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issue 373 | 11 Oct 2020

Africa Business in Brief

 


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A non-exhaustive list of recent measures aimed at curbing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Africa: Driven by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 global pandemic, growth in sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to fall to -3.3% in 2020, pushing the region into its first recession in 25 years, according to the latest regional economic analysis ‘Africa’s Pulse: Charting the Road to Recovery’. The decline in growth has been stronger among metals exporters where real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract by 6%, partly reflecting the large drop in output in South Africa. Among oil exporters, after expanding by 1.5% in 2019, real GDP is projected to fall by more than 4% in 2020, owing to contractions in Angola and Nigeria. In contrast, for non-resource-intensive countries, the decline in growth in 2020 is expected to be moderate, on average. In several non-resource-intensive countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Kenya, growth is expected to slow substantially, but remain positive, owing to their more diversified economies. Meanwhile, the tourism-dependent economies, especially those of Cabo Verde, Mauritius and the Seychelles, experienced a sharp contraction as exceptionally weak international tourism severely impacted the service sector. The substantial downturn in economic activity will cost the region at least USD115-million in output losses this year. Gross domestic product per capita growth is expected to contract by nearly 6%, in part caused by lower domestic consumption and investment brought on by containment measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Africa’s Pulse notes that the road to recovery will require massive investments across countries, as well as financial support from the international community, and recommends a bold reform agenda that includes policies that create fiscal space, along with policies to speed up job creation.

Source: World Bank

Kenya: Kenya Airways (KQ) will resume direct flights to New-York from Nairobi on 29 October 2020 with a slimmed down operation of two weekly flights after a six-month freeze due to COVID-19 restrictions. The carrier will initially operate flights on Wednesday and Sunday, down from a frequency of five before the global COVID-19 outbreak that forced it to ground flights. KQ said it will charge KES118,845 on a return air ticket from Nairobi to New York, a journey that takes about 15 hours. It will also charge about KES77,000 on a one-way air ticket between the two destinations, prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Business Daily

Tanzania: Tanzania's economy continued to perform satisfactorily despite spillover effects from the global economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank said on Tuesday, 6 October. The Bank of Tanzania said in a statement that the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee assessment of the performance and outlook of the economy showed that it will grow at the projected rate of 5.5% in 2020. "The macro-economic indicators have continued to remain stable and within agreed regional ranges," said the statement. The statement added that private sector credit growth is strong notwithstanding challenges on global supply chains attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Xinhua

Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed Uganda is now open to the world – urging tourists to visit the country following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The President said on social media that tourists are free to visit Uganda following the reopening of the country’s Entebbe International Airport and national borders after seven months of government closure in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Uganda is now open to the world, provided the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are strictly adhered to,” said President Museveni. He added: “Tourists / travellers should have tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda”. Uganda on 1 October 2020 resumed scheduled commercial passenger flights after the government suspended the operations when the pandemic broke out in the country in March.

Source: PML Daily

Uganda: TradeMark East Africa will, under the Safe Trade Programme, provide up to USD2-million (UGX7.4-billion) in health assistance as it seeks to safeguard one-stop border points as well as promote trade at a time when there have been slowed business activities. The money, which will mainly go towards the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), will seek to protect frontline workers deployed at different border points such as Mutukula one-stop border point. Speaking during the handover, Ms Damali Ssali, the TradeMark East Africa acting country director, said the UGX7.4-billion seeks to support an emergency response to ensure that regional and international trade continues to thrive amid COVID-19.

Source: Daily Monitor

Zimbabwe: Zimbabweans are allowed to travel abroad, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, provided they meet the requirements of receiving countries, Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said on Tuesday, 6 October. Although still under a COVID-19 lockdown imposed in March, Zimbabwe has opened most sectors of its economy, as the rate of new infections slows down. The country recently resumed international flights after a six-month suspension, with five airlines making their maiden flights into the country, including Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. "Regarding international travel, Cabinet explained that citizens of this country can travel outside the country as long as they meet the requirements of the receiving country," Mutsvangwa said at a post-cabinet media briefing. Zimbabwe is requiring passengers arriving into the country to produce a negative PCR [polymerase chain reaction] result conducted within 48 hours prior to travel. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested at the airport at a cost of USD60. Meanwhile, the country's land borders remain closed to members of the public except for commercial business, until further notice.

Source: Xinhua

Africa

AfDB urges Japanese investors to seek investment partners in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged Japanese investors to collaborate with local partners in Africa in order to stimulate growth on the continent. The invitation came on 29 September 2020 during a webinar to provide information to the Japanese private sector on doing business in Africa. About 250 participants, mainly from Japan, attended the webinar which was organised by the Bank’s Asia External Representation Office and its Co-Financing, Syndication and Client Solutions Department. “Africa’s challenge today is to attract more private investors who can join forces with local partners in order to create added value and thus initiate inclusive and sustainable growth. In this context, Africa needs much more investment from Japan. The African Development Bank is ready to support this,” said Samuel Higenyi Mugoya, the Bank’s director, Syndications, Co-financing and Client Solutions. “The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are committed to building a closer relationship with the Bank through co-financing operations. Large investment demand is expected for infrastructure, including the health sector, and Africa has high growth potential in the post-COVID-19 phase,” Atsushi Mimura, deputy director-general of the International Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Finance said.

Source: AfDB

Africa

New analysis shows onshore wind energy potential can power Africa

A new study for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, shows that continental Africa possesses a stunning onshore wind potential of almost 180,000 Terawatt hours (TWh) per annum, enough to meet the entire continent’s electricity demands 250 times over. The analysis, carried out by Everoze, finds that 27 countries in Africa have enough wind potential on their own to satisfy the entire continental electricity demand – estimated at 700 TWh annually. Algeria has the highest resource with a total potential of 7,700 Gigawatts (GW), equivalent to over 11 times current global installed wind capacity. Fifteen other countries have technical wind potentials over 1,000 GW including Mauritania, Mali, Egypt, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya. “This analysis has clearly shown that Africa has world-class wind potential and that wind can play an important role in bringing clean, affordable electricity to millions on the continent,” said Linda Munyengeterwa, IFC’s infrastructure director for the Middle East and Africa. “Going forward, IFC is committed to working with the public and private sector to help realise Africa’s remarkable, and largely untapped, wind potential.” IFC noted that wind is one of the fastest-growing, cheapest sources of new power generation around the world with over 650 GW of installed capacity. However, installed wind capacity in Africa represents less than 1% of this capacity. The analysis reveals a total wind energy potential on the African continent of over 59,000 GW – equivalent to 90 times the current global installed wind capacity.

Source: ESI Africa

Africa

Sub-Saharan market size for electricity mini-grids worth USD3.6-billion – AfDB

The market size for electricity mini-grids in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be worth about USD3.6-billion driven by improved policy and regulatory frameworks and technological innovations, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Wednesday, 7 October. Wale Shonibare, director, Energy Finance Solutions, Policy and Regulation, AfDB told a virtual meeting that the least-cost way for the continent to reach full electricity access by 2030 and to meet demand from newly connected households is to accelerate the deployment of mini-grids and standalone systems. "So far 1890 mini-grids have been installed in the region with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Nigeria having the largest mini-grid market potential," Shonibare said during the energy insights webinar on financing and regulatory trends in the African power sector. Shonibare said that the pan-African bank is currently implementing a number of different initiatives such as market scoping and financing solutions to support the creation of a sustainable mini-grid market in Africa.

Source: Xinhua

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea and Russia officially break ground on their geological mapping project in Río Muni

The first team of Russia’s state-owned joint stock company, Rosgeo, arrived in Equatorial Guinea to kick off a historic geological mapping project. The initiative has been in the making for some time, and follows the signing of Memorandum of Understanding during the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in 2019 between Rosgeo and the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH). It was followed by the signing of two firm services contracts in May 2020 with JSC Zarubezhgeologia and JSC Yuzhmorgeologia, internationally operating subsidiaries of Rosgeo, for the initial phase of seismic acquisition in transit zone and state geological mapping in the Río Muni area in mainland Equatorial Guinea. As a result, JSC Zarubezhgeologia will be performing scouting works for state geological mapping, and JSC Yuzhmorgeologia will be performing scouting works for complex seismic acquisition in the transit zone of Rio Muni. The activities are notably aimed at analysing landscape conditions for geological surveying and prospecting; determining the scope of mapping drilling; researching the possibility of mineralogical sampling of channel deposits; analysing technical conditions for the arrangement of geological camp in Rio Muni; and other scouting necessary to prepare for the next phases of exploration works. The Rio Muni area is believed to be one of the most promising exploration frontiers in Equatorial Guinea, which could turn the country once again into a hotspot for natural resources exploration.

Source: African Energy Chamber

Ethiopia

Ethiopia bans flights over Nile mega dam for 'security reasons'

Authorities in Addis Ababa have banned flights in Benishangul-Gumuz region, where the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is being built. Officials cited security reasons behind the closure of that region's airspace amid unresolved agreement between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on the use of the waters of the Nile and the dam itself. "The ban was imposed after consultation with the Air Force and other relevant government and security bodies," Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw, the director-general of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority told the media. As a result, he said, commercial or passenger flights or any other types of flights will not be allowed to fly through the area near the vicinity of the dam. "Such restrictions are common in the international arena to ensure a country's security," Mr Wosenyeleh said. "Ethiopia has also imposed such restrictions to ensure the safety of the dam," he added. However, he said that only those with a special permit may be allowed to fly in the restricted airspace. The latest development comes two months after Ethiopia began filling the reservoir while dispute with Sudan and Egypt over its filling and operation remains unresolved. The three parties are yet to negotiate on the most outstanding issues - rules for filling, particularly during drought season and on the annual operation of the GERD.

Source: The EastAfrican

Ghana

Banking clean-up: all depositors will be paid – SEC Boss

The director-general of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reverend Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh has assured that government will settle the claims of all affected depositors in the recent clean-up exercise of the financial investment sector. “As at the end of July when the legal vacation kicked in, the court had granted the official liquidator 22 liquidation orders and we also had full access to the records of 40 out of 47 of the firms because three did not have any claims filed and we did say that there is a government bailout and it will be rolled out in phases. So the phase one will be the firms that the court had granted the liquidation order. Government bailout is for all affected investors and not for only those that liquidation orders have been granted at the time,” he said. In November last year, the SEC revoked the licenses of 53 fund managers for failing to settle investors claims due to liquidity challenges while some were indicted for not operating in conformity with the industry’s best practices. This followed discussions with government and subsequently the appointment of the Registrar General as official liquidator to see to it that depositors whose funds were locked up in the clean-up exercise were duly paid the money they invested.

Source: GhanaWeb

Ghana

Government and Cenpower agreement to save up to USD3-billion

Cenpower Generation Company Limited (Cenpower) has committed to switching its primary fuel from light crude oil (LCO) to natural gas and signed a gas supply agreement (GSA) with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance said the government welcomed the significant milestone and commitment from Cenpower. The GSA is a key part of the proposal put forward by government during negotiations with Cenpower and will deliver substantial cost savings, estimated at USD3-billion over the remaining term of the Cenpower power purchase agreement. Furthermore, conversion to natural gas will have important environmental benefits, as emissions will be lowered and Ghana’s abundant natural gas resources effectively utilised for the benefit of the Ghanaians and the business community. Additionally, the move to natural gas will alleviate the considerable pressure on government from its take-or-pay commitments with fuel suppliers and allow for the substitution of imported fuels with locally available natural gas, thus positively impacting the capital account, the statement said. The statement said the Government negotiating team, established under the Energy Sector Recovery Task Force (ESRTF), which is helmed by the Senior Minister, is working bilaterally with independent power producers (IPPs) and gas suppliers (GSs) under the ESRP Consultation Process, to secure more favourable agreements for both parties and achieve a balanced energy sector capable of delivering fair, long term energy partnerships and solutions.

Source: GhanaWeb

Kenya

Airtel selects Ericsson to modernise its 4G network in Kenya

Airtel Africa has expanded its strategic partnership with Ericsson to enable 4G coverage in Kenya. With Ericsson’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and packet core products for 4G, Airtel subscribers will experience enhanced quality of voice and data. The network modernisation deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the 'Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030' which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms. The modernisation deal will simplify and upgrade the existing network while future-proofing it for the anticipated and rapid expansion of mobile connectivity in the country. With Ericsson Radio System and Packet Core solutions, Airtel Kenya’s network will have 4G coverage, while driving enhanced use cases in both the consumer and the enterprise segments. Ericsson technology will also get the network in Kenya ready for 5G deployment.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Kenya

Kenyans pay KES35-billion for non-existent insurance

Businesses and individuals have spent KES35.73-billion on non-existent insurance covers after brokers failed to remit premiums, exposing the customers to heavy losses when they make compensation claims. The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has disclosed in its latest annual report that its threats to deny the offending agents operating permits had contributed little to lowering the unremitted premiums. This means that the risks worth hundreds of billions of shillings are not recognised under the “cash and carry” principle, which stipulates that if an insured party suffers loss before the premium is remitted to the insurer, the insured cannot be compensated. “The amount of outstanding premiums in the industry declined by 14.5% from KES41.77-billion in 2018 to KES35.73-billion in 2019,” IRA chief executive Godfrey Kiptum said. “Out of all the outstanding premiums in 2019, general insurance business accounted for 83.7% while long term insurers’ proportion was 16.3%.” The KES35.73-billion is equivalent to 15.6% of the KES227.9-billion gross premiums that Kenya’s 56 insurance firms underwrote last year. Unremitted premiums have piled up over the years from KES26-billion.

Source: Business Daily

Mali

ECOWAS lifts sanctions after appointment of new government

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it would lift sanctions initially imposed on Mali, the day after the appointment of a transitional government. The government is made up of the military, who hold several key posts, members of armed groups, technocrats and known names from the M5 movement. Citing “significant progress towards constitutional normalisation and to support this process”, the heads of state and government of ECOWAS decided to lift the remaining sanctions against Mali. Announced in a declaration dated 5 October 2020, signed by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Ado and the current chairman of ECOWAS, this decision was made public on Tuesday, 6 October just hours after the announcement of the appointment of a transitional government, which was one of the conditions required by ECOWAS to the lifting of sanctions.

Source: The Africa Report

Mozambique

German investors announce Mozambique investment mission targeting LNG, gas projects and services during Mozambique Gas & Power

Germany’s economic commitment to Mozambique will further be strengthened as the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) embarks on a three-day trade mission to encourage, promote, and facilitate trade and investment between German businesses and a growing Mozambican economy. German investors will visit Mozambique during the Mozambique Gas & Power (MGP) 2021 Conference & Exhibition taking place from 8-9 March 2021, organised by Africa Oil & Power in partnership with Mozambique’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME) and the government of Mozambique. The investor mission provides German investors an opportunity to engage with key Mozambican businesses and political stakeholders. The goal of the investment roadshow is to deepen German-Mozambican relationships in light of Mozambique’s recent discovery of substantial natural gas fields, largely considered a game-changer for the country and its people.

Source: Africa Oil & Power

Mozambique

Mozambique is to build three new 120 MWp solar power plants

Three new solar power plants will be built in Mozambique. This is according to a tender notice issued by the Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME). According to this source, the development of these new projects aims to diversify the electricity mix and accelerate the country’s electrification process by adding 120 MWp to Mozambique’s national electricity grid. This capacity will be obtained from three new photovoltaic solar power plants to be built by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Each with a capacity of 40 MWp, the plants will be built in Dondo, Lichinga and Manje, in the provinces of Sofala, Niassa and Tete, respectively. The development of the new production capacity is part of the Renewable Energy Auction Promotion Programme (PROLER), implemented by the public company Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU). “The structuring of renewable energy auctions, with a financial contribution of EUR37-million from the EU in partnership with AFD, aims to diversify quality and low-cost energy sources, ensuring a greater contribution of renewable energies in the country’s energy transition and electrification. A financing agreement in the framework of PROLER will be signed between the government and development partners”, indicates MIREME.

Source: AFRIK 21

Nigeria

NCC lifts suspension on Spectrum Trading Guidelines

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has considered lifting the suspended Spectrum Trading Guidelines (STG), 2018, pending the conclusion of the ongoing review of the Guidelines. The lifting of the suspension followed deliberations on the subject by the Board of the NCC at its Special Board Meeting, which was held on 16 September 2020. The Meeting was preceded by the suspension of the STG by the Board at its 96th Board Meeting held on 18 May 2020. “The Board was satisfied that, given the state of the consultation, it was possible to lift the suspension of the STG pending the conclusion of the review,” NCC said in a public notice signed by its director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde. “Accordingly, the Board resolved that the suspension of the STG be lifted and that relevant stakeholders continue to operate the STG while a new / revised STG is finalised in consultation with the industry,” the public notice added. The Commission had, in a statement issued on 27 May 2020, announced the suspension of the STG, 2018 for the Nigerian telecommunications industry and informed all licensed telecommunications operators, prospective investors, industry stakeholders and the general public of the regulatory decision.

Source: NCC

Nigeria

Nigeria announces plans for new economic zones to boost solid minerals

The Nigerian government is working toward establishing special economic zones for solid minerals and creating a large number of employment opportunities, a top official with the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) said. The initiative is part of the government's promise to revamp the mining sector to enable it to contribute more to national income, said Adesoji Adesugba, managing director of NEPZA in a statement reaching Xinhua on Thursday, 8 October. Plans were underway for the establishment of four special economic zones in Lagos, Gombe, Kwara and Kastina with special consideration for solid minerals, he said. "We must emulate countries like South Africa, Ghana and Kenya that have taken their mining sector to an enviable height with a substantial (amount) of their revenues coming from the sector," he said. According to him, Nigeria can catch up with these countries faster if the special economic zone concept was activated for the sector. Adesugba said like the free trade zone scheme, the solid mineral zones had the capacity to provide the country with a long-term economic safety net.

Source: Xinhua

South Sudan

South Sudan plans to add 14 new oil blocks as output drops

South Sudan, on Tuesday, 6 October, said it plans to offer 14 new oil blocks for exploration during the upcoming licensing round to shore up oil production after recent decline from 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) to now 165,000 bpd. Awow Daniel Chuang, minister of petroleum, said oil production had dropped from 130,000 bpd to the current 115,000 bpd in Dar block operated by Dar Petroleum Operating Company, a consortium of several firms. "The challenge that we are facing in oil production is actually related to geological challenges because of the oil fields. We are producing more water than oil. We want to go the technical way to get the right technologies that we can deploy for us to track more oil," Chuang said. He disclosed that recent flooding in the oil-producing Upper Nile region has affected production in the oil fields. The minister also disclosed that improved relations with its neighbor Sudan have helped improve transportation of crude through Port Sudan.

Source: Xinhua

South Sudan

South Sudanese government looking to build four oil refineries

James Yugusuk, general manager of Downstream at the South Sudanese state-owned petroleum company (Nilepet), announced that the government intends to build four oil refineries. While no information was given regarding the date of construction of the units, the towns of Bentiu, Paloch, Thiangrial and Pagak were chosen to house the facilities. In addition, the authorities plan to provide the country with strategic fuel reserves. Thus, depots will be built in the main cities. The announcement comes a few weeks after the government’s decision to make Nilepet the operator of several key production areas, from 2027. A training program for local engineers will soon be launched and will allow the execution of these projects by mainly local labour. “We want to expand our points of sale to all major cities in the country. We want to have a very strong and very effective joint venture with the companies and the people who are willing to do it. We also want to have a strong presence in petroleum research and development programs,” added Yugusuk.

Source: Energy Mix Report

South Sudan / Kenya

South Sudan oil firm bids to set up a USD500-million regional refinery

South Sudanese oil marketing giant Trinity Energy Ltd is set to inject USD10-million worth of new investments in its Kenyan operations and also plans to build a USD500-million crude oil refinery in South Sudan to serve the region with refined petroleum products. The firm, which controls close to 40% of the South Sudanese oil market, is planning a 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) modular refinery at Paloch in the oil-rich Upper Nile State, with the potential of expanding capacity to 200,000 bpd, as well as petroleum storage facilities at Nesitu, in the south of the country. The refinery, to be built by American firm Chemex, is expected to be operational in two to three years, with plans to start distribution of refined petroleum products to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo by road, owing to the absence of railway and pipeline connectivity between these countries. The EastAfrican has learnt that the feasibility study and the designs for the proposed refinery have already been concluded with Afreximbank together with big regional banks operating in Juba expected to provide financing.

Source: The EastAfrican

Tanzania

Vodacom targets 5G technology, as it marks 20 years in Tanzania

Vodacom Tanzania is in initial discussions with the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) on the possibility of investing in 5G technology. This comes as the telecommunications firm was soldiering on with its TZS75-billion investment this year alone in broadband expansion for 3G and 4G technologies across the country. Managing director Hisham Hendi told The Citizen that the company was only awaiting regulatory approvals before it can start investing in 5G. Speaking on the sideline of celebrations to mark two decades of Vodacom's presence in Tanzania, Hendi said as soon as the regulator gets 5G spectrum, the firm will not hesitate to start investing in the system. Vodacom's Corporate Affairs director Rosalynn Mworia said the company was making huge investments in 2G, 3G and 4G coverage, with a specific view on ensuring that such services are accessed by 90% of the population come 2025.

Source: The Citizen

Uganda

Cotton export revenue set to increase

Uganda's export revenue from cotton is set to increase following the launch of the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO) module under the Uganda Electronic Single Window (UESW) system. This will see stakeholders enjoy reduced paper-based procedures and delays in getting the required regulatory documents for export, such as the ginnery certificate, lint export certificate and lint quality certificate. This, according to the TradeMark East Africa acting country director for Uganda, Damali Ssali, will enable the country to export more cotton and increase export revenue from the cash crop. The UESW is a system that leverages technology, to allow traders to submit all the required regulatory documents, such as permits and customs declarations, to approving agencies electronically, using a single access point.

Source: New Vision

Uganda

Government establishes first free zone at Entebbe airport

Arrangements have been finalised for government to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport to boost export-oriented investment in the country. The development of the public free zone is expected to cost UGX48-billion. It will house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to facilitate the smooth flow of business. Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport. Mr Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority’s executive director, said the project is testimony of government’s commitment towards the creation of an economic environment, which is conducive to private sector investment and growth.

Source: Daily Monitor

Uganda

Private sector asks government to extend tax payment holiday

The private sector has asked government to conduct a survey before it can ask businesses to resume paying taxes. Government had in April offered tax deferral in which businesses had been provided a window to carry forward tax payment for at least three months. However, the window expired last month and businesses are expected to start filing returns on or before 15 October 2020. Speaking in an interview, Mr Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director told Daily Monitor that government must ascertain the performance of the private sector since June before assuming that the private sector was now ready to resume tax payment. Government had in the 2020/21 Budget Speech indicated that in order to address short term emergency liquidity requirements, it had been forced to put in place tax relief measures, which included deferment of payment of corporate income tax or presumptive tax until September 2020.

Source: Daily Monitor