Economy News This Week | Africa

  • Competition for customers in the telecoms industry intensified on Monday after Kenya’s second-biggest player, Airtel, slashed the cost of data by up to 95 percent in the latest launch of new data tariffs that are set to bring stiff competition to Safaricom’s recently-launched no-expiry internet packages.
  • Qatar Airways has agreed to take a 60 percent stake in a new USD 1.3 billion international airport in Rwanda, the state-run Rwanda Development Board said on Twitter on Monday. The board said the first phase of construction would provide facilities for 7 million passengers a year in the Bugesera district, about 25 km southeast of the capital Kigali. A second phase, expected to be completed by 2032, would double capacity to 14 million passengers a year.
  • Local airports are calling for more investments to boost their capacity to handle the rising demand for freight services. The Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA) says it has been working to woo cargo airlines in local airports. As the effort pays off, KAA acting managing director Alex Gitari said the airports need to be expanded to handle the growing demand for cargo services.
  • The number of visitors arriving through Jomo Kenyatta and Moi international airports has declined 18 percent. The drop comes barely a year since the Kenya Airways acquired new planes and introduced a 15-hour nonstop flight to New York.
  • Egypt’s newly formed sovereign wealth fund plans to take control of some of the Government’s most promising assets in industries such as power and real estate, to bring in private investors to develop them, its chief executive said.  Egypt has been trying to revive its economy without giving up majority ownership of many of its economic assets after a negative reaction by parts of society to privatisation drives in the 1990s and 2000s.
  • The Kenya Revenue Authority has started the process of attaching properties, salaries and bank accounts of high-profile tax cheats in what promises to be the boldest crackdown on high net worth persons. The taxman has compiled a list of companies and wealthy individuals labelled as high-risk tax debtors and is seeking to recover KES 20 billion (approx. USD 197 million) through assets and income seizure.
  • China has dispatched mining experts to Rwanda to implement a three-year cooperative project to carry out a geochemical survey to determine the full mineral potential across the country by using satellite remote sensing technology.
  • Egypt topped the list of countries clinching financing deals for start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa with 27 percent of concluded deals and ranked second in terms of attracting investments to emerging companies in the technological domain.