Business & Economy | News and Highlights – Africa.

  • Kenya has commissioned commercialisation of aquaculture farming with a KES 14 billion (approx. USD 130.75 million) loan to boost productivity amid dwindling production and a freeze on the Chinese market that used to supplement the local market. The loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development will support farmers along the fish value chain to increase production as the government projects per capita consumption of fish will rise from the current 4.5 kilogrammes to 10 in the next 10 years. https://bit.ly/2Te3LV1
  • Algeria is likely to oblige its population to wear face masks if the spread of the novel coronavirus persists and the situation is not under control, the Health Minister Abderahmane Benbouzid has warned. During a working visit to the province of Tipasa, 50 km west of Algiers, the minister pointed out that it is possible that the Scientific Commission for Detection and Follow-up COVID-19 Evolution would recommend authorities to enforce the compulsory wearing of masks. https://bit.ly/2LCGcRI  
  • The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority has said fuel demand has gone down by 15 percent as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect most sectors of the economy. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Collins Magalasi, the drop in demand is attributed to a slowdown in business and suspension of some construction projects which use fuel-run machines.  https://bit.ly/2WErFv6
  • South Africa’s rand weakened on Thursday as demand for emerging currencies continued to ebb due to growing concerns over the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. The currency also lost strength after President Cyril Ramaphosa hinted on Wednesday evening that metropolitan areas might remain on an “alert level 4” lockdown. Today the rand is trading at ZAR 18.46 to the dollar, ZAR 22.55 to the pound and ZAR 19.95 to the euro. https://bit.ly/2WFzArX
  • Morocco will distribute stipends to about 4.3 million households to help them cope with the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. A sum of an equivalent of USD 440 million has been mobilized for this operation to be launched on Thursday, the second of its kind since the North African country imposed a total shutdown on 20 March 2020, according to a statement published by the Moroccan finance ministry on Wednesday. https://bit.ly/3cFkt7v
  • Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, the largest cargo network operator in Africa, is adapting its operations to the evolving global demand for air cargo services following the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the current situation, Ethiopian Cargo has extended its reach to 74 destinations globally and is catering to charter flight needs anywhere in the world boundlessly, carrying much needed medical supplies in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. According to traveldailytrade.com, in the month of March alone, Ethiopian  Cargo transported a total of over 45,848 tonnes of cargo to different parts of the world deploying both its freighters and passenger fleet. https://bit.ly/3dRIsAr
  • Income tax, value-added tax and sales levy cuts announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic will be reversed if Kenya agrees with the International Monetary Fund to reinstate the higher taxes. The fund says the cuts will cost the Kenya Revenue Authority and compromise the State’s ability to deal with emergencies and spending on development projects like roads, power plants and water infrastructure. https://bit.ly/3699bWp
  • More than 30,000 formal jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector and 80 percent of the existing jobs are vulnerable as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite. Manufacturers now said the job situation remains grim as the stimulus package the government unveiled takes longer to create the desired impact in the disrupted business environment. https://bit.ly/3fPByxo
  • The Rwandan government will lose about USD 212 million in tax revenue between March and May this year due to COVID-19 disruptions, an official said on Monday. The revenue loss according to preliminary figures will be more than RFW 200 billion (approx. USD 209.4 million) due to tax exemptions announced by the government recently, Aimable Kayigi, the commissioner of domestic taxes at Rwanda Revenue Authority said during a Rwanda Television news program. https://bit.ly/2z81W50
  • The Association of Sugar Producers of Mozambique called for the product’s renewed exemption from value-added tax, to make it more accessible to families in face of increased demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The sugar industry is among those worst affected by the crisis, and in some parts of the country scarcities and price increases, mainly of brown sugar, have been reported. https://bit.ly/3dMAzw6