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The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Thursday, July 11, 2019

ANGOLA:
The World Bank is providing $100 million for SME development and commodity procurement:
The World Bank (WB) will provide $100 million to Angola to finance small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development and commodity procurement, Macauhub news agency reported this week. The new financing consists of two lines of credit granted by the WB through its subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to Banco Millennium Atlântico. The first $50 million loan will be used to increase lending to Angolan SMEs through financing offers up to a maximum of $5 million. This will help to accelerate the SME financial inclusion strategy put in place by President Joao Lourenço's government to diversify the economy...


NIGERIA:
Brown rot threatens the 2019/2020 cocoa season:
In Nigeria, brown rot could undermine cocoa production prospects for the 2019/2020 season, reports Bloomberg. According to Sayina Riman, president of the Nigerian Cocoa Association (CAN), the disease that is already affecting the country could reach a new level if rains continue until late this month. The fungal disease has already been reported in most of the plantations scattered in the cocoa belt in the south-eastern part of the country, which accounts for 30% of the national harvest. "The rains have been incessant and producers are helpless," says Sola Akingbade, a farmer in Ogun State, to Bloomberg...


KENYA:
The executive releases $15 million for the cotton sector in 2019/2020:
In Kenya, the government allocated 1.5 billion shillings ($15 million) to the cotton sector in 2019/2020. The announcement was made by Mwangi Kiunjuri, Secretary of State for Agriculture, speaking to Business Daily Africa, the manager said the goal is to produce 300,000 bales of cotton by 2021, compared to 20,000 bales today. The production equipment will receive 300 million shillings while 700 million shillings will be used to subsidise investments in the textile industry. The remainder of the budget will be devoted to improving extension services...

Del Monte will inject $5.65 million into a fruit juice plant:
In Kenya, fruit juice manufacturer Del Monte will open a new plant next month at a cost of 580 million shillings ($5.65 million). Based in the city of Thika, the plant will have a processing capacity of 60 tonnes of fresh fruit per year. It will depend on the local market for its supply of raw materials and will also use Kiambu and Murang'a counties. According to Stergios Gkaliamoutsas, Managing Director of Del Monte, the plant will initially focus on processing avocados, mangoes and passion fruit...


South Africa:
The carbon tax will cost Eskom $813 million annually, starting in 2023:
Another source of concern is looming on the horizon for Eskom, the South African electricity company. The latter, which is already heavily indebted and regularly relies on the government to meet its financial obligations, will have to pay its carbon tax by 2023. The ecological tax approved by the country came into effect on June 1, but the company benefits from an exemption that extends to the second phase of its implementation, which begins in 2023. This could result in an annual tax of 11.5 billion rand (about $813 million) to be paid by the power company, according to Gina Downes, its chief environmental economics advisor...


GHANA:
Confusion about the $700 million payment to PPIs could plunge the country into darkness:
In Ghana, Power Distribution Services (PDS) denies that it owes independent power producers (IPPs) $700 million for electricity supplied to the Electricity Company of Ghana since March 1, 2019. "PPIs are wrong. We do not have a contract with them and we do not owe them. As a result, we have no obligation to respond to their correspondence or make payments," said William Boateng, PDS' Director of Communications. This exit follows the threat of electricity producers and suppliers to stop the country's electricity supply if their debt is not paid after eight days...