NEWSLETTER ISSUE NO. 155                                            10/01/2020

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Feature Stories

World Bank projects modest 6pc growth for Kenyan economy

Central Bank of Kenya building in Nairobi.

Kenya’s growth is projected to accelerate slightly in 2020, according to World Bank Group’s economists, partly supported by increased credit flow to businesses amid more favourable weather.

The economy is predicted to expand by six percent this year, multilateral development bank says in the latest Global Economic Prospects report, a 0.1 percent upgrade from its previous forecast in June 2019.

The bank estimates growth at 5.8 percent in 2019, reduced from 6.3 percent the year before on the back of reduced agricultural production due to delayed rainfall.

The bank’s economists, however, see increased public borrowing as a downside risk to its growth projection for Kenya, with expansion forecast to slow to 5.8 percent next year. Read more

East  Africa's energy regulator now operational

Dr. Geoffrey Mabea the EREA Chief Executive Officer.
The Energy Regulators Association of East Africa (EREA) has been operationalised following the hiring of Geoffrey Mabea as its founding chief executive officer.

Mabea, a Kenyan, reported to his work station in Arusha-Tanzania yesterday and said that the East African Community (EAC) was poised to reap hugely in terms of energy policy harmonisation.

“The alignment of energy policies, otherwise referred to as an integration of energy markets is meant to promote regional economic development in East Africa,”  Mabea told the Star on phone.

He said that an integrated energy market means that substantial sector reforms are pertinent. Read more

Electricity tariffs reduce by 1.2% - Uganda

Rise in property rates. Prices of properties in Greater Kampala increased in 2019, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
The cost of electricity for the months leading to March have been reduced marginally by 1.2 per cent.

The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) in the base end user tariff applicable between January and March maintained the cost of the first 15 units of electricity at Shs250.
A marginal reduction was implemented throughout the other consumption categories.

For instance, domestic consumers will now pay Shs751.7 per unit from Shs752.5 last year while commercial consumers will pay Shs649.4 per unit from Shs666.1.  
Read more

NSE outperforms Africa bourses in bank shares rally

A staffer walks past an electronic board displaying market data during a trading session at the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) outperformed its peers in Africa on the back of better returns from telecoms firm Safaricom and banking stocks that were attractive to foreign investors.

The NSE's All-Share Index (NASI), which tracks the market value of shares of all listed firms, gained 18.5 percent to close the year at 166.41 points. 

As a result, the bourse raced ahead of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which returned 8.24 percent last year and Morocco’s Casablanca Stock Exchange (7.72 percent).

Nigeria's and the Egyptian bourses declined by 14.6 and 19 percent respectively. Read more

Rwandan Government returns to capital markets with Rwf15bn Bond

The National Bank of Rwanda head office in Kigali.
The government, through the Central Bank, has issued 2020’s first Treasury bond, a seven-year Rwf15 billion.

Like previous bonds, the National Bank of Rwanda says the bond has been issued for purposes of capital market development.

Bids for the new T-Bond will be received beginning January 22.   

Institutional investors (pension funds and insurance companies) with accounts at the Central Bank can deposit their bond application forms directly to BNR, while retail investors can approach investment intermediaries.

The bond will be listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) and trading on the secondary market will commence on January 24. Read more

Relief for Busia cotton farmers as Ginnery is set for revival

Cooperatives PS Ali Noor Ismail (2nd left) and other leaders inspect machines at Muluanda ginnery in Busia County on January 8, 2020. He assured famers that the factory will be revived before the end of May.
The revival of cotton farming in Busia County is slowly becoming a reality after the government indicated that Muluanda ginnery will be operational by the end of May 2020.

Cooperatives Principal Secretary Ali Noor Ismail on Wednesday told a stakeholders meeting that the government is keen on reviving the ginnery as part of a three-year plan to modernise cooperative ginneries at a cost of Sh1.3 billion.

“The ministry has identified cotton and textile as a priority project in the national industrial transformation programme. Towards that end and as part of the Big Four agenda, the President directed the ministry to revitalise cotton cooperatives in order to provide raw material to the Rivatex factory in Eldoret,” said Mr Noor during the tour of the ginnery in Samia Sub-County.  Read more

Sudan opens up gold market in bid to raise revenue

Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) display gold bars seized from a plane that landed at Khartoum Airport in an investigation into possible smuggling, in Khartoum Sudan.
Sudan has begun allowing private traders to export gold, a measure designed to crack down on smuggling and attract foreign currency into the country’s cash-strapped treasury.

Until now Sudan’s central bank has been the sole body legally allowed to buy and export gold and set up centers to buy the metal from small-scale miners.

Acting central bank governor Badr al-Din Abdel Rahim Ibrahim said on January 1 the bank would end its gold purchases entirely.

Last week, a little-known private company founded in 2015, al-Fakher, became the first to take advantage of the new regulations, exporting an initial 155 kg. Read more

World Bank trims 2020 growth forecast to 2.5%

US farmer Don Bloss checking on the operation of an auger transferring corn on his farm in Pawnee City, Nebraska, in this 2018 file photo. Trade tensions between the United States and China cooled with the announcement of a so-called phase one trade deal.

The World Bank on Wednesday trimmed its global growth forecasts for last year and this year due to a slower-than-expected recovery in trade and investment, despite cooler trade tensions between the United States and China.

The development bank said that last year marked the weakest economic expansion since the global financial crisis a decade ago, and this year, while a slight improvement, remained vulnerable to uncertainties over trade and geopolitical tensions.

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank shaved off 0.2 percentage point for both years, with the 2019 global economic growth estimated at 2.4 per cent and this year's at 2.5 per cent.

"This modest increase in global growth marks the end of the slowdown that started in 2018 and took a heavy toll on global activity, trade and investment, especially last year," said the World Bank's lead economic forecaster Ayhan Kose. "We do expect an improvement, but overall, we also see a weaker growth outlook."
  Read more

EACCIA Board Chairman, Mr. Toufiq S. TURKY welcoming the EACCIA CEO, Charles KAHUTHU and Mr. Serigne DIENE of the UN Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. This was today in the offices of Vigor Group of Companies in Zanzibar. We discussed the upcoming Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference which shall take place in Kigali, in March this year.
In hosting the East African Trade and Industrialization Week 2020, our primary objective is to promote economic growth in the region and the continent, at large, through the network of Chambers of Commerce and business associations and to advance the EAC regional integration as well as Africa-wide development agenda, as championed by the African Union Commission (AUC), notably, the Boosting of Intra-African Trade (BIAT) to accelerate and deepen the con t's market integration by ensuring that we realize the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agenda. The continental chambers of commerce and industry, through the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) are some of the key drivers of ACFTA.

The objective of the EATIW 2020 is to promote investment and trade through partnerships and joint ventures in key sectors such as agriculture and agro-allied ventures, financial services,
small and medium enterprises, textiles and infrastructure. It will institutionalize strategic economic partnership between the East African Community member States, rest of Africa and Globe. It is seen as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership between the rest of the Continent and East Africa with the rest of the globe for mutual benefits.

The target countries are Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, in the Eastern Africa region. The EATIW will also feature some national and regional project portfolios with regional investment and export trade opportunities that require international financing and partnerships.

DATE: 10 - 12th January, 2020
The 6th East Africa Oil & Gas Summit & Exhibition 2020
Once again, Global Event Partners (GEP) of the UK, the organizers of EAOGS events, in partnership with East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA), are inviting delegates, speakers, sponsors, media groups, corporates, investors, government officials and other professionals to a Summit and Exhibition. In March 2020, this prestigious, government-led Summit and Exhibition will once again provide a platform for East African ministries and the national oil companies to engage with international and local investors to examine the hugely significant opportunities across the East Africa region.  EAOGS 2020 is aimed at positioning East Africa as the real destination for oil and gas investment.
EAOGS is a globally recognized event; the essential platform for domestic and international stakeholders and investors to meet, engage, share ideas, form partnerships and act as a catalyst towards realizing the region’s oil and gas potential. The scope, scale and spread of current and future oil and gas infrastructure development projects in East Africa is rapidly positioning the region as a hotbed of oil and gas exploration, investment and development. With the Early Oil Production

System operational and the expected imminent lifting of Sweet Kenyan Crude, strong progress continues to be made in Kenya as a leader in the region towards the successful implementation of being an oil producing country.
With strong progress also through Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda with the launch of its recent second licensing round – the whole East Africa region continues to be of great interest to the global community. Now in its 6th edition, this prestigious, government-led summit and exhibition will once again provide a stage for East African ministries and the national oil companies to come together with international and local investors to examine the hugely significant opportunities that are present.
The Summit has been a great success over the years. It has presented tremendous networking opportunities with many different players from across the industry from many different countries.

DATE: 18 - 19th March, 2020
Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi - Kenya
Since the inaugural Private Sector Investment Conference (PSIC) which took place in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 24-25th February, 2016, plans have been underway to convene a successor investment conference whose ultimate goal is to promote the various investment opportunities in the Great Lakes Region that were presented at the first conference. The projects identified at that time from the region have now been subjected to both economic and financial analyses for their viability and bankability and most of these are now ready for presentation to potential investors. This is the genesis of the forthcoming Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference (GLITC). Subsequently, the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region (O/SESG), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda are organizing the second GLITC that shall take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 18th to 20th March, 2020.
Objectives of the Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference 2020:
GLITC aims to focus attention on aspects of the recommendations of the inaugural PSIC by sustaining dialogue between public and private sectors, including through high-level interactive sessions that focus on cross-border economic opportunities that promote the development of business in agriculture and logistic value chains, natural resources management and joint development of resources, including tourism, through public-private partnership between DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania. The GLITC will focus on cross border trade, and investment corridors with the private sector actors in the border regions as the prime participants. The areas that will be covered are Agriculture, Mining, Energy and Services including Tourism and will involve five countries: Rwanda, DRC, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania. Other countries of the Great Lakes region are also welcome.

High level government representatives will interact with the investors at the panels, but also face to face meetings and small group discussions will be offered and organized on demand. Among the expected 500 participants will be
  • Government representatives;
  • CEOs of international companies investing and operating in the region;
  • CEOs of prospect individual and institutional investors to the region;
  • Equity Firms and banking institutions;
  • Pension Funds and Sovereign wealth funds;
  • Bilateral and multilateral development institutions;
Structure of the GLITC:
The Conference will be designed to foster interaction, learning and ‘matchmaking’ of concrete investment opportunities with context setting, plenary and wrap-up sessions. Each session will start with high level speakers from the public and private sectors, followed by Q&A in plenary and summary by the moderator. There will be break-away parallel dialogue sessions around priority sectors. There will also be parallel exhibitions from Member States and project promoters on the side-lines of the main conference. The Conference will aim for some specific ‘announcements’, investment and trade deals which will be prepared and nearly finalized before its opening. 6-7 such cross-border projects will be identified and prepared by the organizers and the investors in preceding months to the Conference. A small preparatory group, consisting of regional private business representatives will make a dedicated effort to prepare these specific investments by the Conference. At least one internationally recognized investor will be engaged as keynote speaker at an early stage.
Venue and Date:
The Conference is proposed to be held at the Kigali Convention Centre, Rwanda on 18th to 20th, March, 2020. Side events across the border in Goma highlighting benefits to invest in cross-border economic activities will be considered, as well as site visits to Goma-Gisenyi-Ruzizi-Bukavu areas.

Who we are:
EACCIA is the apex Chamber with the mandate to facilitate the work of the national chambers of commerce and industry in the East African Community member states. It was legally incorporated in Nairobi, Kenya, on 22nd September 2005 and formally launched in Arusha, Tanzania, in February 2006. This was as a result of an MOU which had been signed in 2003 by the three chambers of commerce of the then East African Community member states.

Our membership currently includes the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA), Private Sector Federation of Rwanda (PSFR) and the Chambre Federale de Commerce et d’Industrie du Burundi (CFCIB). We also collaborate very closely with the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (SSCCIA), Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (SLCCIA), as well as the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), the continental chamber which is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

EACCIA has now expanded its outreach to beyond East African Community by inviting membership from Comoros, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Madagascar and the Seychelles. Mozambique formally joined EACCIA in April, 2019.

Our Goals:
The main objective of EACCIA is to lobby for the creation of a conducive environment for cross border trade and investment, within the context of regional integration. Broadly speaking, our main objective is to lobby the regional governments for the creation of conducive business environment. As is the mandate of all chambers of commerce worldwide, the role of EACCIA is to facilitate trade and we do this by supporting our constituent chambers serve their members efficiently particularly in facilitating intra-EAC, intra-continental trade.
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