The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Côte d’Ivoire:
Cashew nut production fell by more than 100,000 tons in 2019:
In Côte d'Ivoire, the year 2019 marked a clear slowdown in the progress of the cashew nut sector. Cashew nut production fell by 17% to 634,641 tons from 761,317 tons a year earlier, Reuters reports, citing an announcement by the Cotton and Cashew Council (CCA). For the CCA, this drop is to be put into perspective since nearly a quarter of the crop was smuggled to neighbouring countries. In fact, a volume of between 150,000 and 200,000 tons of the raw material, representing a tax loss of 17 billion CFA francs, was sold outside the country, most of which went to Ghana.

South Korea will support investment projects to the tune of $5 billion:
South Korea will provide more than $5 billion in funding to Angola, the Macauhub news agency reported this week quoting official sources. The funds will be disbursed through the Africa-Korea Economic Development Association (AKEDA). They should be used to finance several projects in the energy sector, crude oil refining, small and medium-sized enterprises, and agribusiness. For example, $2 billion is expected to be disbursed soon to finance the construction of a 750 MW thermal power plant in Benguela province, located in the south-eastern part of the country.

Taxes on electronic transactions to finance the development of the digital economy:
Cameroon has decided to tax electronic transactions to finance its strategic plan for the development of the digital economy. The decision was taken during the Cabinet meeting held on January 23. "With regard to the strategic plan for the development of the digital economy, the mechanism chosen aims at levying a percentage to be determined on all electronic transactions carried out by means of innovative technological platforms," the press release received by Investir au Cameroun states. But once the digital economy development plan is implemented, these levies will not stop. "Eventually, the levies made on innovative platforms will be used to feed the Digital Development Fund," says the unnoticed document.

AFSIA announces a "major boom" in the solar sector, with the arrival of new operators:
In Togo, rural electrification should soon get a boost, with the arrival of new operators, for the supply of domestic networks, in support of BBOXX and Soleva, already present (via the Cizo project). Indeed, in a recent publication, the CEO of AFSIA (Africa Solar industry association - a reference association of solar professionals in Africa, based in Kigali, Rwanda), John van Zuylen, looks back on Togo's progress in solar energy. He also announced that the three operators, Fenix International (acquired by the French company ENGIE in April 2018), Moon (supplier of innovative connected solar kits), and Solergie (Total-Togo's partner in the field) plan to set up operations in Togo.

A local oil company will drill three wells in the Kavango sedimentary basin:
Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), a Namibian oil company will start a three-well drilling campaign in June in the Kavango sedimentary basin in the Kalahari desert. This is the first time that the industry will carry out work of this scale in the region. The company expects potential reserves of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons. The company said that preliminary work has led it to understand that the oil systems in place are similar to those in the Karoo Basin in South Africa where over 390 Tcf of shale gas is potentially recoverable. The work will take place on Exploration License 73 which could host up to 119 Tcf of shale gas and 12 billion barrels of oil. In terms of potential, this is one of the largest exploration licenses in Africa.