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ECO shelved for another year

New ECO currency shelved for at least another year  In a blow to trade prospects for Senegal and seven other countries in West Africa, the much-discussed plans to replace the CFA Franc with the ECO currency look set to remain stalled for at least another year. Under the ECO initiative, the countries’ central bank reserves would […]

Tanzania in mourning as VP Hassan takes reins

East Africa leads post-COVID resilience After the worst recession in over half a century, Africa’s economy is poised for a rebound, underpinned by an expected resumption of tourism, gains in commodity prices, and a rollback of pandemic-induced restrictions. The African Development Bank predicts 3.4% GDP growth for 2021, in a report this week. It also sets out the considerable economic […]

Africa’s freedom rising too slowly

Africa’s economic freedom rising, though much too slowly Economic freedom is improving in sub-Saharan Africa, according to this year’s Economic Freedom Index, published by the Heritage Foundation. Progress, however, remains painfully slow. In the Washington DC-based think tank’s scale of 1 to 100, sub-Saharan African nations’ scores on property rights, government integrity, and business freedom are all lower than world averages […]

Naira officially devalued faces decline

After months hampered by Covid disruptions, election challenges and currency depreciation, Ghana appears to have turned a corner towards GDP growth, relative exchange rate stability and more cohesive economic policies. But what does the road ahead look like? Join our panel sharing perspectives on: – Stimulus and other economic policies– AfCFTA’s potential benefits and challenges– Small […]

Naira at an all-time low faces likely further devaluation

Sudan’s huge devaluation should improve remittances and relations In its boldest economic move yet, the military junta that has governed Sudan on a transitional basis since the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019 succumbed to pressure from international financial institutions and freely floated the pound on Sunday. It had been trading at over 350 pounds […]

Rand on a high it hits its 60th anniversary

Rand on a high as it celebrates 60 years In an appropriate run-up to the currency’s 60th anniversary this Sunday, the Rand resumed its rally this week and continues to point in a positive direction amid a sharp decline in the nation’s COVID infection data and a spike in the price of its precious metal exports. On Wednesday, 2,320 […]

New WTO leadership force for Africa trade optimism

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister and former Managing Director of the World Bank, looks set to become the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, as South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee pulled out of the race, and US President Joe Biden has thrown his backing behind her. The formal appointment should be made soon, though […]

Egypt’s stable pound offers lesson in loosening FX restrictions

Egypt’s stable pound offers lesson in loosening FX restrictions The Egyptian Pound has been one of the strongest-performing African, and indeed emerging market, currencies since the start of 2019, on the back of improving investor confidence and the government’s economic stimulus package. The currency appreciated by more than 2% from a low of 16.22 against the US dollar since […]

CBN sanction threat easing Naira pressure

CBN sanction threat easing Naira pressure The Naira held steady against the dollar, trading at levels of 478 in the parallel market, as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee kept its key rate unchanged at 11.5% in a bid to prevent further inflationary pressure and exchange rate weakening. Beyond rates policy, in a […]

Biden presidency rekindles Africa optimism

Biden presidency rekindles Africa optimism  Joe Biden’s inauguration brings renewed optimism for Africa, with key appointments and friendlier policies set to strengthen cooperation between the US and African nations. President Biden’s administration will help drive support from G-20 countries for debt relief, restructuring, and deferment for low-income counties, mostly in Africa, and spur concessional finance […]

Shilling pressured as Ugandans vote; Business as usual means weaker Naira

Business as usual means weaker Naira The Naira dipped against the dollar to 475, the second slide since the start of the year in the unofficial market. Rising dollar demand and a shortfall in FX supply are putting pressure on the local currency as commercial activities returning to normal means businesses sourcing imports to meet […]

Africa FX risk downside amidst 2021 recovery

FX risk skewed to downside amidst 2021 recovery  With the new year’s trading now in full swing, we reiterate our 2021 outlook for moderate depreciation of sub-Saharan currencies—between 5.50% and 9.99% against the dollar—given the lag effects of the economic fallout from COVID-19, softened commodity prices in the global market, and rising risk of debt […]

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