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LuxRoyale is Cayman Islands’ Best Event Planning and Management Services Company

The Best Event Planning and Management Services in Cayman Islands – LuxRoyale

LuxRoyale Conspicuously Stands Out From The Crowd, When Ranked among the Best, Event Planning and Management Companies In The Cayman Islands. Lux Royale Services Offers, Unique and Incomparable Memorable Moments, Of A Lifetime, For Its Valuable Clients.

Are you,your Company,or Club contemplating to hold a special event celebration in the Cayman Islands LuxRoyale Event Planning And Management Company will offer you the professional and most memorable service  | www.luxroyale.ky

Lux Royale is a full service planning and design firm. Our process begins with our clients. Couples hire us to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience that is reflective of their personalities and style.

Our Greatest Concern Is Our Clients’ Satisfaction !!!! 

Website:  www.luxroyale.ky

Emails: rue@luxroyale.ky    hello@luxroyale.ky  

Call Rue Masuka For Appointments and Booking:   1 (345) 323 1895 (or Whatsapp)

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ESG case study: South Africa's SA Taxi attracts new set of investors – African Business

One of the largest developments in global capital markets over the last several years has been the rapid rise in institutional investors’ appetite for ESG (environmental, social & governance) investments.  According to the Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Market Outlook, in 2021, more than $1.6trn in sustainable debt instruments were issued, setting a new record and bringing the total market to over $4trn globally. The leap in this market in 2021 reflects an 87% annual growth rate since 2013.

Some African companies are following this trend, and finding that they can do well by doing good. That is what happened when SA Taxi issued its landmark R900m [approximately $55m] series of social bonds. By agreeing to a far-reaching set of social goals, the JSE-listed company was able to improve their cost of capital, and attract the attention of a new set of institutional investors who seek ESG investments.

“We decided to issue a social bond because we are privileged to be making an impact on bettering public transport, enabling financial and social inclusion and enhancing climate resilience,” said SA Taxi CEO, Terry Kier.

Robust social framework

SA Taxi is South Africa’s largest lender to taxi drivers for the purchase of minivans – South Africa’s de facto public transport system that moves 15m people daily. SA Taxi’s bond issuance was heralded as one of the first, largest and most comprehensive transactions of its kind in Africa. In order to access this rapidly growing pool of investment, the issuerof the bonds, SA Taxi, developed a robust social framework to communicate to investors, and other stakeholders, how the use of the bond proceeds would have environmental and social impact on South Africa.  

One of the largest developments in global capital markets over the last several years has been the rapid rise in institutional investors’ appetite for ESG (environmental, social & governance) investments.  According to the Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Market Outlook, in 2021, more than $1.6trn in sustainable debt instruments were issued, setting a new record and bringing the total market to over $4trn globally. The leap in this market in 2021 reflects an 87% annual growth rate since 2013.

Some African companies are following this trend, and finding that they can do well by doing good. That is what happened when SA Taxi issued its landmark R900m [approximately $55m] series of social bonds. By agreeing to a far-reaching set of social goals, the JSE-listed company was able to improve their cost of capital, and attract the attention of a new set of institutional investors who seek ESG investments.

“We decided to issue a social bond because we are privileged to be making an impact on bettering public transport, enabling financial and social inclusion and enhancing climate resilience,” said SA Taxi CEO, Terry Kier.

Robust social framework

SA Taxi is South Africa’s largest lender to taxi drivers for the purchase of minivans – South Africa’s de facto public transport system that moves 15m people daily. SA Taxi’s bond issuance was heralded as one of the first, largest and most comprehensive transactions of its kind in Africa. In order to access this rapidly growing pool of investment, the issuer
of the bonds, SA Taxi, developed a robust social framework to communicate to investors, and other stakeholders, how the use of the bond proceeds would have environmental and social impact on South Africa.  

In addition to developing the framework, SA Taxi sought an independent opinion on the framework from the rating agency, S&P Global, who now offer ratings not only on creditworthiness, but specifically on the issuer’s ESG framework. Much like a credit rating, the independent ESG opinion gives investors confidence in the issuer’s capacity to achieve the sustainability goals.

“Our Sustainable Financing Opinions help companies like SA Taxi provide investors with greater insight into how their investments will impact and align with environmental, social and sustainability goals. This helps issuers attract more investors and a greater amount of capital as an increasing amount of investment is directed to companies working to transition to Net-Zero and be in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Susan Gray, Global Head of Sustainable Finance and Innovation, S&P Global Ratings Services.

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Core components align with internationally established principles

The SA Taxi Social Framework is aligned with several components of the Green Bond Principles and the Social Bond Principles, both of which were established by the International Capital Markets Association, a global not-for-profit association of over 600 capital markets players, headquartered in Switzerland. The core components of SA Taxi’s sustainable bond framework are:

  • Use of proceeds – the proceeds from the approximately $55m bond offering are being used for green and social projects, and financing necessary infrastructure important to development – namely, safe and reliable public transportation.
  • The process for project evaluation and selection. SA Taxi is committed to clear internal policies that govern the selection of eligible uses of the proceeds.
  • Management of proceeds – SA Taxi agreed to track and manage proceeds from the bond offering in a manner that ensures traceability and transparency of the funds and their allocation to green, social and sustainable activities.
  • Reporting – SA Taxi will report on the use of the proceeds from the offering, and the environmental and social impacts achieved. These reports will be conducted annually and will be made freely available on the company’s website.

In addition to mapping SA Taxi’s social framework to the components of the Green Bond and Social Bond Principles, S&P Global mapped the social framework to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were established in 2015 as a global agenda to achieve sustainable development by the year 2030.

“When we were hired to arrange the bond offering, we convinced SA Taxi to prepare a comprehensive framework that would allow them to access the market repeatedly over time. Because of the comprehensive nature of a long-term, strategic framework, and the independent opinion on the framework, not just the bond, SA Taxi is able to go back to the bond markets again and again without having to create new criteria for each subsequent bond offering. Since the initial offering of R900m, SA Taxi has already been back to the market for another R500m offering [approximately $30m] under the same framework and opinion,” commented Anneke Lund, Executive Lead, Sustainable Finance, Standard Bank.

The use of S&P Global for the independent opinion was aligned with the goal of achieving validation from a well-known player in the international capital markets. Ms Lund continued, “Such an opinion is not necessary in order to bring a bond offering to market, and there are several competitors who provide similar services.”

ESG embedded in core culture

When asked if achieving the metrics laid out in the social framework is a burden to the company in terms of time, money and resources, SA Taxi CEO Terry Kier replied, “ESG elements are embedded into the core culture of SA Taxi. As such, maintaining the social requirements of the bond issuance occurs in the ordinary course of business with the oversight of our Investor Relations and Sustainability Manager.”

While some financing trends are fads, it appears that the global markets have aligned, and ESG financing is here to stay for the foreseeable future. African issuers, like SA Taxi, have much to gain by increasing the interest in their capital markets instruments, and thus reducing their cost of capital, while formalising, and seeking an independent opinion, on what they do already – contributing to Africa’s development.

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The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and APO Group announce strategic, multi-year partnership to advance the Olympic Movement in Africa – African Business

The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) (https://AfricaOlympic.com/) and APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced a strategic, multi-year partnership that will bring greater international prominence to the Olympic Movement in Africa.

The partnership was sealed Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria, during the 20th Ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA, by the President of ANOCA, Mustapha Berraf, and Vivian Casaletti, Group Head of Partnerships of APO Group, who was representing the Founder and Chairman of APO Group, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard.

ANOCA is an international organization based in Abuja, which brings together the 54 African National Olympic Committees. ANOCA’s work includes:

Encouraging mediation and conciliation between African National Olympic Committees and governments
Providing young athletes with better foundations for success
Promoting Olympic ideals and values in Africa
Taking part in the fight against doping, corruption and violence
Working to bring people together through sport to build a peaceful Africa

In 2026, Africa will host its first ever global Olympic Games when the Summer Youth Olympics are held in Dakar, Senegal.

ANOCA also runs Africa-wide programmes such as the African Games, African Youth Games, African Beach Games, ANOCA U-23 Championship, Olympic Qualifying Tournaments and ANOCA Women’s Olympic Tournaments.

The partnership will see APO Group support the wider ANOCA organization, as well as the individual Olympic Associations of all 54 African nations, helping them gain international media coverage and achieve greater visibility.

The pinnacle of sport in Africa

The Olympics Movement represents the pinnacle of global sport, and ANOCA is the supreme governing body of the Olympic Movement in Africa. The organization strives to showcase sport as the ultimate expression of life and healthy competition amongst nations. 

APO Group

The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) (https://AfricaOlympic.com/) and APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced a strategic, multi-year partnership that will bring greater international prominence to the Olympic Movement in Africa.

The partnership was sealed Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria, during the 20th Ordinary General Assembly of ANOCA, by the President of ANOCA, Mustapha Berraf, and Vivian Casaletti, Group Head of Partnerships of APO Group, who was representing the Founder and Chairman of APO Group, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard.

ANOCA is an international organization based in Abuja, which brings together the 54 African National Olympic Committees. ANOCA’s work includes:

  • Encouraging mediation and conciliation between African National Olympic Committees and governments
  • Providing young athletes with better foundations for success
  • Promoting Olympic ideals and values in Africa
  • Taking part in the fight against doping, corruption and violence
  • Working to bring people together through sport to build a peaceful Africa

In 2026, Africa will host its first ever global Olympic Games when the Summer Youth Olympics are held in Dakar, Senegal.

ANOCA also runs Africa-wide programmes such as the African Games, African Youth Games, African Beach Games, ANOCA U-23 Championship, Olympic Qualifying Tournaments and ANOCA Women’s Olympic Tournaments.

The partnership will see APO Group support the wider ANOCA organization, as well as the individual Olympic Associations of all 54 African nations, helping them gain international media coverage and achieve greater visibility.

The pinnacle of sport in Africa

The Olympics Movement represents the pinnacle of global sport, and ANOCA is the supreme governing body of the Olympic Movement in Africa. The organization strives to showcase sport as the ultimate expression of life and healthy competition amongst nations. 

ANOCA collaborate in harmony with Governments in every African nation, focussing particularly on creating opportunities for young people through sport. By placing sport at the heart of education and social cohesion, ANOCA helps to motivate and inspire young people all over the continent.

APO Group and ANOCA have a shared vision for African development through sport, with both organizations passionate about providing support for young or disadvantaged people.

APO Group is the Pan-African Public Relations agency of FIFA, the NBA, and the Basketball Africa League; the Main Official Sponsor of Rugby Africa; and Official Partner to many other prominent sporting organizations including iconic French football club Olympique de Marseille (OM) and Africa’s first ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour team, Team Qhubeka.

APO Group is also the strategic partner of Getty Images (https://bit.ly/3lBOVW0) in Africa and has established partnerships with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), the African Union of Broadcasting (https://bit.ly/3ai9qos), and the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) (https://bit.ly/3PN4jwS).

“APO Group are the best at what they do in terms of their media network and expertise, and their track record for championing sport in Africa is also exceptional. It is a natural step for them to be joining the Olympic Movement in Africa. We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership, as it means greater prominence not only for our member associations, but for every African athlete competing on the Olympic stage,” said Mustapha Berraf, President of ANOCA. 

“I want to thank ANOCA, and in particular President Berraf, for giving us this wonderful opportunity to be involved in African sport at the very highest level,” said APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard (www.Pompigne-Mognard.com). “From the moment we met, it was clear we shared a vision for using sport to enrich people’s lives all over the continent. I look forward to a long collaboration, where we can shine a light on the Olympic Movement Africa, and give it the global audience it deserves.”

Olympic Movement in Africa – Key information

  • 54 African countries are part of the Olympic Movement – representing a quarter of global participating countries
  • All 54 African National Olympics Committees took part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
  • 984 accredited African athletes took part in the Tokyo Olympics, including 415 women and 569 men
  • 38 African athletes won medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games

Africa currently has 50 Olympafrica centres and an African Olympic Academy.

The Olympafrica Centres are dedicated to caring for African youth through sport, by coaching young people in the Olympic values of solidarity, fair play and sharing. Since its inception, The Olympafrica Foundation has contributed to the popularization of the Olympic ideals across the African continent, and its mission highlights the importance ANOCA attaches to this flagship project.

Millions of young Africans benefit from quality support enabling them to blossom in their environment and contribute to the influence of African youth. ANOCA’s 2022-2025 strategic plan makes it possible to strengthen the impact of the Olympic Movement in the education of youth, the improvement of living conditions, and better quality of life for all thanks to the opportunities offered by the Olympafrica Foundation.

ANOCA has also set up a number of events and support programmes for African athletes, including:

  • A development programme to provide optimal preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
  • Events and seminars to increase opportunities for African athletes on the global stage
  • A conference on the environment taking into account the challenges of sport and sustainable development in Africa 
  • A full set of African Olympic competitions including the All Africa Games, the All Africa Youth Games, the Beach Games and the flagship Zone Games

ANOCA is also making serious preparations for African athletes to participate in the Winter Olympic Games, and has signed a partnership with South Korea for the training and preparation of athletes for the next Winter Youth Games.

This a Joint Press Release by APO Group and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of APO Group.

Media contact:
[email protected]  

About ANOCA:
The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) is an international organization based in Abuja, Nigeria, which brings together the fifty-four African National Olympic Committees.

The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) was founded on June 28, 1981, in Lome, Togo. On July 1965, ANOCA’s predecessor, the Standing Committee of African Sports SCAS was founded in Brazzaville as Comité Permanent du Sport Africain (CPSA). Consequently, that title for the sports continental body changed to the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa SCSA on 14 December 1966 in Bamako, Mali.

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group (www.APO-opa.com) is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs. Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestle, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

This Press Release has been issued by APO. The content is not monitored by the editorial team of African Business and not of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proof readers or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Africa Business In Brief | Issue 449 | 22 May 2022 – Lexology

Africa
13th WTPO conference: AfCFTA boss says trade networks can boost trade on continent
The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has asked African countries to leverage the platform provided by the trade pact to create regional trade networks and global affiliations. He said this would enable their markets to build resilience in the supply chains and reduce reliance on external markets. “The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us a once in a lifetime opportunity to make bold decisions that will put us on a path to resilient, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. With the AfCFTA, Africa now has an important instrument to assist countries to look inward for solutions to their COVID-19 economic challenges,” he said during the opening of the 13th World Trade Promotion Organizations (WTPO) Conference in Accra on 17 May. The two-day event was organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the theme, Bold Solutions for Resilience and Recovery. A memorandum of understanding was later signed between the AfCFTA and the ITC to deepen collaborations to help small business to grow and to increase global trade.
Source: Graphic Online
Africa
New tool to measure ease of inter-Africa trade launched
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched, on Sunday, 15 May, the first-ever comprehensive tool that measures how easy, or hard, it is to do business between African countries. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Country Business Index (ACBI) has three key objectives including assessing the perceived impact of the AfCFTA on the private sector’s ability to trade and invest across African borders once the area is operational. The idea that started in 2018 focuses explicitly on the constraints and challenges faced by private businesses, said Stephen Karingi, director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the ECA. Its launch was done in a side event during the 54th Session of the ECA Conference of Ministers in Dakar, Senegal. As noted, the tool focuses on African integration by targeting businesses based in and trading across African countries. 
Source: The New Times
Central Africa
Central African bank regulator reminds states of crypto ban
Central Africa’s regional banking regulator recently sent out a reminder about its ban on cryptocurrencies, weeks after the Central African Republic, a member state, made bitcoin legal tender. The Banking Commission of Central Africa (COBAC), which regulates the banking sector in the six-nation Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), said the prohibition was meant to ensure financial stability. The announcement came as cryptocurrencies nursed large losses recently after the collapse of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin, rippled through markets. The banking commission held a special meeting on 6 May to examine the impact of cryptocurrencies in the zone, it said in a statement. “In order to guarantee financial stability and preserve client deposits, COBAC recalled certain prohibitions related to the use of crypto-assets in CEMAC,” it said. These include the holding of cryptocurrencies of any kind, the exchange, conversion or settlement of transactions relating to cryptocurrencies and a bar on them being used as a means of evaluating assets or liabilities, it said. “COBAC has decided to take a number of measures aimed at setting up a system for identifying and reporting operations related to cryptocurrencies,” it added.
Source: Reuters
East / Southern Africa
Unreliable energy supplies to affect COMESA region development
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) assistant secretary general, Kipyego Cheluget says without adequate, reliable and affordable energy supplies, it is unlikely that desired social-economic transformation will be attained in the COMESA region. Dr Cheluget stated that member states must therefore capitalise on regional integration which will facilitate countries to generate adequate economic growth, which in turn will contribute to reduce poverty and create wealth. Speaking during the official opening of the session of the 8th Meeting of the Programme Technical Steering Committee (PTSC) of the Project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the Eastern Africa-Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Regions in Livingstone, Dr Cheluget said that energy was an enabler for economic development. He said that trade in energy is just as critical and beneficial as trade in goods and other services. The COMESA assistant secretary general said that energy trade will allow all nations to benefit from the advantages of the economies of scale and scope.
Source: Lusakatimes
Central African Republic
CAR’s CEM: Paving the way out of fragility for a brighter future
Despite the Central African Republic’s (CAR) significant wealth in natural resources, it remains one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. The cycles of political instability and a heavy reliance on natural resources have left the economy poorly diversified and with a small private sector. Almost a decade after the 2013 civil war, the country remains caught in a fragility trap, facing episodes of renewed insecurity and a substantial state-citizen divide. Supported by the 2015 peaceful transition of power, the authorities implemented several reform programmes that helped restore macroeconomic stability and steered the economy on to a relatively sustainable path to recovery over 2015–2019. However, the pace of growth has been below that of other countries in the region that have had civil wars and been threatened by overlapping crises since 2020. The Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) aims to support policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to pave the way out of fragility through accelerated and inclusive economic growth through four chapters providing: An understanding of how CAR has managed at this point; an analysis of what CAR should do to accelerate growth over the next decade; an assessment of how trade can be a vehicle for growth and a way out of fragility; and ways to build up market-based competition and reduce opportunities for capture. 
Source: World Bank
Ethiopia
Public-private partners sign agreement to launch company that develops capital markets
A cooperation agreement for the establishment of Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX) was signed by Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EHI), the Ministry of Finance, and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) recently. The ESX is designed to provide a fundraising platform for small and medium-size enterprises and offer a platform for the privatisation of Ethiopia’s state-owned enterprises. On the occasion, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said the government of Ethiopia has embarked on developing capital markets as part of the Homegrown Economic Reform programme. According to him, the ESX will be established as a share company by the government in partnership with the private sector, including foreign investors. “The establishment of a securities exchange through such a public-private partnership will usher a new era for the Ethiopian financial industry and the economy as a whole. 
Source: ENA
Ghana
Ghana’s regulatory framework, others among top five positive indicators of doing business in Ghana – UKGCC Business
The United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) has released the 3rd edition of its annual Ghana Business Environment and Competitiveness Survey Report for the year 2021. The survey captured the sentiment of businesses operating in Ghana at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic persisted, and businesses were making efforts to recover from the effects and remain resilient. The survey identified some components of the business environment that have seen improvements in their ranking since UKGCC began tracking them in 2019. The top five of these components are the availability of advanced technology which improved by 67%; availability of telecommunications facilities which improved by 61%; availability of power supply and availability of universities and training facilities, both of which improved by 57%; and sophistication in firm management and strategies which saw a 53% improvement. Respondents expressed some positive sentiments about doing business in Ghana, citing Ghana’s regulatory framework, availability of water, availability of power, effectiveness of the legal system and availability of telecommunications facilities as the top five indicators.
Source: Modern Ghana
Kenya
CDSC makes U-turn on stock market charge after protests
Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) has suspended the new KES100 monthly charge on stock market accounts after investors protested the extra cost of trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). CDSC, which facilitates holdings of shares in electronic accounts opened by shareholders and manages the process of transferring shares traded at the stock exchange, said it had recalled the notice to allow for further consultations with the regulator and market stakeholders. The new charge that had been set to roll out in July would have earned CDSC over KES1.8-billion annually but would have increased the cost of investing on the NSE where trades can attract charges of up to 2% of the transaction value. Investors have complained the new charge would discourage trading and lead to account closures at a time the market is at multi-year lows in terms of trade volumes.
Source: Business Daily
Madagascar
AfDB approves new intervention strategy for 2022-2026
On 11 May, in Abidjan, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved the Country Strategy Paper for the period 2022-2026 for Madagascar, its new framework for intervention for the Big Island. The bank’s interventions for the next five years in Madagascar will focus on two priority areas: the development of energy and transport infrastructure to support inclusive growth, and support for agricultural transformation and manufacturing development. The new document was developed in a participatory framework involving government authorities, the private sector, civil society and Madagascar’s development partners. The strategy is aligned with Madagascar’s Emergence Plan, whose long-term vision is to make the country a potentially emerging economy by 2030. Welcoming the approval of the new strategy, Adam Amoumoun, Country Manager of the AfDB in Madagascar stressed the importance of continuing and consolidating the bank’s support to the country. While targeting areas with high added value for economic recovery and job creation, the strategy will address the challenges of resilience and social and economic inclusion of populations.
Source: AfDB
Malawi
Farmers set to sell 23 000 MT of cotton
The Cotton Council of Malawi says farmers are expected to sell 23 000 metric tonnes (MT) of the crop this year, almost the same quantity produced last year. The council’s executive director Cosmas Luwanda said, during the launch of the cotton marketing season recently, that they expect a smooth marketing season this year because farmers signed contracts with ginners to provide ready markets and to adhere to government-set minimum price of MWK400 per kilogram. He said “Our expectation is that the market will run smoothly. Critical to this year’s market arrangement is that it is contract-based where farmers were contracted to a particular ginner to sell their cotton.” He said out of the 23 000 MT of cotton produced this year, 20 000 MT will be exported as lint to earn the country foreign exchange. Luwanda said lack of support for farmers to grow cotton is affecting output, adding that in the past farmers used to receive free seed but with the adoption of hybrid seed, farmers are failing to access it.
Source: The Nation
Mozambique
IFC and GMNK sign agreement for development of the 1 500 MW hydropower project in Mozambique
To increase access to clean energy in Mozambique and other Southern African countries, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ministry of Mineral Resource and Energy (MIREME), through the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office (GMNK), recently announced a collaboration to develop a 1 500 MW hydropower project and associated transmission facilities. Once complete, the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project is expected to supply power to meet the growing domestic demand in Mozambique and transform the country into a regional energy hub. The rest of the project’s output is expected to be exported to neighbouring countries, including South Africa, where demand for clean energy is high. The project will also accelerate the transition to clean energy to combat climate change in Southern Africa. The estimated USD4.5-billion project will comprise a dam, a power station, and a high voltage transmission infrastructure of 1 300 km from the project site in Tete Province to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. The project is scheduled for completion in 2031.
Source: Club of Mozambique
Namibia
Twinning project to boost Namibia’s international trade
Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Ipumbu recently officially launched the European Union (EU)-funded twinning project, titled Providing support to the Namibia Standard Institution (NSI). The two-year twinning project aims to boost NSI’s capacity to carry out its mandate and extend Namibia’s involvement in international trade. The project is part of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Plan for Namibia, and it is supported to the tune of EUR1.6-million (NAD27-million). This is the first EU twinning project in sub-Saharan Africa, jointly implemented by a consortium of eight German and Swedish institutes with experience in trade policy, technical regulation, food safety, standardisation, accreditation, metrology and conformity assessment. The institutes represented are the Swedish National Board of Trade, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Swedish Institute for Standards, the German Institute for Standardisation, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, the German Accreditation Body, and the German National Metrology Institute.
Source: New Era Live
Niger
IMF and Niger reach staff level agreement on the first review of the ECF arrangement
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr Antonio David held meetings from 4 to 13 May 2022, on the first review of the three-year arrangement with Niger supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). At the end of the mission, Mr David issued the following statement, in part: “The Nigerien authorities and the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement on the first review of Niger’s economic programme under the Extended Credit Facility. The staff-level agreement is subject to IMF management and executive board approval. The board meeting is expected to take place in June. The review’s completion would allow the disbursement of SDR39.48-million (about USD53-million, or 30% of Niger’s quota) to Niger to cover external financing needs. After a substantial deceleration to 1.3% in 2021 following the adverse effects of climate-related shocks and insecurity on the agricultural sector, growth is projected to rebound to 6.9% in 2022 on the back of the recovery in agricultural production and the acceleration of the implementation of large investment projects related to the oil pipeline to Benin. However, inflation would remain elevated due to continued food price pressures at both the global and domestic levels.”
Source: IMF
Nigeria
CBN issues open banking guidelines to promote financial innovation
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided a regulatory framework for Open Banking in Nigeria to promote innovation and expand financial services for bank customers. The apex bank disclosed this in its Operational Guidelines for Open Banking in Nigeria released in May 2022. According to the CBN, the guidelines aim to ensure security across the banking system, promote competition and enhance access to banking and other financial services. “The CBN had issued the regulatory framework for open banking in Nigeria to enhance competition and innovation in the banking system,” the operational guideline reads. “The bank recognised the existence of an ecosystem for Application Programming Interface in the banking and payments system and is aware of various efforts in the industry to develop acceptable standards among stakeholders. The CBN further said participants such as financial institutions, service providers, companies, payroll service bureau, and customers, among others, must adhere to the standards of the open banking system.
Source: The Cable
Nigeria
Nigeria requires USD11-trillion to close infrastructure gap – experts
At least USD11-trillion would be required to close the infrastructure gap in the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) and professionals in the sector have said. This is as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and other professionals have advocated for enhanced investment in infrastructure to foster real growth and economic prosperity on the continent. Speaking at the 28th Annual International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Africa Infrastructure Conference with the theme, Infrastructure Development in Africa, in Lagos, stakeholders in the sector lamented the dearth of or poor infrastructure in many African countries as a major challenge bedeviling growth in Africa. Speakers at the event emphasised that infrastructure deficit in sub-Saharan Africa was exacerbated by low investment and poor funding. Participants at the three-day event called on governments across Africa to give attention to the provision of critical socio-economic infrastructure that could catalyse growth in the GDP and stimulate prosperity. They also challenged the government to take full advantage of the public-private partnership (PPP) financing model, saying private sector funding would accelerate the delivery of long-term infrastructure, bolster availability of services to the people, as well as help create more jobs.
Source: The Independent
Togo / Ghana
Togo opens land border with Ghana
Togo recently opened its land border with Ghana, coming more than 50 days after Ghana reopened its land borders to neighbouring countries. When Graphic Online’s Volta Regional correspondent Alberto Mario Noretti visited the border post in Lomé at about 08:30 on Tuesday, 17 May 2022 the metal gates which were closed between the two countries for two years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, were swung open. That, notwithstanding, both sides of the frontier remained desolate with little human movement and commercial activities across the border. “Today is the first day, and some people in Lomé and Aflao have not yet heard about the reopening,” said a senior Togolese immigration officer. Similarly on the Ghana side, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration in charge of the Aflao Sector of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said the number of human and vehicular traffic across the border would definitely increase in subsequent days. He gave an assurance that personnel of the Aflao Sector GIS were ready for any upsurge in the number of travellers across the border.
Source: Graphic Online
Uganda
Parliament passes Excise Duty Amendment Bill, no reduction of fuel tax
Parliament recently passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2022, but rejected a proposal seeking to reduce tax on fuel. The proposal was carried in a minority report presented by Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko. Nsereko proposed that the excise duty on motor-spirit gasoline which currently stands at UGX1 450 be reduced to UGX750. “It was observed that between January 2021 and February 2022, prices have increased by 70%. The increase in fuel prices has had a ripple negative effect on other factors of production, especially transport costs and the overall value chain of raw materials to finished products,” Nsereko said. He argued that the situation will force many people to lay off workers in light of the high costs of production, thereby defeating the government’s objective of employment creation. “As a stop-gap measure, this year, this House has been on record seeking government intervention on the ever-escalating fuel prices but to no serious answer availed. Fuel-driven inflation has forced the cost of living, including education leaving disposable income diminishing and forcing many businesses to close or to lay off workers,” he further explained.
Source: The Independent
Uganda
Parliament rejects five-year income tax exemption for Bujagali
Parliament has rejected the government’s proposed extension of the corporate income tax exemption for the Bujagali Hydro Power Project by five years. Parliament agreed to grant an exemption for only one year up to 2023. The decision was taken recently during a debate on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022. According to the Bill presented by Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance – General Duties, the government proposed an amendment to section 21 of the principal Act to extend the income tax exemption for Bujagali from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2027. Musasizi explained that the purpose of the proposed amendment was to reduce the average electricity tariff of Bujagali Hydro Power Project by 4.7% from United States (US) cents 10.62 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during the period. He said that the previous five-year tax holiday, which was granted to Bujagali from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022, had an impact and reduced the project power tariff from an average of US cents 13.83 per kWh to US cents 10.62 per kWh. Bujagali has in the past benefited from 15 years’ tax holiday and this was the third time that the government sought to extend the exemption.
Source: The Independent
Uganda / Tanzania
Inside Tanzania, Uganda power lines deal
Tanzania and Uganda have committed to building the 400 kV Masaka-Mutukula-Kyaka-Nyakanazi-Mwanza transmission line. Uganda will sell surplus power, and Tanzania will meet its demand for electricity. During her two-day state visit to Kampala recently, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the 400 kV transmission line linking the two countries. Uganda’s Minister for International Affairs Henry Okello Oryem and Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Liberata Mulamula signed the MoU on behalf of their respective countries. Officials of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) said it is too early to talk about the start, cost and completion details. With additional generation from Karuma and other smaller hydropower plants, Uganda’s total installed capacity will increase to nearly 2 000 MW, up from the current 1 346.6 MW, against the country’s peak demand for electricity, of 794 MW, the Electricity Regulatory Authority said.
Source: The Citizen

Africa

13th WTPO conference: AfCFTA boss says trade networks can boost trade on continent

The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has asked African countries to leverage the platform provided by the trade pact to create regional trade networks and global affiliations. He said this would enable their markets to build resilience in the supply chains and reduce reliance on external markets. “The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us a once in a lifetime opportunity to make bold decisions that will put us on a path to resilient, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. With the AfCFTA, Africa now has an important instrument to assist countries to look inward for solutions to their COVID-19 economic challenges,” he said during the opening of the 13th World Trade Promotion Organizations (WTPO) Conference in Accra on 17 May. The two-day event was organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the theme, Bold Solutions for Resilience and Recovery. A memorandum of understanding was later signed between the AfCFTA and the ITC to deepen collaborations to help small business to grow and to increase global trade.

Source: Graphic Online

Africa

New tool to measure ease of inter-Africa trade launched

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched, on Sunday, 15 May, the first-ever comprehensive tool that measures how easy, or hard, it is to do business between African countries. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Country Business Index (ACBI) has three key objectives including assessing the perceived impact of the AfCFTA on the private sector’s ability to trade and invest across African borders once the area is operational. The idea that started in 2018 focuses explicitly on the constraints and challenges faced by private businesses, said Stephen Karingi, director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the ECA. Its launch was done in a side event during the 54th Session of the ECA Conference of Ministers in Dakar, Senegal. As noted, the tool focuses on African integration by targeting businesses based in and trading across African countries. 

Source: The New Times

Central Africa

Central African bank regulator reminds states of crypto ban

Central Africa’s regional banking regulator recently sent out a reminder about its ban on cryptocurrencies, weeks after the Central African Republic, a member state, made bitcoin legal tender. The Banking Commission of Central Africa (COBAC), which regulates the banking sector in the six-nation Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), said the prohibition was meant to ensure financial stability. The announcement came as cryptocurrencies nursed large losses recently after the collapse of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin, rippled through markets. The banking commission held a special meeting on 6 May to examine the impact of cryptocurrencies in the zone, it said in a statement. “In order to guarantee financial stability and preserve client deposits, COBAC recalled certain prohibitions related to the use of crypto-assets in CEMAC,” it said. These include the holding of cryptocurrencies of any kind, the exchange, conversion or settlement of transactions relating to cryptocurrencies and a bar on them being used as a means of evaluating assets or liabilities, it said. “COBAC has decided to take a number of measures aimed at setting up a system for identifying and reporting operations related to cryptocurrencies,” it added.

Source: Reuters

East / Southern Africa

Unreliable energy supplies to affect COMESA region development

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) assistant secretary general, Kipyego Cheluget says without adequate, reliable and affordable energy supplies, it is unlikely that desired social-economic transformation will be attained in the COMESA region. Dr Cheluget stated that member states must therefore capitalise on regional integration which will facilitate countries to generate adequate economic growth, which in turn will contribute to reduce poverty and create wealth. Speaking during the official opening of the session of the 8th Meeting of the Programme Technical Steering Committee (PTSC) of the Project on Enhancement of a Sustainable Regional Energy Market in the Eastern Africa-Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) Regions in Livingstone, Dr Cheluget said that energy was an enabler for economic development. He said that trade in energy is just as critical and beneficial as trade in goods and other services. The COMESA assistant secretary general said that energy trade will allow all nations to benefit from the advantages of the economies of scale and scope.

Source: Lusakatimes

Central African Republic

CAR’s CEM: Paving the way out of fragility for a brighter future

Despite the Central African Republic’s (CAR) significant wealth in natural resources, it remains one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. The cycles of political instability and a heavy reliance on natural resources have left the economy poorly diversified and with a small private sector. Almost a decade after the 2013 civil war, the country remains caught in a fragility trap, facing episodes of renewed insecurity and a substantial state-citizen divide. Supported by the 2015 peaceful transition of power, the authorities implemented several reform programmes that helped restore macroeconomic stability and steered the economy on to a relatively sustainable path to recovery over 2015–2019. However, the pace of growth has been below that of other countries in the region that have had civil wars and been threatened by overlapping crises since 2020. The Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) aims to support policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to pave the way out of fragility through accelerated and inclusive economic growth through four chapters providing: An understanding of how CAR has managed at this point; an analysis of what CAR should do to accelerate growth over the next decade; an assessment of how trade can be a vehicle for growth and a way out of fragility; and ways to build up market-based competition and reduce opportunities for capture. 

Source: World Bank

Ethiopia

Public-private partners sign agreement to launch company that develops capital markets

A cooperation agreement for the establishment of Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX) was signed by Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EHI), the Ministry of Finance, and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) recently. The ESX is designed to provide a fundraising platform for small and medium-size enterprises and offer a platform for the privatisation of Ethiopia’s state-owned enterprises. On the occasion, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said the government of Ethiopia has embarked on developing capital markets as part of the Homegrown Economic Reform programme. According to him, the ESX will be established as a share company by the government in partnership with the private sector, including foreign investors. “The establishment of a securities exchange through such a public-private partnership will usher a new era for the Ethiopian financial industry and the economy as a whole. 

Source: ENA

Ghana

Ghana’s regulatory framework, others among top five positive indicators of doing business in Ghana – UKGCC Business

The United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) has released the 3rd edition of its annual Ghana Business Environment and Competitiveness Survey Report for the year 2021. The survey captured the sentiment of businesses operating in Ghana at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic persisted, and businesses were making efforts to recover from the effects and remain resilient. The survey identified some components of the business environment that have seen improvements in their ranking since UKGCC began tracking them in 2019. The top five of these components are the availability of advanced technology which improved by 67%; availability of telecommunications facilities which improved by 61%; availability of power supply and availability of universities and training facilities, both of which improved by 57%; and sophistication in firm management and strategies which saw a 53% improvement. Respondents expressed some positive sentiments about doing business in Ghana, citing Ghana’s regulatory framework, availability of water, availability of power, effectiveness of the legal system and availability of telecommunications facilities as the top five indicators.

Source: Modern Ghana

Kenya

CDSC makes U-turn on stock market charge after protests

Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC) has suspended the new KES100 monthly charge on stock market accounts after investors protested the extra cost of trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). CDSC, which facilitates holdings of shares in electronic accounts opened by shareholders and manages the process of transferring shares traded at the stock exchange, said it had recalled the notice to allow for further consultations with the regulator and market stakeholders. The new charge that had been set to roll out in July would have earned CDSC over KES1.8-billion annually but would have increased the cost of investing on the NSE where trades can attract charges of up to 2% of the transaction value. Investors have complained the new charge would discourage trading and lead to account closures at a time the market is at multi-year lows in terms of trade volumes.

Source: Business Daily

Madagascar

AfDB approves new intervention strategy for 2022-2026

On 11 May, in Abidjan, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved the Country Strategy Paper for the period 2022-2026 for Madagascar, its new framework for intervention for the Big Island. The bank’s interventions for the next five years in Madagascar will focus on two priority areas: the development of energy and transport infrastructure to support inclusive growth, and support for agricultural transformation and manufacturing development. The new document was developed in a participatory framework involving government authorities, the private sector, civil society and Madagascar’s development partners. The strategy is aligned with Madagascar’s Emergence Plan, whose long-term vision is to make the country a potentially emerging economy by 2030. Welcoming the approval of the new strategy, Adam Amoumoun, Country Manager of the AfDB in Madagascar stressed the importance of continuing and consolidating the bank’s support to the country. While targeting areas with high added value for economic recovery and job creation, the strategy will address the challenges of resilience and social and economic inclusion of populations.

Source: AfDB

Malawi

Farmers set to sell 23 000 MT of cotton

The Cotton Council of Malawi says farmers are expected to sell 23 000 metric tonnes (MT) of the crop this year, almost the same quantity produced last year. The council’s executive director Cosmas Luwanda said, during the launch of the cotton marketing season recently, that they expect a smooth marketing season this year because farmers signed contracts with ginners to provide ready markets and to adhere to government-set minimum price of MWK400 per kilogram. He said “Our expectation is that the market will run smoothly. Critical to this year’s market arrangement is that it is contract-based where farmers were contracted to a particular ginner to sell their cotton.” He said out of the 23 000 MT of cotton produced this year, 20 000 MT will be exported as lint to earn the country foreign exchange. Luwanda said lack of support for farmers to grow cotton is affecting output, adding that in the past farmers used to receive free seed but with the adoption of hybrid seed, farmers are failing to access it.

Source: The Nation

Mozambique

IFC and GMNK sign agreement for development of the 1 500 MW hydropower project in Mozambique

To increase access to clean energy in Mozambique and other Southern African countries, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ministry of Mineral Resource and Energy (MIREME), through the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office (GMNK), recently announced a collaboration to develop a 1 500 MW hydropower project and associated transmission facilities. Once complete, the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project is expected to supply power to meet the growing domestic demand in Mozambique and transform the country into a regional energy hub. The rest of the project’s output is expected to be exported to neighbouring countries, including South Africa, where demand for clean energy is high. The project will also accelerate the transition to clean energy to combat climate change in Southern Africa. The estimated USD4.5-billion project will comprise a dam, a power station, and a high voltage transmission infrastructure of 1 300 km from the project site in Tete Province to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. The project is scheduled for completion in 2031.

Source: Club of Mozambique

Namibia

Twinning project to boost Namibia’s international trade

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Ipumbu recently officially launched the European Union (EU)-funded twinning project, titled Providing support to the Namibia Standard Institution (NSI). The two-year twinning project aims to boost NSI’s capacity to carry out its mandate and extend Namibia’s involvement in international trade. The project is part of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Plan for Namibia, and it is supported to the tune of EUR1.6-million (NAD27-million). This is the first EU twinning project in sub-Saharan Africa, jointly implemented by a consortium of eight German and Swedish institutes with experience in trade policy, technical regulation, food safety, standardisation, accreditation, metrology and conformity assessment. The institutes represented are the Swedish National Board of Trade, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Swedish Institute for Standards, the German Institute for Standardisation, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, the German Accreditation Body, and the German National Metrology Institute.

Source: New Era Live

Niger

IMF and Niger reach staff level agreement on the first review of the ECF arrangement

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr Antonio David held meetings from 4 to 13 May 2022, on the first review of the three-year arrangement with Niger supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). At the end of the mission, Mr David issued the following statement, in part: “The Nigerien authorities and the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement on the first review of Niger’s economic programme under the Extended Credit Facility. The staff-level agreement is subject to IMF management and executive board approval. The board meeting is expected to take place in June. The review’s completion would allow the disbursement of SDR39.48-million (about USD53-million, or 30% of Niger’s quota) to Niger to cover external financing needs. After a substantial deceleration to 1.3% in 2021 following the adverse effects of climate-related shocks and insecurity on the agricultural sector, growth is projected to rebound to 6.9% in 2022 on the back of the recovery in agricultural production and the acceleration of the implementation of large investment projects related to the oil pipeline to Benin. However, inflation would remain elevated due to continued food price pressures at both the global and domestic levels.”

Source: IMF

Nigeria

CBN issues open banking guidelines to promote financial innovation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided a regulatory framework for Open Banking in Nigeria to promote innovation and expand financial services for bank customers. The apex bank disclosed this in its Operational Guidelines for Open Banking in Nigeria released in May 2022. According to the CBN, the guidelines aim to ensure security across the banking system, promote competition and enhance access to banking and other financial services. “The CBN had issued the regulatory framework for open banking in Nigeria to enhance competition and innovation in the banking system,” the operational guideline reads. “The bank recognised the existence of an ecosystem for Application Programming Interface in the banking and payments system and is aware of various efforts in the industry to develop acceptable standards among stakeholders. The CBN further said participants such as financial institutions, service providers, companies, payroll service bureau, and customers, among others, must adhere to the standards of the open banking system.

Source: The Cable

Nigeria

Nigeria requires USD11-trillion to close infrastructure gap – experts

At least USD11-trillion would be required to close the infrastructure gap in the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) and professionals in the sector have said. This is as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and other professionals have advocated for enhanced investment in infrastructure to foster real growth and economic prosperity on the continent. Speaking at the 28th Annual International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) Africa Infrastructure Conference with the theme, Infrastructure Development in Africa, in Lagos, stakeholders in the sector lamented the dearth of or poor infrastructure in many African countries as a major challenge bedeviling growth in Africa. Speakers at the event emphasised that infrastructure deficit in sub-Saharan Africa was exacerbated by low investment and poor funding. Participants at the three-day event called on governments across Africa to give attention to the provision of critical socio-economic infrastructure that could catalyse growth in the GDP and stimulate prosperity. They also challenged the government to take full advantage of the public-private partnership (PPP) financing model, saying private sector funding would accelerate the delivery of long-term infrastructure, bolster availability of services to the people, as well as help create more jobs.

Source: The Independent

Togo / Ghana

Togo opens land border with Ghana

Togo recently opened its land border with Ghana, coming more than 50 days after Ghana reopened its land borders to neighbouring countries. When Graphic Online’s Volta Regional correspondent Alberto Mario Noretti visited the border post in Lomé at about 08:30 on Tuesday, 17 May 2022 the metal gates which were closed between the two countries for two years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, were swung open. That, notwithstanding, both sides of the frontier remained desolate with little human movement and commercial activities across the border. “Today is the first day, and some people in Lomé and Aflao have not yet heard about the reopening,” said a senior Togolese immigration officer. Similarly on the Ghana side, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration in charge of the Aflao Sector of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) said the number of human and vehicular traffic across the border would definitely increase in subsequent days. He gave an assurance that personnel of the Aflao Sector GIS were ready for any upsurge in the number of travellers across the border.

Source: Graphic Online

Uganda

Parliament passes Excise Duty Amendment Bill, no reduction of fuel tax

Parliament recently passed the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2022, but rejected a proposal seeking to reduce tax on fuel. The proposal was carried in a minority report presented by Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko. Nsereko proposed that the excise duty on motor-spirit gasoline which currently stands at UGX1 450 be reduced to UGX750. “It was observed that between January 2021 and February 2022, prices have increased by 70%. The increase in fuel prices has had a ripple negative effect on other factors of production, especially transport costs and the overall value chain of raw materials to finished products,” Nsereko said. He argued that the situation will force many people to lay off workers in light of the high costs of production, thereby defeating the government’s objective of employment creation. “As a stop-gap measure, this year, this House has been on record seeking government intervention on the ever-escalating fuel prices but to no serious answer availed. Fuel-driven inflation has forced the cost of living, including education leaving disposable income diminishing and forcing many businesses to close or to lay off workers,” he further explained.

Source: The Independent

Uganda

Parliament rejects five-year income tax exemption for Bujagali

Parliament has rejected the government’s proposed extension of the corporate income tax exemption for the Bujagali Hydro Power Project by five years. Parliament agreed to grant an exemption for only one year up to 2023. The decision was taken recently during a debate on the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022. According to the Bill presented by Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance – General Duties, the government proposed an amendment to section 21 of the principal Act to extend the income tax exemption for Bujagali from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2027. Musasizi explained that the purpose of the proposed amendment was to reduce the average electricity tariff of Bujagali Hydro Power Project by 4.7% from United States (US) cents 10.62 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during the period. He said that the previous five-year tax holiday, which was granted to Bujagali from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022, had an impact and reduced the project power tariff from an average of US cents 13.83 per kWh to US cents 10.62 per kWh. Bujagali has in the past benefited from 15 years’ tax holiday and this was the third time that the government sought to extend the exemption.

Source: The Independent

Uganda / Tanzania

Inside Tanzania, Uganda power lines deal

Tanzania and Uganda have committed to building the 400 kV Masaka-Mutukula-Kyaka-Nyakanazi-Mwanza transmission line. Uganda will sell surplus power, and Tanzania will meet its demand for electricity. During her two-day state visit to Kampala recently, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the 400 kV transmission line linking the two countries. Uganda’s Minister for International Affairs Henry Okello Oryem and Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Liberata Mulamula signed the MoU on behalf of their respective countries. Officials of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) said it is too early to talk about the start, cost and completion details. With additional generation from Karuma and other smaller hydropower plants, Uganda’s total installed capacity will increase to nearly 2 000 MW, up from the current 1 346.6 MW, against the country’s peak demand for electricity, of 794 MW, the Electricity Regulatory Authority said.

Source: The Citizen

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