The Week That Was, 2nd October 2020

Oct 5, 2020 | Country

The Week That Was is a weekly recap of all major events that took place in Africa last week.

ABiQ presents a weekly recap of major activities that took place in Africa in the last 7 days. You can watch the video here

Central Africa

  • Angola’s national oil and gas agency announced that the country shipped less than half a percent of oil more than predicted during the month of August.

Eastern Africa

  • Ethiopia has suspended COVID -19 travel restrictions, opened its borders, and welcomed tourists to the country.
  • Ethiopia’s ministry of transport announced that more than 75 percent of the country’s greenhouse gasses originated from the transport sector.  The ministry encouraged private sector companies in Ethiopia to engage in emission-free industries such as electric vehicles.
  • Gold exports from Ethiopia surged after the central bank offered higher prices for the precious metal in an effort to reduce smuggling.
  • Shares of Kenya Airways will remain frozen until April 2021.  This is after the government has decided to nationalize the airline.  The airline needs time to restructure its operational and corporate structure that will enable the government to purchase the airline.
  • Leaders of Tanzania and Burundi met during the week and agreed to construct a railway line from Gigeta in Uganda through Musongati to Uvinza in Tanzania.  The main purpose of the narrow-gauge line would be to export minerals. The two governments discussed a new Nickel refinery that would process minerals mined in Burundi.
  • The African Development Bank (AFDB) has provided more than $6.5 million for the construction and renovation of various roads and infrastructure in the Kigoma Region.
  • Uganda Airlines announced that it has resumed flights to Mogadishu in Somalia from the beginning of October.
  • Australia’s EMR Capital is in negotiations with the Zambia government for concessions, including a tax break, to invest $1 billion to further develop and expand the Lubambe copper mine.
  • Zimasco, a ferrochrome producer in the midlands of Zimbabwe, has started preparations to resume production from October onwards have a 6-month shutdown due to COVID-19.
  • Zimbabwe, the world’s fifth-largest lithium producer, albeit from a single mine owned by Bikita Minerals, will benefit from global lithium prices that have firmed over the last few months after indications that there will be a future supply shortage in about 24 months’ time.

Northern Africa

  • Egypt has agreed to purchase 25 million COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.
  • Libya has tripled oil production to 300,000 barrels per day since the oil embargo has been lifted. This is after another oil field has been brought online last week.

Southern Africa

  • The Lesotho government announced that its economy contracted by 12.6 percent during Q2 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ArcelorMittal in South Africa will restart a decommissioned furnace on higher steel demand adding 600,000 tonnes of flat steel products to the market.
  • Eskom’s Koeberg Power Plant received 6 new steam generators last week. These new steam generators will be installed during the next plant outage.  This is part of a program to extend the nuclear plant’s operational life beyond the 25 years designed plant life.

Western Africa

  • Ghana’s cocoa board signed a $1.3 billion pre-export finance deal for the 2020/21 cocoa season through a syndicated loan. This year’s cocoa harvest has been hit by drought and disease.
  • Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo broke ground for the construction of the new 84-kilometer standard gauge Kumasi-Obuasi railway line.
  • Nigerian President Buhari submitted a bill to lawmakers that will see a new regulator for the upstream oil and gas industry created.  The regulator will have to recommend any licenses before the oil ministry can award them. Part of the bill calls for the option to sell shares in the national oil company to the private sector.
  • Nigeria’s FERMA will spend $ 156 million on road construction work across the country. In addition, the government will spend $385 million on refunds for new road projects in 5 states through promissory notes after inspections are completed.
  • President Buhari of Nigeria commissioned the 326-kilometer Itakpe to Warri rail line in the Delta state.
  • The $1.6 billion Lagos to Ibadan railway line is expected to be completed in December 2020.
  • Nigeria’s Central Bank announced a $1 billion stimulus injection for households and small businesses as part of its COVID-19 response package.
  • Nigeria’s ministry of agriculture and rural development estimates that the country spends $5 billion each year on food imports of which $1.5 billion is on dairy products. There is a drive to improve the food industry to reduce the number of imports.
  • After Togo’s government resigned during the last week of September, the country’s first female prime minister has appointed a new government with a record one-third of the 33 ministerial positions given to women.

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