BUJUMBURA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The central African nation of
Burundi may be winning plaudits for its economic reforms and
relative peace after nearly two decades of civil war, but
shopowners like Niyonzima Alimasi have little to cheer.
“Purchasing power is low,” said Alimasi, 31, who runs a
hardware shop on a crowded street in the capital Bujumbura,
nestled on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
BUJUMBURA (Reuters) – Burundi expects its economy to expand by 5 percent annually over the next three to four years, still below the rate needed to lift it out of poverty, the country’s finance minister said.
The central African nation of eight million people projects this year’s growth at around 4 percent. It relies heavily on external aid to fund state spending with donors expected to provide 60 percent of its 2012 budget.
NAIROBI, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Kenya’s benchmark interest rate
looks set to fall if the central bank takes advantage of slowing
inflation to attack the eye-watering commercial lending rates
A year ago inflation was ripping through the economy and
even global Twitter streams were humming with protests at
policymakers’ slow response.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday blocked $110,000 end-of-term bonuses members of parliament awarded themselves after protests and a public outcry at a time when the state has raised taxes to plug a hole in its finances.
Lawmakers in east Africa’s biggest economy, already among the best paid in the world, voted to triple the bonus they will all receive when their five-year term ends in January to 9.3 million Kenyan shillings ($109,500).
NAIROBI, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Kenya has approved new taxes
targeting oil and mining firms and mobile phone-based money
transfer services to help plug a growing funding gap, though the
move could potentially scare off foreign investors.
A 20 percent levy will now be charged on sales of property
or shares in oil, mining and mineral prospecting firms. A 10
percent excise duty was set on fees charged for money transfer
services by mobile phone service providers, banks, money
transfer agencies and other financial service providers.
NAIROBI, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Kenyan inflation fell for the
tenth straight month in September, the statistics office said on
Friday, paving the way more interest rate cuts to support a
Year-on-year inflation fell to 5.32 percent from
6.09 percent the previous month, a faster fall than predicted in
a Reuters poll which had forecast a decline to 5.40 percent.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Rwanda’s foreign minister on Saturday accused Western governments of using aid to treat African states like children, after two countries cut cash to Kigali because of its policy in Congo.
The United States has blocked $200,000 in military aid to the central African nation and the Netherlands suspended 5 million euros of aid after a United Nations interim report said Rwanda was backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
NAIROBI, July 26 (Reuters) – Kenya’s biggest bank by assets,
KCB, and its largest bank by depositors, Equity
, expect to increase earnings in the second half of the
year as lending picks up due to falling interest rates, the
banks said on Thursday.
Lenders in east Africa’s largest economy faced a tough first
half due to high interest rates, which crimped growth in loan
books and increased non-performing loans, after policymakers
adopted a tightening monetary stance in the final quarter of
NAIROBI, July 18 (Reuters) – The United States has proposed
a new trade deal with the East African Community (EAC) common
market, underscoring the growing interest of American businesses
in investing in Africa, a senior adviser to President Barack
Obama said on Wednesday.
The five-nation African bloc of 130 million people has
doubled intra-regional trade in the five years after it
introduced a customs union in 2005.
NAIROBI, July 5 (Reuters) – Kenya’s Monetary Policy
Committee softened its nine-months long hawkish stance on
Thursday with a bigger-than-expected 150 basis points rate cut,
sending the shilling down against the dollar and drawing
criticism from some analysts.
The Monetary Policy Committee cut the central bank rate
by 150 basis points to 16.5 percent, saying its
tightening stance had worked, although some risks lingered.