News & Analysis: Botswana

Pandemic spurs Africa’s mobile telcos to ramp up banking bid

“Africa’s mobile phone operators are ramping up plans to bring banking to millions of Africans, in some cases for the first time, after the coronavirus crisis caused a surge in use of digital financial services.”

via Reuters

Africa slowly returns to business as usual

“Governments across the continent are beginning to shift responsibility for public health on to companies and individuals as they seek to restart their economies after months of disruption.”

via Control Risks Group

Senegalese delivery startup Yobante Express has expanded to five African markets

“The startup allows anyone travelling in the same general direction as the parcel and anyone with a shop or physical location to make money as part of its network. Yobante Express now active in five African markets outside of its home country as it continues to expand its solution across the continent.”

via Disrupt Africa

African Fiscal Vulnerabilities: Effects of 2020 Global Support Initiatives

“Fiscal vulnerabilities among African sovereigns had been building up in the years leading to 2020’s pandemic, driven by challenging economic conditions; unfavourable changes in exchange rates and commodity prices; in addition to significant borrowing, including loans from China, which today is Africa’s largest bilateral lender, alongside greater bond issuance.”

via Scope Ratings

Southern Africa: Why risk financing is critically important during COVID-19 recovery

“We don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but the prospect of finding an effective vaccine is likely. In contrast, the risk of climatic shocks remains. Many countries in the Southern Africa region have taken the first steps in increasing their financial preparedness to respond to shocks.”

via World Bank

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

‘The pandemic is gaining momentum’: Africa prepares for surge in infections

“After months in which Africa escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic as the global centre shifted from Asia to Europe and then to the Americas, the number of African infections — and deaths — has begun to increase sharply.”

via Financial Times

COVID-19 in Africa: When can Africa reopen to the rest of the world?

“84% of Africa’s COVID-19 cases have occurred so far in just 10 countries. Nevertheless, these 10 countries join the rest of the world in providing a cautionary tale. But when can they begin to welcome tourists and business people, and when will other countries allow Africans to travel over to do business and study abroad?”

via Development Reimagined

Southern Africa’s tourism industry desperate to reopen

“The coronavirus pandemic has decimated tourism across Southern Africa, dealing a devastating blow to hotels, private lodges and tour guides reliant on luxury vacations and raising questions about whether and how the industry can be quickly and safely reopened.”

via African Business Magazine

Reviving Botswana’s Tourism Industry after COVID-19

“The Botswana tourism sector cannot avoid the threats posed by the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Considering that tourism relies on physical interaction between people, it does not come as a surprise that the sector has borne the brunt of the global pandemic.”

via The Cairo Review of Global Affairs