November 2021 / Focus Africa

November 29 2021

Africa in Review by the Numbers (November 2021)


Outlets are set to be opened in Kenya and Uganda by US pizza chain Papa John’s in 2022. These new outlets will be the pizza chain’s first entry into the sub-Saharan African market as it seeks to reinforce its global momentum as a brand. (Business Daily)

  $1.1 million
Secured by Senegal’s Fleeti startup, which specialises in the administration of vehicle fleets in Africa. This financing, led by early-stage investor Newfund, will go into expanding the firm's reach into new markets and speed up technological developments of its solutions. (Tech Build Africa)
Jump in profit after tax recorded by Absa Bank for the period ending in September 2021. Despite the negative effects experienced due to the ongoing pandemic, Absa’s business units remained profitable and registered growth in key lines. (CEO Business Africa)

$150 million

Funding secured by ETC Group Limited from Africa Development Bank Group to address the company’s working capital requirements and boost its food production expansion plans across 10 countries in Africa and support smallholder farmers. (East African Business Week)

2200 tonnes
Daily crushing capacity by Salima Sugar company in Malawi on the back of newly procured equipment. The figure represents a doubling of output by the company to help meet domestic demand. (Business Malawi)
New public primary and secondary schools the Zimbabwean government is planning to build by 2025. These new schools will be constructed in a span of four years and this will help prevent children walking long distances to attend class. (New Zimbabwe)

$4 billion

Equity Bank, in collaboration with 37 partners that include UN agencies and development finance institutions, has developed a plan to accelerate post-COVID-19 economic recovery in the East and Central African region through a private sector-driven $4.68 billion stimulus package. (The East African)

Africa's growth in international freight cargo volumes in September, the highest rate compared to any other region in the world, as airlines continue to recover from the impact of COVID-19, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). (Business Daily)
  1 Gbps
Capacity of Ivorian telecommunications operator VIPNET after an upgrade from MainOne raised it from 155 Mbps. The Nigerian IT firm partnered with VIPNET as its first local ISP partner in Cote d'Ivoire last year. (Proshare)


Female business owners on the Jumia platform in Kenya, according to the firm's Africa E-commerce Index 2021. Women represent the same proportion of sellers in Nigeria, another of Africa's leading e-commerce markets. Jumia's CEO cited online retail as being 'inherently female-entrepreneur friendly'. (CapitalFm)

$300 million
Investment planned by Orange, the French multinational telecommunications company, in Egypt in 2022. This was announced during a meeting between several Egyptian emissaries including Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and representatives of a group of the largest French companies held on Monday in Paris. (Egypt Today)
  4,000 tonnes
Annual capacity of Sierra Leone's first cocoa processing plant. The facility, launched by Capitol Foods, one of the country's leading agribusinesses will produce cocoa paste for export, sourcing beans from a network of over 2,800 farmers. (Food Business Africa)

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November 15 2021

Nigeria Revenue Service Issues New Guidelines on Simplified Compliance Regime for VAT for Non-Resident Suppliers

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has issued new guidelines on the simplified compliance regime for value added tax (VAT) for non-resident suppliers (NRS). The guidelines amend, update or replace the contents of any other guidelines, circulars, notices or other publications previously issued by the FIRS. They were issued pursuant to the FIRS' powers under section 10 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act Cap. V1, LFN 2004 (as amended) and will take effect from 1 January 2022 with respect to the supply of services and intangibles, and from 1 January 2024 for goods.

Accordingly, the guidelines apply to supplies, through digital means, of goods, services, intangibles and other digital products made by persons not physically present, located or represented in Nigeria to businesses (business to business, B2B) or consumers (business to consumers, B2C) in Nigeria. They also apply to supplies made by natural persons, trusts, partnerships, corporations, companies and any other persons.

The guidelines further appoint NRS (that can be direct suppliers or intermediaries as the case may be) to collect VAT and remit this to the FIRS. The NRS and any intermediaries are also required to register for VAT on their behalf, issue VAT invoices, and collect and remit VAT due. In addition, resident consumers to whom supplies of taxable goods or services are made in Nigeria are expected to communicate with the NRS on the collection of VAT. However, the NRS will first be required to collect VAT.

To qualify for registration, the NRS is required if, within 12 consecutive months immediately before the coming into effect of the guidelines or any 12 consecutive months thereafter, it has made or expects to make a single supply or series of supplies to Nigeria which (in aggregate value) amount to USD 25,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) and meet any of the following conditions:

  • the supplies are made by the NRS, through digital means, to a person in Nigeria from a location outside Nigeria; and
  • the supplies are delivered to, consumed or otherwise utilized in Nigeria.

Upon registration, an NRS will be required to file monthly VAT returns, even for months in which no taxable supply has been made to Nigeria, no later than 21 days after the end of the month in which the supplies were made.

The services covered under the guidelines include (but are not limited to):

  • streaming, downloading or obtaining/providing?? access to digital content, including films, music, e-books, magazines, news, applications, games, library services or similar services;
  • online gaming;
  • online ticketing, excluding international air travels and freight charges;
  • online betting services;
  • online intermediation platform services, including online marketplaces, payment platforms, ride hailing platforms, travel and accommodation booking, rental services or similar services;
  • online advertising services;
  • subscription-based social media platforms, including video conferencing applications, instant messaging, chats, dating, image/video sharing or similar services;
  • standardized online education services such as e-learning, webinars or similar services;
  • cloud computing services, including cloud storage services;
  • auction services;
  • automated online professional and consultancy services;
  • online stores; and
  • e-library services.

If the NRS has failed to account for or remit VAT or comply with the guidelines, the FIRS will take all necessary steps to recover the amount due and obtain restitution. Also, the FIRS may use the mutual administrative assistance in tax collection instrument, as appropriate, to collect the tax and do all such things as may be necessary for it to enforce the tax laws and collect the taxes due.

The guidelines were issued on 11 October 2021.

November 15 2021

Rwanda to Reduce Low-Income Employees’ Tax Burden

In line with the new developments relating to the recently launched Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) and the ease of doing business in general, the Rwandan parliament adopted the draft law amending the income tax law that has been in force since 2018. The adopted law aims to raise the employment income taxable base threshold from a monthly income of RWF 30,000 to RWF 60,000 and also introduces, among other changes:

  • taxation of digital services;
  • taxation of partnerships' income;
  • extension of definition of permanent establishment; and
  • removal of unrealized foreign exchange losses from deductible expenses and capping realized foreign exchange losses arising from related party loan transactions at 4 times of the borrower's paid-up equity.

The amendment law was adopted on 10 November 2021 and will enter into force upon its promulgation by the President of the Republic and publication in the Official Gazette.