Economy and Business Latest News and Updates This Week

  • Members of the Rwandan business community whose operations have been affected or halted as a result of the novel coronavirus will soon access affordable capital from a special fund to be established by Government. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said that the ministry’s technicians and partners were currently working on a fund to facilitate the recovery of the economy.
  • The Ministry of Finance and the wider Government have spent weeks gathering views and considering options on how to respond to the economic crisis that has been brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Private Sector Foundation, Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, bankers, exporters and real estate owners are some of the groups that have tendered in their proposals for consideration.
  • Egypt is bracing for a curfew extension this week after it surpassed the milestone of 1,000 coronavirus cases on Saturday. The increase in cases has come despite unprecedented restrictions to stem the spread of the virus amid fears that the medical facilities in the country, which has a population of 100 million people, will be overwhelmed.
  • Ministry of Industry and Trade has challenged local manufacturers to rise to the occasion by engaging in import substitution amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak that has affected regional and global trade. Globally, most countries have initiated a lockdown that is affecting trade and movement of people as one way of containing the spread of Covid-19.
  • South Africa is turning to financial powerhouses for loans to help deal with the coronavirus crisis and the market fallout. The government is reportedly ready to take a USD 1 billion loan from the New Development Bank, with another USD 1 billion possibly coming from the BRICS bank. It has been floated that government may also approach the IMF and the World Bank for any coronavirus aid (not a bailout) they might make available.
  • The coffee auction has become the latest victim of the coronavirus after the Ministry of Health ordered its closure last week as the government races to curb the spread of the disease. The directive to the Haile Selassie Avenue-based Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which was issued in the middle of trading last Tuesday, is set to affect lots that had already been offered for sale during the auction with the impact trickling down to the long-suffering farmer.
  • Safaricom  has offered its more than 175,000 agents across the country as distribution points for masks and sanitisers to be used in the fight against Covid-19. Facing import shortages and huge demand, the government has embarked on mass production of hand sanitisers and masks through various agencies and institutions in the country after the first case of coronavirus was reported in mid-March.
  • Rwanda’s efforts to curb and contain the novel Coronavirus this week received a USD 14.25 million boost from the World Bank under the new Rwanda COVID -19 Emergency Response Project. The project is designed to help the government prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.