macroafricaintel | Smart Lagos (3): Status, Prospects & Opportunities

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

‘Lagos Innovates’
The smart city vision of the state government was discussed extensively at a conference it sponsored during its “Lagos at 50” celebrations in May 2017. Themed “Towards a Smart City: Preparing for the next 50 years of prosperity”, it had as keynote speaker a top thinker on African issues, Oxford professor, Paul Collier. He had a more engaging definition of what a smart city is. “Smart does not mean elite. Smart means a city that works for everybody in it. A city that works means that ordinary people can become productive and so earn a decent living.”

The envisioned smart city offers opportunities in transportation, ICT, tourism, hospitality, entertainment, and sports for excellence. The Lagos state government envisions the city to be the most attractive to live and do business in Africa. This is an exaggeration, of course. Even so, the government’s confidence is underpinned by what Mr Ambode dubbed an “urbanisation dividend” in a speech in February 2017. Despite its many deficiencies, and even before the authorities started making the needed effort to transform the city, which coincided with the birth of the country’s most recent democratic experiment in 1999, Lagos has always been attractive to Nigerians elsewhere. At 86 immigrants every hour, it has the highest inward migration rate of any city in the world.

The Lagos Development Plan (2012-2025) embodies what the authorities hope to achieve over the next decade. The “smartness” in Lagos Smart City or Lagos, the smart city, is in seeing technology as an enabler for development, whether it is in the provision of infrastructure, security or investment incentives, with the goal being to make Lagos attractive to investors who would then create much needed jobs. There have been some laudable initiatives by the government with regard to transport infrastructure, like the completion of one of the phases of a city railway (albeit not yet operational), reform of the bus mass transit system, expansion and tolling of a key highway in conjunction with the private sector (at first) and so on. But the pace and reach of the government’s infrastructure programme are grossly inadequate. Strained finances are one reason why. True, the state government earns more revenue than other states. But the revenue is inadequate for the huge spending bill of needed development programmes. And the private sector has not always had a good experience with public-private partnership (PPP) projects with the state government.

To fund its programmes, the government sometimes resorts to extreme means. Recently, the state government announced a land use charge that was considered hugely insensitive. Naturally, it was met with uproar from the general public. Consequently, the state government had little choice but to revise the charges downwards. Even so, some grumbling remains. This also typifies what tends to happen when what are ordinarily acceptable infrastructure financing and maintenance measures – road tolling, for instance – are attempted. But the authorities are getting it right in other areas. Its support programme for technology entrepreneurs in the state is exemplary.

In December 2017, the Lagos State government launched “Lagos Innovates” to support tech entrepreneurs. Through the programme, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be provided the infrastructural support, training, capital and networks they need to succeed. The initiative copies similar models in Chile, India and Singapore. Targeted at tech entrepreneurs residing and working in Lagos whose businesses are less than three years old, Lagos Innovates aims to facilitate access to “high quality workspaces and infrastructure”, “learning”, “early stage investment capital” and “investor and peer networks”. Bottomline, Lagos Innovates is “a set of programs aimed at making it easier to build a successful tech startup in Lagos”. It is perhaps the greatest demonstration yet of the government’s recognition of the tech opportunity in Lagos.

The initiative currently has three major programmes. The first, “workspace vouchers”, would enable budding tech entrepreneurs secure funding support to acquire a workspace at one of the numerous innovation hubs in the city. For access, the tech entrepreneur need only apply online. The second, “hub loans”, provides capital to hub operators looking to expand or for those looking to invest in hubs. And the third, “events sponsorship”, provides support to enable tech entrepreneurs organize events to seek talent, publicize products and so on. Other programmes to be offered in due course, include “co-investments”, “program vouchers”, and “accelerator”. In early May 2018, Lagos Innovates will be sponsoring the “Secure Lagos Hackathon” event. Other upcoming events include “The Coworking Conference” in late July 2018.

The author, Dr Rafiq Raji, is an adjunct researcher of the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, a trilateral platform for government, business and academia to promote knowledge and expertise on Africa, established by Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Business Federation. This article was specifically written for the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies

Also published in my BusinessDay Nigeria newspaper column (Tuesdays). See link viz. http://www.businessdayonline.com/smart-lagos-3-status-prospects-opportunities/

#Africa #Markets | 22 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • Asian shares stumble as dollar strengthens, oil surges
  • MSCI ex-Japan up 0.1 pct, Nikkei flat despite strong Wall St
  • Dollar near four-mth highs vs yen, near 6-mth top vs euro
  • Oil near 2014 highs after Venezuela’s presidential elections

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise on worries over Venezuelan supply
  • Venezuela vote stokes concerns over oil supply from country
  • Oil markets tight on OPEC cuts, looming US sanctions on Iran
  • US, China appear to step back from brink of trade war
  • Brent crude futures up 15 cents at $79.37 per barrel (0110GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 25 cents at $72.49 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold prices steady on weaker dollar
  • Spot gold nearly unchanged at $1,292.66 per ounce (0044GMT)
  • US gold futures for June delivery up 0.1 pct at $1,292.50 per ounce

Grains

  • US soybeans edge down from 11-day high on USDA planting report
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures down 0.2 pct at $5.06-1/4 per bushel (0142GMT)
  • Most active corn futures down 0.3 pct at $4.01-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soybean futures down 0.3 pct at $10.22-1/4 a bushel
  • Most active rice futures nearly unchanged at $12.23 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (21 May)

  • Raw sugar sees biggest rally in 2018, arabica coffee jumps
  • July raw sugar settled up 3.8 pct at 12.1 cents per lb
  • August white sugar settled up 3 pct at $340 per tonne
  • July arabica coffee settled up 1.9 pct at $1.202 per bonne
  • July robusta coffee settled up 1.9 pct at $1,795 per tonne
  • July New York cocoa settled down 2.4 pct at $2,615 per tonne
  • July London cocoa settled down 1 pct at £1,863 per tonne

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Nigeria’s central bank’s interest rate decision today [forecast is 14%; unchanged]
  • South Africa’s central bank starts 3-day MPC meeting today [fcst. 6.25%, prev. 6.5%]
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to address COSATU meet today

Key African events or data releases yesterday & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Guinea’s Conde names new PM amid rising political tensions
  • Production vessel at Ghana’s Jubilee oilfield shut temporarily
  • Burundi approves new constitution extending presidential term limit
  • US says Burundi constitutional referendum ‘marred’
  • Zimbabwe sets new date for Mugabe hearing, doubts over his apperance
  • Congo begins giving experimental ebola vaccine to medics
  • Africa – Crude-Nigerian overhang persists, tenders drag on trade
  • Zimbabwe applies to re-join Commonwealth, invites poll obsevers
  • Algeria cancels plan to let foreigners into farmland concessions
  • Ghana central bank cuts policy rate to 17 pct
  • South Africa agrees modest wage deal with state workers
  • Drought, armyworms cut Malawi maize crop by 19 pct – minister
  • Congo begins ebola vaccinations in northwest city – witness
  • Kenya clears fuel spillage after cargo train derails on coast
  • WHO says ebola preparedness much better now than in 2014
  • Nigeria sends request for proposal to banks for eurobond – sources
  • Egypt to hold 2 international bid rounds for oil, gas explorations – statement
  • Offshore investors net sellers of South African stocks, bonds
  • Nigeria’s economic growth slows for first time since end of season
  • Shell says force majeure still in place on Nigerian Bonny crude

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

#Global #Markets | 22 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD

Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Time Data/Event Previous Consensus
0830GMT UK Public Sector Net Borrowing APR £0.26B £-7.1B
1000GMT UK CBI Industrial Trends Orders MAY 4 2
1400GMT US Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index MAY -3 9
1530GMT US 4-Week Bill Auction 1.7%
1530GMT US 52-Week Bill Auction 2.2%
1700GMT US 2-Year Note Auction 2.5%
2030GMT US API Crude Oil Stock Change 18/MAY 4.854M

#Africa #Markets | 21 May

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Global Markets

  • US stock futures jump after Mnuchin says trade war “on hold”
  • US stock futures up 0.6 pct, bond futures fall
  • Asian stocks tentative, Nikkei ticks up slightly
  • Trade war truce seen as positive for risk sentiment
  • Oil up after Venezuelan election

Oil Markets

  • Oil prices rise with global markets after China, US put trade war ‘on hold’
  • US, China drop tariff threats amid work on wider agreement
  • Oil markets tight amid OPEC-cuts, looming US sanctions vs Iran
  • Plunging output in Venezuela also a market concern
  • But surge in US production counters supply shortfalls
  • Brent crude futures up 0.5 pct at $78.87 per barrel (0045GMT)
  • US WTI crude futures up 0.6 pct at $71.68 a barrel

Precious metals

  • Gold slips as US-China trade war put ‘on hold’
  • Spot gold down 0.2 pct at $1,289.30 per ounce (0059GMT)
  • US gold futures for June delivery down 0.2 pct at $1,289.20 per ounce

Grains

  • US soybeans jump 2 pct at US-China trade deal
  • Most active CBOT wheat futures up 1.2 pct at $5.24-1/4 per bushel (0030GMT)
  • Most active corn futures up 1.1 pct at $4.06-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active soybean futures up 2.2 pct at $10.20-3/4 per bushel
  • Most active rice futures up 0.3 pct at $12.36 per hundredweight

Soft commodities (18 May)

  • Cocoa rebounds from multi-week lows on fund buying
  • July New York cocoa settled up 1.5 pct at $2,678 per tonne
  • July London cocoa settled up 1.4 pct at £1,882 per tonne
  • July raw sugar settled up 0.9 pct at 11.66 cents per lb
  • August white sugar settled up 1.1 pct at $330.20 per tonne
  • July robusta coffee settled up 0.7 pct at $1,762 per tonne
  • July arabica coffee settled up 0.1 pct at $1.18 per lb

Key African events or data releases today
[Posts & comments at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Nigeria Q1 2018 GDP data expected [fcst. 3.1% yy, prev. 1.9%]
  • AfDB Meetings start in Busan, South Korea, today (21-25 May)
  • South Africa’s Ramaphosa to unveil Thuma Mina pledge today [Essentially about service delivery]
  • South Africa’s ruling ANC to brief media on outcome of land summit over the weekend

Key African events or data releases over the weekend & early a.m today
[Posted & commented on some headlines below at my Twitter handle @DrRafiqRaji]

  • Intrepid Mines updates on Zambian ministry of mines and minerals development’s approval
  • Boat adrift with two dozen African migrants rescued off Brazil coast
  • Unemployed threaten Libya oilfields feeding Es Sider; production normal
  • Libyan youth group will shut oilfields unless demands met – statement
  • Congo to begin Ebola vaccinations on Monday
  • Egyptian television series prompts Sudanese protest
  • Thousands of Moroccans protest against US Jerusalem embassy move
  • Riyadh to release Saudi-Ethiopian tycoon detained in anti-graft swoop – Ethiopia PM
  • Comoros ex-president says govt actions endangering democracy
  • Egypt gets bids for coal-fired power plant, to announce winner next week
  • Kenyan investigators to question more than 40 people over ‘massive theft’
  • In Congo city where Ebola resides, fear but not panic
  • From camels to catfish, Algeria boosts fish farming in the Sahara desert
  • Egypt detains socialist activist, lawyers say
  • Saudi Arabia releases 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners
  • Comoros ex-president under house arrest after probe of passport scheme
  • Kenya oil production on course after agreement on revenue share
  • Congo’s Ebola not an international emergency, can be controlled – WHO
  • Congo northwest city Mbandaka confirms 3 new Ebola cases
  • Ebola experts from US Centres for Disease Control ready to go to Congo
  • Nigeria central bank injects $293 mln into currency market
  • Ghana’s 91-day bill yield eases to 13.34 pct
  • Malawi says World Bank, EU to unlock suspended budget aid
  • Egypt’s Sisi orders Gaza border opened for Ramadan, Palestinians travel
  • South Africa’s rand tumbles to 5-mth low, stocks led down by banking
  • US accuses Cameroon of ‘targeted killings’ of Anglophones
  • Africa Crude – Under pressure, despite Nigerian outages
  • WHO expects to get approval to use Zmapp Ebola drug in Congo
  • Golar’s Cameroon LNG project ships first cargo – sources, data
  • South Africa’s Eskom evacuates Kusile contractors after protest
  • Steinhoff flags H1 loss as restructuring wipes out sales again
  • Malawi GDP to grow 4.1 pct this year – finance minister
  • Mali’s gold revenues rise 23 pct in 2017
  • Algeria’s Islamist opposition urges national consensus on economic reform
  • Uganda invites bids for $1 billion expressway
  • South Africa’s 3-mth t-bill average yield rises to 7.15 pct
  • Bank of Kigali plans to list shares on Nairobi bourse
  • Export earnings, remittances support Ugandan shilling
  • Yields mostly fall at undersubscribed South African CPI-linked bond auction
  • Zimbabwe mines need $11 billion investment to modernise
  • At least 15 killed during Burundi referendum campaign – rights group
  • Zimbabwe will not require foreign mining companies to list locally
  • Zimbabwe lithium excites but projects face funding hurdle
  • Kenyan university lecturers end strike over low pay

N.B. Full stories of above headlines are available on Reuters

macroafricaintel | Nigeria: GDP forecasts (2018-19)

By Rafiq Raji, PhD
Twitter: @DrRafiqRaji

Click here for PDF version

  Q1 2018F Q2 2018F Q3 2018F Q4 2018F 2018F
% qq -12.3 3.0 7.0 3.0
% yy 3.1 2.7 0.8 -0.4 1.4

Source: Macroafricaintel Research

  Q1 2019F Q2 2019F Q3 2019F Q4 2019F 2019F
% qq -10.0 3.5 6.0 3.5
% yy 2.2 2.7 1.7 2.2 2.2

Source: Macroafricaintel Research

  Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2017 2017
% qq -13.3 3.4 9.0 4.3
% yy -0.9 0.7 1.4 1.9 0.8

Source: NBS, Macroafricaintel Research