Browsing: East African Community (EAC)

cashless

The deadly coronavirus has brought the World to a standstill, spread through touch, African financial institutions are now going cashless to beat the virus.

The exchange of money, in cash, risky further spread of the virus, an obvious solution is to go cashless, use digital payments only. However is Africa ready?

In the face of this global tragedy, Africa’s fast digital penetration seems to have come in the nick of time. Led by the telecom companies, Africa leads the globe in use of mobile transactions.

Even in the most remotest corners of the continent, peasant farmers, pastoralists herding cows, all can be found with a mobile phone registered for mobile money transactions. Even the smallest shops accept mobile money payment for even the smallest purchases. The only limitation has always been the expensive cost of the service, however that cost is irrelevant if the money is not withdrawn to cash.…

CORRUPT

In just one year, Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has recovered close to USD 36 million (82.2bn/-) of embezzled public funds.

The funds were misappropriated during the 2018/19 financial year and the amount is actually USD 6million  (12.5bn/-) more than what was recovered last year.

That begs the question, were there more cases of embezzlement last year compared to the previous year? The authorities do not make that clear but they credit the recovery to increased efficiency of the bureau which they say is operating at a high efficiency rate of 82 percent.

Evidence to support the increased efficiency includes the increased number of project inspections by almost double the number of inspections that were conducted last year. The number of evaluated projects reached 1,106 up from only 691 that were conducted last year.

A total of 911 case were reviewed including 266 on alleged bribe cases …

fraud

A Zimbabwean public service officer, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) is allegedly involved in a graft cases that has cost the agency losses in excess of USD40 million.

Mr Frank Chitukutuku, the accused official, is facing  a list of economic sabotage cases all surrounding what local media is calling ‘dubious payments’ for supposed public works.  The list of irregularities is long, from payments for substandard work to over payment for projects without the agency’s board ever approving.

There are also issues of flouting tender procedures, hand-picking firms, payment for incomplete work and the bias awarding of projects in favour of companies that he has interest in or belonging to individuals in his favour.

Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development deliberated the matter in detail earlier this month and resolved to fire the CEO while legal proceedings are underway.

Among the …

ECON

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 …

CORRUPT

Tanzania’s Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has unveiled the country’s Local Government Authorities (LGA) have been involved in the embezzlement of millions of dollars issued to fund nonexistent projects.

Reporting to the country’s President John Magufuli, the CAG’s report indicated that LGA’s across the country have been corruptly siphoning tax payers money for individual gain. The 2018/19 report shows what can only be described as gross mismanagement of public funds.

In the report, Tanzania’s CAG Mr Charles Kichere also reported the gross misuse of funds in excess of USD 342.2 million by the country’s Local Government Authorities (LGA).

Worse still, while the LGAs collected more than USD 46.5 million in the said financial year, only 26.37bn/ was allocated to the rightfully designated development projects while the remaining 17.41bn/- was, according to the CAG report, misused.

Further still, another 10.39bn/- in local revenue that was collected by some 84 Local Government …

coro

In a bid to keep the sector going, the Tanzanian government has announced plans to significantly lower hunting permit fees.

The relief comes shrouded by coronavirus threat which is the push behind the announced review of annual hunting blocks license fees.

Local media quoted the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Constantine Kanyasu, announcing the fee slash plans. According to the high government official, the planned fee cut is in response to requests by hunting companies who are complaining of reduced bookings owing to the global coronavirus threat.

“The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism will meet hunters again before the end of this month to inform them on the government’s action to rescue the subsector,” the Deputy Minister told media.

On behalf of the hunting companies, the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association (Tahoa) pointed out that there is still room to review the fees ahead of the hunting …

coro

Food security has always been a matter of much concern across Africa, the threat has only been extenuated by the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

With the rest of the World tied up with response to the coronavirus in their own countries, scientists in Africa have to step up to the food security threat on the continent.

Up to the task are Tanzanian scientists who early this week, in the nick of time, announced a breakthrough in maize research that may very well answer the impending food security threat.

The Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute, announced its scientists have developed two genetically modified maize varieties that to a great extent, stand to solve the food security issue in the country and region at large.

First is a maize variety that is much higher in protein concentration than the regular maize types now been grown across the country. This variety will serve to give …

coro

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 …

husk2

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 East Africa 15 (EA15) highlights on 15 of the most traded and highly capitalized stocks in the region on a monthly basis. The primary purpose of the EA15 is to give investors a description and perspective of the regional stock markets’ performance.

Kenya: Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)

The monetary policy committee reviewed the Central Bank Rate downward to 8.25% extending the loose monetary stance. The decision was on the back of a stable shilling, inflation remaining within target and improving private sector credit growth- which expanded by 7.1% in the year to December.

Adequate CBK foreign exchange reserve has helped the Kenya shilling to weather short-term shocks against major world currencies. To the US dollar, the shilling averaged lower by 0.74% to Kes100.6 compared to last month with highs of Kes100.4 recorded.

Liquidity improved month-on-month as interbank averaged at 4.4% compared to 4.9%. Short-term debt rates were relatively stable …