NEWS: 9.23.2021

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September 23, 2021

Maize Imports Down 26 Percent on Restricted Shipments from Tanzania and Uganda

Maize imports to Kenya declined 26 percent in the first seven months of 2021, due in part to restrictions on produce coming in from Tanzania and Uganda. The Ministry of Agriculture says the volume declined to 2.24 million bags in the review period from 3.04 million bags in the first seven months of last year. Kenya had banned imports of maize in April from Uganda and Tanzania based on concerns of the high levels of aflatoxin, which the authorities said exceeded the required 10 parts per billion as required under the country’s jurisdiction.

AfDB Commits to Agribusiness

The first partnership meeting for the African Development Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) initiative was held this week. The participants of the meeting, which included financial institutions and developers of special economic zones, committed to collaborating in driving Africa’s economic transformation through the acceleration of the development of SAPZs in Africa. “The stakes are extremely high: during this week of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, we stakeholders in Africa’s growth and development need to form a common vision on a road map towards agro-industrialization on the continent,” stated Dr. Beth Dunford, AfDB vice president for agriculture, human and social development.

Court Strikes Out Kidero’s Sh58 Million Graft Charge

The anti-corruption court has struck out one of the graft charges facing former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero after finding there were insufficient details of the alleged crime. Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti said the charge, in which Dr Kidero and Nyakach MP Aduma Owour are accused of conspiring to defraud the Nairobi County Government of Sh58 million, lacks clarity in violation of the Constitution and criminal procedure code. Mr. Aduma was previously acting director of legal affairs at the defunct City Council. While upholding an objection raised by the duo, the magistrate stated that a charge must clearly bring out the wrongful deed that comprises the physical components of a crime.

MTN Group Makes New Appointments

The South African mobile telecoms company has welcomed two new senior leadership recruits. Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed MTN Group has hired Burak Akinci to be its new CEO of music service provider Simfy (ayoba), as well as appointing a new executive for tax, Troopti Desai. Akinci has relocated from Istanbul to Cape Town and will report to MTN’s chief digital and fintech officer Serigne Dioum in his new position. He will take responsibility for the instant messaging app ayoba, powered by MTN Group. In joining MTN Group, Akinci has ended a brief 11-month tenure at BiP, another instant messaging app which is powered by Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell.

AFC Addresses Climate Risk

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has established a new and independent asset management arm in order to address climate risk in Africa. The new asset management business, AFC Capital Partners, has made a debut offering: the Infrastructure Climate Resilient Fund (ICRF). Over the next year, AFC Capital Partners intends to raise USD 500 million, as part of USD 2 billion over the next three years. ICRF will be both a direct investor and co-investment fund in African ports, roads, bridges, rail, telecommunications, clean energy and logistics. Former head of the private sector business the Green Climate Fund and former employee of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, Ayaan Zeinab Adams has been appointed as the CEO of AFC Capital Partners.

What Shape will U.S.-Africa Trade Policy Take After AGOA Ends in 2025?

With the African Growth and Opportunity Act expiring in 2025, what are the prospects for a revised African trade initiative? According to long-time Congressional staffer Tom Sheehy, "the policy path is less clear than when AGOA became law, and the prospects for a substantial African trade initiative gaining political support are more challenging." "Competition with China could help drive an Africa trade agenda, but supporters must first figure out the policy," says Sheehy, who was a key participant in the African trade policy deliberations as staff director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for six years.

Ugandan Court Summons Prince Shah Karim Al-Husayni and Others

Prince Shah Karim Al-Husayn Sha, founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and owner of Diamond Trust Bank Group has been summoned by the Criminal Court in Uganda to answer to charges of theft, electronic fraud, making false entries in financial ledgers, computer misuse, using false documents and conspiracy to commit felonies alongside his staff, including Group C.E.O and M.D DTB Africa Nassim Mohamed Devji, C.E.O DTB Uganda Varghese Thambi, and Head of Credit DTB Uganda John Sitakange.