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I am re reading Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuściński
“I was seized at once with a profound fascination, a burning thirst to
learn, to immerse myself totally, to melt away, to become as one with
this foreign universe. To know it as if I had been born and raised
there, begun life there. I wanted to learn the language, I wanted to
read the books, I wanted to penetrate every nook and cranny.
It was a kind of malady, a dangerous weakness, because I also realized
that these civilizations are so enormous, so rich, complex, and
varied, that getting to know even a fragment of one of them, a mere
scrap, would require devoting one's whole life to the enterprise.
Cultures are edifices with countless rooms, corridors, balconies, and
attics, all arranged, furthermore, into such twisting, turning
labyrinths, that if you enter one of them, there is no exit, no
retreat, no turning back. To become a Hindu scholar, a Sinologist, an
Arabist, or a Hebraist is a lofty all-consuming pursuit, leaving no
space or time for anything else.”
FRIDAY, JAN 30, 2015 03:01 AM EAT Our dangerous new McCarthyism: Russia, Noam Chomsky and what the media’s not telling you about the new Cold War @Salon
Law & Politics
It is time to attempt that hardest of things—to see ourselves for who
we are, to see what it is we are doing and what is being done to us.
Two things prompt the thought. We have the latest news on Washington’s
confrontation with Russia, and we have a newly precipitous decline in
the national conversation on this crisis. In my estimation, we reach
dangerous new lows in both respects.
It is always difficult for the living to see themselves as suspended
in history. Being up against the rock face of events, being the stuff
of which events are made, allows no distance, and achieving
perspective without any takes an arduous effort.
But we have to make an attempt at this field of vision now. Every
moment counts as history, but some passages are bigger than others.
And this, ours, is very big as of the last 10 days, maybe two weeks.
Konstantin Sonin, a professor at a much-celebrated research university
in Moscow, gave the New York Times an interesting quotation over the
weekend. “The country is on a holy mission. It’s at war with the
United States,” Sonin said. “So why would you bother about the small
battleground, the economy?”
Think about this, and do so in two dimensions. There is the question
of war, and then the question of “small battlegrounds.” What is this
man talking about? What assumptions lie behind this remark? What are
In last week’s column I confessed astonishment at the recent turn of
events in Ukraine and the Western alliance’s relations with Russia.
Western Europe, teetering at the edge of economic crisis, adds
significantly to its vulnerabilities as it acquiesces in Washington’s
sanctions regime against the Russian Federation. It is a couple of
short steps now from crisis to catastrophe.
Kiev bails on peace talks and instantly launches an ambitious
offensive in eastern Ukraine. As those eligible to be conscripted
defect in some number to Russia, Ukraine remains heavily reliant on
neo-Nazi militias—a documented reality no one in Washington or the
American media cares to talk about. Instead, Washington announces—just
this week; read it here —that it will begin sending troops to train
Ukrainian National Guardsmen as of this spring.
The very latest arrives as this column gets written. Fresh reports
from Moscow suggest—verbatim from one summary will do—“U.S. plans
Euromaidan in Belarus to overthrow Lukashenko. Local nationalists
licking their chops.” The Maidan is the square in Kiev where the
Ukraine crisis started two Novembers ago. Lukashenko is Alexander
Grigoryevich, who has presided in Belarus for the past 21 years.
Two, there can be no Cold War II because the Cold War as we knew it
never ended. NATO’s eastward creep, Georgia in 2008, Ukraine now, the
merciless, reckless sanctions—all that has changed since 1991 are
tactics, not strategy. Which leads to point three.
Three is that the object of the war I assert we are now waging is
destruction. To put this precisely, Washington’s intent is not to
destroy Russia: It is to destroy what we may as well call “Putin’s
Russia.” The implications here should be evident. This is “regime
change” on the grandest scale.
We can now comprehend Washington’s logic—a perverse, almost diabolical
logic, Strangelovian logic. In last week’s column I used the term
“monomania,” single-minded obsession. I hesitated to keep it in—too
strong, I worried—but there was no need. The policy cliques in
Washington have no intention of desisting in this war until they win
it. Recognize this and you will find the prospect of hot war staring
We can also understand the apparently nonsensical risks Washington is
taking and forcing Europeans on the front lines to accept. Five
thousand Ukrainians dead, the arming of hyper-nationalist Nazis,
Russia provoked into full-frontal hostility, the E.U. economies at the
precipice: All this amounts to the “small battlegrounds.” It goes down
among the policy cliques as collateral damage and nothing more. I find
no evidence of concern in Washington for any of it. This is what I
mean by monomania.
Third new apprehension: It is not merely unlikely that Vladimir Putin
will not step back in Ukraine or buckle under the sanctions regime. It
is impossible. Russians far afield from the Kremlin share the thought
that they are in a war with Americans. The bitter truth, available to
us as of these past weeks, is that they are right.
I have had occasion to cite the great Kundera quotation before in this
space, from “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.” “The struggle of
man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” the
Czech novelist wrote. It applies here, now, to us. It is our
responsibility to engage this struggle so history gets written
correctly. This is critically important now.
But there is a destructive enemy in this struggle. The American press,
the New York Times in particular, has no intention whatsoever of
struggling against either power or forgetting. It fails more or less
completely now to remember that it, too, is supposed to be a pole of
power, a countervailing pole. And its effect upon us creates another
crisis, as I read it. Never mind the manufacture of consent: We live
amid the manufacture of ignorance, a worse condition.
This ignorance is what is being done to us. It is essential, indeed,
to the prosecution of the war as defined above.
I came to this thought by way of a keyhole’s view of the larger
phenomenon. The thread attaching to these columns has grown swiftly of
late into a chaos of irrational nonsense when the words “Russia” or
“Putin” come up in the copy. Name-calling suffices, the need for
logical argument (always welcome) obviated.
“The substitution of the unconscious action of crowds for the
conscious activity of individuals,” Gustave Le Bon wrote, “is one of
the principal characteristics of the present age.” Le Bon published
“The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind,” in 1908. The truth held in
Mussolini’s Italy and quickly thereafter in Joe McCarthy’s America.
Ask yourself: How closely does it describe our time?
Gorbachev Warns Ukraine could Ignite World War III
Law & Politics
“Plainly speaking, the US has already dragged us into a new Cold War,
trying to openly implement its idea of triumphalism,” the former
Soviet leader told Interfax. “What’s next? Unfortunately, I cannot be
sure that the Cold War will not bring about a ‘hot’ one. I’m afraid
[the United States] might take the risk.”
He criticized the US and the EU for continuing to press for more
economic sanctions against Russia. “All we hear from the US and the EU
now is sanctions against Russia,” he continued. “Are they completely
out of their minds? The US has been totally ‘lost in the jungle’ and
is dragging us there as well.”
A US citizen was shot and wounded in eastern Saudi Arabia on Friday, state news agency SPA reported, adding to security concerns in the world's top oil exporting nation.
Law & Politics
A vehicle carrying two U.S. citizens came under fire in the Eastern
Province district of al-Ahsa, one of the main centres of Saudi
Arabia's minority Shi'ites, SPA said, citing a police statement. It
was not clear who shot at the vehicle.
Drones, by the numbers
As this Reuters graphic shows, according to data compiled by the New
America Foundation, drone and cruise missiles have been a part of the
global anti-militant campaign since 2002, with 396 total strikes
taking place in Pakistan and 118 occurring in Yemen. The frequency of
strikes increased in late 2008, and then rose substantially once
President Obama took office, peaking in 2010, when they killed at
least 609 in Pakistan. Since then the frequency has somewhat abated,
and the majority of monthly strikes have shifted to targets in Yemen.
Drones killed 411 Yemenis in 2012, the worst year for deaths in that
Mugabe Named AU Chairman Vowing to Protect Africa Resources Bloomberg
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was appointed chairman of the
African Union, vowing to protect the continent’s resources from
“imperialists and colonialists.”
Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, thanked God for recent oil finds in
Africa that the “blind eyes of colonialists could not see.” He made
the comments in a speech to leaders in the Ethiopian capital of Addis
Ababa after being named chairman of the 54-nation group for a one-year
term, succeeding Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
“African resources should belong to Africa and to no one else, except
to those we invite as friends,” Mugabe said. “Friends we shall have,
yes, but imperialists and colonialists no more. Africa is for
Mugabe’s reputation has been “dented by his continued stay in office
and his brutal response to growing opposition,” said Charles
Mangongera, a political analyst at the Washington-based International
Forum for Democratic Studies, in a Jan. 27 statement. The president
lacks credibility in regional peacemaking, he said.
02-FEB-2015 :: Africa Must Adopt Better Risk Management of Resources @TheStarKenya
One of my tried and trusted ‘proxy’ economic indicators is the traf-
fic. I have had to leave earlier and earlier from Windsor in Kiambu
every morning as the traffic volume spikes higher. Consider what
happens if the price of super petrol now at Sh92 and change falls to
Sh60 a litre, which is where it should be now. Crude oil in New York
spiked +6.75% higher Friday to close at $48.24 but this same contract
was above a $100 a barrel in June 2014. My more constructive outlook
for Kenya in 2015 (and bear in mind we are having to hurdle a very
soft tourism sector] is informed by this fall in the price of fuel,
which will produce a seriously meaningful ‘’grass-roots’’ stimulus as
41mil- lion Kenyans experience the boost of having some spending power
this year. In fact, while you cannot eat GDP you can ‘eat’ a lower
fuel price. President Reagan spoke of ‘’trickledown’’ economics, many
years ago. As I spot more and more Peugeot 504s on the road, I am in
fact watching ‘’trickledown’’ I am not optimistic about my commute. If
you model the Kenyan economy like I do, You will note the economy
outperforms under these conditions as it did in 2006 and 2007.
The appointment of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (who turns 91 in
February - and consider that the median average in Sub Saharan Africa
is about 18.6, there- fore 91/18.6 = 4.89 times which is surely a
factor that is so extreme its off the charts] as chairman of the
African Union @_AfricanUnion caught my attention as it did catch the
attention of everyone on social media (social media allows me to
measure the real time pulse) especially as he had to be jogged awake.
President Mugabe made a typical ‘fire-brand’ speech vowing to protect
the continent’s resources from “imperial- ists and colonialists.”
Mugabe thanked God for recent oil finds in Africa that the “blind eyes
of colonialists could not see.”
“African resources should belong to Africa and to no one else, except
to those we invite as friends,” Mugabe said. “Friends we shall have,
yes, but imperialists and colonialists no more. Africa is for
Africans.” And I thought to myself;
Mr.African Union @_AfricanUnion president you are missing the point
entirely and a little like President Putin missed the point as the
21st century oil war- fare specialist Barack Obama took Russia and the
ruble to the cleaners. The word clueless springs to mind and let me
explain why. For at least three years through June 2014, the price of
Nymex crude oil averaged between $90 and $100 Nigeria, Angola, South
Sudan and all the oil producing economies had an opportunity to lock
in those prices on a forward basis at $90- plus for a number of years.
I am of the opinion that not one African country did this. Its
absolutely frightful risk management. And that is the point. In an
increasingly sophisticated and complex financial World, the folks
charged with managing our precious resources, they have failed at the
very first hurdle and chatter about ‘’imperialist and colonialists’’
is just a smokescreen.
Vladimir Putin was always the target of this oil warfare but so where
the peripherals. The shale boys in North America are still standing
and only because they hedged.
Bloomberg headlined a story ‘’Africa oil boom on hold’’ last week. Its
worth reading because it re-affirms what the share price action of the
explorers is telling us. Tullow Oil PLC has slumped -53.08 per cent
over the last 12 months, Africa Oil -70.92 per cent, and Afren -96.43
per cent (which Fitch Ratings yesterday saying that “de- fault is
imminent.”) over the same period. If these shares were listed at the
Securities Exchange, they would be the worst three perform- ing shares
East African oil exploration has actually buckled.
‘’For Africa to revive the mo- mentum of its oil and gas industry,
governments need to look at the terms they offer explorers and adapt
them to reflect lower prices’’ Tullow chief executive officer Aidan
The open question is when these governments will do this and hope-
fully before what has happened to Afren ‘’default is imminent’’
happens to the entire sector.
"One could be forgiven for having the impression that they're interested in the per diem, the luxury hotel, the bar and the minibar, enjoying the nightclubs of Addis Ababa, and not peace,"
The crash in the price of crude oil may not have worked through the
economy yet but it has already trashed all spending plans
'Angola has seen nothing yet,' is a common comment in Luanda business
circles about the impact of the oil price crash on the country. The
government is seeking to plug financial gaps. 'They are out
scrambling, trying to find dollars,' said a financial source in the
capital. 'International banks are offering Angolan debt deals to raise
dollar financing for the government.' Angola has secured US$250
million from the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the same amount again
from Gemcorp Capital LLP, according to agency reports, while China
Development Bank has loaned $2 billion loan to the state-owned oil
company, Sonangol. Negotiations are also under way with the World Bank
for more aid.
Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Planning to IPO Investments @Bloomberg
Kingdom Holding Co., the investment company owned by Saudi billionaire
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, is planning to sell shares in a
“significant” number of assets.
The firm, through which Prince Alwaleed holds stakes in companies
including Citigroup Inc. and Twitter Inc., is considering offerings on
the Saudi stock exchange and internationally, Chief Financial Officer
Mohammed Fahmy said in an interview in Riyadh. Flynas LLC, the Saudi
budget airline in which it holds a 34 percent stake, is among
companies planning share sales, he said, declining to identify others.
Alwaleed is considering an initial public offering or merger of Four
Seasons Holdings Inc. and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc., he told
Bloomberg TV in November 2013
Kingdom Holding, which has $1 billion in bank financing available for
new investments, is hunting opportunities worldwide in retail,
pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods, which includes soft
drinks and toiletries, Fahmy said. Africa, in particular, is on its
radar this year.
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +3.08% 2015
The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index climbed 0.6 percent to 51,266.81,
a four-month high, by the close on Friday. That extended its increase
this month to 3 percent.
26-JAN-2015 The sharp underperformance in Nigeria is sending portfolio
inflows that were aimed at the West of Africa to the East [Nairobi]
and The South [Johannesburg]
The South [Johannesburg] had a very good run last week and it is
expected that some of Draghi’s ‘free money’ will flow into South
Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 10.6215
Killing in a media blackout @AFP #BagaKillings
The harrowing stories add to mounting eye-witness accounts that we've
already been able to gather from Nigeria, pointing at killings on a
mass scale in Baga. But the numbers - even now - are impossible to
In Lagos, some 1,000 kilometres from the epicentre of the violence,
news of a Boko Haram attack invariably starts with contact from one of
our courageous local correspondents in northern Nigeria. Sometimes,
the trigger can be a single line on social media.
What follows is a scramble for confirmation, which is not easy when
the military and government have largely stopped talking about
anything to do with the insurgency - unless it's on their terms.
With each new attack we make calls to the military and the government,
despite knowing that we'll likely be stonewalled.
Local military officials decline apologetically, saying they’re no
longer authorised to speak and refer queries to Defence Headquarters
in Abuja. But phones there are often switched off or ring out. Our
texts often go unanswered or we’re told to check the military’s
Twitter feed, where there’s usually nothing.
Increasingly we like neat packages of information, something easily
understood, with arresting images, that can be summarised in 140
characters or a hashtag.
In the Boko Haram insurgency, there’s never a complete picture, just
snippets of unimaginable horror and an attempt to fill in the gaps
before bracing for the next attack.
Phil Hazlewood is AFP bureau chief in Lagos
Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -3.85% 2015
Is the world-changing impact of mobile phones a myth? @WEF
At first glance the numbers seem staggering. Global mobile phone
penetration is 96%. In sub-Saharan Africa, where 47% of the population
lives on less than $1.25 a day, mobile data use is expected to grow
twentyfold by the end of 2019, according to a mobility study by
Ericsson. It is predicted there will be 930 million mobile
subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2019 – nearly one
for every resident.
And while mobile adoption is high, internet use is low. Only 40% of
the world’s population has access to the internet. This is important,
because research links internet use to economic growth. For example,
according to one 2010 report, a 10% increase in per capita GDP is
associated with a 21.5% increase in internet users per capita.
A couple of years ago I wrote about a young man named Stephen Ondieki,
who lived in Kenya’s second-largest slum. While his neighbours were
earning less than $1 a day, Stephen was earning $8 a day running a
computer repair shop. Stephen’s success would have been impossible
without a reliable and affordable broadband connection, which allowed
him to take classes that prepared him to repair computers. For Stephen
and others in developing countries, broadband connectivity is a
powerful catalyst for economic and social advancement.
Default risk rises for emerging and frontier markets @Euromoney
African woes The highest defaulters group also contains a number of
sub-Sahara African credits. Among them are Mozambique, Tanzania,
Liberia, Malawi, Uganda, Madagascar, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, the DRC,
Sierra Leone and Guinea – all higher-risk portfolio options, which
became even riskier in Q4 2014. Tier-four Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and
Algeria are similarly cascading down the rankings. While these trends
highlight the impact of the negative oil shock for large oil producers
such as Angola, the slower pace of economic growth in China has also
hurt demand for other resource-rich producers previously cashing in on
the commodity boom. The oil price shock affects Gabon too.
Hydrocarbons revenue (oil and/or gas) provides 75% to 90% of fiscal
revenue in these countries and there is undoubtedly a tougher year
ahead, fiscally, until oil prices revive. Political expedience means
many are resisting quid-
The unsettling presidential ouster in Burkina Faso, the failed coup in
Gambia, and Islamist conflict in Cameroon and Nigeria destabilizing
western Africa have all sent a stark reminder too of the dangers of
political risk where the resource curse has for many countries failed
to eradicate poverty, and non-concessional borrowing is on the rise.
Damaged glass seen at the entrance of the Corinthia Hotel one day
after it was targeted by a car bomb and stormed by three armed men, in
Tripoli, Libya Photo: EPA
.@Safaricomltd share price data here +0.7071% 2015
Par Value: 0.05/-
Closing Price: 14.15
Total Shares Issued: 40044601000.00
Market Capitalization: 566,631,104,150
First Half Earnings for the Period ended 30 September 2013
First Half Earnings through Sep 30 2014 versus through Sep 30 2013
H1 Revenue 79.335723b versus 69.201287b +14.6%
H1 Direct Costs [28.917853b] versus [24.792624b] +16.6%
H1 Other Expenses [17.442953b] versus [15.555332b] +12.1%
H1 Profit Before Taxation 21.106521b versus 15.908812b +32.7%
H1 Profit After Tax 14.711449b versus 11.260242b +30.6%
H1 EPS 0.37 versus 0.28 +32.1%
H1 Cash at end of reporting Period 30.489995b versus 19.808642b
M-Pesa Customers active in the last 30 days 12.80m versus 11.55m +10.8%
Revenue accelerated +14.6% to 79.34b
M-Pesa Revenue 15.59b versus 12.50b +24.7%
M-Pesa ARPU +10.84
Africa’s other large economies, Nigeria and South Africa, face more
than their share of political and economic turmoil these days, but
Kenya appears headed in the other direction. Backed by a majority in
both legislative chambers, President Uhuru Kenyatta appears poised to
advance long-delayed plans to develop the country’s power sector and
national infrastructure. His government has strengthened the state’s
security bureaucracy in the wake of recent terrorist attacks—and the
decision by the International Criminal Court to withdraw charges
against Kenyatta brings a new measure of stability. The implementation
of IMF-supported fixes to central bank and treasury management ought
to keep inflation in check and the currency stable as well.
This story is from the February 2015 issue of Fortune.
Had the government not acted by pumping in Sh500 million into the troubled Mumias Sugar Company the country’s largest sugar manufacturer was clearly headed for receivership.
Indeed, the fraudulent activities that have brought the company to its
knees were the massive irregularities in the marketing, distribution
and transportation of sugar.
The company’s top managers behaved like reckless cowboys. And the
report highlights a catalogue of cases of manipulation of after-sales
discounts, duplicated credit notes resulting in customers enjoying
double discounts, post-sales discounts and discounts above the stated
The company lost billions in these irregular transactions.
The report by the forensic auditors also revealed cases where
transporters were diverting goods meant for inter-warehouse transfers.
Irregularities also centered around futures contracts, a system where
distributors would advance money to the company in exchange of future
supply of sugar at discounted prices.
It allowed distributors to bet on the upward movement of sugar prices,
allowing them to pocket millions through exploiting anomalies in the
And, because of the dominant place of Mumias in the sugar sector, the
discounts would create distortions in the market for sugar in the
The report painted a picture in which a tiny elite of distributors had
more or less captured the company’s sugar marketing and distribution
system, manipulating situations and routinely locking the company into
lopsided deals and contracts.
The clout and influence of the distributors over the company is born
out by statistics from the report by KPMG.
According to the independent business review by KPMG, Mumias Sugar
Company was in a position in which it was badly exposed to the risk of
sabotage by its distributors because of risk concentration.
The statistics show that almost 65 per cent of all sugar sales come
from six customers who, incidentally, also double as distributors and
The upshot is an environment where the few distributors are able to
collude to dictate prices and engage in other restrictive trade
In their report, the auditors make a strong case for diversification
of distributor channels by the company.
Is control over Mumias by the powerful clique of distributors about to
It is understood that last month, as the company was struggling to
raise money to re-open the factory, the incumbent management and board
quietly decided to go back to a committee of distributors and signed
futures contracts deals worth Sh1.6 billion, giving the distributors a
12.5 discount on current market prices.
The decision raised eyebrows within government, with critics pointing
out that the Mumias management had returned to its old ways.
Insiders believe this new deal is what provided the urgency to move on
the company’s top managers.
A consortium of lenders known as the ethanol group is also said to be
up in arms after they found out that cash from sales that is
ring-fenced and dedicated to service the ethanol loan had been
It is too early to predict how things will evolve. Removing the board
may be problematic considering that Mumias is a listed company.
What is clear, however, is that the lenders who are eight in number
will become more and more powerful in deciding the pace, direction and
fortunes of the company.
The company currently has borrowings totaling a whopping Sh6.2 billion
comprised of Sh 4.6 billion term loans and Sh1.6 billion in working
capital facilities that it is currently unable to service.
In addition, the company owes approximately Sh5 billion to other
creditors including outgrowers (Sh424 million), Kenya Revenue
Authority (Sh2 billion). and customers and distributors Sh533
Kenya Power is owed Sh47 million but has also claimed Sh953 million as
penalties for purported failure to supply power under a power purchase
agreement the two parties signed several years ago.
Established in 1971, Mumias is currently 20 per cent owned by the government.
In recent years, it has undertaken several expansion projects,
venturing into new product areas such as power, ethanol and bottled
In order to finance this expansion, it borrowed money from several lenders.
@KenyaAirways share price data here +25.86% 2015
Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros 91.804
Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +1.79% 2015
165.80 +0.57 +0.34%
Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg +1.95% 2015
5,212.11 +17.90 +0.34%
Every Listed Share can be interrogated here
The value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in East Africa went up by
215 per cent last year compared to 2013, with Kenya accounting for
most of the deals.
Data on disclosed deals compiled by Burbidge Capital shows the number
of M&A deals in 2014 stood at 48, with the value of the deals at
Sh86.2 billion ($947 million). In 2013, there were 31 such deals
valued at Sh27 billion ($300.6 million).
However, the total value of the deals is much higher with the amounts
involved in 20 of the 48 deals not yet disclosed by the parties
The insurance sector saw the most activity with seven deals concluded,
followed by manufacturing with six deals.
The hospitality sector saw five deals in business hotels, food and
beverage, while the banking and agribusiness recorded four deals
“We expect the insurance sector, which saw the 2014 entry of global
insurers Swiss Re and Prudential Plc in Kenya, to maintain a leading
position in 2015 due to the imminent high growth potential of the
industry as well as the higher capital demands,” said Burbidge Capital
chief executive Edward Burbidge.
This year has already seen a major deal concluded with $253 million
(Sh23 billion) spent by Old Mutual to take up a 60.66 per cent stake
in insurer UAP Holdings.
Kenya accounted for 33 of the 48 published deals last year, with a
total disclosed value of Sh46.2 billion.
The biggest deal in Kenya of disclosed value was the sale by Essar
Capital of its Kenyan telecoms business (yuMobile) to rivals Bharti
Airtel and Safaricom for about $120 million (Sh10.9 billion).
29-JUL-2013 :: Africa Buyout Frenzy
We are certainly not in a 'Barbarians at the Gate' moment. (Barbarians
at the Gate The Fall of RJR Nabisco is a 1990 book about the leveraged
buyout of RJR Nabisco) where the US buyout firm KKR won a bidding war
for RJR Nabisco and you could argue it was all about ego.
However, we are clearly seeing an acceleration in activity. The
activity is becoming broader based and the examples I have given range
from advertising, banking, IT to beauty. The list of potential folks
at the dinner table is expanding and very fast my list is not
I expect this flurry of activity to gather speed and not slow down and
it confirms a break out moment. You could characterise it as a 'land
As Ebola 'fear factor' eases, African tourism edges back @Reuters
Inquiries at Safaribookings.com, a marketplace for more than 1,200
safari companies in east and southern Africa, were down 25 percent
during the last four months of 2014, but bounced back in January, with
a 20 percent rise compared to a year ago.
"If you look at my bookings diary for November and December, it's just
full of crossings out where we've had cancellations," said Aubrey
Price, owner of the luxury Ndali Lodge in western Uganda's Ruwenzori
"But the cancellations are now drying up and the bookings are coming
in so I'm actually pretty optimistic about 2015. It seems people have
got used to the threat of Ebola and they just want to come and see