June 2021 / Focus Africa

June 30 2021

Africa in Review by the Numbers (June 2021)

$468 million
Upfront payment from South Africa's Hollard for the purchase of Australia's Commonwealth Bank (CBA) general insurance unit. The deal, which also includes deferred payments, will see South Africa's largest insurer distribute home and motor vehicle insurance products to CBA's retail customers in Australia (Market Watch)
Proportion of Malawi's budget allocated to agriculture, making it the only sub-Saharan country to meet the 10% threshold for state spending on the sector outlined in the Maputo Declaration, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The country is targeting 6% growth in the sector this year, against an average 2.6% growth rate over the last 20 years. (The Times Malawi)
385 metres
Height of Iconic Tower being built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation in Egypt's new administrative capital, making it the tallest building in Africa when completed. The tower is one of 20 high-rises in the new central business district, which will house Egypt's governmental institutions and create some 2 million jobs. (Daily News Egypt)
$80 billion
Investment pledge by G7 DFIs and multilateral partners into African businesses over the next five years. The G7 DFI group consists of CDC, Proparco, JICA and JBIC (Japan), the DFC, FinDev Canada, DEG (Germany) and CDP (Italy). This commitment is also supported by the IFC, the Africa Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank. (CNBC Africa)
40,000 MW
Total expected capacity of Congo's Inga hydroelectric power project after Australia's Fortescue Metals Group confirmed talks with Congo to develop a series of dams. Fortescue's involvement is the latest twist in Congo's decades-long quest to expand Inga, whose two existing dams - completed in 1972 and 1982 - have a combined installed capacity of nearly 1800 MW. (Mining Global)
4500 tonnes
Daily output of urea from Dangote's fertilizer plant i Nigeria. The plant, which currently pushes out a minimum of 120 trucks per day across the country, is expected to manufacture 3 million tonnes of urea per annum, generating $400 million in export revenues. (Vanguard)
$200 million
Financing the World Bank has committed to investing in Uganda to expand access to high-speed and affordable internet, improving the efficiency of digitally-enabled public service delivery, and strengthening digital inclusion. (African Business Communities)
Growth of air cargo recorded by African airlines, month-on-month this year. April was the fourth consecutive month of growth at or above 25% compared with the same month in 2019, according to the latest statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) (African Review)
6 GHz
WiFi internet speed in Morocco after a recent upgrade, making it the fastest in Africa. Morocco also has one of the cheapest mobile internet tariffs in Africa, taking 10th place on the continent, and 45th globally, according to data from Cable.co.uk. (Morocco World News)
$100 million
Amount raised by Chipper Cash, a three-year-old startup that facilitates cross-border payments across Africa, in its Series C led by SVB Capital. This comes only a few months after Chipper Cash raised its $30 million Series B led by Ribbit Capital and Jeff Bezos fund Bezos Expeditions. (TechCrunch)
330,000 tonnes
Volume of cargo that Kenyan Jomo Kenyatta International Airport handled in 2020. This constituted the largest share of Africa's cargo even as its revenue was hit hard by Covid-19 effects, according to a report by The African Airlines Association (AFRAA). (The Star)
Number of houses to be built by South African housing company, Property 2000 South Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at a cost of $4.2 billion. The houses will be made available to low and middle-income residents at 30-year low-interest mortgages. (Ethiopia News Agency)
June 14 2021

Ethiopia Introduces New Forms of Doing Business

Ethiopia issued a new commercial code (the Commercial Code) aimed at removing obstacles to the ease of doing business. The main changes in the new Commercial Code are as follows:

  • introduction of two new forms of doing business i.e. limited liability partnership and a one-person private limited company. This brings the number of vehicles through which a person can do business to seven. The other forms include general partnerships, limited partnerships, joint ventures, share companies, and private limited companies;
  • recognition of groups of companies/holding companies: It also recognizes the right of a parent company, acting as a shareholder in the general meeting of shareholders or through its board of directors or senior management, to give instructions to the organs of management of its subsidiaries that the management of the subsidiary should adhere to;
  • in relation to corporate governance, the Commercial Code allows companies and their shareholders to assign a board of directors that are not shareholders. Previously, only shareholders could hold seats on a board;
  • allowing the establishment of a supervisory board to share companies that will oversee the activities of the board of directors with the view of ensuring transparency. The Commercial Code also imposes detailed obligations on the board of directors in relation to disclosure, transparency, avoidance of conflict of interest and protection of minority shareholders;
  • providing detailed protection for minority shareholders; one of these being permitting minority shareholders to assign their representative to the board of directors; and
  • in connection with insolvency, the Commercial Code has introduced a broad range of schemes to save financially strained businesses, including preventive restructurings and reorganization of businesses.

The Commercial Code replaces the old Commercial Code that has been in existence for over 6 decades. The Commercial Code will come into force upon publication in the official gazette.