Browsing: zimbabwe

Umoja Cable digital infrastructure
  • Google is rolling out Umoja cable, the first-ever fibre optic link directly connecting Africa with Australia, aiming to enhance global digital infrastructure and foster economic growth.
  • The Umoja project, developed in collaboration with Liquid Technologies, will improve connectivity and drive digital inclusion across Africa.
  • This initiative is part of Google’s long-term commitment to Africa’s digital transformation, with investments in infrastructure, cybersecurity, and AI innovation to support growth.

In a deal set to revolutionize digital connectivity across continents, tech heavyweight Google has announced the launch of Umoja, the first-ever fibre optic link directly connecting Africa with Australia. This project is poised to enhance global digital infrastructure, foster economic growth, and drive digital inclusion on a new level scale.

The Umoja cable, anchored in Kenya, will traverse a diverse array of African countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before crossing the Indian Ocean …

gold-backed currency the ZiG
  • Zimbabwe is phasing out ZWL as it ushers a new gold-backed currency, ZiG, starting today, Monday, 8 April 2024.
  • The ZiG is anchored by 2.5 tonnes of gold in the central bank’s vault and a basket of foreign currencies held as reserves.
  • Zimbabwe’s new Central Bank Governor has announced sweeping reforms as the new currency enters everyday use.

Zimbabwe launched a new currency on Friday, 5 April 2024, called the Zimbabwe Gold or the ZiG. The launch of the new currency occurred during the announcement of the country’s latest Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) in an event presided over by newly appointed central bank governor John Mushayavanhu.

The MPS introduced measures and interventions to anchor the local currency and ensure exchange rate and price stability. The old currency, the ZWL, had depreciated to its lowest against the US dollar, roughly ZWL 32,000. It lost over 90 per cent of its …

Irrigation in Africa
  • Irrigation in Africa has the potential to essentially double agricultural productivity.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa, irrigation is a key factor in achieving food security, yet it remains vastly under-utilised.
  • FAO advises that each African country assess its irrigation potential as the basis for planning sustainable food production.

Irrigation in Africa has the potential to essentially double agricultural productivity, boosting output by up to 50 per cent. This optimistic evaluation is provided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). However, even with this potential, FAO shares concerns that it is vastly underutilized, with agriculture in Africa remaining predominantly rain-fed.

“Although irrigation in Africa has the potential to boost agricultural productivity by at least 50 percent, food production on the continent is almost entirely rainfed,” reports FAO.

According to FAO data, the area under irrigation in Africa currently makes up just 6 percent of the total cultivated area. In Sub-Saharan Africa, irrigation …

tobacco's toll tobacco production and consumption
  • Tanzania to earn $400 million annually from tobacco export/sells.
  • The country now ranks second largest tobacco producer in Africa after Zimbabwe.
  • Tobacco has no known health benefit. On the contrary, it causes disease, disability and premature death. Over 6 million people die globally every year from tobacco-related illnesses.

Tanzania has been ranked as the second-largest producer of tobacco in Africa, falling behind only neighboring Zimbabwe, even as tobacco’s toll worsens globally. The ranking comes after a bumper harvest in the year 2022/2023, as announced by Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe.

According to the minister, the country’s tobacco production has more than doubled over the last year alone to 122,858 tonnes in FY2023/2024 from 50,000 tonnes earlier.

As of December last year, the export value of tobacco stood at $316 million, and with the increase in output, the minister is confident that this year the country will attain its …

food inflation
  • Zimbabwe is the worst hit in Africa with food inflation at 26% YoY, followed closely by Egypt at 18%, Malawi at 9%, and Guinea at 7%.
  • The persistent weakness of the Zimbabwe dollar has been a driving force behind the steep price growth throughout 2023.
  • Real food inflation, calculated as the difference between food inflation and overall inflation, provides a dire picture of the strain on households’ budgets in these countries.

The economies of Zimbabwe, Egypt, and Guinea are facing significant challenges due to soaring food inflation, placing them among the top 10 countries globally most affected by this roiling crisis.

According to the World Bank’s February 2024 update, Zimbabwe leads the pack in Africa, with food inflation at a staggering 26 per cent year-on-year, followed closely by Egypt at 18 per cent and Guinea at 7 per cent.

Real food inflation, calculated as the difference between food inflation

Africa's economic growth 2024
  • Africa’s economic growth in 2024 is expected to be upward with the real GDP projected to grow by 3.2 per cent, up from 2.6 per cent in 2023.
  • East Africa, encompassing Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and the DRC, will again power the continent’s growth prospects.
  • Despite the projected continental growth, the intelligence unit faces substantial risks, including security threats, political instability, and debt repayment burdens.

Africa’s economic growth 2024

According to the international research unit, Economic Intelligence, Africa is expected to grow at the second-fastest rate among major regions globally in 2024. The unit ranks behind Asia, which China and India will propel.

Except for Sudan and Equatorial Guinea, whose economies appear destined to decline this year, most African governments are predicted to report good growth stories.

The real African GDP is expected to rise by 3.2 per cent in 2024, up from 2.6 per cent in 2023,

Zimbabwe lithium industry
  • Zimbabwe earned US$209 million from lithium exports in the first nine months of 2023.
  • The country’s lithium potential has captured significant attention, particularly from Chinese investors who have injected over US$1 billion in the mineral’s value chain.
  • Lithium is a critical component in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Global electric vehicle (EV) car sales increased by 60 per cent in 2022, reports the International Energy Agency.

Zimbabwe is emerging as a pivotal player in satisfying the surging demand for lithium, a vital element used in the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Zimbabwe has the largest lithium reserves and mines in Africa, while globally the country ranks high amongst the leading lithium producing and supply countries after Chile, Australia, China, Argentina and Brazil.

According to an article by Reuters published on November 1, 2023, Lithium is set to become Zimbabwe’s third biggest mineral export after gold and …

commodity prices Zimbabwe.
  • Reduced commodity prices will hamper Zimbabwe’s economic growth aspirations in 2024. Commodities produced by Zimbabwe include platinum, gold, and diamonds.
  • Over the last two years, the country earned record foreign exchange export receipts due to booming commodity prices. However, exports have started to slow and are expected to continue into 2024.
  • Zimbabwe will face a perfect storm of economic headwinds, combining factors such as persistent soft commodity prices, anticipated El Nino conditions leading to reduced agricultural output, and lower power generation, all contributing to a reduction in economic growth.

Zimbabwe’s economic growth in 2024 will face challenges due to headwinds within its economy, compounded by external factors undermining its growth aspirations. Global commodity prices have recently decreased, posing a significant concern for countries dependent on producing these commodities for economic sustenance.

Over the last two decades, mining has increased significantly in Zimbabwe’s economy. While agriculture was once central to the …

African enterprises YouthADAPT
  • They will also receive comprehensive mentorship and coaching as part of a 12-month accelerator program.
  • This year’s focus was on female-owned enterprises pioneering Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, virtual reality, robotics, IoT among others.
  • The winning ventures, led by women from across Africa, focus on sectors affected by climate change.

African enterprises have triumphed in the 2023 YouthAdapt challenge, with eight dynamic women-led businesses securing victory. Each of these enterprises is set to receive grant funding of up to $100,000.

They will also receive a comprehensive mentorship and coaching as part of a 12-month accelerator program. Since its launch in 2021, the YouthADAPT initiative has provided more than $5 million to 33 young entrepreneurs from 19 African nations.

Jointly organised by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation, supported by the Africa Climate Change Fund, YouthADAPT is …

acquisitions Zimbabwe's banking sector
  • CBZ Holdings, FBC Holdings, and ZB Financial Holdings have all played a pivotal role in shaping Zimbabwe’s banking sector this year.
  • One of the most notable transactions in 2023 involves CBZ’s acquisition of a 36.35 per cent stake in First Mutual Holdings Limited.
  • 2023 saw FBC Holdings execute a strategic move by acquiring Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited. 

This year has proven to be a transformative period for Zimbabwe’s banking sector, witnessing significant acquisitions that have reshaped the landscape. In particular, three major players, CBZ Holdings Limited (CBZ), FBC Holdings Limited (FBC), and ZB Financial Holdings (ZB), have played a pivotal role in these developments.

These acquisitions signify a dynamic shift in Zimbabwe’s banking sector, with key players strategically positioning themselves for growth and market dominance.

Acquisitions shaping Zimbabwe’s banking sector

One of the most notable transactions in 2023 involves CBZ’s acquisition of a 36.35 per cent stake in First …