This week’s business headlines in sub-Saharan Africa cover a range of topics including inflation fears in Zimbabwe, signs of economic stabilization in Ghana, a rise in profit for Africa’s biggest subscription television company, a dispute over a subsidiary sale in the Republic of Congo, and Saudi Arabian companies purchasing carbon credits in Kenya.
Zimbabwean businesses and households are concerned about a potential return of hyperinflation, as the prices of basic commodities have spiked due to a sharp weakening of the local currency. The currency has depreciated by 50% against the dollar this month, sparking fears of a repeat of the hyperinflation experienced over a decade ago.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted signs of stabilization in Ghana’s economy, including softening inflation, increased international reserves, and a less volatile exchange rate. Ghana, which has a $3 billion loan program with the IMF, is seeking to restructure $20 billion of its roughly $30 billion external debt.
Africa’s biggest subscription television company, MultiChoice, reported a 2% rise in annual profit. Despite heavy investment to compete with streaming giants Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, the company has decided not to pay dividends and instead focus on strengthening its balance sheet.
The Republic of Congo has stated that it will not recognize Societe Generale’s sale of its subsidiary in the country to Vista Group. The government claims that it was not given the first right of refusal and was surprised by the announcement. The finance ministry has expressed its opposition to the deal.
Saudi Arabian companies purchased over 2.2 million metric tonnes of carbon credits in Kenya, in what organizers called the world’s largest sale of its kind. The CEO of the Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company highlighted the need for investment in climate projects and noted that demand for carbon offsets is expected to grow as companies strive to achieve net-zero emissions goals.
Overall, these headlines provide a glimpse into the diverse range of economic and business developments taking place across sub-Saharan Africa, from concerns about inflation to efforts to combat climate change.