Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


Pulse #19 - Partner for success: Uganda & Tanzania's $3.5bn pipeline, Ghana & Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa collaboration, and Dangote mediates Benin & Nigeria,

The Data Room
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the lowest-income region in the world, has been the worst hit by the Covid-19 economic downturn. Most SSA countries cannot borrow the money they need to minimize the damage, and their central banks lack the range of options available to the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve. While the average stimulus funding as a percent of GDP is around 22% in G20 countries, it is only around 3% in SSA countries. Since GDP is lower in most African countries compared to most G20 countries, 3% equates to a much smaller value than it would in a G20 country.
Numbers in the Spotlight
($3.5bn) is the cost of the crude oil pipeline project that will connect Uganda's oil fields to Tanzania's port of Tanga

($130mn) has been secured in financing by Uganda from the World Bank for the upgrading of the 105km Koboko-Yumbe-Moyo road

($30mn) is the estimated cost of constructing for the proposed Pan-African Heritage World Museum in Ghana

1,390,560 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)

41 people
have been arrested in Sudan in possession of a consignment of explosives, large enough to blow up the capital, Khartoum

is the raise in farm gate prices for cocoa in Ghana
On The Continent This Week
Scaleable energy access
Uganda and Tanzania have entered a $3.5bn oil pipeline deal intended to transport crude oil from Uganda to Tanzania's Tanga port, in order to export to international markets. The 897mile East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is expected to be the longest heated pipeline in the world, transporting ~216,000 barrels of crude oil per day through densely populated districts in both countries. It however remains unclear precisely when Uganda will become an oil producer following administrative delays and tax disagreements with oil companies such as Tullow, which discovered Uganda's oil reserves in 2006 but later sold its entire stake to Total for $575mn.

Access to financial services and products
Ethiopia is introducing new currency (Birr) notes which will include enhanced security features, giving Ethiopians 3 months to replace their old notes. This demonetisation strategy aims to curb cash hoarding, illegal trade activities and illicit financial flows, and reduce money lost every year in reprinting damaged notes. Currently 113bn Birr ($3bn) lives outside of the formal banking system exacerbating the liquidity problems of commercial banks. This move is part of a wider effort to funnel cash from the informal sector into digital cash transactions, which last month saw limitations imposed on how much cash a firm or individual can hold at any given time.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Mobile phone operators in Kenya may soon be required to compensate their customers when network outages knock out voice, data and text services, in a move by the Communications Authority to improve quality of service. Telecommunications service outages are a threat to the country's economy e.g. Kenya lost billions of shillings following a 5 hour outage of Mpesa services (Kenya’s leading mobile money transfer platform), as customers experienced problems paying for electricity bills, shopping, sending money to relatives, and even placing gambling bets. With Ksh 679mn (~$6mn) moving through Mpesa every hour, stricter measures may help deter widespread economic disruption.

Exporting culture & identity

The Pan African Heritage World Museum launches on September 21. The $30mn project in Ghana is aimed at curating, preserving and communicating the history, ideals, civilisation and cultural heritage of people of African descent. The museum has been endorsed by among other entities, the African Union Commission and UNESCO. It aligns with the push by African governments to have more of the World Heritage sites on The Continent listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The project also bolsters the African Union Agenda 2063 goal 16 of Africa having a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics. 

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

Sudan has arrested 41 suspected terrorists in possession of a number of explosives, big enough to blow up the capital, Khartoum. The successful interception by security forces was made possible by intelligence reports from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, part of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). The arrests have potentially averted deaths like those witnessed in terror attacks in Kenya by Islamist al-Shabaab militants despite intelligence reports. Kenya's interior minister admitted that security officers ignored intelligence reports leading to the 2015 al-Shabaab attack - the worst to date in Kenya’s history. Sudan’s interception highlights the benefits of intelligence gathering and coordinated African inter-agency cooperation.

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

Nigerian billionaire, Dangote, is attempting to mediate between Presidents Talon and Buhari, by facilitating talks over Nigeria's closure of the Benin border in 2019. Benin's economy is heavily reliant on informal border trade with Nigeria, which accounts for about 20% of its GDP. Notably, about 80% of imports into Benin are destined for Nigeria. Informal cross border trade and accusations of illegal smuggling have been cited as key reasons behind the border closure, as it is seen to undermine Nigeria's industrialisation strategy. This highlights the wide scope for the private sector to lead the public in Africa, with Dangote being no stranger to forging public sector outcomes.

End-to-end value chain capture

Ghana has raised its farm gate price for cocoa by 21% after implementing the $400 a tonne Living Income Deferential on cocoa, jointly lobbied for by Ghana and Ivory Coast in the international market. Close to 800,000 farmers are poised to benefit, receiving about $305 more per tonne in the new season starting October 1. While Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire together produce 65% of the world’s cocoa, they earn only about $6bn each year from the $100bn global chocolate industry. The exporting of raw cocoa is a major cause of the low returns received by Ghana’s farmers - value addition is key in improving returns.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Liberia has declared rape a national emergency and plans to introduce new measures, including setting up a national sex offender registry. These will help address longstanding concerns over sexual assault in a country where in 2015, only 2% of the 803 recorded rape cases led to a conviction. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Nigeria's Kaduna state have approved surgical castration as punishment for those convicted of raping children under the age of 14. While Nigeria's federal law provides between 14 years and life imprisonment as punishment, Nigerians have called for tougher punishment, following the recent rape and murder of a 22 year old that led to street protests, an online petition signed by thousands, and Twitter hashtag #WeAreTired.

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

The World Bank has approved a $130mn grant to Uganda for the upgrading of the 105km Koboko-Yumbe-Moyo Road Corridor Project in the underdeveloped West Nile sub-region (in northern Uganda). The proposed road corridor passes near Bidibidi, Africa’s most populous refugee settlement. Around 57% of the 1.4 mn refugees (largest number in Africa) in Uganda live in the northern region. Historical lack of development in West Nile, combined with the continued influx of refugees, has added pressure on existing public services and infrastructure, increasing challenges for local economic development to both refugees and host communities. The project aims to bring economic and social benefits, directly impacting 360,177 refugees and indirectly benefiting 810,529 refugees within the region.

High value skills development and talent repatriation

Caterpillar's (the US manufacturer of construction and mining equipment) distributor in the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to allocate more resources to develop local technical skills in the country. This is a long-term plan as following Covid-19 restrictions, some of the company’s technical experts have been blocked outside the country, destabilising operations. Even before the pandemic, 7 in 10 African firms found that vacant positions in technical and professional categories were not filling up quickly enough, revealing opportunities for relevant training programs and accompanied job creation for Africans across The Continent.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

Nigeria has become the world’s highest contributor to under-5 deaths, with 858,000 out of 5.2mn under-5 deaths globally in 2019. Leading causes of death in children under-5 years are preterm birth complications, birth trauma, pneumonia, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea and malaria, all of which can be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions including immunisation, adequate nutrition, safe water and food, and quality care by a trained health provider when needed. This data lends urgency calls by health advocates for Nigeria to show commitment and prioritise management of certain diseases causing child deaths.

Upgrade Your Life

Our selection of online courses, tools, offers and ideas to boost your professional and personal repertoire.

  1. Celebrating the UN first ever International Equal Pay Day - 18th September,2020
  2. Introduction to computer science - free Harvard online course
  3. Top 20 books you need to read to crush 2020
  4. Learn the basics of graphic design - free online course
  5. The psychology of inequality and political division - TedTalk
  6. A new model for ethical leadership
  7. How to tackle impostor syndrome
  8. Here is this week's riddle for your enjoyment!
  9. Watch Curtis Essel's culture-inspired short film, ‘Allumuah’
  10. Register to join the official launch of the Pan African Heritage World Museum
History Class
A timeline of key events in the rule of Sudan's ex-president Al-bashir, wanted by the ICC for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity
Why are so many countries named 'Guinea'?

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