Economy and Business News | Africa

  • After three months of free mobile money transactions, charges will be reinstated on Monday, 22 June according to an announcement by the Central Bank. The charges had been suspended for a 3 month period on March 18th to encourage uptake of cashless payments and reduce cash handling as part of the efforts to curb the transmission of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says that South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment regulations should be ‘enhanced’ as part of a push to build a more inclusive economy in the wake of the country’s coronavirus crisis.
  • Nigeria’s rate of inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose to 12.40 per cent in the month of May, the highest ever recorded in the past 25 months. The National Bureau of Statistics in its Consumer Price Index May 2020 report released on Wednesday said the latest increase represents 0.06 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in April, which was 12.34 percent.
  • I&M Bank  has been ranked top performer on operational metrics such as loan book quality in first quarter report by Cytonn Investment that warns of possible fall in sector profits for full year. I&M leapfrogged KCB to first position as Co-op Bank climbed to second position from the third position it occupied last December. The rise by the two banks was mainly on improved non-performing loans ratio.
  • Rwanda’s National carriers, Rwandair has announced a prolonged suspension of commercial flights into the country despite a recent cabinet meeting opening tourism and hospitality activities including holding meetings in hotels. The cabinet on 16 June 2020 reopened domestic and international tourism. However, international tourists allowed are only those on charter flights.
  • Uganda and Rwanda have recorded a 30 percent and 32 percent reduction in trade flows, a new Comesa Statistics on Covid-19 Impact on Trade has shown. The report released last week was prepared in April and May during which Covid-19 spread to the region. Malaba, Busia and Entebbe border posts recorded declines in imports of 35 percent, 28 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Imports for the month of May declined by 20 percent.
  • Morocco’s central bank cut the key interest rate from 2 percent to 1.5 percent to shore up the economy and reduced the reserve requirement for banks to 0 percent to release more liquidity. The Bank revised downwards its forecasts for 2020 to -5.2 percent, the lowest rate since 1996, compared with 2.5 percent in 2019, as the coronavirus impact and drought weigh on the economy, it said in a statement following its board meeting.
  • The World Bank said on Tuesday it would provide USD 400 million to support universal health coverage in Egypt as the country struggles with rising numbers of new coronavirus cases. The funding will help Egypt increase the reach of its universal health insurance system in six governorates and offer temporary financial protection to those hit by high out-of-pocket health expenditures linked to the coronavirus outbreak, the bank said in a statement.
  • Beverage manufacturers want the cost of implementing Digital Tax Stamps met by the government. A separate report presented to the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy by the local beverage manufacturers showed that the closure of bars, restaurants and social gatherings due to Covid-19 has cost government at least UGX 25 billion (approx. USD 6.8 million) in revenue in the last three months the industry would have otherwise generated.