News & Analysis: Burundi

COVID-19 cited for contraction of East African economies

“Regional economies received a battering courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the numbers now just prove how damaging.”

via The East African

Regional business body calls for end to COVID-19 border testing

“The East African Business Council (EABC) on Thursday, October 15, called upon the East African Community Partner States to put an end to testing of COVID-19 at border points, in order to decongest traffic at the border crossings and increase intra-EAC trade.”

via The New Times

Admassu Tadesse: African economies must redouble efforts to diversify in wake of COVID-19

“The Trade and Development Bank was named African Bank of the Year at this year’s African Banker Awards. CEO Admassu Tadesse talks to Tom Minney about the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s economy and the bank’s plans for the future.”

via African Business Magazine

East Africa slowly reopens for business after COVID-19 havoc

“Emboldened by the declining COVID-19 infections, EAC partner states are in the process or have already re-opened their borders, hotels and schools. EAC partner states are expected to lose more than $54 billion of local tourists spending for 2020, on account of protracted closures of seaports and airports.”

via The East African

East African Community battles trade disruption

“Covid-19 has been really disruptive in terms of cost structures,” says Frank Matsaert, TMEA’s CEO. “I expect things to normalise now that we have much more agreement between EAC member states. The tailbacks at the Ugandan border are down to 15km – that’s more than it’s been in many years – so there are still things to be done but I believe that it will happen by the end of July.”

via African Business Magazine

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

Although it’s dangerous, we need to survive

“Burundian refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda are enacting grassroots responses to COVID-19.”

via Africa is a Country

COVID-19 sustains assault on battered regional currencies

“In recent weeks, regional currencies have come under increased pressure against the dollar as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to dismantle efforts by central banks to maintain stability and arrest negative impact on their economies. Depreciating currencies result in increased cost of living as prices of basic goods rise; and servicing of hard currency-dominated loans becomes expensive for institutional borrowers.”

via The East African

‘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

EAC cash crisis deepens as ministers push back budget meeting

“The East African Community is facing a deeper financial crisis after a crucial Council of Ministers meeting on budget was postponed for two weeks.”

via The East African