Browsing: EAC


China’s influence in Africa has reached historical proportions and the US, coming rather late into the game, is now attempting to ‘change Chinese narrative’ on the continent.

The US is looking to move Africa from training or rather petting the dragon to slaying it, metaphorically speaking.

The new US-Africa policy that was launched in 2018, is designed for this purpose. As a top US diplomat put it, the policy “…will continue to counter China’s influence in Africa in order to slay the dragon.”

The US would have Africa and the World at large know, the continent is now getting “the attention it deserves from senior US officials.”

With the new policy, that is meant to guide bilateral relations with Africa, the US is trying to improve its public diplomacy outreach.

As China continues to assert itself on the continent with ever more development pacts, the US is now trying to …


Tanzania is in the processes of constructing mega court buildings that are large enough to house all levels of judicial services from the Primary Court all the way to the Court of Appeal. The actual value of the project has not been made public but due to the size and scope, it is estimated to cost onward of multi-million dollars.

The initiative is undertaken by the Judiciary of Tanzania and the resulting six High Court buildings are christened the Integrated Justice Centres (IJC) of Tanzania. The project is already underway across five regions of the country.

The court buildings will be in all major cities including the country’s administrative capital of Dodoma, the tourist hub of Arusha, the lake city of Mwanza and the fast developing agricultural town of Morogoro where ongoing work on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) have seen tremendous growth urban to rural migration in search of …


Based in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa, Coop Bank is growing by leaps and bounds, with profits up 29 percent in the 2018/19 financial year closing the year with USD 20.4 million under lock and key.

More than profit, the Bank also enjoyed huge growth if it’s total assets which shot up by 40 percent, a sector high for Ethiopia’s banking industry. Likewise, its loans and advances also went up an impressive 56 percent representing more than double its performance in the previous year.

The bank has credited the asset growth to deposit mobilisation which pushed up loans and advances. The bank had yet an impressive growth this time in deposits which increased 40 percent.

Coop Bank mustered its investment in NBE bonds which it increased to more than double (53%) of what it had in the previous financial year. Further still, this immense investment represents 20 percent of its …


In the backdrop of Tanzania’s Central Bank announcing a stimulus package for commercial banks, loans advanced by banks have shot up significantly over the last year and the stimulus package is expected to sustain if not increase lending.

The Central Bank, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has this week released its Consolidated Zonal Economic Performance Report which shows lending by commercial banks have increased considerably in the last year.

The report shows that the highest amount of growth in bank loans was parallel to ongoing national infrastructure development works. The highest increase in loans was to companies operating in the central and south eastern zones owing to increased construction projects and to trading activities, respectively.

This would explain reduced lending in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. Lending in the bustling port city actually fell 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year.  However, despite the percentage decrease, …


Barely a week after Tanzania’s President John Magufuli ordered engineers to be sacked should a bridge (or any infrastructure) under their jurisdiction fails, the heavy toll of rains on infrastructure in the country has been estimated at 40bn/-

Its only the beginning of the first heavy rains season but infrastructures across the country are taken a heavy beating and succumbed. The damage caused is not only destroying bridges, rails and roads, it is also destroying careers as well.

The country’s President Dr. John Magufuli ordered sacking of any engineer where bridges and other infrastructures collapse, should they fail to respond accordingly. The president gave the order when visiting a damaged bridge that had rendered transportation null for over a fortnight on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

Responding to the ongoing rains and the resulting damage to infrastructure, Mr. Isack Kamwelwe, the country’s Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, told …


As the rest of the country shuts down all entry ports, heavily reliant on tourism, the spice Isles of Zanzibar are allowing charter flights to land but with strict conditions.

Isles authorities have permitted charter flights bringing tourists to the island to land but on condition that all persons on board enter a 14 days quarantine stay, at their own expense.

This surprising turn of events happens in the backdrop of ongoing global threat of the spread of coronavirus. Even leading sports leagues have been cancelled and regional high profile meetings are been held on conference calls.

Across Africa, the tourism industry has come to an almost complete shutdown. It is time immemorial since a disease stopped people from touring and going for holidays, at least not since the deadly World War I and II power viruses.

With most all African countries eventually succumbing to the threat and finally closing …


There are now more than 100,000 mini-grid stations across Africa, these little power generation stations are serving to bridge Africa’s rural power gap and Tanzania is no exception.

While the country leads Africa in rural electrification efforts, there is still huge gap between demand and supply and the solution to cover it lays in mini-grids, small power stations that generate power at localized remote points.

To date, Tanzania has well over 100 mini-grids that provide electrical power to over 250,000 people in remote corners of the country. These mini-grids provide close to 200 MW using biomass, fossil fuel and solar systems as well as hybrids of these energy sources.

Tanzania’s national policies also support adoption of renewable energy technologies. Off-grid electrification using renewable energy technologies can offer a power solution to rural and remote areas. These efforts are inline with the global Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG number 7 calls for …

The Eastern Africa region. A number of nations in this region are among the Least developed Countries in the world

The East African region has a combined GDP of US$ 880 billion and a population of 437 million.

Despite this attractive combination, the economies of East Africa are still highly fragmented with low intra-regional trade and investment levels. To make matters worse, the trade and investment have been declining.

The region’s biggest economies of Kenya and Ethiopia have an annual bilateral trade worth less than US$ 100 million since they barely trade with each other.

While these two economise paint a rough picture of the trade imbalances in the region, trading within the East African Community (EAC) is higher with exports peaking in 2013 at US$ 3.5 billion. Again, unfortunately, by 2017 the exports volumes had declined with earnings reducing by 31 per cent to just US$ 2.4 billion.

The lack of trade integration poses a serious impediment to the future development of the region despite the fact that the …

Power transmission lines. EAC is producing too much power.

East African nations Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania have been on a green energy harnessing mission creating thousands of megawatts they may not consume by the year 2022.

These countries could find themselves in a conundrum where they have too much electricity which people cannot use. This possible scenario could be created by the likelihood of not enough people being able to purchase this power or the inability to use it due to different reasons.

The biggest challenge for this power being a burden to these governments could be because most of them lack the infrastructure to transmit this power to those who need it. In addition, countries that have been purchasing power from their neighbours are also moving to produce their own meaning they will be struck by a surplus they cannot utilise and in return suffer massive costs of having idle power.

Power capacity surplus

With the

The European Union is a big market for Africa’s cut flowers and other products.

The UK left the European Union (EU) in January after a long and tedious process which saw Prime Minister Theresa May quit as the Conservative leader on June 7, 2019.

Following the divorce, the EU and the UK will determine their future trade relations during the transition period which goes on until the end of this year.

With this reorganisation, developing countries could see their exports to the UK increase. The EU could also offer a slightly bigger market for goods coming from these economies. However, this is dependent on whether the UK increases tariffs for third world countries.

Trading with Britain under preferential terms

With this, it is time for Africa as Brexit could create new opportunities for the continent which just became one the largest free trade area in the world with the AfCFTA which will be operational starting in June 2020.

The UNCTAD notes that a no-deal