Thursday, December 1

African countries looking to anchor their currencies on either gold, or a combination of gold, precious metals, and other minerals would need to start with legislation which would make it legal for the governments of those countries to redeem paper currency with either those minerals or a derivative of those minerals.

Zimbabwe in late August began an initiative where it sold actual gold coins to its citizens which had been minted by that country’s central bank. This move was initiated to halt the slide of the currency on the parallel and official markets. This county’s policy so far has been successful in slowing down the trend of inflation which had begun to run amok.

It would be remiss to attribute the slowdown inflation to the gold coins. The country dramatically tightened its monetary policy by increasing interest rates to over 200 per cent in May 2022 and temporarily banned commercial bank lending. One of the disadvantages of the gold standard is that governments struggled for decades to make the system work globally. The gold standard reached its watershed when Richard Nixon in 1971 took the United States dollar off the gold standard.

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The transaction meant that Spire Bank’s deposit and loan customers would enjoy uninterrupted access to Equity Bank Kenya’s banking services.

After signing the agreement, Spire Bank Board Chairman William Rahedi said that the completion of the transaction would ensure that deposit and loan customers continued enjoying uninterrupted access to banking services through Equity Bank.

Mwalimu National Sacco Chairman Joel Gachari said that once the proposed transaction is completed on November 30, 2022, all Spire Bank depositors will become Equity Bank Kenya’s customers.

The EasyEquities investment portfolios integrate directly into Discovery Bank’s Vitality Money programme, automatically counting towards the client’s Vitality Money status.

On September 30, 2022, Discovery Bank announced several new products and changes at its annual product update event with financial advisors. However, the CEO Hylton Kallner said that the new features will be made available from October and through the first quarter of 2022 on a phased basis.

According to Business Tech, Discovery Bank clients can use the Discovery Bank app to transact and trade in real-time in these currencies. With the Multicurrency FX Account, clients can also receive international payments and choose to pay in more than 60 currencies, Kallner said.

Since the programme’s inception in 2020, Ecobank Group has extended US$208 million in loans and received US$337.7 million in deposits.

This financial assistance has created an average of 90,000 to 150,000 employment across Africa, primarily in education, agribusiness, hospitality, retail, and distribution.

The product has also received prestigious honours, including Best New Product Launch of the Year 2021 (the Middle East & Africa Retail Banking Innovation Awards), Impact Award 2021 (Financial Alliance for Women), and Outstanding Crisis Finance Innovation Award 2021. (Global Finance Innovators Awards).

In the category of banks with the best case study, Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya took first place, followed by Absa Bank in second place and I&M Bank in third place, in the category of banks with the most nuanced case study in bank operations.

Through productivity programmes and the effective use of operational resources and energy like paper, water, and waste management, including electronic waste, the lenders were recognised in this category for their dedication and investment in ensuring the optimised management of both financial resources and natural capital.

KWFT won Promoting gender inclusivity

In a category that evaluated lenders’ efforts in encouraging women to be formally included in the financial services sector, creating opportunities for female employees to take leadership positions, and empowering female entrepreneurs,

KWFT was named the best bank for promoting gender inclusivity in the industry. Position two went to SBM Bank, and position three went to Equity Bank Kenya.

The reduction in the world population of billionaires was down to war, the pandemic, and what Forbes described as sluggish markets. All the billionaires of the world are collectively worth US$ 12.7 trillion dollars!

For perspective, if the common market that AfCFTA area aims to achieve in Africa is realized, it would be worth one-third of the collective wealth of the world’s global billionaires.

The wealth of the 2,668 billionaires collectively is 4 times higher than China’s foreign exchange reserves. As spectacular as this may sound this collective number of the wealth of billionaires is US$ 400 billion lower than the collective tally for 2021.

Opinion

African countries looking to anchor their currencies on either gold, or a combination of gold, precious metals, and other minerals would need to start with legislation which would make it legal for the governments of those countries to redeem paper currency with either those minerals or a derivative of those minerals.

Zimbabwe in late August began an initiative where it sold actual gold coins to its citizens which had been minted by that country’s central bank. This move was initiated to halt the slide of the currency on the parallel and official markets. This county’s policy so far has been successful in slowing down the trend of inflation which had begun to run amok.

It would be remiss to attribute the slowdown inflation to the gold coins. The country dramatically tightened its monetary policy by increasing interest rates to over 200 per cent in May 2022 and temporarily banned commercial bank lending. One of the disadvantages of the gold standard is that governments struggled for decades to make the system work globally. The gold standard reached its watershed when Richard Nixon in 1971 took the United States dollar off the gold standard.

Time is running out for Africa to guarantee food security for its population. As the saying goes, it is not very reasonable to keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Africa needs crops that can withstand pests and disease, withstand drought, flourish without excessive pesticides and fertilizers, and produce healthy food. Africa needs crops to enable smallholder farmers to prosper. GMOs provide a powerful instrument for Africa to address these demands when other choices fail over time.

Countries

Sierra Leone’s government may have to impose severe austerity measures.  These measures will address inefficiencies and inadequacies in allocating and administrating public resources. However, all hands must be on deck within these economic management measures. This will secure the ring-fencing of money for essential objectives like education, livelihood preservation, and health. These objectives remain critical to maintaining social stability and a rapid return to the economic recovery path.

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The reason farmers are forced to buy seeds is that projects like AGRA take away traditional organic seeds by giving subsidized GMO seeds, which cannot be replanted hence after harvest, the farmers must buy new batches of seeds to replant the next season.

In effect, forcing the farmers to rely on new purchases of seeds every year means the peasants are unwittingly caught in a cycle of dependency and poverty, for that matter.

Worse still, projects like AGRA that claims to introduce ‘modern agriculture technologies’ focus on using chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides and also push for monoculture, which locks the farmers in the dependency cycle; they have to buy more fertilizers to keep their lands productive, and they have to buy the same pesticides because of monoculture.

It is for such reasons that last year, AFSA released an open letter with over 200 signatories alleging that AGRA did not increase the productivity or incomes of farmers nor did it reduce food insecurity.

A recent index report showed that Tanzania’s agro sector is mechanizing rapidly on the back drop of value addition mini-factories, the revolution is not unique to Tanzania, it is happening continent wide and North Africa is leading.

Evidence to this fact lies in the pages of the Africa Industrialization Index (AII) report that show more than 35 of Africa’s 52 countries have become more industrialized over the span of the last decade.

The multi-stakeholder report, prepared by the African Development Bank, the African Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), attests to an ongoing industrial revolution in Africa.

The Africa Industrialization Index (AII) uses 19 indicators to rate each country’s level of industrialization ranging from performance of its manufacturing sector, capital, labor to a country’s business environment, its infrastructure and even its entire macroeconomic status.

As countries and entire regions react to the global pandemic by seeking to strengthen their resilience, they will, on one hand, cut dependence on sourcing  or at least diversify their sources and on the other hand, improve their own responsiveness to demand.

That is where agriculture technology comes in, because what is bound to happen is shorter supply chains will emerge and Africa food security will be undermined.

The continent, while prioritizing transport infrastructure will do well by investing in human resource development and agriculture technology to diversify Africa food sources and Africa food security. The future is in automation, so if a country has the needed human resource it can invest in developing value chains tended by a more technical labour working its agriculture technology.

To build Africa food security, the huge population of Africa youth can offer great competition to the rest of the world if it is educated to meet the global technical needs as ever more intangibles hubs form.

Regional Markets

Lake Victoria’s fisheries support more than 3 million livelihoods and bring in US$500 million in revenues annually.

Nile Perch is the main fish caught in Lake Victoria. Fish maw – the air sack that aids the Nile Perch in floating and a Chinese delicacy – has been a major export source. Statistics from the Uganda Ministry of Agriculture indicate an increase in fish maw exports earning from US$27m in 2015, to US$31m in 2016, US$48m in 2017 and US$52m in 2018. These earnings exclude the earnings from Nile Perch and its eggs.

However, the lake has been invaded by water hyacinth – the floating, green mats of waxy leaves with purple blossoms – depriving the waters below of oxygen which makes it hard for aquatic life to survive.

That, plus overfishing which occurs when fishermen use undersized nets that catch fish before they reach maturity, rapid population growth, and pollution by wastewater, agro-pesticides and fertilisers threaten the future of fishing in Lake Victoria.

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Tech & Innovation

With financial inclusion in mind, governments are taking notice and offering more supportive regulatory frameworks, ever further assuring that the African fintech industry growth rivals that of more mature markets, the likes of Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.

Despite the high potential seen in East Africa, with countries like Kenya standing out, South Africa still commands approximately 40 per cent of the industry revenues.

On the western part of the continent, too, in places like Ghana, growth is at 15 per cent per annum and will only get higher all through 2025. Then you have the larger economies coming in; Nigeria and Egypt are both expected to enjoy annual growth rates of 12 per cent over the same period.

While growth rates at this early stages are higher in less developed East African countries, economies with more mature financial systems and digital infrastructure, the likes of South Africa stand a greater chance of executing more innovation in the fintech industry and implementing security measures such as regulatory technology including anti-money laundering.

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Editor's Picks

African countries looking to anchor their currencies on either gold, or a combination of gold, precious metals, and other minerals would need to start with legislation which would make it legal for the governments of those countries to redeem paper currency with either those minerals or a derivative of those minerals.

Zimbabwe in late August began an initiative where it sold actual gold coins to its citizens which had been minted by that country’s central bank. This move was initiated to halt the slide of the currency on the parallel and official markets. This county’s policy so far has been successful in slowing down the trend of inflation which had begun to run amok.

It would be remiss to attribute the slowdown inflation to the gold coins. The country dramatically tightened its monetary policy by increasing interest rates to over 200 per cent in May 2022 and temporarily banned commercial bank lending. One of the disadvantages of the gold standard is that governments struggled for decades to make the system work globally. The gold standard reached its watershed when Richard Nixon in 1971 took the United States dollar off the gold standard.

Africa

This year’s progress has been threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused a global economic shock that has hit Africa at a time when the government’s policy space to respond to it is small to nonexistent.

Industry & trade

Time is running out for Africa to guarantee food security for its population. As the saying goes, it is not very reasonable to keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Africa needs crops that can withstand pests and disease, withstand drought, flourish without excessive pesticides and fertilizers, and produce healthy food. Africa needs crops to enable smallholder farmers to prosper. GMOs provide a powerful instrument for Africa to address these demands when other choices fail over time.

Money Deals

The reduction in the world population of billionaires was down to war, the pandemic, and what Forbes described as sluggish markets. All the billionaires of the world are collectively worth US$ 12.7 trillion dollars!

For perspective, if the common market that AfCFTA area aims to achieve in Africa is realized, it would be worth one-third of the collective wealth of the world’s global billionaires.

The wealth of the 2,668 billionaires collectively is 4 times higher than China’s foreign exchange reserves. As spectacular as this may sound this collective number of the wealth of billionaires is US$ 400 billion lower than the collective tally for 2021.

Investing

African countries looking to anchor their currencies on either gold, or a combination of gold, precious metals, and other minerals would need to start with legislation which would make it legal for the governments of those countries to redeem paper currency with either those minerals or a derivative of those minerals.

Zimbabwe in late August began an initiative where it sold actual gold coins to its citizens which had been minted by that country’s central bank. This move was initiated to halt the slide of the currency on the parallel and official markets. This county’s policy so far has been successful in slowing down the trend of inflation which had begun to run amok.

It would be remiss to attribute the slowdown inflation to the gold coins. The country dramatically tightened its monetary policy by increasing interest rates to over 200 per cent in May 2022 and temporarily banned commercial bank lending. One of the disadvantages of the gold standard is that governments struggled for decades to make the system work globally. The gold standard reached its watershed when Richard Nixon in 1971 took the United States dollar off the gold standard.