March 2021 / Focus Africa

25 Marzo 2021

Africa in Review by the Numbers (March 2021)

$7 billion
The annual value of Africa's space industry according to the website "Space in Africa". This value is reportedly likely to grow over 40% in the next five years. This is after Tunisia launched its first locally manufactured satellite, making it the sixth on the continent and the first in the Maghreb to do so. (Africanews)  
Decline in office space rent in Nairobi, according to a recent report by Knight Frank. This decrease, caused by COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, effectively makes Nairobi the cheapest place to rent office space amongst top African cities. (Business Daily Africa)  
Number of trees that Magnum, a leading chocolate ice cream maker, has committed to planting in Ivory Cost. The Unilever-owned brand plans to plant the trees in the Cavally Forest region as it marks International Day of Forests. (Food Business Africa)  
$1 billion

Investment by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund to replace expensive power loans using proceeds from 2020 Eurobond sale. Several independent power producers have agreed to change their feedstock from heavy fuel to gas as part of the deal, which is expected to save the government $5 billion of the lifetime of the power purchase arrangements. (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation)


Expected rise in Tanzania's sugar production following the approval of six new sugarcane varieties, the first to be produced domestically. Local demand for sugar has been rising on the back of an increase in the number of new industries that use the sweetener as raw material. (The Citizen)

200 MW
Solar power plant to be constructed in Egypt with financing from the AfDB, among others. Owned by ACWA Power, the project is expected to lower electricity costs for businesses and residences, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating construction and other jobs. The plant is being built at an estimated cost of $156.4 million. (ESI Africa)  
$200 million

Value of mobile money business stake sold by Airtel to TPG's global impact investing platform, The Rise Find. The investment will see the mobile money business — Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV) — valued at $2.65 billion. (Nairametrics)

137 million

The number of Paypal accounts African businesses can connect with after a partnership with Flutterwave. The deal will help overcome the challenges presented by the highly fragmented and complex payment and banking infrastructure on the continent. (Tech Crunch)


Africa's continental coverage of 23.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine distributed in the continent. The AstraZeneca vaccine, allocated principally via the COVAX facility, accounts for 20.5 million (87%) doses and is the main vaccine used in Africa. (Africa CDC)

29 Marzo 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic: Rwanda Adopts New Economic Recovery Measures

The Rwandan government has put into place special incentives to stimulate private sector investment in manufacturing and construction under the initiative dubbed manufacture and build to recover program (MBRP). These measures will help the country's economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the MBRP, registered investors with general construction projects worth USD 10 million and more can benefit from exemptions from value added tax (VAT) and import duties on construction materials not available in the East African Community and an exemption from VAT on locally sourced materials. The MBRP also offers the same incentives for factory construction projects with a value of USD 1 million.

Further, registered investors in the manufacturing sector can benefit from an exemption from VAT on locally sourced machinery and raw materials.

It should be noted that incentives under the MBRP are not automatically granted. Qualifying registered investors can submit their application to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) one stop centre for consideration and/or the incentives committee.

The measures were announced by the Prime Minister in his address to both chambers of the parliament on 25 March 2021.

21 Marzo 2021

Federal Government To Review Gas Terms

The federal government of Nigeria has announced its intention to review, as part of its gas commercialization initiatives, the gas terms under the gas production contracts concluded between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and gas production companies. According to the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the review will focus on duration, cost of gas, tax gas, royalty gas and profit gas and is expected to be included in the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been submitted to the National Assembly.

The review is also expected to be included in the production sharing contracts (PSCs) concluded between the NNPC and international oil companies (IOCs), providing clarity on the fiscal terms. The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act, Cap. D3, LFN 2004, which was amended in 2019, provides statutory backing to the PSCs between the NNPC and IOCs.

Further developments will be reported in due course.

23 Marzo 2021

Investing in infrastructure for economic recovery in Nigeria: The launch of InfraCorp

For decades, Nigeria’s inadequate infrastructure has impaired economic growth, and President Muhammadu Buhari has prioritized infrastructure investment in his COVID-19 economic recovery efforts under the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan. Last month, he approved the creation of the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp): a new, privately managed infrastructure and industrial vehicle to raise as much as 15 trillion naira ($36.7 billion) to support infrastructure development across the country, with initial capital coming from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, and the Africa Finance Corporation. The formation of this new, innovative approach to financing underscores the essential role infrastructure investment will play in Nigeria’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Source: Atlantic Council