Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


Pulse #14 - Sudan bans nut exports, DRC’s mega hydro-power plant, Russia’s expansion into Africa, Africa Code Week,

The Data Room

Visa openness indicators show that African countries have become increasingly open to visitors from across The Continent - with Seychelles and Benin leading the way. Africans need visas to travel to less than half of other African countries. Moving forward, championing greater visa openness across Africa will help to capitalise on the gains to be realised from the launch of AfCFTA, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. 

Numbers in the Spotlight
($14bn) is the cost of constructing the Inga III mega hydro-electric power plant in DRC

($1bn) is the cost of the new Egypt Grand Museum, that will hold the treasures of ancient king, Tutankhamun

($205mn) worth of peanuts were produced by Sudan in 2019, and will no longer be exported

($100mn) is the size of the fund being launched to provide 1mn Community Health Workers in Africa with PPE

($13mn) in monthly cash transfers to poor households in Kenya affected by Covid-19, will end in October

1,096,951 cases
of Covid-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)
On The Continent This Week
Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

Russia plans to expand its influence in Africa by building military bases in 6 countries. Since 2015 Russia, who says “Africa is a top priority”, has been pushing into Africa through military cooperation agreements with 21 African countries. Russia, USA and China see dominance in Africa as adding to their global superpower status - with the US previously announcing a new strategy for Africa, partly aimed at warding off China and Russia, in 2018. Russia is benefiting economically from their military presence in Africa e.g. the Central African Republic is reportedly offsetting its cost of hiring trainers and procuring arms from Moscow by selling mining rights for gold and diamonds at a fraction of their worth.

High value skills development and talent repatriation

The 2020 Africa Code Week has kicked off across 54 African countries. Working closely with the Ministries of Education on The Continent, the initiative aims at promoting sustainable digital skills development through training teachers and students how to code. With over 3.85mn children and teachers from 37 African countries participating in 2019, this year's initiative seeks to engage more female teachers and students, giving more African children a head start to the digitised future of work, whilst enhancing collaboration and communication skills.

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

Rwanda has announced that it will nullify its single nation passport in favor of the East African electronic passport, in line with promoting integration with East African Community (EAC) partner states. Holders of the new e-passport will have access to more countries without stringent visa requirements. Free travel among EAC member states could boost Africa’s economic integration, as has been experienced in the EU - as a strong correlation exists between the free movement of business people, investors and travelers, and levels of investment, growth in travel and tourism, and economic development

Scaleable energy access

Six Chinese and one Spanish company have agreed to form a consortium for the development of the Inga III mega hydro-electric power plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The proposed $14bn project is likely to be the biggest hydro-power plant in Africa, producing 11,050 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Both South Africa and Angola have expressed interest in importing more than 50% of the power produced, raising concerns that most of the electricity generated will not benefit ordinary Congolese. In addition, transmission may reach Nigeria and Angola, increasing power interconnections across Africa; whilst also promoting economic development in DRC, and the Central African, West African, and South African Power Pools.

End-to-end value chain capture

Sudan is stopping the export of raw peanuts to add value and increase export earnings. A world leader in peanut production, Sudan produced 1.5mn tonnes in 2019, worth $205mn. African countries exporting primary commodities have struggled to enter global value chains (GVCs) - e.g. the EAC’s trade with advanced economies consists of over 80% raw materials and unprocessed goods. UNCTAD estimates Africa will lose an average of 5% in public revenue from the primary commodity exports, and a 17% reduction in merchandise exports in 2020, due to Covid-19 related export adjustments. African countries can mitigate these losses through value addition to their primary outputs.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Ride-hailing companies in Lagos will face expensive regulations from August 2020, which are expected to batter both local and foreign e-hailing startups. It comes months after a ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) in Lagos forced operators like MAX and Gokada to cease operations. A lack of government protection policies has been argued as a cause of indigenous ride-hailing companies failing to thrive, vs. foreign VC backed entrants who have been able to afford large customer acquisition promotions. Meanwhile, lack of government support, and interest groups advocating traditional transport models have also seen African-engineered bus-hailing companies such as SWVL and Little Shuttle banned from Kenyan roads in recent months. 

Access to financial services and products

Kenya’s government plans to halt it's free weekly cash stipend in October 2020, that has been remitted to poor households ravaged by Covid-19. The program aimed to reach 669,000 vulnerable households, with 341,958 reached since May. In SSA 84% of measures supporting households during the pandemic are in the form of social assistance, and Kenya’s cash transfer programs have targeted over a million people. Although the stipend scheme has been marred with controversy amid concerns that disbursements have not reached those who needed it, in the absence of social insurance and labour market policies, the removal of the program will lead many more Kenyans to go without.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

A $100mn fund is being created to provide 1mn front line Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Africa with PPE. Despite being the first line of response in villages, CHWs’ essential health work in combating pandemics in Africa has gone largely unrecognised by African governments, with many workers and volunteers going unpaid. CHWs and volunteers play the crucial role in the Covid-19 response, via contact-tracing and sensitizing communities with prevention messages. In Kenya for instance, approximately 63,000 CHWs have reached 5.5mn households. More than providing CHWs and volunteers with adequate PPE, many argue they ought to be remunerated for their contribution.

Exporting culture & identity

Benin is restoring slave monuments and renovating its history museum in the coastal town of Ouidah, to preserve the history of the slave trade for future African generations. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, around 12.5mn Africans were forced onto ships (although the exact number will never be known). Similarly, the $1bn Grand Egyptian Museum (due to open in 2021 after almost 20 years of construction) to showcase the treasures of Tutankhamun, will both preserve and invite the world into Egypt’s rich millennia-old history. While museums are crucial to the preservation of Africa’s past and the attraction of worldwide visitors, many African museums remain semi-derelict, and are under-utilised by Africans themselves.

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

Nigerian mobility company, MAX, launched its electric motorcycles, with aims to mass-produce thousands over the next 12-18 months. With an estimated 100mn motorcycles in Africa by 2030, electric vehicles will play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions; however questions remain about who will build the infrastructure to support it. Lessons can perhaps be learnt from Uganda, where Africa’s first electric bus plant (owned by state-owned Kiira Motors Corp), that will have the capacity to manufacture 5,000 vehicles per year from July 2021, is being met with increased industrialisation – bringing new roads, power lines and water service to a rural area.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Twenty-nine year old Amina Priscille Longoh has become Chad’s new Minister of Women's Affairs and Child Protection. The appointment is a win for African women in their push for proportional representation in the governance sphere. Women make up just 24% of national legislative bodies in Africa, matching the world average. Rwanda holds the global record for female representation in parliament, with nearly two thirds of its seats currently held by women. Two other African states - Namibia and South Africa - make it to the top ten list. Whilst Africa outperforms Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Oceania, more can to be done to increase women’s political empowerment on The Continent.

Upgrade Your Life

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

  1. Communication and interpersonal skills (free course - University of Leeds)
  2. Introduction to Data Studio (free course provided by Google)
  3. Access thousands of e-books for free
  4. Appearances vs. experiences: what really makes us happy?
  5. Tips for customer acquisition and archetypes
  6. Stop spending too much time in your head
  7. Shujaa Stories: 21 Superheroes of Kenya
  8. Take a virtual safari to celebrate World Elephant Day
History Class

Benin: Monuments from slave trade era restored in Ouidah city

Namibia has rejected Germany’s reparation offer following mass killings in their then colony at the turn of the 20th century

Movemeback - if you have a something you would like to share with the Movemeback community please get in touch so we can include in this or another one of our regular Member publications: