. "The first cargo is currently expected for the end of May," the spokesman for the project – backed by Helios Investment Partners and Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers – told S&P Global Platts. "The project is operationally ready, and is currently awaiting an agreement between Shell and GNPC on the first delivery date," he said. LNG will be supplied under a long-term contract with Shell, which said in a February strategy presentation that it wanted to grow its LNG market footprint by creating new markets, including being the first supplier of LNG to Ghana.

Source: S&P Global Platts

Ghana

IFC and Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission to develop green bonds market

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Ghana's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have announced a partnership to facilitate investments in projects that address climate and environmental issues through green bonds. Under the agreement, the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help the SEC to develop guidelines for issuers and investors for green bonds in Ghana. The introduction of green bonds will give investors opportunities to finance green buildings, clean transportation, renewable energy, sustainable water management, and other climate-friendly projects. Green bonds will support Ghana's transition to a lower-carbon future as specified in the country's agreed contributions under the Paris Agreement. The IFC's Green Bond Program, launched in 2010, has helped catalyse the market and unlock investment for private sector projects that support renewable energy and energy efficiency. The IFC has issued roughly 170 green bonds in 20 currencies amounting to over USD10-billion.

Source: IFC

Guinea

IMF staff completes 2021 Article IV mission to Guinea

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Ms Clara Mira, held a virtual mission from 14 to 28 April 2021, to conduct the 2021 Article IV consultation discussions with Guinea. In summary, growth is expected to reach 5.2% in 2021 driven by continued strength in the mining sector, even as the country grapples with a second wave of COVID-19 infections and an Ebola outbreak. Non-mining growth remains subdued and is not expected to fully recover until 2022. The authorities are encouraged to continue their efforts to mobilise domestic revenue – including from the mining sector – to create fiscal space to finance the pressing human capital and infrastructure development needs. Reforms to strengthen governance and the business climate will boost diversification and provide for a more resilient and inclusive recovery. The immediate policy priorities remain continuing to respond to the pandemic, including by fast-tracking large-scale vaccinations, stepping up efforts to support vulnerable populations and supporting economic recovery.

Source: International Monetary Fund

Kenya

Low financing slowing Kenya's international trade – report

Local banks' failure to fully embrace trade financing is hindering growth of Kenya’s regional exports to international markets, experts now say. This comes even as the country continues to push for trade deals, among them the recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the United Kingdom, and the ongoing talks for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States (US). While the country is seeking to grow its exports to the US, it barely serves 23% of the potential under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). “Trade finance is a pain to people seeking opportunities,” Export Promotion Council chairman Jaswinder Bedi said, during the launch of the 'Trade Finance Landscape Report' covering East Africa and the Horn of Africa. According to the report by TradeMark East Africa and Financial Sector Deepening Africa, costly loans are also making the regions uncompetitive, where 90% of trade is financed by foreign banks. The high interest rates in Kenya of above the 7% Central Bank of Kenya base lending rate is making manufactures and traders in Kenya uncompetitive compared to other countries such as China and India, who have rates of as low as 2%.

Source: The Star

Kenya

Treasury removes 20% excise tax on bank loans

The Treasury has scrapped the 20% excise duty on bank loan fees, setting the stage for a possible drop in the cost of credit to businesses and households. The removal of the excise tax is contained in the Finance Bill and will see banks save up to KES7-billion annually on taxes generated from fees charged on the processing of loans. Bankers say the cut will ease pressure on lenders to raise loan costs given the fees that attract the excise duty account for an average of 2.5% of the overall lending rates. “The First Schedule to the Excise Tax Act, 2015 is amended in Part Three, in the definition of ‘other fees’ by deleting the word ‘fees or commissions’ earned in respect of a loan,” the Treasury says in the Bill. The 20% excise tax was introduced in 2018, triggering an increase in the cost of bank services, including loans, transfers – both local and international – over-the-counter withdrawals, ATM transactions and account operating fees. The Treasury has retained the tax on other fees not linked to credit processing, such as obtaining account statements and cheque clearance, signalling it is keen on lowering the cost of loans in an economic setting where the government does not control lending rates.

Source: Business Daily

Kenya / Tanzania

Kenya scraps work visa for Tanzanians

Kenya has scrapped work visa and permit requirements for Tanzanian nationals in an effort to boost trade and tourism between the two countries, fast-tracking implementation of the East African Common Market Protocol allowing workers to move freely in the region. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the new visa policy during a joint session of the Kenyan and Tanzanian business community in Nairobi, which was attended by the visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. President Kenyatta said the move would allow Tanzanians to enter the country without restrictions and work freely, attracting foreign investment and boosting tourism without compromising national security. “The objective is to strengthen our two economies by promoting the easy movement of goods and people," said President Kenyatta. “We would like to see many investors from Tanzania coming to do business in Kenya. And I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya. The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws that are in place,” he added.

Source: Business Daily

Kenya / Tanzania

Kenya, Tanzania agree on gas pipeline plans

Kenya and Tanzania have signed an agreement to start working on a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa in what the two countries’ leaders said was part of a long-term project to share energy resources. At a joint press conference in Nairobi, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Kenyan counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta, said they had agreed to build more interconnecting infrastructure, starting with a gas pipeline and roads. The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation means the respective ministers of Energy can start negotiating the design, cost and other logistical needs for the pipeline to be built. A joint communiqué said it will enhance “energy sufficiency”, with Kenya keen on importing gas from Tanzania’s nascent plant. No timelines were given but President Hassan said respective technocrats have been directed to start working on it immediately. “That is a long-term project and we are thankful that today we have signed an agreement and what remains is implementation,” she said.

Source: The EastAfrican

Madagascar

IFC, Madagascar partner to develop insurance to protect smallholder farmers

Madagascar's farmers stand to build stronger climate resilience, increase productivity, and more easily access financial services thanks to an agricultural insurance program announced by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Government of Madagascar. Under the program, the IFC will help Malagasy insurance companies to develop targeted insurance products to protect farmers from weather-related risks and other natural disasters that threaten their livelihoods and undermine creditor confidence. Agricultural insurance will help protect farmers from a wide range of natural disasters, including cyclones, droughts, floods and pest invasions. Natural disasters cost Madagascar's economy on average 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) annually. Agriculture is a significant contributor to Madagascar's economy, accounting for about a quarter of the country's GDP and 64% of total employment. Smallholder farmers make up about 70% of the farming population, yet more than half cite limited access to financial services as a key constraint holding back their productivity and incomes.

Source: IFC

Malawi

RBM revises 2021 inflation rate target

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has revised upwards its 2021 inflation rate projection from 7.6% to an average 8.4%. In its Statement of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Second Meeting of 2021, the central bank said the revision has, among others, taken into account the impact of the lagged effects of the upward adjustments of fuel prices implemented on 9 March and an increase in electricity tariffs effected on 31 March this year. Reads the statement signed by RBM Governor and MPC chairperson Wilson Banda: “Headline inflation rose to 9.4 percent in March 2021 from 7.6 percent in December 2020, mostly on the back of rising food and fuel prices. Meanwhile, the forecasts suggest an elevated inflation path in the period ahead compared to the First 2021 MPC forecasting round, as headline inflation is currently projected to average 8.4 percent in 2021, up from 7.6 percent projected during the previous MPC meeting.” Treasury, on the other hand, anticipates the average inflation rate to remain in single digits at 7.8% and 8.6% in 2021 and 2022, respectively, largely reflecting contained food inflation. In the medium-term, Treasury, through the RBM, said it is committed to the implementation of a forward-looking monetary policy framework.

Source: The Nation

Malawi

World Bank supports job creation, economic growth in Malawi through Country Partnership Framework

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors discussed the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Malawi. The new CPF will guide the World Bank Group’s work over the next five years in support of Malawi’s national priorities as set out in Malawi Vision 2063. The CPF has three strategic focus areas: bolstering foundations for growth and accountability; promoting private sector-led jobs and livelihoods; and strengthening human capital development. In addition, digital development and women’s empowerment are integrated as cross-cutting themes. The CPF is informed by extensive consultations with a broad range of stakeholders in Malawi including government, civil society and development partners. The World Bank’s current International Development Association (IDA) portfolio for Malawi includes 18 national projects and five regional investments with a net commitment value of USD2.05-billion.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Mauritius

IMF staff completes 2021 Article IV mission to Mauritius

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Cemile Sancak undertook a virtual visit to Mauritius from 19 April to 7 May 2021 to conduct the 2021 Article IV consultation discussions. In summary, Mauritius has been successful in containing the COVID-19 virus thanks to strict health measures. In the short-term, accommodative fiscal and monetary stances are appropriate. As the country emerges from the pandemic, fiscal consolidation will be necessary to stabilise public debt, and monetary policy measures will need to be strengthened. During the recovery phase, Mauritius should prioritise support measures to improve the economy’s resilience and competitiveness and accelerate its long-term structural transformation. Ms Sancak stated that “the mission welcomed the authorities’ concerted efforts to exit from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and European Union Anti-Money Laundering / Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) lists and encouraged them to keep up these efforts.”

Source: IMF

Namibia

ECB approves 2.92% bulk electricity tariff increase effective 1 July

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) in Namibia has approved the tariff application made by the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) and will increase the bulk electricity tariff by 2.92% effective on 1 July 2021. After considering a tariff application increase for an effective bulk tariff, inclusive of generation and transmission, increase of 5.8% from NamPower, the ECB has announced an increase of 2.92% for the 2021/2022 financial year. This means that consumers will pay up to NAD1.6982 (USD0.11) per kilowatt-hour, which was increased from NAD1.6500 per kilowatt-hour effective from 1 July 2021. The new electricity tariff will be applicable to NamPower’s bulk customers, including distribution utilities, local authorities, regional councils and mines. Regional electricity distributors will all have to apply to the ECB individually for a review of their distribution tariffs. Only when these individual applications are approved by ECB will they be applicable to end consumers.

Source: ESI Africa

Namibia

Namibia’s national debt reaches self-defeating levels

Namibia’s increasing public debt has reached the level of leading investors to shy away, although the fiscal consolidation in place is expected to retain some confidence. This was revealed by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) in the recently released 2021 financial stability report. The report is issued yearly and highlights Namibia's financial systems' resilience to withstand internal and external shocks, be it economic, financial or political. According to the report, the country's financial system in 2020 remained sound, well capitalised and profitable overall, despite the economy being shattered by the fallout of COVID-19. The increase in public sector debt is one of the risks that have registered an upward movement of risk towards financial stability in the country. The regulators said South Africa and Namibia both continue facing the possibility of further sovereign credit rating downgrades, mostly due to high levels of uncertainty regarding the duration of the impact of COVID-19.

Source: The Namibian

Rwanda

Government steps up battle on single-use plastics

The government has insisted that it will not extend the deadline to end the manufacture, sale and use of single-use plastic items despite pleas from manufacturers. Manufacturers of single-use plastic products are appealing for more time to change their businesses into eco-friendly ventures. Their request comes ahead of the deadline to stop the production of single-use plastics, which were outlawed in September 2019, in an ambitious bid to curb plastic waste. During a recent inspection in the City of Kigali, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) ordered all wholesalers and retailers to empty their stocks of banned single-use plastic products within three months. Producer are supposed to end the manufacturing of these items on 23 September this year. However, they have asked REMA to consider extending the deadlines, citing COVID-19 challenges that have made it hard for them to change their business operations.

Source: The New Times

Rwanda

IMF staff completes review mission to Rwanda

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Haimanot Teferra, held virtual meetings with the Rwandan authorities from 22 March to 6 May 2021 to discuss the fourth review of Rwanda’s Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI)-supported program. In summary, IMF staff reached staff-level agreement on policies needed to complete the fourth review under the PCI. Growth is projected to rebound to 5.1% in 2021, compared to a contraction by 3.4% last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rebound comes as vaccines are rolled out and the government continues to support the economy and people through the Economic Recovery Plan. To mitigate the risks to the outlook exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, fiscal policy will need to balance debt sustainability with supporting the recovery and growth. The implementation of structural reforms needs to be fast-tracked, including strengthening fiscal risk management to foster inclusive growth and mitigate debt-related risks.

Source: IMF

Rwanda

Improvement of land management processes with GIS technology

Since 2008, Rwanda’s land registration reform has fostered incremental improvements in the country’s land administration processes. The first version of the Land Administration Information System (LAIS) helped to support the initial collection and management of large amounts of land administration and legal data for the development of land-use plans at the national and district levels. In collaboration with Kadaster International, the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) used the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) geographic information system (ArcGIS) to develop and deploy LAIS version 4.0, which is improving the current process of titling and certification of land throughout the country. The land authority is responsible for implementing the National Land Tenure Reform Program, as provided by the National Land Policy and the law governing the land in Rwanda. Over the last two decades, Rwanda has invested considerably in land administration. Most recently, the successful deployment of LAIS version 4.0 in 2019 and the adoption of Esri’s Land Administration Modernization Program (LAMP) have provided the country with advanced GIS technology and support to meet the evolving challenge of comprehensive land governance.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Tanzania

State pledges support to serious ICT investors

The government has pledged full cooperation with serious investors to support the fast-growing information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the country and enhance its contribution to the economy. The minister of Communications and Technology, Faustine Ndugulile, said in Dodoma that the government is committed to addressing present and future challenges troubling the sector. “In this country, we have many private companies dealing with various branches of ICT. This is a very good pointer that the private sector is at the forefront of promoting ICT. On behalf of the ministry, I promise full government support to the private sector to promote this sector,” he pledged. The minister said the government will support the private sector without reservations in promoting the ICT sector because it is aware of the irking challenges that the private sector is facing in promoting the sector. The minister’s pledges and reaffirmations come shortly after a Dar es Salaam meeting of stakeholders in the ICT sector discussed the progress of and challenges facing the sector, and called for government intervention.

Source: Daily News

Tanzania

TBS goes online for standardisation, training

The Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) has introduced automated standardisation and quality control systems that would enable traders and manufacturers to access certificates or permits online. The systems, introduced by TBS in partnership with TradeMark East Africa, are the Integrated Standard, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (iSQMT), and e-Learning portals. TBS director general, Dr Athuman Ngenya, said some of the benefits include a reduction in time and transaction costs as stakeholders will no longer need to visit TBS offices for services related to standards and quality control, training, and the collection of permits and certificates. “Provision of automated services has largely reduced waiting and processing times and costs for TBS’ stakeholders to secure various services,” he said. Thus, through iSQMT, TBS has automated standards development, product certification, import inspection, metrology and testing. In addition, the iSQMT portal is integrated with the e-Government payment gateway platforms, which guarantee fully automated processes.

Source: Daily News

Togo

AfCFTA: Togo adopts strategic plan to boost its exports in Africa

Togo now has a national strategy to boost exports to other African countries. This is as African governments are doubling down on efforts to effectively implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). On 29 April 2021, during the Council of Ministers meeting, Togo’s minister of Trade, Kodzo Adedze, made a presentation on the newly-adopted strategy. The document identifies industrialisation and trade opportunities that Togo has in the framework of the (AfCFTA), as well as related challenges and measures it should adopt to fully leverage the local, regional and global markets. The strategic plan covers key sectors with promising potential in the context of the AfCFTA. These include agriculture, phosphate processing and the production of cooking oil. In the services segment, sectors concerned are telecommunications, service to businesses, financial services and tourism.

Source: Togo First

Uganda

Uganda set to launch tender cycle to accelerate oil sector development

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has indicated that tenders will be launched in December 2021 to proceed with the first phase of the development of various national energy infrastructures. The information was revealed by PAU’s director of Technical Support Services, Peninah Aheebwa, during a youth training program. The development of these oil facilities will take into account the construction of a refinery, the East African Crude Pipeline (EACOP) linking Uganda to Tanzania and the completion of the oil road network in the Albertine Graben region. “The companies that will win the key tenders will begin construction of the Kingfisher and Tilenga wells, and other wells will also be developed during the second phase,” added Aheebwa. In addition, the country, which relies on local content, said that this first stage of oil and gas infrastructure development is expected to bring in about USD15-billion to local and international companies.

Source: Energy Mix Report