Monthly Archives: January 2020

Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism: Implications for Africa tech policy

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

“The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power” by Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School, was an exhausting read. Hitherto, I had not read any book by the author. And even as I appreciate, with the benefit of hindsight of course, how well grounded the book and the author are, I got exasperated at some point to be honest. I wondered about the myriad abstractions and theorizing by the author. But it was worth it in the end.

This is not an attempt to preach patience as virtue. Zuboff could not have been extremely convincing as she was without the firm foundation she laid for making her point. And in the end, you are left with no doubt, you are compelled in fact, to accept all she wrote as truth. And quite frankly, I am yet to find a convincing rebuttal to her assertions.

Zuboff’s principal argument is that big tech wants you. All of you. Everything. You, the individual, are neither the product nor the customer. You are raw material. Yes, you. According to Zuboff, surveillance capitalism is “a new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales.” She provides eight definitions and is most damning in the eighth: surveillance capitalism is “an expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.”

By her own admission, Zuboff’s life work has become about finding the answer to the question “Can the digital future be our home?” She contrasts the hitherto industrial future of yore that left many victims in its wake from pollution, climate change, and so on, because voices were not raised on time or high enough. Her main argument is that unlike the carte blanche that industrial capitalists literally had, surveillance capitalists must not be similarly watched in silence.

Zuboff’s conclusion is instructive: “The Berlin Wall fell for many reasons, but above all it was because the people of East Berlin said, ‘No more!’. We too can be the authors of many ‘great and beautiful’ new facts that reclaim the digital future as humanity’s home. No more! Let this be our declaration.” In other words, the digital future will not be our home without a fight. But is this a fight Africa should join?

Knowing you pays
To properly put Zuboff’s views in proper perspective would require defining a lot of terms. Not that she didn’t throw in simplifications here and there. But quite frankly, her tome was not an easy read. To simplify, I present her logic as she did and then simplify it based on my own understanding: “Google [and other surveillance platforms like Facebook and Microsoft]…discovered a way to translate its nonmarket interactions with users into surplus raw material for the fabrication of products aimed at genuine market transactions with its real customers: advertisers.”

Put simply, big tech or surveillance capitalists profit from the human experience. To this end, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other surveillance platforms seek and store behavioural data in excess of that ordinarily required for the products and services they purport to provide. The suggestion is not that Google does not provide a search service or Facebook a social media platform. Of course, they do. What Zuboff asserts it that these are not the real ends of surveillance platforms. Instead, they are means to the end of what she termed “behavioural surplus;” that is behavioural data beyond what is ordinarily required in the normal course of their businesses as we know it.

In other words, surveillance platforms are simply that: surveillance platforms. They gather data on everything about you. And because of their scale, they are thus able to gather data on virtually everyone. Consequently, over time they know you well enough to predict your future decisions and actions with almost perfect accuracy. As firms would be willing to pay for such knowledge to better sell their products, surveillance platforms are thus able to earn “surveillance revenues” that translates to “surveillance capital,” the logic of which is “surveillance capitalism,” which thus underpins the “surveillance economy.” (Now I am not so sure this is even a simple enough explanation.) Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others make money from knowing you. That is simple enough, I think.

Free rein
With advocacy and activism by probably Zuboff and others, and certainly in light of recent privacy scandals and increased realisation of the huge power big tech increasingly wields, however, it would not be farfetched to reckon surveillance platforms are already planning ahead to ensure they would continue to have free rein. That is, even as America and the West in general, though increasingly tightening the noose around the activities of big tech, still remain largely accommodative.

Still, it does not require a stroke of genius to know that there would likely be increasingly less room for surveillance capitalism to continue in its current form in the West, as awareness about their privacy breaches and likely even more egregious violations become writ large. So if you are an African, and armed with Zuboff’s robust exposition on the unarguably unscrupulous practices of surveillance platforms, you would be excused if you wondered that the increasing interest in Africa by big tech chief executives might not be unconnected to a search by them for virgin or more relaxed regulatory jurisdictions. If that is indeed the case, what should African governments do?

I think a balance would need to be struck. Because judging from Zuboff’s assertions alone, it would probably take a great deal of effort, even by the most advanced regulatory jurisdictions, to rein in the surveillance practices of big tech. But are the potential gains in jobs, technology transfer and so on, significant enough for Africans to make the trade-off? It is probably too late for that kind of sanctimony. Many Africans and almost all others have already signed out their privacy rights for the social benefits – if you choose to see it as such – of social media and the broader internet.

If Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others offer us Africans free internet, should we then reason that because we worry about our privacy, we should decline the offer? Surely not. But an awareness or knowledge of the trade-off would certainly put African governments in a better position to leverage surveillance platforms for better deals for sure. How so? Knowing that Google, Facebook and other surveillance platforms are not offering free internet to all Africans via satellite and other means out of the goodness of their hearts, African governments could with greater confidence make more robust demands, like greater investments, insistence on technology transfer, etc., that would make the trade-off not entirely seem like a rip-off.

Pay us for our data
Zuboff scoffs at the commoditisation refrain of how the “users [of surveillance platforms] receive no fee for the raw materials they provide.” Her thesis is that what the platforms take away from individuals is far more valuable and priceless to be reduced to a fee. But is this something we should care about as Africans? We lost out on industrial capitalism; not that we really had much of a choice in the matter back then. Now, in the current internet age, however, we do have relatively more say.

So, should we allow sanctimony about privacy and human rights by Zuboff and others stop us from extracting as much gains as possible from information capitalism? The question has a striking resemblance to how Africa is now expected to be conscious of climate change, the negative aftermath of industrial capitalism, the gains of which Africa largely missed out on.

To be clear, Zuboff’s arguments resonate with me a great deal as much as that about climate change. But for us Africans, the choice is not so simple. Because unlike westerners, who are in relative comfort and are probably motivated by a desire to maintain the ease they currently enjoy for much longer, we Africans are still struggling to come out of the doldrums.

In any case, since there is probably not much African governments can do to make surveillance platforms change their ways, we could as well ask that they pay us for the raw material – our data in this case – we provide. And considering the ever increasing noise on the merits and demerits of a universal basic income, isn’t there a chance to do so for the poorest of the world from the humongous revenues of surveillance capitalists? I think there is an opportunity here for Africa’s poor. African governments should seize it.

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 31 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asia shares fight for footing after turbulent week
  • Nikkei bounces 1.3%, still down for week
  • China Jan PMI at 50 as expected, services stronger
  • WHO confident China steps will contain virus
  • Amazon surges 11% as sales beat expectations

Oil Markets

  • Oil jumps as WHO declares emergency but recommends no travel, trade restrictions
  • Brent up 90 cents at $59.19 a barrel (0243GMT)
  • WTI up $1.03 at $53.17

Precious metals

  • Spot gold only a shade firmer for the week at $1,572.11/oz.
  • Failed to get much of a safe-haven bid [on China virus fears]
  • Spot gold up 0.5% at $1,583.93/oz. (1902GMT; 30 Jan)
  • US gold futures settles 0.8% higher at $1,583.50/oz. (30 Jan)

Grains

  • Soybeans rise for first time in 9 sessions, set to close week 2% lower
  • Soybeans remain under pressure as coronavirus fears mount
  • Corn firms, set to finish week down more than 1.5%
  • Wheat heads for first weekly decline in a month
  • Soybean futures up 0.6% at $8.81-1/2 a bushel (0322GMT)
  • Wheat futures little changed at $5.60-1/4 a bushel
  • Corn futures up 0.3% at $3.80-3/4 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]

  • Bank of Ghana MPC decision & press briefing [fcst. 15.0%, prev. 16.0%]
  • US review of preferential trade agreement with South Africa et al.
  • Swearing-in of new Kenya’s Kiambu county governor Nyoro
  • Kenya inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 6.1% yy, prev. 5.8%]
  • Uganda inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 3.8% yy, prev. 3.6%]
  • Nigeria FX reserves Jan-20 [prev. $38.68B]
  • Nigeria manufacturing PMI Jan-20 [prev. 60.8]
  • South Africa trade balance Dec-19 [prev. ZAR6.1B]
  • Brexit day; crucial Trump impeachment trial vote also

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Taiwan’s CPC buys African, US crude for April – sources
  • Joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corp and Italy’s Eni losing 155,000 bpd of oil due to blockade – NOC
  • Trump’s Mideast plan is ‘injustice of the century’, US-allied Tunisian president says
  • Morocco’s RAM airline suspends flights to China amid coronavirus – state news agency
  • US will not completely withdraw forces from Africa – Pentagon chief
  • Malawi central bank keeps benchmark rate flat, raises GDP forecast
  • Cheap as bread, girls sell sex to survive crisis in Africa
  • Ethiopia passes new investment law in bid to reform economy
  • Senegal turns to eco-farming to protect food supply as climate change
  • Liberia running low on gasoline after reserves go missing
  • Ethiopian airlines denies suspending flights to China amid coronavirus
  • EU wheat off 3-week low as sale to Egypt lends some support
  • Africa Oil – Middle distillate margins weigh amid coronavirus jitters
  • UN shuts refugee centre in Libya’s capital as truce crumbles
  • Burundi court jails four journalists for harming state security
  • Tanzania says may switch off 15 mln SIM cards in biometric registration
  • South Africa’s rand falls, stocks lifted by Massmart bounce
  • African economic growth to accelerate to around 4% over next 2 years – AfDB
  • IMF says South Africa’s economic growth weakened by bailouts
  • Egypt’s M2 money supply up 13.28% y/y in December – c.bank
  • Egyptair to suspend mainland China flights over coronavirus
  • Algeria captures man planning suicide attack – defence ministry
  • Egypt preparing special flight to evacuate citizens from China’s Wuhan
  • Algerian protests blunted without a shot fired in anger
  • Nigeria court issues warrant for former oil minister in OPL 245 case
  • South Africa’s resumes power blackouts as emergency capacity dwindles
  • MTN South Africa bets on mobile money relaunch to reach millions without bank accounts
  • South Africa’s Wescoal to break ground at new coal mine in February – CEO
  • Gulf bourses mixed; Telecom Egypt continues rally
  • South Africa’s struggling carrier SAA to cut flights to ease cash flow
  • College burnt in militant attack in northern Mozambique
  • Telecoms firm MTN to invest $1.6 bln in Nigeria – statement
  • Nigeria tells travellers to avoid China because of virus
  • MTN Uganda says forcing foreign telcos to list locally may not boost Ugandan ownership
  • Vodafone stake sale needs Egyptian regulatory approval
  • Tech heaven: Drone academy students help map out Africa’s future
  • Kenyan logistics platform Sendy raises $20 mln for expansion
  • Telecom Egypt’s shares open up 10% following Saudi Telecom bid for Vodafone Egypt
  • Kenya shilling strengthens against the dollar
  • South Africa’s Massmart forecasts annual loss, to reorganise business
  • South Africa’s rand weakens as China virus knocks risk appetite
  • South Africa’s credit growth in Dec slows to 6.14% y/y

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 30 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Virus fears push Asian stocks to 7-wk low, boost safe-haven assets
  • Virus death toll rises, WHO to reconsider declaring emergency
  • Stocks extend falls, safe-haven assets sought
  • Fed inflation comments send US bond yields to 3-mth low

Oil Markets

  • Oil falls as virus death toll climbs, US stocks grow
  • Brent down 0.6% at $59.46 a barrel (0225GMT)
  • WTI down 0.6% at $53.03

Precious metals

  • Gold edges up as Fed flags coronavirus concerns
  • Spot gold up 0.1% at $1,578.05/oz. (0058GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.5% at $1,577.70/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans extend losses into eighth session on China demand worries
  • Soybean futures down 0.1% at $8.92-1/4 a bushel (0115GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.1% at $3.84-3/4 a bushel
  • Wheat futures down 0.1% at $5.61-1/2 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]

  • WHO emergency meeting on increasingly global coronavirus
  • US starts review of preferential trade agreement with South Africa et al.
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa cabinet retreat (‘lekgotla’); 29-30 Jan
  • South Africa producer inflation Dec-19 [fcst. 3.4% yy, prev. 2.3%]
  • South Africa M3 Dec-19 [fcst. 7.5% yy, prev. 7.4%]
  • South Africa PSCE Dec-19 [fcst. 6.7% yy, prev. 6.6%]
  • Zambia inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 12.0% yy, prev. 11.7%]
  • Kenya inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 6.1% yy, prev. 5.8%]
  • Uganda inflation Jan-20 [fcst. 3.8% yy, prev. 3.6%]
  • Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Chamisa in South Africa
  • Bank of Ghana MPC meeting; 27-31 Jan

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Mali plans to increase the size of its army to rein in [militants]
  • ‘Karoo firewalkers’: Dinosaurs braved South Africa’s land of lava
  • Suspected […] militants kill at least 30 in Congo – local officials
  • Moroccan banks respond to king’s call for cheaper SME loans
  • Morocco ‘appreciates’ Mideast peace plan, says needs acceptance by parties
  • Algerian energy minister: Very possible OPEC+ meeting may be advanced to February
  • Witness backtracks on key statement in Nigeria oil graft case
  • Africa Oil – Nigerian offer levels underpinned by Libya outage
  • Climate change linked to African locust invasion
  • France’s Macron accuses Turkey’s Erdogan of breaking Libya promises
  • South Africa’s volatile rand weakens as investors weigh China virus damage
  • Vodafone to sell stake in Egyptian unit to Saudi Telecom for $2.4 bln
  • As threats rise, African scientists delve into climate change health impacts
  • Air Tanzania postpones maiden flights to China over coronavirus
  • Consortium of 3 companies to build Egypt’s first dry port – minister
  • CI Capital hopes to bring 4 companies to Egypt stock exchange in 2020
  • Storm-hit Zimbabweans endure another rainy season in risky homes
  • Sudan suspects two infections with the new coronavirus – minister
  • Elderly black women in South Africa win property rights in landmark ruling
  • Zimbabwe public workers accept 140% pay hike, seek more
  • Tunisia asks supplier to avoid French wheat due to port strikes
  • South Africa’s Tongaat expects smaller interim loss
  • South African auctioneer arrested for selling animals from area hit by foot and mouth
  • Uganda shilling weakens a touch on uptick in importer demand
  • Africa-focused Tullow largest investor builds stake
  • Hunger, fear and death: an Ethiopian migrant family’s story
  • Kenya shilling firm against end month dollar demand
  • South Africa’s Tiger Brands CEO to retire, CFO to take helm
  • Vodafone expects deal to sell its Egypt unit to Saudi firm by end of June
  • South Africa’s rand steady as investors assess virus fallouts
  • Saudi Telecom signs non-binding deal to buy Vodafone stake in Egypt unit for $2.4 bln

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 29 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Asian shares turn red as Hong Kong tumbles on China virus
  • Pessimism about China virus recedes
  • Treasury yield rise shows risk appetite has improved
  • Oil market eyes OPEC output cuts

Oil Markets

  • Oil rises as investors take stock of economic hit from virus
  • Brent up 0.6% at $59.84 a barrel (0103GMT)
  • WTI up 0.6% at $53.79

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as markets gauge virus impact, await Fed decision
  • Spot gold steady at $1,565.69/oz. (0134GMT)
  • US gold futures down 0.3% at $1,565.10/oz.

Grains

  • Soybeans tick up, gains capped by concerns over Chinese demand
  • Soybean futures up 0.8% at $9.01-3/4 a bushel (0129GMT)
  • Corn futures up 0.4% at $3.88 a bushel
  • Wheat futures up 0.1% at $5.70-1/2 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]

  • Kenya senate special sitting for Kiambu governor Waititu impeachment hearing continues
  • Egypt, Sudan & Ethiopia GERD talks in Washington; 28-29 Jan
  • Bank of Ghana MPC meeting; 27-31 Jan

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Sudan investigating transfer of guards from UAE to Libyan oil port – ministry
  • Militia clashes in Central African Replubic kill around 40
  • Vodafone to sign MoU with Saudi Telecom for Egypt unit stake sale – Egyptian govt
  • Egypt calls for dialogue over US Mideast peace plan
  • 31 killed in militant attack on Burkina Faso village – govt
  • West Libyan forces claim downed drone as Turkish support arrives
  • Africa Oil – Bonny Light pipeline fixed, coronavirus weighs
  • Vanguard weighs trimming oil exposure within emerging market debt fund
  • South Africa’s rand, bonds recover slightly from virus-related selloff
  • Crowded Lagos to ban motorbikes from most of Nigerian metropolis
  • South African photographer of ‘black lives’ Santu Mofokeng dies aged 63
  • South African Airways gets 3.5 bln rand emergency funding from state-owned bank
  • IMF: Ethiopia GDP to grow at 6.2% at 2020 fiscal year
  • Ivory Coast’s Soro says he remains presidential candidate despite warrant
  • Kenyan GDP expected to grow 6.2% in 2020, central bank says
  • Burkina Faso farming town struggles to cope with fallout of violence
  • Ghana 2019/20 cocoa arrivals reach 596,000 T by Jan. 16 – Cocobod
  • Uganda shilling unchanged as banks, importers stay on sidelines
  • Ethiopian who demanded justice now has a half a year to deliver it
  • Nigeria and the Oxford English Dictionary ‘rub minds’
  • South Africa’s Eskom could need 20 years to meet new emissions rules
  • Telecom Egypt shares rise on reports of Vodafone Egypt stake sale
  • Egypt signs 2 Mediterranean deals with Exxon Mobil – ministry
  • South Africa’s rand firms slightly but sentiment stays weak on coronavirus

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 28 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Stocks crumble as deadly coronavirus spreads
  • Contagion regional, not global shock – JPM
  • China says virus ability to spread getting stronger
  • Safe haven demand rises; oil drops sharply
  • Risk assets sell off
  • Some Asian markets closed for Lunar New Year holiday

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices skid 2%, extending slide as China virus spreads
  • Brent down 1.9% at $59.57 a barrel (0113GMT)
  • WTI down 2.1% at $53.05

Precious metals

  • Gold steady as China virus fears offset stronger dollar
  • Spot gold unchanged at $1,581.09/oz. (0140GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.2% at $1,580.90/oz.

Grains

  • Wheat down 2% as China virus fears escalate; soybeans, corn fall
  • Wheat futures down 1.9% at $5.62-1/2 a bushel (0142GMT)
  • Corn up 1.1% at $3.83 a bushel
  • Soybean futures down 0.5% at $8.97-1/2 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]

  • Central Bank of Kenya’s Njoroge post-MPC press conference
  • Turkey’s Erdogan in The Gambia on state visit
  • Liberia’s Weah delivers state of nation address
  • Moody’s Africa conference in London
  • Egypt, Sudan & Ethiopia GERD talks in Washington; 28-29 Jan
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa addresses heads of missions conference in Pretoria
  • Bank of Ghana MPC meeting; 27-31 Jan

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today

  • Trump discusses Syria, Libya with Turkey’s Erdogan – White House
  • Crowded Lagos to ban motorbikes from most of Nigerian metropolis
  • Moroccan banks to refinance SMEs at 1.25% interest rate – central bank
  • Angola’s dos Santos to sue reporters’ consortium behind ‘Luanda Leaks’
  • Morocco to evacuate nationals from Wuhan area
  • France warns US against pulling troops from fight against [militants] in Africa’s Sahel
  • Nigeria had no warning on potential US travel ban – minister
  • Africa Oil – Sonangol offers cargoes, Bonny loadings delayed
  • France warns Pentagon against cutting US troops in West Africa
  • South African rand, stocks tumble as China virus wrecks risk sentiment
  • Libya’s NOC issues warning over impact of oil blockade
  • Nigeria’s NLNG signs 10-year LNG supply deal with Eni
  • Libyan state oil firm was not considered on maritime deal with Turkey
  • Barrick to sell gold worth up to $280 mln as Tanzania export ban lifted
  • Libya oil firms says efforts being made to lift port blockade
  • Libya’s oil production could fall to 72,000 bpd very soon – NOC
  • Kenyan central bank makes second cut to key lending rate
  • Tunisia’s biggest party Ennahda rejects new govt proposal
  • Egypt sentences 37 to jail for joining Islamic State – judicial sources
  • Families trek to unsafe wells as taps run dry in drought-hit Zimbabwe
  • Zimbabwe tax agency targets businesses to raise dollars
  • Protests against Gambia president bring 137 arrests, multiple injuries
  • Ivory Coast 2019/20 cocoa arrivals reached 1.356 mln T by Jan. 26 – exporters
  • France hopes US will have “good sense” to not withdraw support in Sahel
  • Bat spit coffee is a hit with Madagascar consumers
  • Rwanda detaining, abusing street children: rights group
  • South Africa’s Sasol plans secondary listing on A2X
  • South African rand weaker as investors calculate impact of China virus
  • Fastjet flags going concern doubt as talks to sell Zimbabwe unit ongoing
  • IMF aid to Congo Republic on hold over Glencore, Trafigura impasse
  • Congo Rep. debt could be one-third higher than IMF estate – campaign group

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Daily Brief | 27 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica

Global Markets

  • Shares, oil slide as China virus fears intensify; yen, Treasuries in demand
  • China says virus ability to spread getting stronger
  • Safe-haven assets in demand; oil drops sharply
  • Some Asian markets closed Lunar New Year holiday

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices skid 2%, extending slide as China virus spreads
  • Brent down 1.9% at $59.57 a barrel (0113GMT)
  • WTI down 2.1% at $53.05

Precious metals

  • Gold rises to over 2-wk high as China virus spreads
  • Spot gold up 0.6% at $1,579.94/oz. (0131GMT)
  • US gold futures up 0.5% at $1,579.50/oz.

Grains

  • Wheat down 2% as China virus fears escalate; soybeans, corn fall
  • Wheat down 1.9% at $5.62-1/2 a bushel (0142GMT)
  • Corn up 1.1% at $3.83 a bushel
  • Soybeans down 0.5% at $8.97-1/2 a bushel

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handles @DrRafiqRaji, @macroafrica]

  • Central Bank of Kenya MPC meeting [fcst. 8.5%, prev. 8.5%]
  • Nigeria’s main opposition PDP party executives meet in Abuja
  • Ethiopia’s Abiy meets Eritrea’s Afwerki & Somalia’s Abdullah in Asmara
  • Bank of Ghana MPC meeting; 27-31 Jan

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today

  • Congo Rep. debt could be one-third higher than IMF estimate – campaign group
  • Libya’s Haftar makes push in western Libya
  • Burundi ruling party picks Ndayishimiye to contest presidential vote
  • 20 soldiers killed in Mali attack, govt says
  • Egypt allocates 28.17 bln pounds for urgent commodity & service needs
  • Lebanon’s Bank Audi chooses Egypt’s EFG Hermes as financial advisor in deal to sell its Egypt unit
  • South Africa’s Eskom new CEO warns against hasty unbundling of firm
  • Erdogan says Haftar cannot be expected to respect Libya truce
  • Several countries have breached arms embargo agreed at Libya summit – UN
  • Eni CEO says he may step down if found guilty in Nigeria case – WSJ
  • Zimbabwe freezes Chinese firm’s account over currency manipulation
  • Angola may ask Portugal to seize dos Santos’ assets, says prosecutor
  • Libyan central bank chief says oil blockade must be lifted
  • Sudan signs initial political & security deal with rebel group
  • Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters
  • Foreign investors bought fewer Nigerian stocks last year – bourse
  • Africa Oil – Djeno programme emerge, buyers elusive for Unipec offers
  • Brazilian telecom Oi sells its 25% stake in Unitel to Sonangol – filing
  • IMF aid to Congo Republic on hold over Glencore, Trafigura impasse
  • Burundi lawmakers to make president “Supreme Guide” ahead of elections
  • Erdogan says Turkish military in Libya to train pro-Serraj forces
  • Kenyan woman, 26, sets up country’s first digital car insurance company
  • Nigeria raises bank’s cash ratio for first time in four years
  • South African parliament starts process to remove watchdog head
  • Sudan signs initial political and security deal with rebel group
  • Nigeria’s central bank holds benchmark rate at 13.5%
  • Barrick Gold’s ‘long safari’ ends with Tanzania deal
  • Angola’s beleaguered Isabel dos Santos to offload stake in Portugal’s Efacec
  • Ghana 2019/20 cocoa arrivals at 496,000 T by Dec. 26 – Cocobod
  • Mass evictions prompt protests as Nigerian housing crisis mounts
  • Tunisia’s designated PM makes employment, services the priority
  • Rwanda jails opposition figures for 7-12 years for ‘conspiracy’
  • South African Airways has enough cash to pay January wages
  • Malawi’s Rastas cheer ruling allowing dreadlocks in school
  • African style makes debut at Paris Haute Couture week
  • France’s Amethis set to buy 30% stake in Kenyan retailer Naivas
  • Uganda shilling holds steady against the dollar
  • South Africa mine deaths fall to 51 record low in 2019
  • South Africa’s Sasol first-half mining production for sale slips 2%
  • Tanzania, Canada’s Barrick Gold to sign agreement – Tanzania presidency

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel Weekly | 27 Jan

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji, macroafrica

Click here for PDF version

Date Data / Event Period Forecast Previous
27 Jan Kenya Interest Rate, % 8.5 8.5
30 Jan South Africa PPI, % yy (mm) Dec 2019 3.4 (0.2) 2.3 (-0.3)
30 Jan South Africa M3, % yy Dec 2019 7.5 7.4
30 Jan South Africa PSCE, % yy Dec 2019 6.7 6.6
31 Jan Ghana Interest Rate, % 15.0 16.0
31 Jan Zambia CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 12.0 (1.3) 11.7 (1.6)
31 Jan Kenya CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 6.1 (0.6) 5.8 (0.9)
31 Jan Uganda CPI, % yy (mm) Jan 2020 3.8 (0.4) 3.6 (0.4)