Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse

Pulse #8 - South Africa's GDPR moment, Ghana's cocoa industry boost, Gambia advances on solar ambitions

The Data Room
44% of Africa's financial wealth is held offshore, with the continent losing €17bn in tax revenues annually. Still, African countries are advancing in tackling tax evasion and money laundering, according to the latest AfDB Tax Transparency in Africa report.
Numbers in the Spotlight

($79.5bn) is the size of Nigeria’s public debt, a 15% increase from last year 

($200mn) in loan disbursements have been given to Ghana by AfBD to boost cocoa productivity

deaths due to malaria are anticipated this year in Africa (double last year's deaths)

engineers could benefit from Andela’s new remote training model (double their old model)

448,512 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)

On The Continent This Week
Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms
South Africa has enacted its Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia), in line with international data protection legislation, including Europe's GDPR. With Africa being used as a testing base for new technologies, data protection legislations and standards have become imperative. Currently 24 African countries have adopted laws to protect personal data, with the number set to grow. GDPR is a global model for data privacy, however enforcement of the same data protection laws has been questionable when it comes to many African countries.

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

The continent’s mobile money giant and largest digital payments hub, MFS Africa has acquired Beyonic, an enterprise that offers digital payment services suite to SMEs. With the acquisition, the SMEs have an opportunity to extend their business outside their home countries and leverage on the partnership between MFS Africa and Visa to facilitate further intra-continental trade and upscale global growth. This kinds of activity may support the regionalism and enhanced intra-African trade envisioned by AfCFTA, that was to be implemented on 1st July 2020 - raising further questions over the AU’s decision to delay it.

Exporting culture & identity

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the continent’s biggest football championship has been postponed to January 2022, due to COVID-19. With over 60% increased viewership in the 2019 AFCON tournament, the love and support for the sport was only expected to grow. However, many African players are emigrating to European countries and changing nationality because of lack of opportunities for career development back home - e.g. 70% of France’s 2018 FIFA winning team were of African or Muslim descent. With 65% of racist incidents reported in England in the 2018-2019 season targeting African players, is it time for Africa to develop and build its own talent?

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

The death of singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa on Monday 28th June 2020 sparked national protests and a blanket internet shutdown across Ethiopia. Nobel Peace Laureate, PM Abiy Ahmed previously stated that the government can shut-off the internet “forever” if it is deemed necessary to save lives and prevent property damages. Millions of Ethiopians have already endured months of the government imposed shutdown of telecommunication services in the Oromia region – begging the question, whether the government’s actions are in the interest of national security, or breaching freedom of expression and access to essential information?

End-to-end value chain capture

Ghana’s Cocoa Board received it's first disbursement of $200mn from AfDB of a total $600mn syndicated loan to boost cocoa productivity in the world’s second largest producer of the commodity. With the country supplying almost one-fifths of the cocoa beans used in the $100bn chocolate industry, revenues of just $2bn a year point to challenges faced by cocoa farmers. To accelerate combating issues such as child labour, poor incomes, deforestation and supply chain traceability, the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa, the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa and Belgian Beyond Chocolate have signed an MOU with the Ghanaian government.

High value skills development and talent repatriation

Andela is changing its business model by going completely remote, extending its African talent pool to more than 500,000 engineers, and doubling its reach through its earlier model. With the growth of the ‘gig economy’, the exponential rise in digital platforms in Africa (employing nearly 5mn people) and digital commerce estimated to benefit at least 80mn young Africans workers by 2030, expect more gig workers on the continent – an opportunity exists for African governments to nurture and support home-grown gig talent.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

2nd July 2020 marked the second anniversary of Zero Malaria Starts with Me, a pan-African campaign aimed at mobilising and empowering communities to take ownership of the fight against Malaria. However, new modelling indicates that deaths caused by Malaria in SSA could double to 796,000, representing a return to mortality levels last seen over two decades ago. Delays in mosquito net distribution and indoor spraying programs as a result of lockdowns have threatened to undermine vector control. With the economic impact of COVID-19 falling most heavily on vulnerable communities, a multi-stakeholder response is required to ensure that funds channeled towards COVID-19 do not have a knock-on impact on Malaria.

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Gabon’s national assembly passed a law decriminalising homosexuality, a triumph for supporters and activists including the country’s First Lady, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba. This is the first step of many, with the law up for a vote in the Senate and MPs heavily divided on the topic. Across the continent, colonial-heritage laws have been applied to criminalise same-sex relationships, even though African governments, with the exception of Sudan, have prescribed to and ratified the African Charter, guaranteeing human rights for all. With same-sex relations legal in only 22 of Africa’s 54 countries, many are asking if it time for Africa to be more accepting of LGBQT relationships.

Access to financial services and products

The COVID-19 pandemic is a game changer for digital financial services, says IMF, reporting that digital financial inclusion is on the rise, with Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, leading in Africa. This week, McKinsey outlined how banks across Africa can take advantage of the opportunity to digitise consumer and wholesale lending, via an approach that includes implementing digital credit scoring, automated “know-your-customer” processes and fintech partnerships. However, whilst digital financial services could support an inclusive post-COVID recovery, benefiting low income households and SMEs, it could also accelerate pre-existing risks of financial exclusion, if unequal access to digital infrastructure is not addressed.

Scaleable energy access

Gambia has secured a $43mn grant from the World Bank towards the Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project aimed at improving access to solar electricity and water. Gambia - one of the continent’s smallest countries by GDP ($1.8bn), was one of the first African countries to adopt the SEforALL Action Agenda to achieve full electricity access for all by 2030, and has ambitions to be the first country in the world to provide renewable energy electrification for all public school and health facilities. With nearly 50% of its population having no electricity access, this grant should help Gambia move closer to achieving its goals.

Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities

Nigeria’s President Buhari launched the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline, worth $2.6bn, aimed at enhancing the country’s energy sector. With ~85% of Nigeria’s grid-connected power plants based on natural gas, only 9% of the daily production of natural gas gets delivered to power plants for onward transmission to the final consumer – representing a key opportunity to improve the country’s energy security via pipeline infrastructure. Financed through Chinese investment, this deal takes China’s investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to nearly $20bn amidst growing concerns about the rising number of debt-driven infrastructure projects funded by the Asian giant. 
Upgrade Your Life

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

  1. Cambridge University Press free books on race, protests & civil rights
  2. Free intro to digital marketing class
  3. Webinar - Digital consumer trends that will continue to dominate daily life in Africa
  4. Good feedback is a two-way conversation
  5. Freelancers: are qualifications worthy?
  6. Stop Christie's from selling stolen Igbo sculptures #BlackArtsMatter
  7. Virtual tour of Johannesburg Art Gallery
  8. Fashion exhibition - Kente
  9. Rele Gallery in Nigeria - art for impact
History Class

DR Congo celebrates 60 years of independence from Belgium

Are internet shutdowns being used as a tool of repression?


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