Browsing: Southern Africa

Can African gas replace Russian supplies to Europe? The landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 2' gas pipeline in Lubmin, northern Germany. www.theexchange.africa
  • The war in Ukraine has shown how dependent Europe is on natural gas for power. Before the conflict broke out in February this year, Russia supplied up to 40 per cent of Europe’s gas requirements.
  • As Russia cuts supplies, these nations are rushing to strike deals in Africa as prices soar.
  • Significant investments are needed to build Africa’s trans-regional and intercontinental pipelines to open up access to Europe

The global realignment triggered by the war in Ukraine ushered in a period of transition on the African continent. The current conflict exposed and exacerbated tensions in international agricultural commodity markets existing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Import-dependent countries with low per capita incomes are particularly vulnerable to shocks occurring amid the war in Ukraine, which further increase their risk of food insecurity.

The agricultural sector is not the only one that is experiencing disruptions; the global energy sector is suffering the same …

The shrinking economy and resulting unemployment have given birth to an informal economy that has spiralled out of control. Treasury and monetary authorities have been at pains to find ways they can tax the informal sector. The informal economy is difficult, if not impossible, to absorb into the formal economy or to include in the tax pool from which the government can draw revenue.

As the formal economy shrinks, so has Zimbabwe’s effective tax revenue stream, and this problem can only be arrested and mitigated by a growing economy.

An economy characterized by slow or negative growth makes it more difficult for the government to repair its finances. This is because there is a positive relationship between a country’s tax pool and the growth of the economy. A shrinking economy brings with it the added cost of having to provide social safety nets for the vulnerable members of its society.…

Africa’s fast population growth exacerbates the issue. According to most estimates, Africa’s population will double by 2050 and then double again by 2100, finally reaching over 4 billion by the end of the century. Feeding Africa’s rising population will need considerable breakthroughs in the continent’s food systems.

However, agricultural progress may be difficult if African farmers are subjected to more severe climatic effects. To prepare for these future difficulties, one must understand how climate change will materialize in Africa and its impact on the continent’s agricultural systems.…

In 2020, total transaction values climbed by 22% to hit US$767 billion. or the first time, and in a pandemic, the industry is processing more over US$2 billion per day which has more than doubled since 2017. 
The GSMA predicts that by the end of 2022, this value will be in excess of US$3 billion every single day. Some of the innovations that will help propel this growth include APIs and regulation initiatives like tightening transaction and balance limitations which could bolster the industry's transaction values growth.
Transaction costs remain a big concern for many with users calling for a review of this in countries like Kenya. When the pandemic was announced in Africa, Kenya and Ghana- which also happen to be the continent’s two biggest mobile money markets– were swift to scrap fees on small person-to-person transactions.…

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The company, given the first resources boom and the second one currently being enjoyed, should be awash with cash. Instead, the company is heavily indebted to the tune of between US$70 million and US$160 million which it attempted to expunge unsuccessfully through a rights issue in 2015.

The company has been limping along financially for years. In 2019 it was reported that its liabilities exceeded assets by US$19 million. This development made it doubtful that the company could carry on as a going concern after having been placed under judicial management.

The recent interim financial results presented by the company offer some consolation to investors who have been suffering for long.…

Since then the company has pursued a highly aggressive growth strategy constituting of both organic and acquisitive growth. Sibanye in a very short space of time acquired the Cooke operations from Gold One International in 2013 and the Burnstone project from Wits Gold the following year. The aim of this aggressive growth strategy was to produce more sustainable gold operations. 

The story of growth did not stop there. 

Soon the company set its sights on the platinum sector and began to snap up various interests and operations in that space. In 2016 Sibanye acquired the Aquarius Platinum’s Rustenburg operations namely Kroondal mine as well as the Platinum Mile treatment facility in South Africa and in Zimbabwe it took over the Mimosa joint venture with Impala Platinum. Later that year the company also bought the Rustenburg operations of Anglo Platinum.…

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Some 11 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are currently at high risk of debt distress according to the latest debt sustainability analyses by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

Already, six countries are in debt distress and the debt burden is worsening in the region where the public debt ratio to gross domestic product has surged to 65.6 per cent from 56.4 per cent pre-Covid-19 period. 

A study conducted by the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins University shows that there is a trend where African governments are mortgaging their natural resources to secure loans from China. This has often ignited debt distress when commodity prices collapse.

Read: Why do lenders want “COLLATERAL”?

This mortgaging of resource is referred to as collateralized sovereign debt. This is where a sovereign loan is secured by existing assets or future receipts owned by the borrowing government. The collateral could be commodities, future export revenues,

Fairtrade International has committed to double the average income of farmers and workers in Africa.

Speaking during the ongoing 7th Africa Fairtrade Conference, Fairtrade International Board Chair Lynette Thorstensen said despite the hard times brought about by Covid-19, there is hope for the future of African farmers.

“This has been a very tough year globally, however, let us look at the future with optimism,” she said.

According to Thorstensen, Fairtrade International set aside a Covid relief fund in which more than 10.5 million Euros was raised by external governments, retailers, crowdfunding as well as internal sources by pledges from members for relief and resilience support for producer organisations.

“A total of 337 producer organisations from 17 countries have benefited from the fund. We believe that in the current climate, we need to move faster and ensure no one gets left behind.”

Speaking at the same event, Mary Kinyua, the Fairtrade …

The European Union commission is giving €64.7 million in its humanitarian aid for countries in the southern Africa region.

The funds are to help support people in need dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather conditions such as persistent drought and other crises in the region.

“The EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to impoverished households suffering from crop and livestock losses due to drought. The aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic for countries in the region. In parallel, the EU is helping communities better prepare for natural hazards and reduce their impact.”  Said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.

Funds from this package will go towards humanitarian projects with Botswana getting €1.95 million, Comoros €500,000, Angola €3 million, Eswatini €2.4 million, Mozambique €14.6 million, Namibia €2 million,  Lesotho €4.8 million, Madagascar €7.3 million, Malawi €7.1 million, Mauritius €250,000, Zambia €5 million …

The African Development Bank has approved COVID-19 emergency funds to its member countries which have reached the continent’s five geographic regions.

The COVID-19 pandemic is seen to cause a drop in Africa’s gross domestic profits by between $22.1 billion and $88. Billion.

By June 12, the African Development emergency package had reached Africa’s five geographical regions.

Before the pandemic, West Africa was home to at least four of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and has felt the impact of the pandemic as borders remain cloAfrican Development emergency packageAfrican Development emergency packagesed economic distress deepens.

To bolster national health systems in response to the Pandemic, Mali, Niger and Gambia will benefit from an ECOWAS $22 million support package.

From the Emergency package, Nigeria got €288.5 million, Senegal €88 million, Côte d’Ivoire €75 million and Cabo Verde €30 million.

Funds to this region will seek to address shortages in ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) …