Central bank to support growth

Botswana’s central bank would stick to its accommodative monetary policy to help support economic growth that was set to slow because of power shortages, it said yesterday. The economy of the biggest producer of diamonds would probably expand 5.1 percent this year, Kealeboga Masalila, the head of monetary and financial stability at the Bank of Botswana, said. The economy grew 5.9 percent last year. “Electricity and water challenges will hinder growth. Diamond production and an accommodative monetary stance will help to support economic activity via interest rate adjustments.” Inflation would probably remain inside the 3 percent to 6 percent target band in the medium term, Masalila said. – Bloomberg


Old tax system being reformed

Angola could increase government revenue and simplify collection by raising rates for the wealthiest earners and limiting the number of income tax brackets, the Christian Michelsen Institute said on Friday. Africa’s second-largest crude producer raised $1.4 billion (R14.8bn) in personal income taxes last year, the fourth largest source of non-oil revenue, from $1.2bn in 2012, the development research group said, citing government data. The nation is updating a decades-old tax system to broaden collection, increase revenue and streamline procedures as it recovers from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. “The reform should hike percentages on people who make more than most, strip out half the income bands that complicate collection and increase basic exemptions,” Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, an economist at the institute and co-author of the report, said on Sunday. – Bloomberg


Sisi keeps PM, seeks continuity

Newly inaugurated President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reappointed Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb yesterday, signalling continuity as he sets out to fix the economy and overcome political divisions after a long period of turmoil and bloodshed. In comments carried by the state news agency, Mehleb said the current government would stay on in a caretaker role until a new cabinet was formed. Keeping the main ministers in their positions could enable Sisi to move quickly in implementing reform. – Reuters