The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Monday, October 26, 2020

Côte d’Ivoire:
GEPEX suspends its purchases of cocoa contracts against the backdrop of disagreements with the authorities:
In Côte d'Ivoire, the Professional Association of Coffee and Cocoa Exporters (GEPEX) has suspended its purchases of cocoa contracts for one month due to disagreements with the authorities. This is what two sources close to the case told Reuters, having requested anonymity. According to the information, GEPEX would like to pay a quality premium of between 20 and 50 pounds per ton of cocoa due to the slowdown in demand related to the coronavirus, against a tariff currently between 70 and 100 pounds.

The AU calls for an "immediate and unconditional lifting of the sanctions imposed" on Zimbabwe:
This weekend, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, reaffirmed his position on Zimbabwe. In a statement issued on Sunday, October 25, the official called for a lifting of the sanctions that have been in place for several years against the southern African country. "The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, reaffirmed that the African Union continues to demand the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions imposed against the Republic of Zimbabwe, and supports the decision of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to commemorate October 25, 2020 as SADC Anti-Sanctions Day," the statement read on the AU website.

South Africa:
Merafe recorded a 37% decline in chromium production for the first nine months of the year:
As part of its joint venture with Swiss giant Glencore, Merafe Resources recorded production of 48,000 tons of ferrochromium in Q3 2020. This brings production for the first nine months of the year to 168,000 tonnes, down 37% from the 266,000 tonnes produced at the same time in 2019. This drastic drop is due, we learn, to an unfavorable combination of circumstances. Indeed, apart from the suspension of activities, linked to the containment imposed in April in the Rainbow Nation against the Covid-19 pandemic, market conditions forced the company to reduce its production. Three smelters (Boshoek, Wonderkop and Rustenburg) resumed service only last month, while the Lydenburg smelter is still under maintenance.

Parliament is considering bills on fake news:
In Djibouti, Radwan Abdillahi Bahdon, the Minister of Communication, announced that he has transmitted to the Assembly two bills concerning "defamation and false information". "Press publishers will now be required to publish information not manipulated, truthful and not in any way promoting violence, hatred or delinquency," said the minister.

Burkina Faso:
Golden Rim announces a 43% increase in gold resources at the Kouri project:
In Burkina Faso, mineral resources at the Kouri gold project reach 50 million tonnes grading 1.3 g/t gold. It is the announcement made on October 26 by Golden Rim Resources junior mining company that the gold volume is now estimated at 2 million ounces, compared to 1.4 million ounces in the December 2018 estimate, an increase of 43%.