Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


Pulse #12 - Cassava for electricity, Tiktok’s Africa moves, South Africa gets IMF’s biggest ever loan

The Data Room

A new World Bank report has found that if implemented fully, AfCFTA could boost regional income by 7%. Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe - where trade costs are among the region’s highest - are expected to see the largest gains. AfCFTA is also expected to significantly increase African trade, particularly intra-regional trade in manufacturing, and increase intra-continental exports by 81%.

Numbers in the Spotlight

($450bn) the increase in regional income expected due to AfCFTA

($2bn) is how much Africa’s airlines are expected to lose this year

($500mn) has been granted in a loan from the World Bank, to help end female education inequality in Nigeria

($500mn) is expected to be lost by Somalia in livestock exports, as due to the scaled down Hajj to Mecca this year

($288mn) was paid by Network International to acquire African fintech, DPO Group

($195mn) is the size of the Nigerian Government’s investment fund aimed at supporting youth entrepreneurship

929,696 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)

On The Continent This Week
End-to-end value chain capture

Somalia is set to lose $500mn in livestock exports this year as the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia (usually made by millions) has been scaled down due to Covid-19. Livestock keeping is Somalia’s main economic activity amounting to 75% of exports and 40% of GDP. Loss in export earnings has greatly affected livelihoods. This dire economic situation is made worse by a locust invasion and seasonal flooding, which have further threatened Somalia's food security, and contributed to a 30-50% increase in milk prices (a staple among urban poor).

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Tiktok has launched a digital up-skilling campaign in South Africa. The short-term video creating platform is rapidly gaining popularity in Africa, ranked 3rd and 6th on Google Play store in Nigeria and Kenya respectively, largely stemming from a collaborative strategy with content creators to develop a new form of social influencing different from Instagram and YouTube. Accusations related to invasion of privacy and data farming have cast aspersions on the security of the digital platform, and should caution African countries that lack the comprehensive privacy protection laws necessary to protect personal data obtained and stored by foreign digital applications.

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) expects Africa’s airlines to lose $2bn this year. $33bn in African GDP and 3.3mn jobs are at risk, with impact felt across travel and tourism, trade, transportation of medical supplies, humanitarian aid and education. Prior to Covid-19, Africa’s aviation industry, including 731 airports and 419 airlines, supported around 6.9mn jobs and $80bn in economic activity; with Africa set to become the fastest growing aviation region in the next 20 years. Intervention from lenders and governments (as seen in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Uganda) is needed to protect the industry from collapse.

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

A new report found that The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could increase regional income by $450bn and lift 30mn people out of extreme poverty by 2035. Africa is staring at a $79bn loss in output this year due to Covid-19. AfCFTA’s goal of encouraging regional trade will be crucial in mitigating the projected decline in African GDP from the imminent global economic recession. With 54 out of 55 African countries being party to the pact, Eritrea's decision to sit out of AfCFTA (which they again defended this week) could leave it vulnerable to the economic hardships portended by a Covid-19 recession.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

The Nigerian government has approved a NGN75bn ($195mn) investment fund aimed at supporting youth entrepreneurship. The fund, a first of its kind by any Nigerian government, will provide soft loans to support viable credit worthy ideas, targeting Nigeria’s 68mn population aged 18-35. With 2/3rds of Africa's young people unemployed, startup spirit is high. However, although early-stage entrepreneurship is 13% higher in Africa than world average, African startups are 14% more likely to fail. Nigeria's commitment to it’s young entrepreneurs will help tackle one of the root causes of failure - lack of access to finance.

Access to financial services and products

South Africa has secured $4.3bn in emergency support from the IMF - this is the biggest ever emergency loan approved by the IMF, and the first time SA has borrowed from the IMF since apartheid. Covid-19 has pushed many South Africans into penury due to a wrecked economy. Even before the outbreak, South Africa faced its second recession in two years. Nationwide power cuts affected output and business performance, leading to Nigeria overtaking it to become Africa's biggest economy. The IMF funding will help resuscitate severed economic sectors including mining, service sectors and non-essential industries.

Exporting culture & identity

A former Netflix executive is teaming up with New York-based Afro-French artist Nicholle Kobi, for an animated African history anthology, ‘Queens’, to tell the stories of six real-life African queens. A few weeks ago, the proof of concept for ‘Tutu’, an animation telling the history of the great Ashanti Kingdom, was announced. Studies have shown the effect of the media’s portrayal of racial groups to children’s understanding of self-identity. Such animation will not only preserve African history, but also help to promote cultural pride and improve youth self-esteem. 

Scaleable energy access

Cassava waste may hold the key in providing clean and affordable energy in sub-Saharan Africa - home to two-thirds of the world's population that lacks access to electricity. Recycling of cassava waste through PyroPower technology by a consortium of companies headed by PyroGenesys has already begun in several Nigerian states, and plans are underway for expansion to other states and African countries. Over 1.5mn farmers are expected to benefit through increased income from selling cassava peels. 

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

The Nigerian government has paid out NGN15.8bn ($41mn) to medical doctors as hazard allowance amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This comes as doctors threaten strikes due to the state of medical facilities and lack of personal protective equipment when attending to Covid-19 patients. Low salaries and poor working conditions are major reasons for the mass exodus of Nigerian doctors from the country, and why 80% of Nigerian doctors are seeking jobs abroad. Government efforts will hopefully go some way in curbing this brain drain as Covid-19 evolves.

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

Opposition-led protests in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, on Friday, 31st July were met with a heavy police and military presence. Security agents arrested scores of protestors who defied a government ban on the protests amid Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings. The unrest was triggered by perceived corruption in government and the worsening economic environment characterised by hyper-inflation and food insecurity. Deteriorating relations with the west amidst claims of western interference may jeopardize Zimbabwe's anticipated bond sale to raise funds to end a two decade land dispute with white farmers.

High value skills development and talent repatriation

The World Bank has approved a $500mn loan intended to help end female education inequality in Nigeria, via The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project. With 27% of girls in Nigeria not attending school, the project will address issues of lack of hygiene facilities, as well as enable girls to learn digital literacy, life skills, and health skills. Across SSA, a 37% digital gender gap in mobile internet use exists. Such programs can equip young females with the tools needed to increase opportunities in employment and business creation, and enable them to access life-enhancing services for education, health and financial inclusion.

Upgrade Your Life

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

  1. How much is bad sleep hurting your career?
  2. Resilience is overrated
  3. Racism has a cost for everyone
  4. Communication and interpersonal skills at work
  5. An introductory course to the Challenges of Global Poverty
  6. Engage in the education of your children by developing your own educational app
  7. Museum of Johannesburg exhibit: The evidence of things not seen - Performing gendered and queer identities
  8. Third Culture Africans Podcast featuring our very own Charles Sekwalor
History Class

The story of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, who wants to return to Ivory Coast, after being acquitted last year for crimes against humanity.

Why Is the Ethiopian Calendar 7 Years Behind?


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