Browsing: Zambia

After dropping Barclays tag, Absa digs in big money to hold on Africa

Barclays Bank Kenya has successfully changed its name to Absa Bank Kenya marking an end to centuries of the domination of the banking sector by British banks. This follows the acquisition of Barclays Plc operations in Africa in 2017 by Absa Bank of South Africa in restructuring by the London-based lender.

These are some of the changes experienced in several countries across Africa as the Absa brand cements its presence in the continent, a market that was firmly held by Barclays brand for almost a century. Similar changes have happened in Ghana, Botswana, Seychelles and Tanzania.

With these changes, the bank is knocking doors in one of the biggest global lenders, the Multi Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) with an aim of creating a broader investment base for individual banks in several African countries.

Different Central Banks in the region require commercial banks to have a minimal investment base to enable …

With more than 14 million people in Southern Africa facing acute hunger, non-governmental organisations are calling on the AU Heads of State to address the issue threatening lives in the region.

The NGOs comprising of Oxfam, CARE, Plan International and World Vision are also calling for the implementation of agricultural policies that will enable people to feed themselves in line with the AU’s Malabo Declaration’s commitment of investing 10 per cent of national budgets in agriculture.

In addition, Southern African leaders are being urged to increase investments in early warnings and early action systems on natural hazards and promote agroecological approaches to transition towards more just and sustainable food systems.

14.4 million people facing acute hunger

Severe food insecurity rates across 9 southern African countries are 140 per cent higher now than in 2018 primarily because people are being hit by weather extremes driven by climate change.

Across the Southern …

Zambia’s economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent, according to nation’s President Edgar Lungu who said on Thursday that, the nation’s economic growth will be slightly off the previous forecast of 3.2 per cent.

According to Reuters, President Lungu revealed the growth projection when he was meeting diplomats, and commented on the fiscal deficit which was expected to shrink from 6.5 per cent in 2019 to 5.5 per cent in 2020, while inflation would remain within the range of 6 to 8 per cent.

However, in October 2019, Bloomberg reported that Zambia’s inflation rate remained at a three year high in October and economic growth slowed, complicating the central bank’s task.

Further, annual consumer inflation accelerated to 10.7 per cent from 10.5 per cent in September 2019, whereby Zambia Statistics Agency noted to be the fastest rate of price growth since October 2016.

The economy of Africa’s second-biggest …

As South African-based retirement fund manager, Alexander Forbes is seeking to reduce its insurance businesses across Africa with Zambia becoming the latest to see such a move.

Over the next two years, Alexander Forbes will seek to reduce the surplus capital held which will be done through restructuring in addition to selling its insurance businesses.

With this, Octagon Africa has completed the purchase of 49 per cent shareholding in Alexander Forbes Financial Services Zambia.

Reviewing strategic business

This purchase comes after the announcement on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange News Service (SENS) by Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited to review its strategic business and operating model in March 2019.

“As a result of our new strategy of offering a centralized advice-led solution platform in Africa, we have decided to exit some in-country operations including Zambia. We are glad that Octagon Africa is the best fit for our business, and we are…

Lusaka as one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa has acquired a rather vital sanitation fund to bring to life the $243 million Lusaka Sanitation Program (LSP), jointly funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank, German Development Bank and the World Bank.

Read:Lusaka emerald auction generates US$18.6 million revenue

AfDB places Zambia’s economy growth (Real GDP) at an estimated at 4.0 per cent in 2018, compared to 4.1 per cent in 2017, whereas—the bank argues that, construction has also attributed to the growth, citing public infrastructure projects which increased at 10 per cent in 2018.

However, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) poor sanitation results in a 1.3 per cent loss to Zambia’s national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually, which also contributed to Zambia’s high rate of child stunting (40 per cent), hence—research argues that, addressing the latter downplays the risk of stunting.…

Zambia’s external debt stock had increased to $10.23 billion by end of June 2019.

With the International Monetary Fund warning that the country’s debt was becoming unsustainable, Zambia’s finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu said Zambia would postpone and cancel some planned loans, refinance existing ones and stop offering guarantees for quasi-public entities.

He added that the treasury would also be more cautious in contracting new debt as he read a surplus budget that will be partially financed by external partners.

“The government proposes to spend Kz106.0 billion ($8.03 billion) in 2020, representing 32.4 per cent of GDP of this amount Kz72.0 billion ($5.5 billion) will come from domestic revenues while the balance will be raised through domestic and external financing,” Dr Ng’andu told legislators.

The finance minister said the government will not replace its value-added tax (VAT) with a controversial non-refundable sales tax which met fierce opposition from businesses, opposition and …

African start-ups raised a record USD725.6 million across 458 deals, with the start-up funding in the region almost quadrupling previous numbers.

But for Africa’s tech scene to truly thrive in the 21st century, it needs to quickly develop local digital skills
and expertise.

The future looks bright for African tech but it rests in the hands of a young population that needs greater access to resources and training. This is according to Liquid Telecom’s ‘The African Digital Skills Report 2019’.

In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe has pockets of digital innovation with plans to close the skilling gap.

In the 16.5 million people nation, 42 per cent of its citizens is under the age of 15.

Despite facing some challenges in recent years, digital innovation and skills development is emerging in Zimbabwe. This is largely driven by private individuals and groups.

Zimbabwe revamping tertiary education curricula to align with future needs

The …

The Southern Africa economy is projected to grow slower than others in the continent—at 2.2 per cent in 2019 and 2.8 per cent in 2020.

At the heart of this slow growth are the major headwinds of high inflation, increasing government debt, and slow growth in South Africa, which contributes about two-thirds of the region’s GDP.

The second largest regional economy, Angola, is expected to grow by 1.2 per cent in 2019 and 3.2 per cent in 2020, while Mozambique will grow at 4.5 per cent in 2019 and 5.0 per cent in 2020.

In March, death and destruction were among the cost of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.

The general macroeconomic environments mixed but stable, with inflation expected to change only marginally from 2018 and remain in single digits except in Angola, where it is projected at 16.8 per cent in 2019 and 12.6 per cent in 2020.

Only …