Atta Financial Update

Executive summary: East African countries to ratify Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement before March.

The East African Community has until March 2017 to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) agreement to pave the way for EAC goods to enter larger markets like South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

At the Tripartite Trade Negotiation Forum held in Johannesburg from December 9 to 11, the EAC said it would ratify the agreement by the end of February 2017. The ratification will however will be on a transitional basis, as some annexes are yet to be concluded.

The bloc expressed concern that the delays may make it difficult to meet the June 2017 deadline set by the Tripartite Council of Ministers.

So far, 18 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, have signed the TFTA agreement, but none has ratified it yet.

The TFTA brings together 26 members of the EAC, the Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa (Comesa) and the South Africa Development Community (SADC).

Fact: Coptic Christians of Egypt and Ethiopia celebrate Christmas on what is to most of the world Jan. 7 (they observe the Julian Calendar, which came before the Gregorian)

Nigeria secures US$150 million World Bank support for mining development

  • The federal government, through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, has secured US$150million (N45.7 billion) support from the World Bank for the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification

Umeme acquires US$46 million loan for expansion

  • Power distributor Umeme has approved additional borrowing of US$45m (Shs165b) to further expansion around the country
  • The loan was approved as part of an extension of the line of credit offered by International Finance Corporation (IFC), Stanbic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank
  • Umeme had by May 2016 utilised the entire US$170m (Shs612b) loan facility from the three institutions
  • In the next five years, Umeme requires about Shs1.1 trillion (US$306m) to expand the network and prepare for the load that will come from the Isimba and Karuma dams

Earnings from Rwanda mineral sector grow by 40%

  • Earnings for Rwanda’s mineral sector are looking up after prices for Rwanda’s second most important mineral export by revenues, tin, shot up by 40 per cent on the London Metal Exchange
  • With the country looking to earn US$400 million (Rwf324 billion) from mineral exports by 2018, the government has set out a strategy to increase the sector’s efficiency and productivity