Here are three big stories from Africa’s business and policy landscape you (probably) didn’t miss but should keep in mind this week:

IMF to establish a $1.3 billion climate change resilience and sustainability facility in Ivory Coast.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Friday that it had reached a preliminary agreement with Ivory Coast regarding a $1.3 billion program, supported by its Resilience and Sustainability Facility, to address climate change. Ivory Coast, the leading producer of cocoa globally, faces significant exposure and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Last October, multinational companies urged Ivory Coast to lower prices, which have risen due to a supply shortage caused by bad weather. This shortage led to an increase in export contracts as multinational buyers were hesitant. Nearly half of the world’s cocoa bean production comes from Ivory Coast. 

The proposed reform measures, spanning from 2024 to 2026, aim to bolster the country’s efforts in climate change adaptation and mitigation, focusing on key sectors such as agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, and public financial management. The statement further notes that the agreement will be reviewed by the fund’s executive board for approval within the upcoming weeks.

Lagos state starts to implement styrofoam ban

The Lagos State Government has taken a decisive step to address the environmental challenges of single-use plastics and styrofoam food containers. Beginning this week, the government is ramping up efforts to enforce the ban on these items throughout the state.

Kunle Adeshina, the spokesperson for the ministry, highlighted that enforcement teams comprising personnel from various agencies, including LAGESC/KAI, Environmental Health Officials, LAWMA Police, and the Ministry itself, will be actively involved in identifying and confiscating Styrofoam containers from shops, stores, and outlets across Lagos.

This initiative is a result of the significant environmental harm caused by single-use plastics, particularly non-biodegradable styrofoam. The state government announced the ban last month, recognizing the urgent need to combat pollution and safeguard the environment for future generations. This move allows the government to demonstrate its commitment to promoting sustainable practices and reducing the environmental footprint of plastic waste in the region.

DR Congo accuses Rwanda of drone strike in Goma airport

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has levied accusations against Rwanda, alleging their involvement in a drone attack that caused damage to a civilian aircraft at Goma airport, a crucial hub in the eastern region of the country, specifically in North Kivu province.

Al Jazeera reported that tensions have escalated in recent days, particularly around the town of Sake, located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Goma. This escalation has seen clashes between M23 rebels, whom Kinshasa claims are receiving support from Kigali, and the Congolese government forces. The situation underscores the complex web of political, economic, and regional dynamics at play in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

The conflict is heightened by claims from the DRC, as well as assertions from the United Nations and Western nations, suggesting Rwanda’s backing of the rebels is motivated by a desire to exert control over the region’s abundant mineral resources. However, Rwanda vehemently denies these allegations.  As tensions continue to simmer, there is a pressing need for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict and foster stability in the region.

ICYMI: Market roundup

  • The NGX All-Share Index rose by +1,623.94 (+1.56%) last week, 19th of January, to close at 105,722.78  points.
  • The top gainers include Vetiva S&P Nigeria Sovereign Bond ETF +22.11%, BUA Foods +10.00%, PZ Cussons Nigeria +10.00%, Geregu Power +9.90% and Julius Berger Nigeria +9.88%. The top decliners were Livestock Feeds -10.00%, Flour Mills of Nigeria -10.00%, DN Meyer -9.97%, The Initiates -9.70% and Sunu Assurances Nigeria -9.18%.
  • The Nigerian naira started the week at N958.05/ $1 to close the week with a gain at N891.04/$1
  • Brent crude closed the week at $83.58, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $79.19
  • According to data from Coinmarketcap, the global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.97 trillion, a 1.75% increase over the last day of Saturday, 18th of November. Bitcoin rose by 1.31% to trade at $52,136.85, Ethereum also rose by 3.93% to trade at $2,885.70, and Binance Coin rose by 0.14% to trade at $351.8 over the last day.
  • Catalyst Fund sets to invest $1.8 million in 9 African climate tech startups.
  • Nigerian fintech startups Cleva and Miden were selected for the W24 batch of the  Y Combinator accelerator.
  • Ghanaian tech talent startup Remoteli raises $315,000 in funding from footballer Jeremie Frimpong.
  • Kenyan electric mobility startup Roam raises $24 million in funding for pan-African expansion.
  • Kenyan music distribution platform Mdundo projects an unprecedented $1.5 million artist payout.

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