Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


Pulse #10 - Mozambique's massive LNG project, Nigeria’s envoy to Mali, South Africa’s universal income grants

The Data Room

Africa’s urban population has grown from 27mn in 1950 people, to roughly 567mn today - although the pace of growth has changed significantly across the continent over the past decades. As Africa continues to urbanise at a rapid rate, a new OECD report urges policymakers to encourage economic development and poverty eradication in urban areas.

Numbers in the Spotlight

($14.9bn) in debt financing has been secured by oil major Total, for the Mozambique LNG project

($2.5bn) is one estimate of the cost of South Africa’s proposed universal income grants

($150mn) in financing has been agreed to Rwanda by the World Bank and EU for skills development

($125mn) in credit has been agreed to Cameroon by the World Bank to improve secondary education and strengthen skills

1,100,000 people 
(1.1mn) jobs are at risk across South Africa’s alcohol value chain due to the liquor ban

701,573 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)

On The Continent This Week
Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade 
ECOWAS has appointed former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, as a special envoy to Mali, as protests demanding Mali’s president's resignation over the outcome of parliamentary polls, long-running jihadist conflict and economic woes continue. Concerns are mounting for what Mali's destabilization might mean for the ECOWAS bloc, with Senegal already beginning the construction of a military camp to stop cross-border threats. After the AU declared 2020 the period of ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa’, expectations of a solution are high.

High value skills development and talent repatriation

Youth skills development and employability in Rwanda and Cameroon have received a boost via financing from the World Bank. In Rwanda, the approved $150mn financing agreement is aimed at increasing youth employment opportunities with a focus on digital economy and tourism hospitality. Meanwhile, in Cameroon a $125mn boost will target secondary education, to improve student transitions to labor markets and improve their employability. Targeting youth skills is crucial to the Continent, with 16% youth employment, and 10-12mn young people entering the workforce every year.

End-to-end value chain capture

South Africa has reintroduced its ban on alcohol sales in an attempt to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce stress on the health system. The first ban lasted 2 months and caused losses of $1.1bn in revenue to the liquor industry. Two South African Unions (The Food and Allied Workers Union and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union) have warned that deep liquor industry value chains means that 1mn jobs in South African could be at risk. This means that jobs in wineries, breweries, wholesale and retail may be affected, with bankruptcy anticipated for 35,000 bar owners in the poorest communities.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Nelson Mandela is the most influential person among Africa’s youth due to his fight for freedom and human rights, according to a survey conducted across the Continent. Barack Obama came in a distant second. With Africa's share of the global population aged 15-24 forecast to reach 42% by 2030, the role of young people in politics is key to not only economic and social challenges, but also peace and security. However opportunities to engage in governance are often limited - an issue being tackled in Ghana via the launch of the 'Youth Speaks Forum' - aimed at stimulating the interest of Ghanaian youth in national politics and governance.

Scaleable energy access

French oil major Total has secured $14.9bn in financing towards its $20bn project (the biggest foreign direct investment in Africa) to process offshore liquefied natural gas in Mozambique. Mozambique is set to become a gas-exporting giant, after one of the biggest gas finds in a decade off its coast, and a total of $60bn worth of projects being developed in the country. Despite the outsized potential, only 29% of the population has access to electricity. With an apparent lack of concrete plans for Mozambicans to benefit from these energy resources, calls may mount for the government to ensure relationships with foreign corporations focus on improving the lives of its own people.

Access to financial services and products

South Africa will introduce universal income grants targeting 33mn people between the ages of 18 and 59 on the poverty line. The Government has said that details of how it will be funded and its size will come post-October, amidst questions over South Africa’s rising debt - although one estimate pins the annual cost at $2.5bn (R42bn). Ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, Colin Coleman, suggests more is needed for the economy to recover post-COVID - saying the government should consider introducing a basic income grant at a cost of about $8.5 bn (R142 bn) per annum.

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

DOW, the leading chemicals company, launched Project ReflexNG – a pilot project designed to develop a viable business case for collecting plastic waste and recycling it into non-food primary packaging applications. The pilot aims to divert 300mn sachet water pouches (which are relied upon by 19% of the population) into recycled applications. In Lagos alone, up to 15,000 metric tons of waste are produced daily, with only 10% recycled and most solid waste ending up in landfills, drainages, beaches and water bodies. Developing viable business cases may help the Government achieve its plans to rid Nigerian waters of plastic pollution.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

The impact on COVID-19 on women and children was in focus this week, as WHO synthesised the disproportionate effect of lockdowns in Africa, and the resulting reduction in women’s access to health services. As evidence mounts of maternal deaths and unsafe births across Africa due to COVID lockdowns, African governments may be facing more lawsuits. A report this week concluding that the benefits of sustaining routine childhood immunisations in Africa outweighs the risks of COVID-19 deaths associated with clinic visits, may also have implications on decisions African governments are making in relation to women and children’s health.

Exporting culture & identity

Egypt has praised UNESCO’s adoption of the resolution “Global Priority Africa”, which supports the efforts of African countries to restore their stolen cultural property. It came as this week, France presented a draft law to return certain cultural artifacts taken from African countries during the colonial era, with French President Macron first announcing plans to repatriate the cultural artifacts in 2018. However, after Christie’s auction of Nigerian artifacts last month, progress in restoring Africa’s cultural assets may not come fast enough.

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

General Yusuf Rage - Somalia’s military head - escaped unhurt in a suicide bombing claimed by al-Shabab. Meaning ‘The Youth’ in Arabic, al-Shabab continues to be a looming threat ahead of Somalia's December elections - anticipated as a historic milestone in its journey to security and stability. With the African Union Mission in Somalia planning a drawdown next year, some argue that now is the time for the AU to go beyond counter-terrorism operations, and support Somali stakeholders to consider engaging al-Shabab in political negotiations.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Nigerian companies recorded the second highest percentage of global cyberattacks - a recent survey showed 86% of Nigerian companies were hit by cyberattacks in the past year. With 525mn people in Africa connected to the internet, and expectations of 1bn users by 2022, Africa has been among the fastest growing regions in terms of cybercrime activities. With the growth in connectivity in Africa, African technology must become secure-by-design. Education is also key, as employee errors such as clicking on suspicious links and not safe-guarding log-in credentials caused over half of incidents in 2018.
Upgrade Your Life

Our selection of online courses, tools and offers to help you build your professional and personal repertoire.

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  3. Grow stronger with Google-business resources
  4. Google offers 100,000 scholarships - here’s how to get one
  5. Why this year is our last - best chance for saving the oceans 
  6. 29 books to read this summer
  7. TEDWomen - how women will lead us to freedom - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  8. 360 virtual tour of Lake Victoria Falls
History Class

Black History timeline - Two millennia of individuals and events that have shaped Black history

RIP Zindzi Mandela - Reading Nelson Mandela’s iconic 1985 letter in Soweto


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