Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse

Pulse #3 - Big spend on healthcare + infrastructure, AfCFTA under siege, #blacklivesmatter

The Data Room

Africa: benchmark against 5 dimensions of regional integration

A report from The African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank scored Africa’s regional integration as 0.327 out of 1. Weak regional networks of production, trade and value chains, poor planning, low levels of financing, and a lack of transparency during all stages of infrastructure projects were highlighted as challenges to overcome. Given the widely communicated potential of the free trade area, the index highlights areas of opportunity for various stakeholders to develop.
Numbers in the Spotlight

($20.5bn) is being sought by South Africa for its infrastructure program

($350 million) was raised in African tech in Q1 2020

(47.8m / 14.6%) is the estimated population of black people in USA

($17m) was raised by digital healthcare company, mPharma, in its latest funding round

142,289 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week) 

3,000 hectares
(equivalent to 3,500 football fields) is the size of the Noor-Ouarzazate complex in Morocco - the world’s largest concentrated solar farm

 of SMEs in Kenya are facing collapse by the end of June

of total startup money raised in Q1 2020 went to female founders

the number of doctors for every 10,000 patients in many SSA countries (vs. 28 in UK)

is Africa’s current index score for regional integration

On The Continent This Week
Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade
Challenges to the success of AfCFTA mounted as Former Nigerian President, Obasanjo, called on former African leaders to not allow the African Development Bank’s governance to be hijacked from Africa, amidst the US calling for the ADB’s leader to be investigated for alleged ethics breaches. Kenya’s free trade agreement with USA also took a step forward as USA released details around the negotiation objectives, despite criticism from other AfCFTA members over Kenya’s decision to go it alone. The silver lining may be the possibility of the WTO having its first African leader, with Kenyan diplomat Amina Mohamed as a top candidate.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

With healthcare spending by governments in low-income countries averaging $23 per person, and one doctor for every 10,000 patients (vs. 28 in the UK), the healthcare sector is overdue significant investment. However building ‘catch-up’ traditional healthcare infrastructure will require trillions in investment meaning short term hopes are being pinned on technological advancements including AI. This is inline with higher venture investments in the last few months across e-healthcare solutions, with mPharma recently joining Helium and 54gene as having notable raises. Nonetheless it should be noted that barriers in data quality, access and connectivity need to be tackled, yet present significant unsolved opportunities; equally, achieving nation-wide e-medical harmonisation presents significant challenge as the UK government will attest having failed to deliver a unified electronic healthcare system despite spending £10bn

Exporting culture

Global digital entertainment services continue to expand in Africa - with Universal launching Def Jam Africa and Apple Music launching its first radio show in Africa. With Africa being the world’s youngest continent, cheaper smartphone availability, increasing internet connectivity, rising disposable income and demand for consumer e-commerce, this move makes good business sense for entertainment services, whilst enabling African artists to maximise streaming revenue. This comes weeks after African online movie streaming service, Iroko, announced it expects big losses this year. So with international platforms increasingly determining what African content the world consumes, who will be determining how the world perceives “African culture”?

End-to-end value chain capture

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, talked of how his “continent is positioned to seize the opportunity” to increase manufacturing jobs in a post-COVID era, whilst the IFC increased their support to enable African apparel manufacturers to shift production into PPE. However the manufacturing sector may experience a harsh decline before further increase. For example, despite The African Association of Automotive Manufacturer's CEO suggesting that Africa may benefit as organisations around the world diversify their sourcing, Renault announced a halt to their African expansion, whilst Nissan left Africa out of their plans to reform.

Scaleable energy access

Ethiopian and Moroccan officials came closer to implementing their 'Coalition for Sustainable Energy Access' - which aims to ensure 100% access to electricity in least developed and developing countries by 2030. Morocco is home to the world’s biggest solar plant, and according to the World Bank, is a “fantastic” offshore wind resource “that is too attractive to ignore”. As the countries work together and suggest that Malawi joins future talks (as the coordinator for Africa’s least developed countries), could this coalition represent a blueprint for regional partnership for energy access?

Baseline infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

South Africa hinted at a strategy of spending it’s way out of the current crisis with a $20bn infrastructure plan to create youth jobs, replacing ~1.8 million lost. Similar project plans are expected across the Continent. International finance institutions will be essential enablers, with multilateral development institutions and banks already stepping in to improve health facilities and infrastructure. Earlier this month Deutsche Bank was mandated by the government of Ivory Coast to finance the construction of new hospitals and medical units. Furthermore, with the well documented dependencies between healthcare system resilience and the availability of strong infrastructure, the induced focus on healthcare may prove to be a much needed catalyst for broader infrastructure development across transport, water, power and telecommunications.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Signs show COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting females in education, business and income. On average, women have experienced greater income deterioration due to COVID, whilst the gender disparity in startup fundraising widened, with only 3.2% of total money raised in Q1 2020 going to female founders. WEF has released guidelines for how the COVID response and recovery should put women and girls front and centre, highlighting the need to focus on economic opportunities, education and domestic gender norms.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

Flutterwave, the Lagos / San Francisco fintech company, is demonstrating the scalable impact of African digital platforms during this time, by creating a free platform for any business to sell online in 15 African countries. SMEs are the cornerstone of Africa’s economy, accounting for 90% of all businesses in Africa. This comes as Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge, said that without help, 75% of SMEs in Kenya are facing collapse by the end of June.

High value skills development and talent repatriation 

This week, major mobile operators in Africa stepped up efforts to provide free access to online educational content for students in all regions of the world affected by COVID-19 induced school closures. This is welcome as Africans still face the most expensive internet charges in the world, making education in a time that relies on the cost of internet charges prohibitive for many. With it costing Africans 4x as much to learn online than their overseas counterparts, more needs to be done to lower the entry level for African to learn skills online.

Access to financial services and products

With growing speculation that China will use its digital currency to compete with the USD, we ponder on whether the The Continent is being positioned as a tactical base for an overhaul in the global financial system. It is worth remembering, Alipay (Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payment platform) increased its African reach earlier this year via a deal allowing instant transfers between Ecobank users and Alipay’s partner services; this follows partnerships with Flutterwave in 2019 to provide digital payments for African merchants. With Africa-China trade having reached $200bn, more African fintech players accepting Chinese payment services, some countries already using the Renminbi as reserve and recent shortages of USD in countries such as Nigeria, could China’s digital currency replace the dominance of USD in Africa and cause other regions to follow? 

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

African countries joined global condemnation of the unjustified death of George Floyd in the United States. With race relations at a tipping point in the US, migrants dying on route to Europe and China state media claims that accusations of COVID-related discrimination against Africans were “groundless rumors”, many see individuals of African decent under attack globally. With Ghana putting further weight behind its Decade of African Renaissance 2020-2030 (the successor to its ‘Year of Return’ movement), the conversation around unified African foreign policy and the Continent becoming a place of safe return for African descendants across the globe has never been more poignant. #Blacklivesmatter

Upgrade Your Life

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

  1. Managing your ego and battling the silent enemy of progression
  2. 8 steps to creating an effective advisory board
  3. Myers Briggs - free personality test to understand how you perceive the world and make decisions
  4. Embracing agile innovation methods for business
  5. How history’s great leaders managed anxiety
  6. Typeform - 3 months free for anyone working on COVID-19 projects
  7. Panasonic BizTalks - digital talks across their core business categories
  8. General Assembly - free online courses in web development
  9. Google Street View - tour famous sites and landmarks online
History Class

The history of African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

With Ethiopia’s national day May 28th, why was Ethiopia not colonised during the Scramble for Africa?

Did we miss anything?

Thank you for reading Movemeback Pulse, your weekly check of actionable insight. Movemeback Pulse is made up of insights that relate to 'The Continent 500 Transformation Goals' - developed to drive focus on a continent-wide business plan to create the next 500 million jobs by 2035. Want to understand more about the 'The Continent 500 Transformation Goals'? Do you have suggestions on themes / goals that are missing? Get in touch!

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