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A summary of East Africa Business headlines


  • Kenya National Bureau of Statistics released the annual Economic Survey 2021, estimating that Kenya’s GDP contracted by 0.3% y/y in 2020, from 5.0% y/y  in 2019. The contraction was mostly attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
  • Kenya’s GDP was revised higher to Sh10.8tn, after the Kenyan government changed the base year to 2016 from 2009.
  • The NBS projects the Kenyan Economy to grow by 6.0% y/y in 2021, with support from the manufacturing sector.
  • In an apparent consequence of the proliferation of mobile banking and agency banking in Kenya, data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showed the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Kenya fell to 2,393 machines in Jul-2021, the lowest since July 2013. 
  • Lastly, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has requested a cash bailout from the Kenyan Treasury amid rising debt. The agency cited the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the Treasury’s decision to mop up Sh12.5bn surplus cash from its books in 2019 as factors contributing to its weak financial position.


  • Ethiopia’s central bank increased the statutory reserve requirement for commercial banks from 5.0% to 10.0% in a bid to tame inflationary pressures. The country’s CPI increased to 30.4% y/y in Aug-2021, the highest since 2012, amid food supply shortages.
  • The World Food Program said it requires $426.0m in emergency funding over the next 6 months to provide food for Ethiopians, particularly in the Tigray region bedevilled by conflict. The UN agency estimates that over 13.6 million Ethiopians are food insecure.


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a disbursement of a total of $567.3m to Tanzania. The allocation comprises a $189.1m Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and a purchase equivalent to $378.17 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).
  • This IMF disbursed the funds to finance Tanzania’s balance of payment needs, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The government of Tanzania signed a €25.0m (Sh67.8bn) grant agreement with the German Development Bank (KfW) for financing sustainable development of protected area ecosystems, including the Serengeti ecosystem and the Katavi, Rukwa and Greater Mahale ecosystems.
  • South African retailer Massmart announced plans to sell its store in Tanzania, as well as 3 stores in Kenya.


  • According to the Ministry of Finance Performance of Economy report, Ugandan government revenue collection in Jul-2021 totalled Sh1.384tn, a 90.6% performance against the budgeted Sh1.5tn. The underperformance was attributed to Covid-19 restrictions during the period.
  • The report also revealed that expenditure in Jul-2021 amounted to sh2.7tn, a 103.0% performance against the budget.

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