Market | Global Market

Snapshot on the African Economy as @ 170323

Mar 17, 2023   •   by United Capital Research   •   Source: United Capital   •   eye-icon 163 views

Anglophone West Africa 

  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s headline inflation accelerated to 21.91% y/y in February 2023, compared to 21.82% y/y in the prior month, the highest inflation reading since September 2005. Food inflation, which is a key component of the CPI basket, climbed further to 24.35% y/y in February, partly due to the scarcity of the redesigned Naira notes amid persistent food shortages. On a monthly basis, consumer prices slowed to 1.71%m, from a 1.86% m/m increase in the previous month.
  • According to the Mar-2023 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigeria’s crude oil production rose by 3.8% m/m to 1.31mbpd in February 2023, from 1.26mbpd in January 2023. The increase is primarily attributed to the Federal Government’s efforts to improve output by curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks (nationwide) to dispense and receive the old N200, N500 and N1000 bank notes. The bank said the notes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned bank notes until 31 December 2023, as directed by the Supreme Court.
  • According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the value of cashless transactions fell to N37.7tn in February 2023 from the N39.6tn recorded in January 2023, representing a 4.8% decline. The NIBSS noted that the increase in failed and delayed payment transactions in February resulted in a decrease in the value of cashless transactions witnessed during the month.
  • The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Nigeria sank to 44.7pts in February 2023 from 53.5pts in January 2023. This represents the first contraction in private sector business conditions in over two years. The reduction can be attributed to the shortage of cash across the country during the month. Consequently, firms scaled back their purchasing activities. Meanwhile, persistent fuel shortages saw petrol pump prices increase, which added to price pressures and led to supplier delivery delays.


  • According to Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), headline inflation eased for the second month to 52.8% y/y in February 2023, from 53.6% in January 2023. The slowdown mainly reflected a stable cedi currency and falling international oil prices. Food inflation eased for the first time in more than a year to 59.1% y/y in February from 61.0% in the prior month, while Core inflation was unchanged at 47.9% y/y. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 1.9% m/m in February after increasing by 1.7% m/m in the previous month.
  • The Ghana National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has removed fuel subsidies on petroleum products to ensure stability across its downstream sector. In addition, the NPA has created a special fund to assist refineries in boosting their capacity in order to meet the country’s growing demand.
  • Ghana’s move to restructure its local currency and foreign debts is weighing on banks from Africa to the UK. Four of Africa’s biggest lenders (Standard Bank Group Ltd., FirstRand Ltd., Absa Group Ltd., and Nedbank Group Ltd.) have collectively set aside R4.9bn ($267.0mn) to account for the losses.

Francophone West Africa (WAEMU)

  • Senegal’s 2023 GDP growth forecast was sliced  from 4.7% to 4.0% by International Monetary Fund after completing a site visit in the country. Senegal’s growth forecast was sliced due to a disappointing harvest season and a contraction in industrial production.
  • Senegal’s National Agency of Statistics and Demography released the country’s inflation numbers, showing that consumer prices rose by 9.4% y/y in Feb-2023 compared to  10.6% y/y increase recorded in Jan-2023.
  • Wärtsilä, a Finnish energy sector solutions provider, has announced the inauguration of a 130 MW power plant built in Malicounda, western Senegal. The power plant is estimated to boost the national capacity by 17.0%, producing 956 GWh per annum of electricity.
  • The World Bank's International Financial Corporation (IFC) in collaboration with the West African nation's local unit of Bank of Africa and aggrotech "agCelerant" had loaned the sum of $7.2mn to  Senegal. .
  • The purpose of the $7.2mn loan was to provide agricultural insurance, grant agricultural inputs loans and support the purchase of agricultural equipment to smallholder farmers and small businesses involved in rice production.

Ivory Coast

  • Bloomberg reports revealed that Ivory Coast farmers sent 17,719 tons of cocoa to ports between 6-Mar-2022 and 12-Mar-2023. According to government data, Ivory Coast has sent 1.7mn tons of cocoa since the start of the season in October 2022 compared to 1.8mn tons reported same period last year.
  • The IMF plans to lend $2.6bn to Ivory Coast after reaching a lending agreement with the country in coming days. The purpose of the loan is to enable Ivory Coast tackle its economic challenges.

East Africa

  • Earlier in the week, the Executive Chairman of Fortescue Future Industries, Andrew Forrest, and Kenyan President,William Ruto signed an investment support and implementation agreement for the development of a 300MW capacity generation green ammonia and fertilizer facility in the Naivasha vicinity of Olkaria geothermal field.
  • The country’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) disclosed in a statement that gasoline prices have been increased by 1.1% to 179.2 shillings per litre in the capital Nairobi. This indicates the first price hike since September 2022.However,  diesel and kerosene prices were left unchanged at 162.0 shillings per litre, and 145.9 shillings per litre respectively.
  • According to Bloomberg data, a public-private partnership, Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), backed by BlackRock Alternatives have set out plans to buy a 31.25% stake in Lake Turkana Wind Power, Africa’s largest wind farm located in northern Kenya.
  • Furthermore, The CFP, which secured $673.0mn in commitments, is focused on investing in climate infrastructure across emerging markets in order to help fast-track the global transition to a net zero economy. BlackRock Alternatives said the transaction in the 310MW project is its first private-market investment in Africa.
  • According to the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya’s horticulture shipments including cut flowers, vegetables and fruits fell  by 9.7% y/y to 120.3bn shillings in FY-2022. We note that horticulture is one of Kenya’s main foreign-exchange earners, alongside diaspora remittances, tourism and tea.
  • Bloomberg revealed that Italy has agreed to renegotiate a controversial loan (€305.4mn) that Kenya took to construct three key dams to boost the water security for people in the country’s rift valley region.
  • Saudi Aramco, Emirates National Oil Co. and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. won bids to supply Kenya with petroleum products as the East African nation’s government moves to nationalize fuel imports.
  • According to Bloomberg, the World Bank is poised to provide $1.0bn of financing to Kenya in the 2023 fiscal year under its development policy operation program. The development  policy was aimed at boosting agricultural exports and improving governance to facilitate economic growth led by the private sector.
  • According to a statement from the Tea Board of Kenya, the country’s earnings from tea exports in 2022 increased despite a drop in volumes, as its currency weakened against the US dollar and prices of the commodity improved. For context, Kenya reported a 1.5% increase in shipments to 138.0bn shillings ($1.1bn).


  • Rwanda’s Chief Investment Officer, Claire Akamanzi, disclosed that PPC Ltd. is seeking buyers for its stake in the Rwandan cement business - CIMERWA Plc. Nevertheless, the government is considering a decision to acquire the shares from PPC Ltd. Meanwhile, Rwandan government is already the second largest shareholder in CIMERWA.
  • According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, Rwanda's urban CPI rose 20.8% y/y in February 2023 as against 20.7% in January 2023.


  • The Chief Finance Officer (CEO) MTN Ghana, Andrew Bugembe, disclosed that the telco firm’s planned investment of $331.0mn (capital expenditure) for 2023 is 1.2% lower than the $335.0 budgeted in 2022. He also noted that spending in 2023 will focus on enhancing the company’s fourth generation wireless coverage.
  • Bloomberg revealed, Uganda National Oil Co. signed a memorandum of understanding with Sonatrach for oil and gas cooperation in the upstream, midstream and downstream.


  • According to Tanzania’s Finance Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, the government of Tanzania plans to increase its spending to 44.4tn shillings from 41.5tn shillings in 2022-23 to fund investment in infrastructure projects and social services.
  • According to a statement from the Central Bank, Tanzania’s monetary policy committee met on March 14 and decided that less accommodative monetary policy will continue in March and April.
  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania, the country's consumer prices rose by 4.8% y/y in February 2023 compared to 4.9% in January 2023.

Southern Africa
South Africa 

  • The Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, in a speech on Tuesday (14-Mar), stated its concern as power cuts upwardly drive food prices and headline inflation expectations. Additionally, domestic electricity shortages are disrupting food production and storage.
  • The Reserve Bank, in a report published on Thursday, 16-Mar, posted that South Africa recorded a current account deficit of ZAR 31.8bn ($1.7bn) or 0.5% of GDP in 2022 from a 3.7% surplus in 2021. This  represents the first annual shortfall since 2019.
  • Data released by Statistics South Africa showed that South Africa’s Manufacturing Production- Index (MPI) fell by 3.7% y/y in Jan-2023 as against revised -4.5% y/y  in Dec-2022. However, the MPI rose by 1.1% m/m as against revised 0.5% m/m in Dec-2022.
  • Also, according to Statistics South Africa, the country’s gold production rose by 3.7% y/y in Jan-2023 compared to -3.3% in Dec-2022. Meanwhile, mining production fell- by -1.9% y/y in Jan-2023 relative to revised -3.6% y/y in the prior month. PGM production fell -15.2% y/y compared with revised -5.4% y/y in Dec-2022.


  • The Chairman of the Angola National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) stated that Exxon Mobil Corp. will invest $15.0bn through 2023 in the Namibe Basin if it makes commercial oil discoveries. The ANPG, Exxon Mobil and Sonangol on 14-Mar signed an addendum to three oil blocks in the basin.
  • According to the Institute of National Statistics, Angola’s National Consumer Prices rose 11.5% y/y in Feb-2023 relative to 12.6% y/y in Jan-2023. Also, Luanda CPI rose 10.9% y/y in Feb-2023 compared to 11.8% y/y in Jan-2023.
  • According to data from the National Bank of Angola, the country’s foreign direct investments (FDI) rose 5.3% in 2022 to $6.9bn from $6.5bn in 2021. The oil industry accounted for 97.0% of FDIs over the period, while non-oil FDI fell to $197.6mn from $248.5mn.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on 08-Mar announced that Angola has joined the OECD global forum on transparency and tax information exchange. Also, Angola has joined the Africa Initiative Program, which includes, within its purposes, enhanced tax transparency and information exchange.


  • According to a statement from Fidelity Gold Refinery, Zimbabwe’s Feb-2023 gold production fell  -16.2% y/y to 1,895.2kg in Feb-2023, compared to the -34.0%y/y decline in Jan-2023. Also, deliveries by large-scale miners fell -18.8%y/y to 756.1kg, while output from small-scale miners fell -14.4% y/y to 1,139.1kg over the period.
  • According to documents seen by Bloomberg, Zimbabwe has offered to sell a 33.0% holding in the Great Dyke Investments, a key platinum project, to Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co. for $400.0mn.
  • ZIMSTAT, in its inflation report, disclosed that Zimbabwe’s Feb-2023 Consumer Prices rose 92.3% y/y. However, on a monthly basis, consumer prices fell -1.6% m/m.


Central Africa

  • The Cameroonian Minister of Economy, Alamine Ousmane Mey, signed a loan agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). The deal will see the bank provide CFA35.0bn to allow the solar electrification of more than 13,000 households in 200 localities in the country.
  • The investments are part of the 3rd phase of the project to electrify 1,000 localities with solar energy, launched in 2016 by the Cameroonian government and its Chinese partner, Huawei Technologies. The first two phases are still being implemented and will electrify 165 and 184 localities in Cameroon, respectively.
  • According to the nation’s National Cocoa and Coffee Board, Cameroon-Supply of arabica coffee at Cameroon's key port of Douala has pushed down prices paid for the crop by 2.0% compared to the prior week. A kilogram of coffee sold for XAF2,362 ($3.86), down from  XAF2,407 the beans sold on Thursday last week.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

  • A United Nations Security Council delegation wrapped up a three-day visit to DR Congo on Sunday, with ambassadors stressing a political solution and negotiations as the most feasible means to end the raging M23 rebel conflict.
  • Goma Volcanological Observatory (OVG) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has warned pilots to fly cautiously while passing over the Virunga region. The city is on high alert after Nyamulagira showed signs of erupting.

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