Photograph — Quartz

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

Nigeria’s Central Bank introduces inflation framework to manage rising prices

Yemi Cardoso, the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, has released a strategy to fight the persistent rise in inflation, which marked its tenth consecutive increase in October 2023. The bank’s framework aims to ensure transparency and foster effective communication with the public regarding matters of price control and increases, as outlined by the head of the apex bank.

This announcement was made by Cardoso during the annual dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Lagos on Friday. Despite recently deferring the second crucial rate meeting since July, he affirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fulfilled its quota of rate meetings for 2023. This comes in the backdrop of inflation reaching an 18-year high of 27% in October. The governor also stated that the bank has implemented foreign exchange frameworks to tackle the backlog of dollar demand, which has exerted significant pressure on the naira. He assured that the settlement of obligations will persist until they are entirely resolved.

Kenya plans to privatize 35 state-owned companies to boost initial public offerings (IPOs)

Kenya’s President William Ruto announced that the government is set to privatize 35 state companies, following the recent enactment of a law to guide this process. The last instance of state-owned company privatization in Kenya occurred in 2008, involving an initial public offering (IPO) for 25% of the shares in the telecommunications firm Safaricom (SCOM.NR).

President Ruto disclosed this information during the opening ceremony of the African Stock Exchanges Association annual meeting in Nairobi, stating, “We have identified the first 35 companies that we are going to offer to the private sector. We have another close to 100 we are working with financial advisers on what to do.”

The financial challenges of the East African nation stem from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recurrent droughts triggered by climate change. There is an element of doubt regarding its capacity to secure financial support from the markets before the maturity of a $2 billion Eurobond in June. Although Ruto expressed optimism about Kenya’s ability to divest from potentially “lucrative” companies hindered by bureaucratic hurdles, Ndung’u refuted the notion that the initiative to list these companies was aimed at bolstering government finances.

Cameroon becomes first African country to receive malaria vaccine

Cameroon received its first shipment of Mosquirix malaria vaccines from the British pharmaceutical company GSK Plc. This event comes at a critical time for the nation, grappling with the significant burden of the mosquito-borne disease, which claims over 600,000 lives annually worldwide. The arrival at Yaounde’s Nsimalen International Airport included a shipment of 331,200 doses of the vaccine, also recognized as RTS,S.

Cameroon is the first African country to receive the vaccine, following pilot programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. GSK reports that over 1.7 million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have already been administered at least one dose of the vaccine. The rollout will extend to nine additional malaria-endemic countries, including Cameroon, starting early next year.

Additionally, GAVI, in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF, announced that an additional 1.7 million doses of the RTS,S vaccine are anticipated to arrive in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone in the coming weeks.

ICYMI: Market roundup

  • Nigeria’s equities market moved upward over a 5-day trading week, with the NGX All-Share Index appreciating by 0.17% to close at 71,230.48 points. The top gainers were Mecure Industries Plc (60.73%), Multiverse Mining And Exploration Plc (60.06%), Unity Bank Plc (57.26%), Secure Electronic Technology Plc (52.78%), and Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc (52.08%). The top decliners were Thomas Wyatt Nig. Plc (-42.22%), Ellah Lakes Plc (-10.05%), STANBIC IBTC Holdings Plc (-7.08%), Academy Press Plc (-5.56%), and International Breweries Plc (-5.56%).
  • The naira closed the week at ₦794.89/$1 on Friday at the investor’s and Exporters’ window.
  • Brent crude closed the week at $80.15 while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $75.17.
  • The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $ 1.42 trillion, as of 9 p.m. Sunday, the 26th of November. Bitcoin stood at $37,308.60, a 0.02%, increase over the week, Ethereum also increased by 1.93% to trade at $2,047.09. And Binance coin decreased by 7.12% over the week, to trade at $229.16
  • Kenyan fish platform, Aquarech, raised $1.7 million to support additional technology vertical integration. With its mobile app, small-scale fish farmers can connect to ready markets and boost productivity through high-quality feeds, farm management, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Cameroonian startup, Waspito raised a $2.5 million seed extension to expand into Senegal and Gabon. DP World via Newtown Partners, Saviu Ventures, AAIC Investment, Axian Ventures, and Health54 invested in this additional seed round.

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