Uganda’s Private Sector Activity Expands in March – PMI

Private sector activity in Uganda expanded in March compared to the previous month, with companies reporting a boost in production and sales volumes, the inaugural results of a new survey index showed on Wednesday.

The Markit Stanbic Bank Uganda Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.5 last month, up from 50.9 in February, the survey report said. Markit collected data for 10 months prior to launching the PMI.

“Companies reported increases in both output and new orders for the second straight month in March,” the report said, adding higher activity was reported in a range of sectors including agriculture, industry, services and wholesale and retail.

The findings of the survey offer a glimmer of hope after Uganda’s central bank said overall economic expansion is slowing.

This month, policymakers cut the benchmark lending rate by 50 basis points to 11 percent to speed up private sector credit flow and boost flagging growth.

The new Markit Stanbic survey found hiring by firms was also rising on the back of the higher orders.

“Staffing levels rose in the agriculture, services and wholesale and retail sectors,” the survey said.

The east African economy, which mostly relies on coffee for its foreign exchange needs, is expected to begin crude oil production in 2020.

– Kindly note: Detailed PMI data are only available under licence from Markit and customers need to apply to Markit for a licence. To subscribe to the full data, click on the following link: www.markit.com/Contact-Us. For further information, please phone Markit on +44 20 72602454 or email economics@markit.com.

Originally reported by Reuters.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email : africa@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Advertisements

Morocco 1st Qtr growth 4.3 pct on Better Farming Output: Planning Agency

 

Morocco’s economy grew 4.3 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with 1.7 percent in the same period a year earlier, helped by better agricultural output, the planning agency said on Wednesday.

The agency said it expects the economy to grow 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Growth was 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Agricultural output rose by 12.9 percent in the first quarter this year, up from 9 percent last year, the agency said.

Due to greater rainfall, the country is on course for a favourable harvest, with a 41 percent rise in the cereal harvest following a devastating drought last year that drove agricultural output down 70 percent.

Agriculture accounts for more than 15 percent of the Moroccan economy.

The non-agricultural sector grew 3 pct in the first quarter from a year ago, the agency said.

The current account deficit widened 21 pct in the first three months of the year, as oil prices picked up and Moroccan energy imports increased, the agency said. The North African kingdom is one of the biggest energy importers in the region.

Originally reported by Reuters.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email : africa@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Africa’s Debt Challenge – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group of Companies

It’s been a rough year for the West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus that has ravaged their communities and crippled their economies, disrupting agriculture and trade.

Forecast to lose a combined $1.6 billion in predicted economic growth in 2015, the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone breathed a collective sigh of relief when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forgave a combined $100 million in loans, shortly after disbursing $130 million in aid last September. The intention was to free up funds for relief and recovery efforts.

But with the need to overhaul their health systems, these countries are once again accumulating debt—like the $160 million interest-free loan awaiting approval by the IMF executive board.

The acquisition of new debt is an emerging pattern among beneficiaries of the world’s most comprehensive debt reduction programme to date. The 1996 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, supplemented by the 2005 Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, has helped 35 sub-Saharan African countries cancel $100 billion in external debt. These internationally coordinated relief programmes, managed by the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank, were designed to find a sustainable solution to Africa’s debt burden.

No longer forced to divert scarce resources to repay costly loans amassed during the Cold War period by corrupt and repressive regimes, the poorest and most indebted countries on the continent were able to lower their public debt and increase social spending by almost 3.5% of their gross domestic product between 2001 and 2012, the World Bank and IMF claim. For example, Benin used its savings from debt to invest in rural primary health care and HIV programmes. Tanzania abolished primary school fees and Mozambique began offering free immunization to children.

Freeing up additional resources for development was another aim of the HIPC Initiative. However, a lot of the money forgiven was already tied up in arrears, meaning it was owed but had not yet been reimbursed, so there was no new cash flow and no real savings in terms of resources.

In some countries the write-off just helped mop up overdue debt. And while the initiative did erase most of the foreign debt of these countries, it did not clear all of it. What the whole process did achieve, according to a Huffington Post article by Marcelo Giugale, a World Bank director, was instilling “discipline” that came in handy when the price of oil, gas and minerals climbed in the mid-2000s and the technologies to look for these natural resources got better. To qualify for a debt cancellation, countries had to be transparent in their operations and open to scrutiny, and they had to monitor and report their poverty reduction strategies, invest savings into social programmes and refrain from accumulating expensive debt. Which is why, according to Mr. Giugale,  African governments had “more money to spend and new offers to borrow – this time from private bankers.”

Faced with the phasing out of the HIPC Initiative and a decline in official development assistance, some countries seized the opportunity provided by their healthier balance sheets and continued economic growth to explore new sources of funding. China, leading the group of emerging economies called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has been investing heavily in infrastructure.

International bond markets provide another avenue. According to Amadou Sy, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a US think tank, 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have issued a total of $15 billion in international sovereign bonds. Investors are also keen to snatch up these bonds, seduced by the continent’s favourable growth outlook and promise of high returns. The World Bank reports average GDP in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain broadly unchanged at 4.6% in 2015, rising gradually to 5.1% in 2017.

Some observers worry that countries are borrowing too much and too fast. “Africa may have the fastest-growing continental economy on the planet,” freelance journalist Richard Walker writes in the Economist, “but growing fastest of all is debt – personal, corporate and government.”

Mr. Walker points to Ghana’s issuance in late 2014 of $1 billion in euro-denominated bonds, although the country is deep in debt and has what he calls Africa’s “worst-performing currency.”  The West African nation was one of the first beneficiaries of the HIPC initiative.

Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia also beneficiaries of the debt cancellation programme, have also issued similar bonds.

Even with the recent surge in borrowing, most of the post-HIPC countries are not at risk of “debt distress,” a group of economists with the World Bank insists. Dino Moretto, Tihomir Stucka and Tau Huang concede that “some countries may be borrowing too quickly,” but they also specify that “overall, governments have been borrowing responsibly since receiving debt relief.”

The trio explain that one of the objectives of the debt relief programme was to clear debt overhang and allow countries to borrow again, responsibly. Many countries have been careful in taking on loans at commercial terms, and the World Bank and other development banks have been giving grants in lieu of loans to riskier, poorer countries.

Africa’s Current Debt

Africa’s current debt is the lowest it has been in decades, Oxford University professor Mthuli Ncube and Economic Advisor at the African Development Bank Zuzana Brixiova concur in their review for the European Centre for Development Policy Management. The fastest decline, they stress, is posted by the most indebted countries, because of debt relief and accompanying prudent policies.

Aid has been critical in helping low-income countries lift people out of poverty, but financing to the region has also increased in quality and quantity, spurred by the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and subsequent 2008 Doha Conference. These UN-backed global conferences brought together heads of state and top leaders in finance, business and humanitarian groups to realize a vision called Financing for Development (FfD). The Monterrey Consensus was also the impetus behind the HIPC Initiative, since it called for innovative mechanisms to address the debt owed by poor nations.

Meanwhile, the FfD July 2015 conference in Addis Ababa is intended to advance the debate on “responsible lending and borrowing” by tabling issues on improving domestic resource mobilization, including strengthening tax administration, curbing illicit financial flows, scaling up infrastructure investment and attracting private sector financing.

“Despite misgivings about certain countries, Africa is still in a fundamentally different place than it was 20 or 30 years ago when old debts were taken on,” Todd Moss, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Centre for Global Development, told Reuters, adding that taking out loans from private creditors puts a “higher burden” on leaders to be responsible.

To keep from reverting to old ways, analysts say, post-HIPC African countries will have to be smart with their handling of new loans. Borrowing strategies need to be put in place so governments can get a return on their investments in order to service their debts. Governments also need to be prepared to withstand shocks from price fluctuations on the natural resource markets and must reduce their dependency on commodity exports. Diversifying borrowing sources is another way to sensibly manage public debt, says Citigroup economist David Cowan in the Africa Research Institute publication, Counterpoints, referring to sovereign bonds as an alternative to concessional loans.

While concessional loans come with no strings attached, help raise a country’s debt profile and put it on the radar of international debt markets, Mr. Cowan cautions that they do present currency risks and can expose a defaulting borrower to specific legal risks, notably from hedge funds or private equity funds, also known as “vulture funds.”

Good old-fashioned tax collection, transparency and tapping into local currency debt markets are avenues that should not be ignored. In the end, sound fiscal and complementary monetary policies will prevail. It’s too soon to predict whether the post-HIPC African countries will maintain sustainable levels of public debt while wrangling with bottlenecks such as weak institutions, infrastructure investment gaps, poverty and (in some places) instability. Only time will tell.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Think Beyond Microfinance When Talking About Businesswomen – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group

As the Third International Financing for Development conference kicks off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa is set to begin implementing its ambitious 50-year development blueprint, Agenda 2063, bringing into focus the issue of how to finance development plans.

Agenda 2063 will require significant financing from a wide range of sources to fund infrastructure development, industrialization, private sector growth, technology and human capital development if the continent is to achieve the socioeconomic transformation that it is envisioning. True, financing in general, is a challenge for Africa, but no group faces more barriers to accessing finance than the women of Africa.

Africa’s economic growth over the past decade has been positive, but the impressive numbers do not tell the whole story. While women own about 48% of all enterprises in Africa, the African Development Bank estimates that they account for only 20% of the continent’s banked population. Roughly four in every five women on the continent lack access to a bank account at a formal financial institution, compared to about one in every four men. The disparity is particularly glaring in agriculture. Although more than 70% of farmers in Africa are women, they benefit from only one-tenth of the credit given to small-scale farmers and less than 1% of total credit to agriculture.

The challenges African women face in accessing finance include women’s lack of collateral, legal and cultural barriers to land and property ownership, discriminatory regulations, limited employment in the formal sector, lack of availability of financial products targeted to their needs and the fact that banks do not fully understand female-run businesses or the market niches they occupy. These barriers have hindered the capacity of women to grow and develop businesses, which, as a result, has held back economic growth on the continent.

The widening disparity in access to finance has led to the rising popularity of microfinance for women. In the past decade, microfinance institutions, which include non-profit groups, savings and credit cooperatives, regulated specialized providers and others, have reached many women who were previously excluded from formal financing, through small-scale loans and credit to small enterprises and poor households.

Yet while the discussion about financing for development has widened in scope, the discussion about financing for women has remained stubbornly locked on one scale – micro. Speaking early this year in Addis Ababa at a conference of African finance ministers, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, implored participants to think beyond “micro” when discussing finance for projects run by women in Africa.

“We hear micro this, micro that…there is nothing micro about women!” Ms. Dlamini-Zuma told participants.

Similarly, Elizabeth Rasekoala, the co-founder of SET4Women, the Southern African Reference Group on Gender, Science and Technology, urged participants at a conference on the role of women in implementing Agenda 2063 to “start thinking big and stop prefacing everything to do with women with ‘small’ or ‘micro’ but to engage them as entrepreneurs.”

Gender advocates say that as key drivers in implementing Africa’s post-2015 development agenda and Agenda 2063, female business owners must be empowered to go beyond small- and micro-enterprises and get access to the finance needed to create medium- and large-scale businesses. Access to finance on such a scale would be transformative, and empower women to enter productive value chains, expand hiring and employment opportunities, utilize efficient technologies and expand the reach of their businesses beyond their borders.

Analysts agree that for this goal to be reached, banks have to open their doors and ensure financial inclusion and increased access for women. This would require formal financial institutions to consider new and innovative approaches to conducting business in order to meet women’s needs. A small but growing number of African banks have developed products that target women, and others have adopted women-friendly banking procedures, including eliminating minimum balances, widening the scope of elements considered in credit evaluations, reducing collateral requirements and allowing alternate forms of collateral. Such practices, which have shown positive results and contributed towards reducing gender-based barriers, should be implemented and expanded by more banks on the continent.

According to gender advocates, empowering African businesswomen is critical; it demystifies credit application processes, addresses risk aversion and ultimately strengthens women’s access to financing. Other areas that might need to be strengthened include education and capacity building in financial literacy and business skills.

What Can Be Done

In order to create an enabling environment, governments will need to modify and adjust their legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks to remove barriers to finance for women, such as discriminatory legal provisions that confine women to the legal status of minors and laws that prohibit women from owning property. After such laws and policies are changed, women and decision-makers should be informed of these changes.

Governments and development organizations, especially international financial institutions, also have important roles to play in promoting equal opportunities for women and men. They should encourage banks and other formal institutions to increase credit access for African women, and provide technical assistance and training to institutions that are unfamiliar with lending to women. They should also provide guarantees to raise the confidence of lending institutions so that they invest greater capital in women-owned businesses.

Finally, governments will need to bridge the gap between the formal and informal sectors by simplifying business registration procedures and encouraging women-owned businesses in the informal sector to register with governments and tax authorities, as this will also facilitate their access to financial markets.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.