• In a bid to reduce unemployment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has developed the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Under this scheme, the CBN would distribute ₦ 500 Million among the top 5 tertiary institutions with the best pitch as follows: first place – ₦150m; second place – ₦120m; third place – ₦100m; fourth place – ₦ 80m; and fifth place – ₦ 50m.”
• Projects financed under the Scheme shall be monitored by independent monitors jointly engaged by the CBN and PFI. The Scheme would be operated for 10 years in the first instance (not exceeding 31st December 2031) depending on the complexity of the project. Interest payment and principal repayment should be made on a monthly or quarterly basis by the obligor depending on the established cash flow cycle and in line with the approved repayment schedule.
• Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Wednesday that Nigeria and the World Bank are collaborating to raise $30 million to finance a vaccine plant. According to the Vice President, Bio-vaccine Nigeria Limited is chaired by Prof. Oyewale Tomori; 49% of the company is owned by the Nigerian government with the balance held by May and Baker Nigeria Plc and they have plans to begin construction of a plant.
• The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant, and Nigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, recently held a virtual meeting, which was the sixth meeting of the United Kingdom-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF). The agenda outlined opportunities for a wider UK-Nigeria partnership as discussions centred on the state of bilateral trade, challenges and priorities ahead, opportunities to ‘build back better from COVID-19, the Nigeria Government’s preparations to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), and plans to implement the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Rest of Africa: Business Insights & Market Trends
• The country’s economy grew by 4.3% in the second quarter (April -June 2021), compared to the 4.0% expansion in the corresponding period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed. According to the NBS, the expansion of the economy during the second quarter of 2021 was spearheaded by key drivers of growth which are agriculture 13.0%, transport and storage 8.4 %, trade and maintenance 8.1%, manufacturing 7.6%, and construction 7.1%.
• Domestic carrier Air Tanzania will begin servicing new regional flight routes from November 1st. As per reports on October 13th, the routes will see connections between Dar es Salaam and the urban centres of Ndola (Zambia), Bujumbura (Burundi), Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), and Nairobi (Kenya).
• On October 19th, the French government launched a direct flight route from France’s capital, Paris, to Zanzibar. The number of flights per week and the carriers who will service the route have yet to be announced; although, it is likely that Air France will be the primary operator. France remains a key tourism market for Tanzania, with over 7,000 French nationals visiting the country each month.
• President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the easing of Coronavirus restrictions. Most notably, the countrywide dusk-to-dawn curfew, which has been in place since March 2020, has been lifted. Capacity constraints at venues have also been eased, with facilities now permitted to accommodate two-thirds of their maximum capacity; however, basic public health protocols such as mask-wearing remain in place. Kenyatta also announced a $225 stimulus package, intended to accelerate economic growth. Several sectors will be targeted in the intervention including agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, and environmental conservation.
Democratic Republic of Congo
• On October 17th, the government announced that a new national carrier, Air Congo, will be established in the coming day. It remains unclear if Air Congo will formally replace its current domestic carrier, Congo Airways. Air Congo is reportedly a joint venture between the Congolese government and Ethiopian Airlines, which hold respective stakes of 51 and 49 %.
• Moody’s Investors Service changed the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the Caa1 long-term issuer ratings of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
• The positive outlook recognizes the DRC’s robust economic prospects driven by the mining sector and potential for improved economic resiliency from the implementation of structural reforms under the current IMF program.
• During a working visit to Luapula province on October 18th, President Hakainde Hichilema announced that the government will ease the process of acquiring mining licenses for local people. As per Hichilema, his administration hopes to encourage local people to be involved in the mining of manganese and other resources, to address unemployment and enable citizens to benefit directly from the country’s minerals.
• Energy minister Peter Kapala announced on 18 October that the government plans to facilitate a debt restructuring system to enable the ZESCO power utility to dismantle the debt it owes to the Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) thermal power company. As per Kapala, ZESCO owes MCL $400 million and has continued to accrue debt on account of only paying approximately 40% of its dues every month. While details of the debt restructuring system have yet to be revealed, Kapala assured MCL that ZESCO will repay the debt once sufficient funding has been raised.
• Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Makozo Chikote announced on October 19th that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country is “dire”. FMD has spread to seven of the country’s ten provinces; only the Muchinga, Luapula, and Northern provinces have yet to report cases of the animal disease. Makozo Chikote also revealed that the government plans to spend approximately ZMW 800 million on FMD vaccines, surveillance, and biosecurity measures over the next three years.
• On October 19th, the Minister of State for Finance, Henry Musasizi, proposed a tax amendment bill that seeks to limit tax deductions on petroleum operations. According to the proposal, oil firms will be expected to pay a windfall tax on their net income after the deduction of a 15 % corporate income tax, should oil prices reach USD 75 per barrel or more on any day of the year. Parliament’s finance committee is expected to review the bill and report back to parliament within 45 days.
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