The Week That Was – 11th September 2020

14 Sep 2020

The Week That Was is a recap of major activities that happened in Africa in the last 7 days. You can view the video here

The African Union received a grant of $27 million from the African Development Bank to support the African Unions response to COVID-19 

Central Africa 

  • December 6th has been set aside for regional elections in Cameroon.  Paul Biya, the veteran leader of more than 40 years made this announcement on September 7th. 

Eastern Africa 

  • Supermarket chain Shoprite has announced that it plans to exit the Kenyan market by the end of this year citing underperformance of the stores. 
  • Kenya received a grant from the World Bank totaling more than $750 to develop the northwest of the country benefitting 3.2 million people. The funds will go towards projects that would improve transportations, connectivity, and improving social services. 
  • The Kenyan minister of finance announced that he expects the country’s GDP to grow by less than 2.5% as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Tullow oil received a 15month extension on its exploration work which will push back the final investment decision on the Turkana oil fields project. 
  • The World Bank has approved a $104 million grant to improve education and vocational training in key areas in Mozambique. 
  • The U.S. International Development Finance Corp (DFC) has agreed to loan $200 million to the development of a 450 MW gas-fired power plant in Mozambique.  The Development Finance Corporation has also agreed to provide $1.5 billion political risk insurance to develop this project as well as projects utilizing the Rovuma basin gas reserves. 
  • Uganda announced that the Entebbe airport will be opened on October 1st when international flights will be allowed to resume. 
  • The Uganda government and Total SA have settled the final issues on the host nation agreement on the 1,445-kilometre oil export pipeline.  The final investment decision is expected in the coming months. 
  • Zambia, one of Africa’s largest copper producers, owes $3 billion in Eurobonds, $2 billion to commercial banks, $2 billion to the world bank and IMF, and a further $3 billion to China.  A total of $10 billion which is overdue.  Zambia has appointed Lazard to help manage and reduce its debt pile. 
  • Zimbabwe’s Industry Minister confirmed that the country is losing $1 billion every year as a result of the Ziscosteel plant closure.  Zimbabwe now has to import all its steel to meet its industrial manufacturing needs. 

Northern Africa 

  • Egypt has announced that is considering selling power to Cyprus and Greece via a planned subsea cable.  It is also considering exporting power to neighboring African countries. 
  • Egypt’s election commission has announced parliamentary elections will be held on October 24th. 
  • Turkey has announced that the government is in discussions with Libya to conduct exploration activities for oil and gas onshore as well as off the country’s coast. 
  • Tunisia’s oil production was reduced by 40 percent as protesters shutdown production facilities in the south of the country.  This was a result of delays in job creation in the region which was agreed after earlier protests. 

Southern Africa 

  • South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd embarked on a new strategy and is looking to expand its emerging market portfolio through acquisitions.  
  • South Africa’s ESKOM’s power cuts are affecting investment decisions from major mining companies and other energy-intensive businesses. 

Western Africa 

  • Two days of heavy rains in Burkina Faso resulted in floods that have killed at least 13 people, injured more than a dozen, and displaced hundreds. The government announced aid valued at more than $9 million to help those affected. 
  • Liberia has lost its membership to the African Union due to more than $1.6 million in unpaid dues. 
  • The president of Nigeria announced that high inflation of basic food products is a threat to the country’s food security. 
  • The Nigeria government plans to spend $2.3bn on phase 1 of the Presidential Power Initiative which will aim to increase the national transmission capacity to 7 Gigawatt.  This is an increase of 2 Gigawatt on the current transmission capacity. 

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