East Africa News of the week

East Africa News of the week

KENYA

* Pension fund returns fell to 2.4 percent in the second quarter of the year compared to 6.5 percent in quarter one as under-performing equities eroded the positive gains recorded by fixed income investments. Industry analysis by pension fund administrator Zamara shows the weighted average return from equities investment during the quarter stood at -3 percent, while fixed-income investments gave a return of 4.3 percent. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2Ylr6sq)

* The Privatisation Commission says the first of a series of reports on financial health of five State-owned sugar companies planned for sale will be out Tuesday next week. The commission in a statement  said a transaction advisor, who it says has been on ground, will be guiding the process that has already missed a 120 day deadline set by the Council of Governors and Agriculture ministry. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2GHnR3N)

* The penalty for filing annual tax returns past the 30 June 2019 deadline is set to drop under proposed changes to the law, boosting savings for homes and businesses which pay taxes on time. The fine will now be based on the amount which has not been paid to the Kenya Revenue Authority if the amendment of Tax Procedures Act 2015 is approved by legislators and subsequently assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2MNBu5t)

* Kenya’s year-on-year inflation rose to a three-month high of 6.27 percent in July, driven mainly by jump in the prices of food, drinks and transport costs. The cost of living measure, which is higher than 4.35 percent recorded in July last year, ranks second-highest this year since 6.58 percent was recorded in April. Inflation was 5.7 percent in June. (Read full article here) (http://bit.ly/2KeKC1c)

UGANDA

* The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent B. Ssempijja, formally presented the National Coffee Bill to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries early this month. Uganda is currently the 10th largest world coffee producer; eighth largest exporter in the world and 1st in Africa. Increasing coffee exports would bring in vital forex for Uganda to create better terms of trade. But there have been mixed reactions over some of the clauses in the National Coffee Bill 2018.  (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2OEmZTZ)

* The value of mobile money transactions registered in the three months leading to December 2018 increased to USH 18 trillion (approx. USD 4.8 billion) in September. A report released by Uganda Communications Commission for the quarter ended December 2018 indicates that more money was moved through mobile money service in the last quarter of 2018. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2KtgQV4)

* The Government through the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company will construct new 220 kV substations to upgrade from the present 132 kV to boost power supply in Kampala. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/2KfGCgU)

TANZANIA

* Tanzania can avoid taking on more debt from the Western countries and firms by financing its own infrastructure, according to the central bank. This reinforces President John Magufuli’s plan to use the state’s resources to fund the development of a USD 2.9 billion hydroelectric plants. The government plans to spend TSH 11.9 trillion (approx. USD 5.17 billion) for infrastructure in 2019-2020. (Read the full article here) (https://bloom.bg/2Ynj42h)

* The Government is rolling out phase two of the  Electronic Tax Stamps Programme this Thursday as it seeks to boost transparency in the collection of excise duty, value-added tax and corporate tax from manufacturers. (Read the full article here) (http://bit.ly/334cWKW)