Oil and bread: Africa's top business news

STORY: Here are five business stories making headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

The state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation formally became a commercial company on Tuesday (July 19), in a move authorities said would deliver more profitability and accountability.

NNPC Ltd's group chief executive said the company would be ready to launch an initial public offering in the middle of next year.

Uganda's coffee exports fell 14% year-on-year in June, the industry regulator has said.

Production of the crop, which is a key foreign exchange earner, was hurt by drought that led to a shorter main harvest season in key growing areas, according to a report seen on Thursday (July 21).

Ghana will sign a $3.2 billion agreement next week with the Thelo DB consortium to develop and make operational its Western Railway Line, the company said in a statement.

The line runs for 210 miles from Takoradi Port to Kumasi but, according to the Ministry of Railways Development, only 41 miles is operational.

South Africa's central bank hiked its main lending rate by 75 basis points to 5.5% on Thursday, the biggest rise in nearly two decades.

That's a bid to tame soaring inflation, which in June hit a year-on-year high of 7.4%, not reached since May 2009 during the global financial crisis.

And finally, back to Nigeria - where bread-makers have suspended production, bakers' associations have said.

They're protesting the soaring price of ingredients such as flour and sugar.

Unions said they're calling on the government to stop charging a 15% levy on imported wheat - prices of which have risen amid Russia's war in Ukraine.

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