Browsing: East African Community (EAC)


In an interesting development, while demand for gold is on the rise all over the world, gold output in Zimbabwe has fallen 17 percent in the last four months.

Why? Well, because of Covid-19. Strange because it is a result of the pandemic that world demand for gold is on the rise as people try to store the value of their money in gold.

Yet in Zimbabwe, small scale miners in the country are failing to conduct their mining activities because the country does not have the needed cash to buy mining inputs. Well let’s not say the country doesn’t have cash because it does, its just that no one will accept the Zimbabwean dollar.

Also Read: Barrick Gold back to business with Tanzania

So the trouble is that, Zimbabwe relies on other currencies, like the US dollar to make large and small payments alike like explosives among other things. …

It is hard to see how African economies will bounce back to the vibrant fast growing hubs that they were over the past two decades, the pre-corona era. Countries like Rwanda that led East Africa (and most of the World) with annual economic growth averaging 9.4 percent now looks at annual growth rates of a mere 2 percent. 

When the tourism and hospitality industries reopen their doors, will tourists and holiday maker flock in triple and quadruple their previous numbers and will they do so long enough for the industries to stabilize and resume growth? Will air travel shake off the blow it has taken, will it be willing to pocket less profit to attract business or will it hike prices to capitalize the anticipated initial high demand post the pandemic? 

How individual industries will raise from the ashes of the pandemic is anyone’s guess but should recovery of global


Tanzania relays heavily on the tourism sector for its foreign exchange earnings and to save this vital sector, the country has announced plans to have all hotels and other tourist facilities across the country bear Covid-19 certificates that basically declare the facility a Covid-19 free area.

According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) the tourism sector is Tanzania’s top foreign exchange earner clocking USD 2.44 billion last year.  It only makes sense that the country would do all in its power to save the sector in the wake of the pandemic.

The move, to have tourism facilities display Covid-19 free zone poster is expected to build the trust of tourists and allow them to regain confidence in the hotels or related facility.

The said ‘posters’ will be the kind that health officers place in the windows of restaurants abroad with the grade of the said hotel in full display. The …


When something grows by 50 percent, we say it has doubled, when it grows by 100 percent, it has quadrupled and so on and so forth. You want to know by how much telecommunication companies in Rwanda have grown during the onslaught of the coronavirus? I will tell you, an amazing 450 percent.

According to the Rwanda Utilities Regulation Authority, between January and April alone, telecom companies in Rwanda have amassed over USD 42 million that is an average of USD 10 million a month.

This impressive performance is representative of a drastic paradigm shift, the migration from a pre-dominantly cash based society to one that has gone almost absolutely cashless. Rwanda has in the fight against the spread of coronavirus gone cashless, switching from use of cash payments to digital platforms via mobile money transfers.

Last month, The Exchange published an article titled Digital Africa in which it was …


There is no sugar in Tanzania. The little that there is, is very hard to come by and when you do find it, its many times more expensive than you would have bought it last month. It is barely a fortnight since the government confidently said the country has enough sugar and went ahead and placed a cap on sugar prices.

To bring things under control, nationwide crackdowns were carried out and several warehouses were found with allegedly hoarded sugar, fines were issued and arrest made in shops and other outlets where the sellers were price above the government cap, even awhile consignment was seized been smuggled out of the country.

Yet still, two weeks later, there is no sugar. Been the Holy Month of Ramadhan, lack of sugar severely affects the day to day social well being. Most of the staples and beverages need sugar, the tea needs sugar …


Phase one of Tanzania’s Stand Gauge Railway (SGR) that extends from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is almost complete.

The railway which covers over 300 kilometres is almost complete and the country is now getting ready to buy the trains that will run on the track.

Even though its first phase is not entirely complete due to the ongoing heavy rains that have stalled construction work, the country is ready to move on and buy and test the trains.

Unofficial reports say the government of Tanzania has started bidding for trains and is actually in the process of finalising procurement of at least two locomotives already. That’s not all, the required trains should have at least eight compartments for passengers and same number of wagons for cargo transportation.

Already the testing of trains has started, a senior official of the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) intimated. It is expected that the …

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The Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha), is reporting an increase in revenue from the export of avocados which until now were not considered key export cash crop.

However growing demand in the US and Europe has seen the sub-sector increase revenue to USD 23 million annually.

Tanzania is the second largest producer of avocado fruit in Africa second only to Kenya. Over the past 5 years, avocado exports have frog leaped from 1,877 tonnes in 2014 to 9,000 tonnes in 2019 and were it not for the COVID-19 outbreak, this figure was expected to go only higher.

Kenya is already doing much better with its estimated annual output is about 190,000 tonnes every year as the country exports an average of 10,000 metric tonnes annually.

In Tanzania, there are about 10000 farmers of the crop who are spread out across the country and of these, now most have turned to the …


No continent suffers worse food security issues than Africa, yet despite the high productivity coupled with disease and drought resistant capabilities of genetic modified organisms (GMOs), Africa has long been resistant to genetically modified food, be they crop or animal embryos.

While the average beef cattle in Africa, say the local Zebu weighs an average weight of a mere 250kg market weight, hybrid beef cattle like the Aryshire, weighs an average of 400kg, almost double the local African breed.

Instead of settling for 1 to 3 litres of milk per day from your local Zebu, you could get in excess of 10 litres of milk everyday from a hybrid Fresian, almost four times more milk.

Not only does the Aryshire beef bull and the Fresian cow produce more, they grow faster and when crossbred, they are even resistant to disease and bad weather. So why would food troubled Africa resist …


The private sector is not responsive to the government’s stimulus package as banks report less than desired activities in borrowing. Even though huge fiscal and monetary measures have been taken by the Central Bank, still commercial banks are facing reduced demand on borrowing.

This is evident in weekly turnovers for Interbank trading which is down 92 per cent, the lowest it has ever been over the last decade. Money market analysis for the month of May reported that the Interbank Money Market (IMM) suffered its lowest activities since 2010.

You will recall that 2010 is just two years into the global economic recession that was triggered by among other things, poor lending habits by banks in the US that led to a collapse of the real estate industry.

Numerous banks had to be bailed out just to keep people in their homes as foreclosures were rampant across the country. The …


The African Development Bank Group has got a new member, Ireland, bringing its total number of international members to 27. Ireland’s membership goes along way to boosting the banks financial muscle and with it, the ability to fund development projects across the continent.

Ireland officially joined the Group last month after a declaration of its membership was issued in late April, a little less than an year after the country submitted its application to join the Group mid last year.

Following the declaration, Ireland’s top ranking government official the Minister for Finance Mr. Paschal Donohoe explained that its membership will serve to create investment opportunities for Irish businesses.

Short of detailing what business sectors will be targeted, the minister said the membership will help to advance shared development priorities, a view shared by the Bank’s President, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina,

The Bank’s president maintained that joining of its newest international member …