Has Rwanda just deceived the world by its ‘sudden boom’?

Pride and Joy swept me off my feet after the Rwandan government announced a continual 5% rise in GDP levels from 2005 – 2016 , some years ago.

I had even written this : (Rwanda: The totem of Africa ) , highlighting the key economic transformation through its infrastructural and key sector investment.

Why was a Nigerian so delighted for Rwanda? First , I am Pan- African before even being Pro-Nigerian . Secondly, for a nation coming to terms with the aftermath of a war , this ‘ buoyancy’ was never better for the african adage that, ” He who cleans the feaces on the bush-path , never worries while going for a meeting ” .

So when this report ( Rwanda’s growth : a mirage ) turned up, I was skeptical . Some opposition trying to whip up sentiments after President Paul Kagame’s presidential extension bid to 2034? Or is there some fact in this ?

Economic growth has been seen as an increase in the ability of an economy to produce more goods and services , if and when the prices are adjusted for inflation. We measure economic growth through Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) . GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in an economy.

So basically , there is an increase in Goods and services produced by the economy of rwanda and it certainly means a rise in value. Good.

Now, while GDP shows increase in productivity, incomes for households and could slowly build to economic development, there seems to be something wrong with the average Rwandan household consumption.

Look at this. 

This graph shows that while official GDP per capita has continually increased , reaching almost 500000 Rwandan francs by 2013 , the average consumption per household has become totally stagnant since 2013 at 300 francs ! .

If incomes are increasing and productivity is improving and the value of goods and services are improving and affordable( barring immigration and population) , why are Rwandans saving more than consuming?

A key indicator of economic growth and development is improved standard of living through increased value driven consumption . This would lead to reduced poverty levels .

Rwanda’s statistics might have shown economic growth , but it seems more cosmetic . The government seems focused on infrastructure development and high rise buildings as a means of driving foreign investment drive.

The nations GDP to debt ratio seems to be rising: pointing to the fact that the government might have secured loans to build those structures and woo investors.

Rwanda is growing , there is no doubt about that. However, the Paul kagame led government would need to ensure the cost of goods and services are affordable for the average Rwandan; not making things too high . Creating sustainable development is also key.

It is still a rising Totem ; but until then , it needs to look at the bottom of its golden staff .

It could be rusting after all!

This article was written by Nkemjika Okeke, the Co -founder of Remok Consults Nigeria Limited , A business research and development firm based in Nigeria .



a cryptocurrency picture model.

Towards the end of the 18th century and hitherto, countries have preached in favour of globalization to be the quickest model for economic growth, while others have countered it to be a setback as countries rarely have a comparative advantage, but absolute advantage in their terms of trade. An example is a gap in terms of trade between developed and developing nations. Globalization is the tendency for business to operate on an international scale through interaction and integration. It has numerous advantage and disadvantage which depend on the size of the economy. One of the ways to determine the size of an economy is the county’s export and import. If the export is greater than import, it is called a favourable balance of trade and an unfavourable balance of trade if the import is more. This means that the economy cannot produce all that her citizen will eat placing such at the losing end from the impact of globalization.

 However, even as countries use different policy regime to reduce the negative experience by a kind of support to their currency, information technology has continued to disrupt efforts, which the advent of cryptocurrencies is one. Cryptos are virtual money held in the form of coin on the net. But one cannot boldly say that cryptos are set back as it exposes the weakness of policy regimes and activities countries embark on to see that their currencies have good values in the market. And this could be the reason countries are not in support of the new normal. A country that depends on importation and enacts policies to back her domestic currency will not be on good terms with cryptos as there seem to be no authority to control inflow and outflow of the new currency, therefore a ban is imperative.

Rather than banning cryptos, it is important for countries to study the simple crypto control model. The model depicts the best way a country can have a quasi-control of inflow and outflow of cryptos. And it suggests that such a country must have its cryptocurrency to trade with other cryptocurrencies. By that such crypto becomes a legal tender. Let’s take a look at this simple model.


From the diagram above, the arrows depict the dependency of players in the crypto market. Instead of the monetary authority to ban the importation of crypto, it can create its cryptocurrency to exchange with those in the global market, and then instruct financial institutions and non-financial institutions to trade with the country’s currency while serving end-users. Monetary authority can also advise financial institutions to open a crypto account for individuals who wish to have such an account. Set a daily limit for individual deposit and withdrawing.


Like was stated earlier, the advent of cryptocurrency exposed the weakness of most economies especially those that are heavily dependent on importation. Therefore for a country to trade on crypto it must be a producing economy and not a dependent economy.

I see Bitcoin as ultimately becoming a reserve currency for banks, playing much the same role as gold did in the early days of banking. Banks could issue digital cash with greater anonymity and lighter weight, more efficient transactions.




moleta ngwedi O leta lefifi -One who waits for the moon also waits for darkness

setswana proverb

One could be forgiven for thinking that the world experienced a pandemic in 2020. The totally empty streets and highways of extremely busy cities across the african continent was like a painful joy: perhaps the gods of global warming and pollution must have heaved a sigh of relief. This was to one part, a joy . The other part of economic activities grinding to a halt was no less a darker cloud, masking behind the difficulties of a new era. Face masks have become the must have accessory for public movement and companies and small businesses have been counting their losses:

The onus has been on the continent to adapt to the new economic condition or pivot as a turning point in its development. Although, Africa was not particularly hit by Covid-19, the impact of the lockdown on economic activities clearly showed the need for african nations to boost certain sectors of the economy like agriculture, health, technology , security etc. The reopening of cities to business activities created chaos as supply across commodities were exhausted (in relief aid and panic buys) and with no production during those periods, there was a huge gap in demand and supply. Prices of products generally rose and most african countries saw inflation rates rising dramatically : Nigeria rising by almost 3% within that period, South Africa also rising from 2% to 3.3% in the same period) .While Nigeria’s case (which could be excused for dollar scarcity and insurgency attacks),shows no signs of abaiting, South Africa’s bounce back towards the end of the 3rd Quarter and into 2021 is not just reflective of increased production and diversification: it is a trend taking place towards southern Africa.

Nigeria Inflation rates (2020 – 2021)

source: tradingeconomics.com

Botswana, like most southern African countries has a huge chunk of its GDP contribution from mineral resources and the provision of services.It is the 2nd Largest producer of diamonds globally and this sector forms a major part of its GDP . The country was among the hardest hit by COVID-19, as GDP fell to almost -28% from 2.3% in the last quarter, led by mining (falling by almost -60% from -6% previously). However , One particular sector recorded quite an impreessive growth with GDP from the sector rising from 377 million to 396 million BWP (Botswana Pula ) : Agriculture

February 2020.

Dr Taphelo Masheka , The Batswana Minister for Finance and economic development in his 2020 budget speech had stated the need for agriculture to be included as a focal sector in the transformation agenda of the NDP 11( National Development plan 11) :

Government will be refocusing attention to Agriculture and manufacturing sectors…as these sectors have the potential to boost economic growth , create job ,promote exports and reduce poverty …

Excerpts from the Botswana Budget plan 2020

Dr Taphelo Matsheka, Minister of Finance and Economic development

December 2020.

Some of the policies revived seemed to have yielded fruit : NAAMPAAD (National masterplan for the arable agriculture and diary development) and ISPAAD (Integrated support program for Arable agriculture development have been to able to assist farmers by enhancing their access to input and providing extension services to boost productivity and ensure food self sufficiency : A scarce theme across african economies. These programmes have been in existence since 2008 . However, consistent programme flagoffs and completion have ensured stable progress over the years, culminating in gradual growth in its GDP contribution and sheiding the economy from the shortfalls of global diamond price falls and pandemic situations like these. These policies have led to increased growth in both production and profits for grain crops and contributing to reducing the employment deficit.

While economies across the continent gradually pick themselves over this period, some countries might wish they had been engaged in sector growth diversification to survive such situations. Nigeria is a prime example; the global fall in oil prices just before the pandemic coupled with lockdown and growing insecurity has left the nations coffers empty, depending on dollar injection to boost its economy and making scrambled last -ditch efforts to revive sectors that it had totally abandoned. This is a case of most African countries as the IMF and world bank are looking towards targeted aid to as many as 18 states in the region.

For Botswana (in a southern african region that is more service and mining oriented), It would be a case of celebrating some small wins to towards its 2036 vision of “raising income status to an average middle income by the time period. While we watch however, other nations must need a new focus : a focus on sector diversification, leveraging on the growth of bigger sectors to boost those still growing. For example, leveraging on its much more stable services sector to provide basic technology to improve crop production , ensure better costing and sales and increase farmers profits.

However , While we still sit in the darkness of mono economy and rigid policies, we must wait for that moon of sector reforms, better focus and more diversified plans.


Energy in sub saharan africa is one of the most well documented problems facing the continent as a lack of access by the population has led to economic stagnation.

Traditionally, energy sources are mainly from coal, oil, gas and hydroelectricity. While these sources have their own percentage usage , oil and coal ( which are not easily renewable) constitute a major part.

Sub saharan Africa requires large consumption of varying levels of energy to sustain its industrialization drive. Countries like Nigeria and SouthAfrica are among the big weights in energy consumption across the continent, owing to their large infrastructure base and strong physical industry.,

Population statistics from the UNDP show a possible population explosion within the next five years, leading to increased demand for energy.

Currently, power generation in Africa is very low , with energy improvements at just 1.2% annually. Following trends, it is likely that 60% of the continent would not have access to energy by 2020.

One major reason for the lack of effective development can be directly linked to the high cost of non renewable energy among countries on the continent . Generation sources are mostly coal, fuel and gas turbine stations that require huge mechanisms and an equally large volume of gas to produce and generate electricity to power homes and industries.

Could demand for energy likely increase on the continent?

Yes. Most likely. The demand for energy use and consumption would likely triple over the coming years as rapid population growth , urbanization and economic development rises .African governments are increasingly burdened with finding cheaper alternative sources of energy to reduce the equally high demand.

RENEWABLE ENERGY : the missing jigsaw.

Renewable energy are energy generated from sources that can be easily replenished. Energy generated by heat or water or waste material fall over this category.

Currently, renewable energy constitute 20 percent of global energy consumption (African consumption falls even lower). There have been varied calls for countries to seek out innovative renewable resources to generate electricity.

Climate changes and other dangerous environmental issues can be directly linked to the emisssions from the use of non renewable energy.

In the last three years, there have been improved research on the use of biomass ( energy from waste materials) to provide energy. Electric and biomass cars have also been produced to reduce crude oil consumptions.

While Africa might not be a leading emission base for fossil fuels ( china and USA are the major culprits), the decision to move towards cheaper sustainable energy sources would likely bear more fruit.

Improved industrialization, electrification and infrastructural development would likely increase. There is also a tendency for improved productivity as energy levels would aid less idle time at work. The business owner would see less energy costs and this would boost profits.

Bright Remy, CEO of Remok Consults opines that ,

Renewable energy would reduce the cost of government in providing electricity. Industries would be run more efficiently and development accelerated at a fast pace.

While it is now imperative that African countries harness its energy resources through various sources, there should be an equitable mix to ensure that countries can slowly transition from non- renewable to renewable sources.

Until then, however, we must innovate, develop, plan and build!

Xenophobia : Could South Africa be shooting its economic foot?

The sight was gory.

South africans beating up an almost lifeless man, pelting him with rocks and stones.

This is a common sight over the years in south Africa. From 2000 to date, over 300 foreigners have been killed and their properties destroyed in racial attacks.

And it does not seem to be stopping. South africa is home to over 2.2 million foreigners(2.7 percent of total population) drawn from many countries , notably neighbors zimbabwe , Angola and Somalia.

The common decry for these attacks are the economic failures propagated by politicians and traditional rulers and held as beliefs by the southAfrican people.

The SouthAfrican economy is the second largest in the continent, only behind Nigeria and is the most industrialized . However, unlike its closest rival , South Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 29% , 15 percent more than Nigeria.

Unemployment factors differ from country to country and while it is cannot be too loose from education standards, the influx of foreigners to take up available jobs has led to wide spread consternation . ( A revered Zulu leader had once incited violence by requesting all foreigners to go back) .

The southAfrican economic sector is a service based one (services taking up 68% of contribution to GDP) with Financial service, a large chunk of that contribution. The government owns a major stake in top sectors across the country , keeping its fiscal receipts on high. There are social support services provided to ease the unemployment burden and this has been the case for a while.

However,political instability, bureaucratic government procedures , a slowly weakened currency and a poor saving culture has further deteriorated the country.

In steps the foreigners.

They are accountable for 70-80 percent of informal sector labour and 43 percent of formal sector labour. While services might form a major part of the economy, the real value of the country’s earnings rests on mining and recently, Agriculture.

Poor education structures have meant that the system basically does not equip South Africans with knowledge to work and thrive in a highly technical sector like that of services. The resultant effect is the flooding of both sectors including trade and services. Somali , indian and Bangladeshi traders are a key part of trade while mozambicans, Angolans , Zimbabweans and Nigeria are a key part of construction and engineering. While these investments has led to infrastructural development and government control . It has also led to capital flight, leaving the country as a workers haven and weakening the Rand.

Its now easy to see how this has played out. A member of the small business committee, during one of the attacks had held the view that Somali traders were attacked because they were hiding trading secrets, by importing cheaply and making huge profits. Although , there was widespread criticism , but this had opened up a deep issue facing the country.

Economic Implications

It is safe to say that , as long as unemployment rates continue to rise as seen below, xenophobia would continually be seen.

However, the implications of their departure, outweigh whatever beliefs are held of them.

  • Labour rate reduction – labour for the informal sector like mining and agriculture are expected to drastically fall , leading to production and consumption declines
  • Trade – This is also an important cog of the Southern African economy. Increased imports are expected to be made, decreasing local consumption and reducing tax opportunities for the government.
  • Foreign capital decline – South African top businesses are majorly profitable outside the country( shop rite, MTN, DStv) and repatriate huge foreign capital. A decline is expected, caused by diplomatic tension.

The Forward thought?

An overhaul of the education system is needed ; creating better content and structure to equip and train southAfricans

2. Entrepreneurship: There is also a need to encourage business models and innovations from southAfricans and support in building and running their business.

3. Social benefit reductions : Being blunt , social intervention programs have made southAfricans lazy and less productive . A reduction in benefits would ensure that there is a plan for personal and community growth , built on entrepreneurship

4. Diversification: While it is commendable that , unlike other african countries , the country is not entirely dependent on natural resources , The country needs to diversify its economic sectors , to ensure stronger and wider skill force reach to cater different sets of skilled individuals in both formal and informal sectors.

Until then however, the country might be shooting off its economic foot.


Nigeria’s well documented issues with Oil and Gas epitomizes the African proverb that ‘’Procrastination are the graves upon which opportunities are based. Considering the fact the Oil discovery, exploration and trade has been in existence since the 1950, it would not be wrong to state that Nigeria had been digging mass graves all the while.

Procrastination are the graves upon which opportunities are based.- African Proverb

The recent comments by Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of NNPC on the decision of the corporation to remove government subsidies on the prices of its Petroleum products must have sounded like a gong from a distance: It should have been done earlier than now. Of course, this is coming on the back of the sharp drop in Oil prices, attributed to the COVID -19 Coronavirus pandemic and then the Oil trade dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia and its impact on OPEC’ s benchmark pricing. Of course, there have already been predictions of a further drop in oil prices to possibly a single digit figure per barrel (which in all honesty, is damning for a country that rakes in 86% of its export earnings from this source).

As OPEC members deliberates on historic production cuts (which might go well in to 20 million barrels per day) and the world’s demand falls as economies try to rebuild from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, Nigeria is left in a state of acute economic spiral. Already, major cuts to the 2020 national budget are already being made and this has put on hold, the development of certain sectors of the economy.

Should we really have been in this situation?

Nigeria’s Oil production from 1980 to date has never been below 500 million barrels/day. In fact, as early as 2012, we were producing roughly 2.7 billion barrels /day, eclipsing Angola and Kuwait at some point. Revenues from oil exports have raked in billions of Dollars over the year (with consideration on oil price changes). Economic and political analysts have touted the need for a diversification on the country’s export sectors by encouraging new viable sectors and engaging in the formation and management of some. Over the years, some of those establishments have either been abandoned or left moribund. Local Oil refineries built have often been drawn into the mix, leaving the country’s wealth at the mercy of multinational firms that are more patriotic than a blind man hoping to not hit a basket in the market place. In a bid to cushion the effect of oil shocks, the government had subsidized the prices of fuel over the years.

The New Year resolution of the Good luck Jonathan government in 2012 to remove oil subsidy was greeted with mass protests. Of course, an increased petrol price was one worry: proper accountability of subsidy funds was a worry that was never worried about… only until recently. While fears over increased petrol prices can be assuaged with the hope of a privatized oil refinery by Aliko Dangote, the same cannot be said over how oil prices might just affect the growth of other sectors that we failed to improve. For a Nigerian micro economy that is highly emotional, ordinary fuel price increase can trigger a massive inflation in basic commodities: dragging us back into a new need for righting the wrongs that have long been closed.

Our mass graves might have been dug for years on end but the country can close them up: doubling efforts on improving other viable export options and remembering that subsidy was never a palliative, but a mirage that continually plays its macabre dance of hope before our eyes.

Until then however, we would never need the graves if opportunities are kept alive!

SUDAN’s INFLATION : is it just a currency problem?

Sudan, on the north east of the african continent, has been drenched in the murky waters of inflation and seems to be drowning in economic crisis.

My most vivid descriptions of sudan is not one of hunger, or the mixture of dark shrivelled and caramel bloated skin of its indigenes : it is the description of its numerous sandstorms and how they blow up so much sand and dust that could cake you into an archeological discovery freshly dug from the ground.

It is in this sandstorm that SUDAN have found itself , with hyper inflationary trends drawing the increase in prices by over 100 percent. There has been a shortage of foreign currency in the market , which could be directly traced to its loss of control of oil fields and reserve to the breakaway nation of south sudan .

90 percent of its oil fields were conceded to the sister nation and due to a lack of oil trade, the availability of foreign currency for import of goods reduced , leading to rising prices of the available in the market.

The country ignored calls from the IMF to float its currency but instead went ahead to devalue its currency , with the hope of investments to cushion the economic imbalance

Suffice to say, for a nation that is war and violence pronec , it was foolhardy to depend on investment when one is not sure of security. The result of that decision has been glaring.

Scarcity of goods. Demand rise . Supply cannot cope. There is inflation.

This inflation has touched every sector of the country and has already led to violent clashes and uprising with partisans using the opportunity to fight a political war .

While people blame its three quarters loss of oil reserves and foreign currency platforms, is it really a currency problem?

Sudan’s economic system is heavily import dependent and uses the dollar for international transactions with some arab and asian countries as trade allies. This is why no one is helping as these currency problems rise . They all trade in dollars.

East africa might not have a regional currency , however , the country can float its currency to align with those of its neighbors and effectively trade with them, with her citizens prepared to ditch quality for survival until the curency gains its foothold.

In the near future, the country can aim to benefit from the continental free trade agreement to leverage on mid quality goods and services from its members.

Until then , however , the sudanese government must swim and swim fast, to escape the sharks of political instability and tension!.

The Journey Begins

Welcome to the Wakanda Bible Airlines.  I am your flight captain AfroMarlon and I would be taking you on a journey of  innovation, development and information. Our destination is a New Africa. Sit back, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the flight. 

A man that scratches his buttocks in public does not smell his hands afterwards