Ecocash defies Zimbabwe order to suspend mobile money transactions

“Zimbabwe’s Ecocash has defied a government order to suspend transactions, after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration accused mobile-money platforms of a conspiracy to sabotage the collapsing Zimbabwe dollar.”

via Financial Times

Africa needs its own ‘repo’ market

“Many African countries face a vicious cycle: lack of market access due to rising spreads at a time when they need it most and consequently weaker investment and growth potential — in some cases the ugly spectre of downgrades, defaults and debt restructuring may follow. An SPV funded by a major central bank could help break this pernicious pattern and create a virtuous circle for countries with sustainable macroeconomic fundamentals.”

via Financial Times

Senegal president admits virus will delay oil projects

“Senegal has been forced to delay its first oil and gas projects by up to two years because of coronavirus, President Macky Sall said, in a sign that aftershocks from the crisis are battering even economies that have avoided the worst of the pandemic itself.”

via Financial Times

African business steps up in global scramble for virus test kits

“mPharma is one of several African companies that have been able to strike deals for critical medical supplies by tapping their global networks, even as their governments have been largely shut out.”

via Financial Times

Coronavirus stalks Burundi’s political elite after president’s death

“Diplomats, citing medical sources, said there was a high probability that Nkurunziza, whose wife was last month airlifted to Kenya with suspected COVID-19, had died from side-effects of the virus. Other members of his family, including his mother, are also said to have been infected with the virus, prompting one diplomat to call Nkurunziza a ‘super spreader.'”

via Financial Times

Kenya farmers face uncertain future as COVID-19 cuts exports to EU

“Shipments of flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruits to the European Union, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of horticulture exports from Kenya, all but ceased in March after European capitals, roiled by the spread of COVID-19, locked down and Kenya suspended most international flights.”

via Financial Times

Zambia hires Lazard to advise on $11bn debt burden

“Zambian president Edgar Lungu’s government has hired Lazard to advise on restructuring the cash-strapped southern African nation’s $11bn foreign debts that have threatened to become Africa’s first sovereign default during the coronavirus pandemic. The investment bank was hired on a $5m contract to advise on ‘liability management’ of the country’s debt.”

via Financial Times

Ethiopia steps in to deliver respirators to Latin Americans

“Ethiopia has emerged as a key transit hub for the shipment of much sought-after medical equipment to Latin America, as poorer countries complain they are being muscled out of the market by richer nations and their cargo seized during refuelling stops in Europe and the US.”

via Financial Times

Virus will push up to 60 million into extreme poverty, World Bank warns

“Up to 60m people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, and current recovery efforts are not enough, David Malpass, president of the World Bank, has warned. The Bank expects world economic output to contract by as much as 5 per cent in 2020, erasing efforts over the past three years to alleviate poverty in the world’s poorest countries.”

via Financial Times

COVID-19 and ‘Locust-19’ threaten perfect storm for Africa

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina speaks to the FT’s Vanessa Kortekaas about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on African economies, debt relief and how countries can recover from this pandemic.

via Financial Times