Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


Pulse #21 - Reform the Constitution: Kenya says no to more men whilst Gambia says yes to more years; pursuit of the 'African language', and a Covid vaccine,

The Data Room

Nigeria’s fintech sector is primarily focused on payments and consumer lending, These segments have experienced fast growth in the past 2 years, partly owing to the central bank’s financial inclusion drive and favourable regulatory policies, including revised Know your Customer requirements and incentives to accelerate development of agent networks. Whilst customer adoption has been primarily driven by increased access and convenience, trust still has some way to go, as 67% of banking customers, say that they trust their bank more than fintech.

Numbers in the Spotlight
($89bn) can be gained by The Continent annually by curbing illicit financial flows

2,000,000 metric tonnes
(2mn) is the annual fertiliser deficit Nigeria intends to plug by 2023, in order to stop the importation of fertiliser

1,497,391 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)

18,000 TWh per annum
is Africa’s onshore wind potential - enough to satisfy the entire Continent’s electricity demand 250 times over

is the cap on money outbound travellers can take out of South Sudan, as part of new measures to tackle depleting government cash reserves

of future doses of leading Covid-19 vaccines have been bought by wealthy nations representing just 13% of the world’s population
On The Continent This Week
Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Kenya’s top judge has recommended the dissolution of Parliament, after Kenya failed to enact laws on gender parity. Kenya’s constitution requires a minimum 33% gender balance for both elective and appointive positions; however female representation stands at 22% and 31% in the lower and upper houses respectively. Africa is increasingly a role model in the political empowerment of women, with Rwanda leading the world with a 61% female representation in parliament from just 18% in the 1990s, partially achieved by reserving 30% of elected posts for women. This recommendation from Kenya’s top judge demonstrates the level of political will needed to maintain this trend.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

Scientists in Nigeria have developed a new Covid-19 vaccine candidate, but human trials are being delayed due to a lack of funds. The cost of developing a vaccine from research and discovery to product registration is estimated to be between $200-$500mn per vaccine. With 51% of the future doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates already bought by a small group of wealthy nations representing just 13% of the world’s population, can African countries come together to fund African-led research initiatives, including Covid-19 vaccine development? 

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

Gambia’s National Assembly has voted down a draft constitution bill, which would have introduced a two-term presidential limit. Lack of effective term limits in Africa has led to 10 leaders ruling for over 20 years, and 2 family dynasties in power for more than 50 years (in Gabon and Togo). A growing pattern of evading term limits in Africa carries far-reaching consequences for governance, peace security and development; e.g. 9 of the 10 African countries facing civil conflicts (excluding insurgencies by militant Islamist groups) have no term limits, whilst last month, military troops were deployed to stop opposition protests against Cameroon’s ‘president for life’.

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

Botswana plans to teach the Swahili language in its schools, with the aim of bolstering intra-African trade with Swahili-speaking African countries. This comes after 16 southern African countries agreed to adopt Swahili as among the 4 official languages. Whilst most African education systems focus on the use of international languages, only ~10-15% of the population is fluent in these languages, resulting in communication gaps between the formal education system and its social environment. Expanding the adoption of widely used African languages such as Swahili can aid economic progress on The Continent by expanding the potential for cross-regional understanding and collaboration.

End-to-end value chain capture

Nigeria is set to end fertiliser importation by 2023 as it plans to plug its 2mn metric tonnes annual deficit with local production from its now 33+ fertiliser plants. With ~70% of Nigeria’s population engaged in agriculture production, and the industry contributing ~25% to total GDP (compared to oil’s share 8.6%), agriculture has the potential to provide a larger share of annual export revenue, reducing Nigeria’s economic dependency on volatile oil prices. Improving the availability of affordable, quality fertiliser would increase crop yield and may help achieve this, as 45% of Nigerian farming households use fertilizer (more than their West African counterparts).  

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

Egypt plans to spend ~$1bn to modernise and expand the Suez Canal. Considered the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia, ~10% of world trade passes it annually. The canal is thus a major source of foreign exchange for Egypt, making ~$6bn in the FY 2018-19. Gearing towards the realisation of an economic zone that seeks to attract the logistics, maritime services, manufacturing, IT and power industries, the government has been directing billions of dollars of investment to upgrade infrastructure around the Suez Canal in recent years. The planned economic zone is projected to eventually make up about a third of Egypt’s economy

Access to financial services and products

South Sudan has set a $10,000 ceiling on the amount of money outbound travellers can take out of the country, in a bid to minimise cash outflows. The move comes after the Central Bank of South Sudan’s August announcement that its foreign reserves were at their lowest point since the signing of the 2018 peace deal to end over 6 years of conflict. Countries such as Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have previously imposed capital controls in order to shore up their foreign exchange reserves in the face of devaluing currencies. For sustained economic recovery, such restrictions should be backed by a decisive use of other policy levers, such as fiscal and monetary stimuli.

Exporting culture & identity

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza, a Congolese activist, plus four others are on trial in France on theft charges, for trying to remove a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum. Their actions are part of a protest campaign against colonial-era plundering - a topic famously broached in the Black Panther film's museum heist scene. The events come almost two years after French President Macron pledged to enable “the temporary or permanent restitution of African heritage to Africa”. While the European Parliament has also encouraged EU member states to return stolen artefacts, the lack of a timeline and legislation to this effect may trigger more Africans to take matters into their own hands.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Fintech usage in Nigeria increased by 54% in 6 months leading up to Jan-Feb 2020, driven largely by the growing number of agents, customer education, transparency in pricing and ease of money withdrawal. In response to market needs, more firms are branching out from the predominant payment and lending services into micro-investment, wealth management, peer to peer transfer and insurtech. Whilst Nigeria’s fintech sector is buzzing, attracting 25% of all money raised by African tech startups in 2019, only 40% of the population is financially included - presenting many more opportunities before Nigeria reaches is financial inclusion target of 95% 

High value skills development and talent repatriation

The World Trade Organisation and Google have partnered to host a Tourism Acceleration Program in SSA, aimed at developing innovation and digital transformation skills in the tourism sector. Pre-Covid estimates put Africa's tourism industry at $262bn by 2030; however $55bn in travel and tourism revenue was lost in the first three months of the pandemic alone. With tourism representing 9% of global trade for Africa and 1 in 10 jobs (directly and indirectly), training in market intelligence and data insights may help drive consumer insights, digital transformation and innovations in the context of Covid-19, and contribute to sustainable economic recovery.

Scaleable energy access

Africa possesses a huge onshore wind potential, of almost 18,000 Terawatt-hours (TWh) per annum - enough to satisfy the entire Continent’s electricity demand of ~700TWh annually, 250 times over, according to a new study. Despite the huge potential, Africa’s global share of the installed wind turbine capacity is just ~1% compared to ~40% in Asia and the Pacific and ~21% in North America. In order to sufficiently tap The Continent’s wind energy, African countries can capitalise on small wind turbines in addition to large wind farms. A small wind turbine has a rotor size of up to 15m in diameter and can generate enough power to sustain around 15 domestic houses.

Upgrade Your Life

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

  1. Effective fundraising and leadership in arts and culture - free online course
  2. The art of persuasive writing and public speaking - free online course
  3. Lingala language online course
  4. Linking skills-based learning to career opportunities
  5. Never be the smartest person in the room
  6. 10 books which can effectively increase your EQ
  7. How to bring affordable, sustainable electricity to Africa - TedTalk
  8. 6 lessons from stoic philosophy that can make your life better today
  9. Black British history: "Windrush: portrait of a generation"
  10. This week's riddle for your enjoyment!
History Class
The Making of Nigeria - in celebration of Nigeria's 60 years of independence, 1st October
Seretse Khama: the man who transformed Botswana - celebrating Independence Day on 30th September

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