April 2021 / Focus Africa

20 Aprile 2021

Mauritius Commences Trade Under African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement

Mauritius commenced trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) following the official launch of trade by the AfCFTA Secretariat on 1 January 2021.

The government introduced the following changes to the domestic legislation in order to implement the AfCFTA:

  • the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act to include the rate of customs duty applicable to goods imported under AfCFTA; and
  • the Customs (Export to the AfCFTA) Regulations 2021

The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has created customs procedure codes to facilitate the proper implementation of trading under AfCFTA. A person must be authorized by the MRA to be an approved exporter in order to export originating goods by completing an origin declaration on an invoice or any other commercial document. Approved exporters can apply for a certificate of origin electronically on the Tradenet portal. A list of States which have already implemented the provisions of AfCFTA has also been published.

The changes to the domestic legislation were promulgated under Government Gazette No. 13 of 6 February 2021 and apply with effect from 1 January 2021.

8 Aprile 2021

Companies in Free Zones To Submit Income Tax Returns

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) requires all approved enterprises operating in free trade zones, export processing zones and oil and gas free zones to file tax returns.

According to the Finance Act 2020, all enterprises registered and operating in these zones are to file income tax returns in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA). However, operators in these zones still enjoy the tax-exempt status and other benefits conferred by the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority Act (NEPZA) and Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority Act (OGFZA), including repatriation of foreign capital at any time with capital appreciation, remittance of profits and dividends earned by foreign investors, 100% foreign ownership, etc.

The filing obligation will be for the 2021 and subsequent years of assessment while enterprises are expected to compute and pay any tax due in the manner prescribed under the CITA.

For ease of compliance, enterprises operating within various zones are expected to file their returns with the FIRS' offices situated in the geo-political regions of Nigeria where they are located. Thus, enterprises located in the South: in Port-Harcourt; enterprises operating in the South East: Enugu; in the South West: Ibadan; in the North East and North West: Kano; and in the North Central part: Abuja.

Penalties for failure to comply with the filing requirements as regards the due dates will be imposed in accordance with the provisions of the CITA and the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007.

The FIRS communicated the above through a Public Notice issued on its website on 1 April 2021, following the Finance Act 2020 which amended relevant sections of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority Act (NEPZA) and the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority Act (OGFZA).

15 Aprile 2021

Kenyan Government Publishes Business Laws Amendment Act 2021

Following the President's assent on 30 March 2021, the Business Laws (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2021 was published. The Act amends various statutes for the smooth running of businesses, with key highlights being as follows:

  • it eliminates the requirement for a company seal in the execution of documents of companies registered under the Companies Act;
  • it provides for the holding of virtual and hybrid meetings;
  • it provides for the payment of training levy to be remitted at the end of a business' financial year but not later than the 9th day of the month following the end of the financial year;
  • it exempts payment of fixed stamp duty of KES 100 on contracts;
  • it provides for both National Hospital Insurance Fund and National Social Security Fund contributions to be collected on the 9th day of the month;
  • it clarifies that an administrator can distribute routine payments to unsecured creditors without necessitating the court's permissions; and
  • it introduces a pre-insolvency moratorium period to prevent creditors from taking an enforcement action while a company considers its options for rescue.

The Act was published in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 52 (Acts No. 1) of 2021. The effective date is 30 March 2021.

29 Aprile 2021

Africa in Review by the Numbers (April 2021)

$10 billion
Investment committed by MTN in Africa's telecommunications infrastructure over the next five years. Investment in the sector is expected to expand to support trade growth under AfCFTA and with the introduction of new technologies, including 5G. (The Guardian)  
Proportion of Shoprite's operational needs that will be fueled by renewable energy by 2026. The group already has a total of more than 480,000 square feet of solar panels on top of its 21 distribution centres and stores in South Africa and Namibia. (BusinessTech)  
Number of small-scale farmers to be supported by Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Technoserve through their recently launched Developing Inclusive Grain Value Chains project. The seven-month project will enable more inclusive and transparent sourcing of maize, soybeans, millet and sorghum for Nestlé’s operations in Nigeria. (The Sun)  
Twitter sets up its first African presence in Ghana. A statement announcing the launch explained that the choice of Ghana was because it's a champion for democracy, a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate. (Tech Crunch)  
$15 billion
East African oil pipeline deal signed in Kampala (Uganda). The deal was 15 years in waiting since Uganda discovered commercially viable crude oil deposits. A key element of the project run by Total is the crude oil export pipeline to run from Uganda to the Indian Ocean at Tanga and Tanzania (The East African)  
Number of oil tankers traffic that pass through Egypt's international waterway. This was revealed as Egypt pointed out that 422 ships had crossed when MV EVER GIVEN was still stuck noting that the accident has nothing to do with the depth as it occurred in the deepest spot of the canal. (Egypt Today)  
$1 billion
Estimated losses and damages caused by the blockage of Egypt's Suez Canal by the Ever Given container ship, according to the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority. (Reuters)  
65 cents
Farmgate price for Guinea-Bissau's cashews set for the April to September commercial campaign. This represents a 28% decrease from last season's price for the country's largest export crop, which has suffered from pandemic-related disruptions to the processing supply chain. (Reuters)  
Morocco has become the third global exporter of mandarins, according to the Association of Citrus Producers of South Africa. China has held its place as a top producer, with an average annual harvest of 21.68 million tonnes of mandarins. (Food Business Africa)   Review by Kili Partners . Powered by Asoko Insight