Business & Economy News Round-Up This Week

  • The Government of Ethiopia has invited independent professionals to be part of the national economic advisors council the country is set to launch. The call of the government came a week after some self-initiated professionals hosted an international conference, Ethiopia 2050, which aims to produce a comprehensive policy advice document on Ethiopian economy bringing scholars from across the world.
  • Local investors increased market participation at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the second half of the year, as rising share prices attracted retail buyers back to trading in a market still dominated by foreigners. NSE data compiled by Standard Investment Bank shows between January and June, monthly local investor participation measured as a percentage of contribution to traded turnover) stood at just 27 percent.
  • Uganda Airlines has entered into a partnership with Uganda Tourism Board, which will see the two entities do joint destination marketing in the tourist source markets of Europe, North America and Asia. This, according to Deo Nyanzi, the airline’s acting commercial director, explains why the national carrier established flights to the region’s tourist hubs.
  • Kenya Tourism Board has embarked on marketing of diverse tourism products including mountaineering, cuisine, horticulture and lake tourism, to attract more tourists. In an interview, Kenya Tourism Board Chairman Jimi Kariuki said although Kenya continues to be a popular destination, stakeholders must put more focus on other products to boost the sector.
  • Mara Group hopes a locally produced smartphone, made in South Africa and Rwanda, will compete against the might of China’s Tecno, which sells more handsets to Rwandans than any other company.
  • Rwanda is aiming to provide free medicine to all its citizens who suffer from pain caused by life-threatening illnesses. The country is leading efforts to produce the painkiller morphine locally. That would mean the country would not have to depend on costly opioid medicines sold by large companies.
  • MTN Group has agreed to sell its towers businesses in Ghana and Uganda as Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator refocuses on high-growth markets on the continent and in the Middle East. Clashes with regulators in Nigeria, Uganda and elsewhere have crimped growth, prompting the company to announce a USD 1 billion three-year asset-disposal plan earlier this year.
  • The Government of Ethiopia launched an electronic platform that will enhance efficiency in the trade logistics landscape of the country by speeding up the customs process for importers and exporters. Ethiopia Electronic Single Window Service is expected to reduce the 44 days hectic long paperwork process for importers and exporters to 15 days. Gradually, it is also expected to cut the 15 days to three working days.