Browsing: Global pandemic

Sunset Frreepic
When the year 2020 started, there was little time for countries across the globe to work on their plans, as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged as soon as the year began. However, the effects of the virus were not felt until March devastating economies and leaving nothing to chance. East Africa has seen revision of economic growth as key indicators showed poor performance. Just like elsewhere globally, the stock markets dipped to extreme depths, national incomes from tourism and related economies returned their worst showing, and the health system was pushed beyond limits. 

However, it was not just the COVID-19 situation that devastated the region; poor agricultural production, locust infestation, floods and political tensions and elections have had a negative effect on the economy.  

With the ongoing La Nina phenomenon, rains across the regions have been delayed raising fears of inflation as food

2020 will probably always be known as the year of Covid-19. The year when the world’s day-to-day activities juddered to a halt, when tourism stopped, when education paused, when whole countries locked down, when face masks, sanitizers and social distancing became the new normal for nationalities other than the Chinese and Japanese. The year when big, well-run businesses like TUI, Emirates, Cineworld and EWM saw their turnover decrease by more than 80%. The year when US Gross Domestic Product contracted by nearly 33% and America stopped being the world’s largest economy.  

This is a financial horror story that is currently running only as an undercurrent to a tsunami of reports on rising death tolls and infection rates. Overwhelming government incompetence and inadequacy, coupled with rising graphs of deaths and hospital admission rates are dominating the news throughout a year when the real story should have been the

Almost half way through the final quarter of the year, uncertainty still weighs heavy on general market sentiment with subdued market activity and marginal price movements on majority of the counters. This entrenches the bearish market with both the NSE-ASI and NSE-20 down 13.9% and 32.9%, respectively, since the start of the year. Despite the improvement in business environment from the dip of 2Q20, markets are now grappling with inherent risks of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic characterized by new cases that are higher than the initial wave. This saw the government re-introduce limited containment restrictions. 

During the quarter, there have been notable out-performers across the market. Standard Group (+35.7%), Jubilee Holdings (+11.6%), Flame Tree Group (+9.9%) and BOC Gases (+8.6%) gave investors the best returns so far in the quarter. This was against the general market return of 2.4% and -3.9% on the NASI and NSE-20,

TheCOVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus governance on the African continent. The response from one country to another has differed and those that have fared well are those with strong discipline and efficient systems of governance. They are also countries where governments enjoy a high degree of trust from their citizens.  

Here are six key lessons that need to be highlighted that might serve as a blueprint on how to govern better.

Also read: How Africa controlled the spread of the global pandemic and reversed the trend

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments”. The first lesson to be drawn is that you need leaders who are disciplined and can run government business with a certain degree of strictness. There are many on the continent who want to do the right thing but who lack discipline and are pulled in different directions. Just like

When Covid-19 hit the World, the West assumed that Africa, poor, dirty Africa, will be washed down the drains, through filthy open sewage ways and into the depths of the Earth, again they were wrong about the Motherland.

One of the World’s richest men, Bill Gates, predicted that ten million lives would be wiped out by the virus. The assumption was that Africa will not be able to respond appropriately and fast enough, hell, how could they, after all the US and all of Europe had failed.

However, Africa proved all of them wrong, Africa was fast, Africa was precise and Africa was willing to change. Overnight, sanitizers appeared in every doorway, buckets of water and soap greeted you at every entrance, no more hugging, no handshakes, the crowded busses were brought down to level seats and borders were closed.

Also Read: Kenya becomes the first country globally to get

My July op-ed focused on the increased M&A activities in Africa under Covid-19. Network International announced the acquisition of Africa’s leading online commerce platform, DPO for $288M on 28th July 2020, confirming my analysis that we are going to see more M&A activities going forward.”

According to Keet van Zyl, Managing Partner of Knife Capital (which turned ten last week), who managed Mark Shuttleworth’s ‘Here Be Dragons’ Fund – this is likely the largest tech acquisition in Africa since Shuttleworth sold Thawte to Verisign for $575m in 1999″. SoftBank, which had a $16.5B loss in Q1, returned to a $12B net profit in Q2, courtesy of the merger and partial sale of its stake in Sprint to T-Mobile, as well as a recovery in its $100B vision fund portfolio. This means global M&A is also picking steam in the “valley of coronavirus” as Masayoshi Son put it.

Under COVID-19, …

Financial exclusion remains a major issue especially in the informal sector. Expansion of services in this area by banks will not be very easy because of the special situation and needs. This article suggests that while structural solutions are expensive and nevertheless must be pursued, banks should think of designing a process response to the problem, drawing on the experiences and practices of the traditional lenders. 

Much progress has been credited to money transfer services that were introduced by mobile network operators (MNOs) in 2008. These services are also supported by a network of agents across the country offering a range of services and products, whereas the traditional bank-dominated financial system remains mostly urban-based and is still unaffordable for the vast majority of Tanzanians and their businesses. 

Where ordinary citizens once had to enter into risky arrangements to send money urgently to their families, mobile money services have almost eliminated

One of the oddest by-products of the Covid-19 pandemic is how it has affected many investors’ attitude to risk. Over the past three months nearly every client I have spoken to has become more risk-tolerant. Cautious investors have become balanced investors. Balanced investors have become risk-tolerant. And the risk-tolerant are all in the casino putting their life savings on zero at the roulette table. Why?! 

We have seen recession before, stock markets correct cyclically and we are now very accustomed to very low interest rates over very many years. And I have never seen so much money going into Initial Public Offerings.  

Risk is inherent in everything we do. It is impossible to live a risk-free life – but it is possible to mitigate risk to a point where it is non-existent. However, to eliminate risk in life might mean that life then was not worth living. Particularly in these 

An understandable response to the economic fallout of Covid-19 is for governments, industries and businesses trying to predict the path that the global economy will take in the coming months and years. However, given that this is a challenging exercise at best, it is probably a better investment of valuable time and effort to ponder the many lessons – some very hard to swallow – that the pandemic has taught us, and integrate them into our future business and investment plans and strategies, so that we are more prepared for what the future brings, irrespective of what that is.

For the African property sector this approach is especially vital. As a largely developing continent, Africa’s advantage over its so-called developed economy counterparts is that, in almost every aspect, it has the capacity to reset its economic development compass on the back of Covid-19. Property is a case in point. Where …

Coronavirus has brought enormous setbacks, suffering, and forecasts of a global depression ahead following the closure of so many economies for so long.  However, if there has been one area where it has exposed our global fragility, that area has been food. 

Certainly, the curfews, lockdowns and workplace closures delivered an uptick in power cuts, but there is no great clamour about our energy infrastructure now being under threat of failure. Likewise, with water, it remains far from accessible to all, but it has not been plundered by this year’s pandemic. Shelter could take a hit on joblessness and unpaid rents. But the elephant in the room is definitely food. 

That fact has not gone unremarked. At the level of international geopolitics, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned us all that we are moving into a famine of what it has called ‘biblical’ proportions, by which, it is