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SONA, Kenya buyback, Zambian copper

South African President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address this week pointed to costly welfare and healthcare expansions ahead of this year’s election. This would make the job of stabilising the public finance even harder. Meanwhile, Kenya’s bond-buyback plan will help to put immediate default fears to rest, but fiscal restraint will be needed over the coming years to prevent default concerns re-emerging. Finally, although Zambia’s recent copper deposit discovery will (if exploited) help to boost export earnings, greater investment and economic reforms will be needed if Zambia is to see more rapid income convergence.

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