African leaders call for expanded IMF support

African presidents from countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal called for the IMF to triple the amount of money available to Africa under the fund’s Special Drawing Right reserves to $100 billion to support countries hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The leaders were attending the African Economies Funding Summit in Paris […]

CFA Franc reform edges closer

CFA Franc reform edges closer The introduction of West Africa’s common currency, the Eco, potentially took a step closer following press reports that France is preparing to return €5bn of foreign exchange reserves to the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest as part of a guarantee agreement on the reform of the CFA […]

Eco takes a step closer to reality

Rising oil anchors Naira The Naira maintained a stable footing in the parallel market at 482.5 per dollar levels amid a slowdown in speculative purchases of the greenback. The currency depreciated slightly at the Importers & Exporters window to N411 from N410 at the end of last week. The outlook remains dependent on Covid-19 along […]

African recovery lags due to vaccine deficit

Africa’s recovery lagging world amid vaccine deficit  After the worst economic downturn on record, with an estimated 1.9% contraction in 2020, sub-Saharan Africa is set to lag in the recovery this year, with a growth of 3.4% vs. 6% forecast for the rest of the world, according to the IMF’s regional economic outlook. That’s in […]

Eco currency gets impetus from UEMOA appointment

Eco currency gets impetus from UEMOA appointment The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) signalled strong backing to economic reforms needed for the Eco currency to work by appointing the economist Kako Nubukpo to its commission last week. For several years, Togo’s former minister of foresight has been engaged in an anti-CFA Franc crusade. Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé pushed for him to be […]

More Gains for Rand and Shilling at Multi-Month Highs

Rand near 14-month high has further to rally The rand strengthened this week to 14.4100, nearing a 14-month high, from 14.5937 at the end of last week this week. The currency is rallying amid dollar weakness on resurgent confidence that the Fed is unlikely to tighten monetary policy anytime soon. We project further gains for […]

Redouble effort for post-COVID recovery in Africa

Redouble effort for post-COVID recovery in Africa  Africa needs around $12bn to procure and distribute sufficient numbers of COVID-19 vaccines to achieve adequate protection against the virus, the World Bank and IMF said in a report at their virtual Spring meetings this week. The sum is about the same as the total official debt service payments deferred by 45 […]

Africa on track for post-Covid recovery

Africa on track for post-Covid recovery After the region’s first recession in over 25 years, sub-Saharan Africa shows signs of steady recovery, according to the World Bank’s “Africa’s Pulse” report published this week. Data from the last two quarters of 2020 point to a pick up in economic activity that prompted the World Bank to revise its original forecast […]

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 […]