January 6, 2021
Africa's free trade area started a year ago amid much fanfare. But its impact has been low amid the coronavirus pandemic and an economic downturn on the continent, write Martina Schwikowski and Abu-Bakarr Jalloh for Deutsche Welle. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, 2022. With the exception of Eritrea, all African countries are signatories to the agreement. Over time, ratifying counties pledge to eliminate import tariffs on 97% of goods traded between African states.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies announced yesterday that they will return 400,000 barrels per day to the global oil market in the month of February. The alliance, therefore, decided to stick with its plan on gradual output increase first reached in April 2021. Oil futures rose yesterday, with global benchmark Brent crude topping $80 a barrel to trade at its highest price in over five weeks.
The High Court has declined to suspend the planned increase of premiums for motor vehicle insurance by up to 50 percent. Justice Anthony Mrima certified the case filed by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) as urgent and directed parties to appear for directions next week. KHRC argues that the planned increase of premiums is illegal because there was no public participation in the decision.
President Hage Geingob has said that the nation will secure U.S.$6.3 million in concession fees from HYPHEN, the preferred bidder to develop the country's first large-scale vertically integrated green hydrogen project in the Tsau//Khaeb national park. According to Dr. Emanuele Taibi, Head of Power Sector Transformation Strategies, green hydrogen is defined as hydrogen produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity.
The high-profile corruption trial of Mozambican politicians and officials - followed on live television throughout the country - is drawing to a close and many questions remain left unanswered. So far, it seems the top-level politicians won't be held accountable for their role in the massive debt scandal that has cost the people of Mozambique dearly, writes Borges Nhamirre for the Institute for Security Studies.
An independent American data center, Digital Realty, has made a deal to acquire a majority stake in Teraco, Africa’s leading provider of carrier-neutral colocation services, in a deal valued at $3.5 billion. The agreement will enhance Digital Realty’s presence in Africa amid increased pressure by competitors to tap into the growing potential of the continent’s digital services sector. Digital Realty explained that it will hold a 55 percent stake following the deal’s closure, after sealing an agreement with a consortium of investors that include Berkshire Partners and Permira, which will retain a minority stake in Teraco.