Tax, costs ‘bigger threat to businesses than COVID-19’
According to a survey by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the majority of Kenyan company chief executives said that the high cost of doing business and taxation posed the biggest threat to their business operations over the next 12 months belittling the financial fallout caused by the pandemic.
The CEOs survey pointed out that progression has been hindered by a challenging business environment despite business leaders projecting a substantial economic rebound in the second quarter of the current fiscal year counting on the improving sales and orders.
CBK said that the effects of the pandemic were lesser compared to taxation issues like the introduction of new taxes and withholding tax/VAT refunds and excise duty on fast-moving consumer goods.
“Businesses were also concerned about the effects of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the success or otherwise of the vaccine rollout and the general decreased economic activity due to the pandemic,” CBK stated in the CEOs survey report.
Namibia’s economic recovery journey
Hage Geingob Namibia’s President said that the country’s economic recovery will be achieved by pursuing three key goals which are: updating of the national fixed asset register, completing the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) reform process, employing and seeding a Sovereign Wealth Fund to oversee the use of natural and public resources.
According to President Geingob, unlocking Namibia’s potential well-defined partnership between the private and public sector is crucial. He added that in order to prepare projects to access the $1.9 billion, the Public-Private-Partnership framework of 2018 will be instrumental. The project aims to create more than 42, 000 jobs. He said that the country must pursue opportunities to foster new engines of growth as the key sectors which offer the most employment opportunities have been hit by the pandemic and drought.
South Sudan gives priority to infrastructure development
With many African countries experiencing delays in infrastructural projects, South Sudan has been committed to spurring industrialization, generating economic benefits by investing in large scale infrastructures and raising its living standard.
The country is prioritising on refining infrastructure to stimulate growth and investment across the energy and non-energy sectors as well as revitalizing power-generating infrastructure and developing improving sanitization and water infrastructure.
South Sudan is also concentrating on the construction of major in-country road networks and regional networks with neighbouring countries for examples the 248 km Kenya-Sudan highway.
Uganda and Tanzania oil firms signs agreement to build $3.5 billion pipeline
Uganda and Tanzania oil firms, Total and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a $3.5 billion agreement to begin the construction of a crude pipeline that will help ship crude oil from Uganda’s western fields to international markets.
Three accords were signed: a tariff and transportation agreement, a host government agreement for the pipeline and a shareholding agreement. Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s President and Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan attended the signing ceremony.
Ghana’s president commissions an $80million steel plant
Nana Akufo-Addo Ghana’s President commissioned an $80 million steel plant, the B5 Plus Steel Plant.
The plant aims to convert scrap metal into materials for the construction industry to both Ghanaian and West African markets. It is operating under Ghana’s governments ‘One District, One Factory’ flagship programme.
The plant will be the biggest fabrication plant in West Africa and the third-largest in Africa. It will manufacture wire rods, iron rods round bars and general steel.
President Akufo-Addo said that his government is committed to enhancing the existing business environment so as to provide incentives to strategic investments being made by companies to advance ghana’s transformation Agenda.
ITFC and Cameroon signed a $750 million agreement to support key sectors
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Cameroon signed two agreements worth $750 million and €98 million.
The $750 million grant is on a three-year basis under which ITFC will provide financing of $250 million per year to Cameroon over a period of three years.
The aim of the grant is to facilitate imports of key commodities in strategic sectors such as healthcare, mining and energy as well as support the agricultural sector.
Through the agreement, Cameroon will also benefit from ITFC’s program, the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program which seeks to facilitate trade and investments flows between Arab and African regions.
The €98 million is a Murabaha Financing agreement in favour of Société de Développement du Coton (SODECOTON).
The grant aims to help Cameroon purchase agricultural inputs such as seed cotton, pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers and soybeans.