Africa free-trade vision clouded by virus and pace of talks

“AfCFTA was supposed to take operational effect on Wednesday, July 1, but the timeline has slipped, under the complications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak but also the slow pace of negotiations themselves.”

via The East African

The ABC triangle: Putting the AfCFTA, Brexit, and COVID-19 to work for Africa

“The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on May 30, 2019, the official withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union (Brexit) on January 31, 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic in which we are currently mired. If policymakers act fast to seize the opportunities that this ‘ABC’ triangle of events offer and reset U.K-Africa trade relations, a win-win partnership can emerge.”

via Brookings Institution

Coronavirus: Which African airlines are taking off and when?

“After more than three months without flying, airline companies are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since 25 June, Royal Air Maroc began operating a portion of its domestic flights (Agadir, Dakhla, Laâyoune and Oujda) from its Casablanca hub, followed by its other hubs, Marrakech and Tangier. The low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc will also resume operations on the same date.”

via The Africa Report

Coronavirus: Now is the time to invest in Africa’s creative industries

“Despite the effects of COVID-19, Africa’s young creative industries remain ripe for investment opportunities. African music, film, and fashion continue to gain global popularity, with companies like Netflix and Universal Music Group expanding their presence on the continent.”

via The Africa Report

Coronavirus: How Africa’s supply chains are evolving

“The coronavirus lockdown measures imposed by governments around the world have caused severe disruption to supply chains.”

via BBC

Air Arabia Morocco Details Plan for Domestic Flight Resumption

“The low-cost Emirati airline Air Arabia announced today its intent to resume domestic flight activity in Morocco starting June 25. Air Arabia pledges a gradual resumption by launching only 14 air connections to and from seven major cities, including Agadir, Dakhla, Fez, Marrakech, Nador, Rabat, and Tangier.”

via Morocco World News

The pandemic has shifted patterns of conflict in Africa

“In Africa, it was hoped that movement restrictions and fear of infection might halt fighting, creating space for dialogue in even the most intractable conflicts. Yet… tracking activity over the past 10 weeks, ACLED found that conflict rates held steady across the continent, but patterns of violence have shifted as armed groups and governments take advantage of the pandemic to make moves on political priorities.”

via Mail & Guardian

World Bank Approves $US500 Million to support Morocco’s financial and digital inclusion reforms

“The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$500 million Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing program, which will support key policy reforms to promote an enabling environment for digital transformation.”

via World Bank

You’ve Got Money: Mobile Payments Help People During the Pandemic

“Mobile money is as an effective and physical-distancing-friendly option to deliver cash transfers in large scale, given that ownership and use of mobile phones in emerging and developing economies is very high.”

via IMF

Morocco Cuts Rates to Record Low to Cushion Economy From Virus

“Morocco made its second-straight interest rate cut of 2020, pumping more stimulus into the tourism-reliant economy as it gradually emerges from a three-month lockdown. The benchmark rate was reduced by 50 basis points to a record low 1.5%, the central bank said Tuesday in a statement. It extends an easing cycle that began in March, when the institution cut 25 basis points.”

via Bloomberg