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Friday 24th of November 2017
 
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Africa

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Macro Thoughts

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Happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful to all our guests and staff. You make us Finch Hattons. #HappyThanksgiving2017
Africa


My dearest 11 Year Old Hannah has been in a maturing phase of life and
at times quite short with me. And then I interrogated her Mother and
her Sisters because I was getting distraught and unhappy thinking we
had lost our Bond. And all the Ladies told me No Dad its universal. So
Last night I said to Hannah, BABY i was so distraught but now I am
good. And then her Mum and I took her together that morning to her
Pick up Point. And we started talking about her favourite poem. And
her Mother said its a dark choice its T.S.Eliot's The Hollow Men.

I said ''Mistah Kurtz—he dead''

And Then we looked it up on Google and I said Go on Darling read it

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The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot
Africa


A penny for the Old Guy

I
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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The Contradictions of Joseph Conrad By NGUGI wa THIONG'O
Africa


I turned my back on reading Joseph Conrad in 1967. This was also the
year that I published “A Grain of Wheat,” my third novel, which I
wrote soon after reading Conrad’s “Under Western Eyes.” I could not
put words to what repelled me, because, despite the unease, his
influence on my work was unmistakable, and long lasting. “A Grain of
Wheat” marked a dramatic shift for me away from the linear plots and
single points of view of my first two novels to the multiple narrative
voices and diverse temporal and geographic spaces of my later works.
The difference in style was a result of my encounter with Conrad.

Achebe’s essay helped explain what I had found repellent in Conrad’s
work and why I’d stopped reading him. In the novels set in the outer
reaches of European empire the native characters always seemed to
merge with their environment, reminiscent of the Hegelian image of
Africa as a land of childhood still enveloped in the dark mantle of
the night. I accepted everything Achebe said about Conrad’s biases.

And yet, I could not wholly embrace Achebe’s overwhelmingly negative
view of “Heart of Darkness” or Conrad in general. Somehow, the essay
failed to explain what had once attracted me: Conrad’s ability to
capture the hypocrisy of the “civilizing mission” and the material
interests that drove capitalist empires, crushing the human spirit.
Jasanoff does not forgive Conrad his blindness, but she does try to
present his perspective on the changing, troubled world he traveled, a
perspective that still has strong resonance today.

In “Heart of Darkness,” Conrad’s literary stand-in Charles Marlow
talks of imperialism as a form of robbery accompanied by violence and
aggravated murder on a grand scale. Colonial ventures are mostly about
taking the earth away “from those who have a different complexion or
slightly flatter noses than ourselves.” This captures, in one
sentence, capitalism’s racist roots in slavery and conquest. Conrad
also anticipated a capitalist system’s capacity to dismantle
societies, a point he illustrated through his depiction of Mr.
Holroyd, the cynical American silver and steel tycoon in “Nostromo.”
Jasanoff does an excellent job pulling on all these threads.

I suspect Achebe missed this side of Conrad because he didn’t stop to
consider the diabolical character of Kurtz, the brilliant station
agent gone rogue whom it is Marlow’s task to retrieve. In “Heart of
Darkness,” the final image of Kurtz, the man of light and reason, is
one of him hedged by human heads, capturing the horror of imperialism
and the hollowness of the enlightenment philosophy with which
colonialism wrapped itself. It is a scene reminiscent of Marx’s
comparison of bourgeois progress to the pagan idol who drank nectar
but only from the skulls of the slain. Congo was littered with 10
million skulls, the work of civilized hunters for rubber and ivory to
meet the greed of King Leopold of Belgium.

The Conrad who was able to imagine Kurtz in this way is often obscured
by Marlow, Conrad’s literary alter ego. In “The Dawn Watch,” Jasanoff
goes behind the mask and, like Stanley in search of Livingstone, or
Marlow in search of Kurtz, sets out to find the elusive Conrad by
tracing the physical, historical, biographical and literary footsteps
of the writer. Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, in a
Poland then under the thumb of czarist Russia and to parents engrossed
in the struggle for independence, he later becomes a homeless traveler
of the oceans, and eventually ended up as Joseph Conrad, an
English-speaking citizen of the most global of the European capitalist
empires of the time. Jasanoff returns Conrad to all of these contexts,
understanding what impact they had on his novels.

This is the Conrad who comes alive in Jasanoff’s masterful study. “The
Dawn Watch” will become a creative companion to all students of his
work. It has made me want to re-establish connections with the Conrad
whose written sentences once inspired in me the same joy as a musical
phrase.

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"We live as we dream--alone...." - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Africa


“But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked
within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad.”

“The mind of man is capable of anything.”

“We live in the flicker -- may it last as long as the old earth keeps
rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”

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Rwanda Offers to Host African Migrants Stranded in Libya
Law & Politics


In an unusual gesture that could partly reverse a more familiar
northward odyssey toward Europe, Rwanda offered on Thursday to house
or help repatriate some of the thousands of African migrants being
held in Libya and reportedly auctioned there as slaves.

A statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry said Rwanda was
“horrified” that “African men women and children who were on the road
to exile have been held and turned into slaves.”

“Given Rwanda’s political philosophy and our own history, we cannot
remain silent when human beings are being mistreated and auctioned off
like cattle,” the statement said. The evocation of Rwanda’s history
apparently referred to bloodletting in 1994 when more than 800,000
people perished in an ethnically driven genocide.

“We may not be able to welcome everyone but our door is wide open,”
the Foreign Ministry said.

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Seven years ago, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire @washingtonpost
Law & Politics


Seven years ago, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in
defense of his dignity, unknowingly triggering an avalanche of public
demonstrations across the Middle East. People in the region wanted
what was denied to them for almost a century — a fair order, better
lives and a little breathing space.

Seven years down the road, what the people got in return is upgraded
despotism and chaos.

Conclusions

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Law & Politics


After 40 years in Robert Mugabe’s shadow, Emmerson Mnangagwa is
finally stepping out on his own.

But there is more than one Emmerson Mnangagwa, and we don’t know yet
which one we are getting.

There is the ruthless and cunning Mnangagwa. There is also the witty
and humourous Mnangagwa. Then there is also the third Mnangagwa; the
one whose efforts to reform the economy were thwarted at every turn by
Robert Mugabe.

His former boss, Mugabe, recognised both Mnangagwas and deployed them
accordingly. When he was Security Minister in the 1980s, he was
accused of being involved in the massacre of thousands of innocent
people. In 2008, Mnangagwa led Mugabe’s election campaign, and some
critics believe he was involved in the violence.

When Mugabe briefly flirted with the idea of economic reform and
reengaging international financiers, he gave Mnangagwa the job. With
the likes of allies such as then Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa,
they laid out an economic reform plan in 2013 that involved cutting
spending at home, refining damaging empowerment laws, and
restructuring foreign debt.

One member of Mnangagwa’s team tells The Source that Mnangagwa’s
toughness is what will be needed to fight corruption. But Mnangagwa
himself is not clean. A 2002 UN report implicated him in the looting
of resources in the DRC, calling Mnangagwa “the key strategist for the
Zimbabwean branch of the elite network”.

But while the popular view is that he is business-friendly, he has no
known successful business interests. His farm in Sherwood, near
Kwekwe, is well run, but there is little else known.

Under Mugabe, especially in his final years, the Government drifted
along with zero leadership. Corruption is rampant because Mugabe
excused it, many times publicly. It cannot be hard for Mnangagwa to do
better.

This week, Mnangagwa released a statement couched in all the right
spiel about the need to build consensus across parties. His people say
this is the sort of Government he plans to run. But he hasn’t been
tested yet.

Once he gets power and has to use it, and defend it, we will know
which Mnangagwa comes out; the Emmerson who will try to win by
reforming the economy, or the crocodile who will again use muscle to
subdue opponents.

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20-NOV-2017 :: Zanu-PF need to invite the Opposition into Government, look for a big cash Boost from the international Community in order to stabilise the "now"
Law & Politics


What is clear is that Zimbabwe is entering a New Normal and that in
the medium term Zimbabwe has the potential to be one of the fastest
growing economies in Africa. The People want to grab that opportunity
with both hands. If Zanu-PF want to be part of that new more
optimistic Future they need to invite the Opposition into Government,
look for a big cash Boost from the international Community in order to
stabilise the ‘’now’’

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After Mugabe, African leaders wonder what next
Africa


NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hours after Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was forced
out after 37 years in power, Uganda’s president, another former
guerrilla in office for more than three decades, was tweeting about
pay rises for civil servants and bright prospects for his army tank
crews.

Supporters of long-serving African leaders dismiss parallels with
Zimbabwe, where Mugabe’s former deputy - sacked during a power
struggle with Mugabe’s wife - is about to take power with military and
public backing.

But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s tweets, which come amid rising
anger at the 73-year-old’s attempts to prolong his rule, suggest he is
one of several African leaders looking south and wondering about their
own stability.

“Now that the economic situation in Uganda is improving, the
government will be able to look into raising of salaries of soldiers,
public servants, health workers and teachers and also deal with
institutional housing,” Museveni tweeted on Wednesday.

It was unclear what improvement he meant. Uganda’s faltering economy
is growing too slowly to absorb a booming population of 37 million.
The number of citizens spending less than a dollar a day has surged to
27 percent, the statistics office reported in September, up from 20
percent five years ago.

President since 1986, Museveni is among Africa’s longest-serving
leaders. They include Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang, president
for 38 years; Cameroon’s Paul Biya, president for 35 years; Congo’s
Denis Sassou Nguesso, president for two stints totaling 33 years.

The family of Gnassingbé Eyadéma have ruled Togo for half a century,
and the Democratic Republic of Congo has been run by the Kabila family
since Laurent Kabila took power in 1997. He was replaced by his son,
Joseph, in 2001.

Still, Mugabe’s fall has sent a shiver through a continent whose
northern countries saw the Arab Spring revolts tear down repressive
regimes, even though many of the new leaders proved as bad as the old.

Franck Essi, secretary-general of the opposition Cameroon Peoples’
Party, said opposition movements were closely watching events in
Zimbabwe.

“Leaders must put in place mechanisms for a democratic and peaceful
transition that will allow new leadership. If not, sooner or later,
the people who are suffocating will wake up,” he said.

A slump in commodities prices has deprived some nations of the
resources they have traditionally used to muffle protests. In some
cases, corruption has also emptied state coffers.

In central Africa, Congo’s Kabila has repeatedly postponed elections
after refusing to step down at the end of his term last year, sparking
deadly protests.

Jean-Pierre Kambila, Kabila’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted that
Zimbabwe’s protests were a colonial fantasy.

“A fabricated demonstration dreamed up by those who do not accept the
liberation of Africa. Other Mugabes will be born. Nothing to worry
about,” he wrote.

Uganda, a key Western ally set to begin exporting its substantial oil
reserves, removed term limits in 2005 to extend Museveni’s rule.

The east African nation has seen far less violence under Museveni than
the two dictators who preceded him. But now tensions are rising as
social services crumble and parliamentarians attempt to remove a
constitutional age cap that would bar Museveni from standing in the
next election.

Police have used deadly force against protesters, and repeatedly
arrested the main opposition leader. Security forces dragged
parliamentarians opposing the bill out of the legislature. On
Wednesday, police raided a popular newspaper, detaining eight staff.

Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, dismissed
any parallels with Zimbabwe, saying Mugabe’s overthrow was the result
of Western interference.

“The intelligence services of the West have worked day and night to
bring down Zimbabwe,” he told Reuters. “Citizen pressure in Zimbabwe
can only work if and when the army allows it.”

But another Ugandan opposition leader, Asuman Basalirwa, warned that
national leaders who refused to step down risked plunging their
countries into conflict. Military intervention to end dictatorships
ultimately leads to more repression, he said, something that many
feared might be in store for Zimbabwe.

“It is time for the continent to democratize,” he said. “Those who
have not yet experienced what happened in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and
now Zimbabwe should just wait for their turn because it will surely
come.”

Conclusions

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November 2014 "After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring".
Law & Politics


Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab
Spring, this is the Black Spring”.

During the Arab Spring [now in the bleak mid-Winter], nearly all
commentators spoke of how this North African wildfire could not leap
the Sahara and head to sub-Saharan Africa. The reasons were that the
State [incumbents] had a monopoly on the tools of violence and would
bring overwhelming force and violence to bear.

We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone
cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000? This is another
point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where
that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

Out of a population of 17 million people in Burkina Faso, over 60 per
cent are aged between 17 and 24 years, according to the World Bank,
and this is another point to note. The country’s youth flexed their
muscles. What’s clear is that a very young, very informed and very
connected African youth demographic [many characterise this as a
‘demographic dividend’] – which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a
demographic terminator – is set to alter the existing equilibrium
between the rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun.

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"If its interests go unharmed, China will adjust to the flow of political change,' said Mr Patey @FT
Law & Politics


Other African dictators long supported by China, such as Omar
al-Bashir of Sudan, might be taking note, he said. “Might your
opponents persuade China to look the other way as you are pushed out
the door?”

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Commentary: How Saudi Arabia has overreached on Iran, Lebanon @Reuters
Law & Politics


Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for an hours-long gripe
session against Iran and its ally, Hezbollah. The Arab leaders accused
Tehran and the Lebanese Shi’ite movement of destabilizing the Middle
East, but they fell short of agreeing on concrete action.

The Arab League meeting capped a month in which the Middle East
suddenly seemed to plunge toward a wider regional conflict. Saudi
Arabia charged that a missile fired at its capital from Yemen on Nov.
4 was provided to Yemeni rebels by Iran and constituted “an act of
war.” Saudi leaders then pushed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
into a surprise resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia as a way of
exerting pressure on Iran and Hezbollah. “Wherever Iran is involved,
there is nothing but devastation and chaos,” Hariri said in his
resignation speech on Nov. 4, which was broadcast from the Saudi
capital, Riyadh. He added, “Iran’s hands in the region will be cut
off.”

These actions underscore a newly aggressive Saudi foreign policy, led
by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is eager to challenge Iran
more directly and has amassed tremendous power under the rule of his
father, King Salman.

Saudi leaders thought that they would be able to push Hariri aside,
withdraw political cover from Hezbollah, and make it easier for Sunni
Arab states — along with the United States and Israel — to target the
group. (After an earlier round of sanctions, the U.S. Congress is
considering a new sanctions bill targeting Hezbollah and its funders.)

But after Hariri’s sudden departure, Lebanese from all political
factions rallied around him and insisted that his resignation was
invalid because Saudi leaders coerced him. As international concern
grew that Hariri was being held captive by his Saudi patrons, French
President Emmanuel Macron invited him to Paris. Hariri met with Macron
on Nov. 18 and returned to Lebanon for the country's Nov. 22
Independence Day celebrations.

Tensions have eased over the past week, and it’s unlikely that the
latest crisis will escalate into a military confrontation between
Saudi Arabia and Iran. But while the prospect of direct clashes
between the two regional rivals has eased, their ongoing proxy war is
destabilizing the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is now bogged down in the Yemen conflict. Despite
intensive air strikes and a blockade, Riyadh and its allies still have
not been able to dislodge the Houthis from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

Yemen has become a central arena of the proxy battle, especially after
Saudi Arabia’s “act of war” accusation against Iran. The kingdom
claimed that the ballistic missile it shot down on Nov. 4 en route to
the Saudi capital had been smuggled into Yemen in parts. Saudi
officials say members of Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps assembled the missile, and then helped Houthi rebels fire
it from Yemeni territory. (Iran and Hezbollah denied involvement in
the missile launch.)

Saudi leaders have since scaled back their efforts to declare Lebanon
a hostile state. Already overstretched by Yemen and embroiled in a
diplomatic crisis with Qatar, the kingdom cannot effectively challenge
Hezbollah, Iran’s main ally in Lebanon, without assembling a broader
Arab and international coalition. But this is still a dangerous moment
in the Middle East. As long as Iran and Saudi Arabia view their
rivalry as a zero-sum game — where one can only gain at the expense of
the other — there is a risk of miscalculation that spirals out of
control.

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13-NOV-2017 :: Taking on Iran looks like will the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Law & Politics


This is an unprecedented moment in the history of the Kingdom and the
most perilous moment for the House of Saud that I can recall. Taking
on Iran looks like will the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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Saudi Arabia's Arab Spring, at Last @tomfriedman
Law & Politics


I never thought I’d live long enough to write this sentence: The most
significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today
is in Saudi Arabia. Yes, you read that right. Though I came here at
the start of Saudi winter, I found the country going through its own
Arab Spring, Saudi style.

Unlike the other Arab Springs — all of which emerged bottom up and
failed miserably, except in Tunisia — this one is led from the top
down by the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman,
and, if it succeeds, it will not only change the character of Saudi
Arabia but the tone and tenor of Islam across the globe. Only a fool
would predict its success — but only a fool would not root for it.

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The difference between night and day is disappearing, scientists warn @washingtonpost
Law & Politics


The distinction between day and night is disappearing in the most
heavily populated regions of the Earth, a rapid shift with profound
consequences for human health and the environment, according to a
paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

“We're losing more and more of the night on a planetary scale,”
journal editor Kip Hodges said in a teleconference on the paper's
findings.

From 2012 to 2016, the artificially lit area of the Earth's surface
grew by 2.2 percent per year, according to the study led by
Christopher Kyba of the German Research Centre for Geosciences. Kyba
and his team analyzed high-resolution satellite imagery to measure the
extent of artificial outdoor lighting at night. The study also found
that areas of the planet already lit grew even brighter, increasing in
luminosity at a rate of 2.2 percent per year.

“Earth's night is getting brighter,” Kyba said. The image below shows
the change in the amount of nighttime lighting from 2012 to 2016. Red
pixels denote increases in lit areas, while blue ones indicate
decreases.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1851
Dollar Index 93.15
Japan Yen 111.50
Swiss Franc 0.9817
Pound 1,3289
Aussie 0.7623
India Rupee 64.735
South Korea Won 1085.15
Brazil Real 3.2220
Egypt Pound 17.6910
South Africa Rand 13.9042

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Guardian view on cryptocurrencies: blockchain of fools
International Trade


One of the few men to get out in time before the Wall Street crash of
1929 did so – legend has it – because he was offered a stock tip by
the boy who shined his shoes. He immediately sold all his holdings. If
the mania for gambling on the stock market had reached down to the
children on the streets, the bubble must have been due to pop at any
moment. The corresponding moment for the cryptocurrency bubble will
only be discernible in retrospect, but we have some pretty strong
candidates already. The endorsement of one project by the reality TV
star Paris Hilton has already happened. Posters have appeared on the
London underground urging people to gamble in bitcoin futures on the
margin. The production – or “mining” – of bitcoins now uses more
electricity than Ireland or Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the notional price of the main cryptocurrencies continues
to shoot upwards in a way that makes nonsense of the idea that they
have any value as a medium of exchange. Even if they were widely
accepted by legal merchants, it would at the moment be lunatic to
exchange them for anything but real money. Bitcoin itself is trading
at more than $8,000, more than 10 times its price a year ago, and more
than double what it was three months ago. Since it is only widely used
as a currency in drug deals or for ransom payments, there is either a
huge boom in criminal activities outside the world of
cryptocurrencies, or one within unregulated exchanges where these
tokens are traded.

There are many cryptocurrency schemes which are sold on the same
grounds as the greatest South Sea Bubble prospectus: “For carrying on
an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.” But
there is one novel element in today’s lunacy, and this is the
apocalyptic hope common in Silicon Valley that it is possible to
replace all messy human institutions with clean and infallible
computer code. The blockchain technology underlying the various
cryptocurrencies is meant to make human decisions redundant and to
replace faith in governments with indisputable rationality. The
delusion that this might be possible has produced one of the most
astonishing outbursts of irrational exuberance in financial history.
When this bubble bursts, it will be clear that so long as there is
greed we will need laws to tame it.

read more






WTI Crude Oil 58.42 [Target 62.50]
Commodities


Emerging Markets

Frontier Markets

read more


Angola's new leader shakes up old order after dos Santos @ABCnews @AP
Africa


Since winning election in August, Lourenco has taken steps to show
that he is running a new government, even firing the daughter of dos
Santos as chair of the powerful state-owned oil company.

When the ailing dos Santos stepped down, Lourenco, the former defense
minister, was generally expected to conduct business as usual. But
Lourenco, 63, quickly appointed a crop of new ministers to
differentiate himself from dos Santos and replaced key security
personnel.

"Joao Lourenco has been busy consolidating his power in Angola
following the smooth transition of power from dos Santos," Alex Vines,
the head of the Africa program at Chatham House in London, said by
email. The untroubled transfer of power gives Lourenco "additional
authority" in tackling the economic issues, Vines said

read more



How 'princess' of Angola lost her oil crown
Law & Politics


The top executives in Angola of Chevron (CVX.N), Total (TOTF.PA), BP
(BP.L), Eni (ENI.MI) and Exxon (XOM.N) said the oil sector was being
devastated by delays in project approvals at Sonangol and a backlog of
payments owed by the state oil company, according to four oil industry
sources with knowledge of the meeting.

They warned Lourenço that Angola’s production would decline from 2019
unless swift action was taken to tackle problems at the firm, which
was headed by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of his presidential
predecessor, the sources said. They declined to be named because the
discussions were confidential.

Six weeks later the president fired dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman
who is nicknamed the “princess” in Angola.

The oil majors all declined to comment on the meeting. Lourenço’s
office and Sonangol did not respond to requests for comment.

It was a highly unusual gathering; foreign oil firms operate nearly
all of Angola’s production and hold huge sway, but meeting the
president as a united group was almost unheard of.

read more




If Lourenco successfully dismantles the dos Santos empire - and refrains from creating his own - it could be an example for others to follow Washington Post
Africa


A revolutionary anti-colonial leader who held power for almost four
decades. A government rife with nepotism and corruption. A people
beset by poverty. Hope for a democratic transition, but far more
skepticism that it would ever happen. No, this isn't Zimbabwe — it's
Angola.

Three months ago, southern Africa’s oil-rich bastion of economic
inequality held open elections, its first after 38 years under
autocrat José Eduardo dos Santos. His chosen successor, João Lourenço,
won handily. Lourenço promised an anti-corruption drive and swore he
wouldn’t be a puppet of the deeply entrenched dos Santos family, but
it seemed like the standard setup for more years of strongman rule.

Yet, contrary to expectations, Lourenço “seems to be on the right
path,” said Zenaida Machado, who covers the region for Human Rights
Watch. Lourenço has indeed made bold anti-corruption moves, especially
in forcing sweeping personnel changes at the highest levels of
government.

He has fired the heads of the intelligence service and the national
police, reversing the recent extension of their terms by dos Santos.
He has dismissed the governor of the central bank, the head of the
diamond company Endiama and the boards of all three state-owned media
companies.

He also removed dos Santos’s daughter, Isabel, the richest woman in
Africa, as the chair of the state-owned oil behemoth. As David Pilling
wrote in the Financial Times, Lourenço has even “abolished a
government communications department through which money had been
funneled, via lucrative contracts, to one of the former president’s
other daughters.”

These moves seem geared toward stripping the dos Santos family of its
near-monopoly over state power and finances. But observers still urge
caution. While hopes are high after Lourenço's initial actions, it's
still too early to tell whether he is on a truly liberalizing path.

For example, as revealed in the Panama Papers, the dos Santoses
allegedly transferred $4 billion from Angola's sovereign wealth fund
to an account in Switzerland. Lourenço has been silent on this. Some
of Lourenço’s moves also resemble what Portuguese-speaking Angolans
call a “dança das cadeiras” — a dance of chairs, shuffling ministers
from one office to another, Machado said.

Lourenço's political objectives are difficult to discern because he
and every ruling-party member kept such low profiles during the dos
Santos years. Ambition and self-promotion were regarded as threats by
dos Santos. Only now that Lourenço is president are we getting any
real sense of what he will do as an autonomous politician.

“All that we can be sure of is what we have seen: that Lourenço has
moved quickly and boldly to remove dos Santos appointees from top
positions in the economy, state security and the media,” said Justin
Pearce, a professor of African politics at the University of
Cambridge. “Many politicians the world over have come to power with
promises of sweeping change, only to disappoint. Let’s give him credit
for what he has done and remain vigilant to what is ahead.”

Given the tendency toward pessimism around democratic transitions in
Africa, Angola’s is one to watch closely. If Lourenço successfully
dismantles the dos Santos empire — and refrains from creating his own
— it could be an example for others to follow.

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Africa


At least two billionaire businessmen detained in the corruption
investigation have extensive investments across Africa. One of them is
prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, chairman of the Kingdom Holdings, which
has sizable stakes in Twitter, Citigroup, and ride-sharing firm Lyft.
The other is Mohammad al-Amoudi, son of a Saudi father and an
Ethiopian mother, and one of the richest black people in the world.
Together, Talal and al-Amoudi own investments across Africa in
hospitality, agriculture, cement production, gold mining, real estate,
and oil production.

The two businessmen’s venture into Africa preceded the wealthy Gulf
nations’ recent interest in financing projects in African markets.
Buoyed by fast economic growth, improving governance, and growing
demographic and consumer trends, more Gulf money has been flowing into
the continent in the last decade—not only to North Africa but also in
sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 2005 and 2014, Gulf firms provided (pdf) at least $9.3 billion
in foreign direct investments in sub-Saharan Africa alone, according
to a 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit report. The East Africa region
was the main draw for Gulf investors, lured by the rise of Islamic
banking, halal tourism, retail in Kenya, manufacturing in Ethiopia,
and the education sector in Uganda.

In the long run, Gabisa said, this allows Saudis “to possess a
juggernaut of political and economic leverage and influence over
African nations.”

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I view the 20/11 SCOK ruling as a circuit breaker. The reset button will be activated next Tuesday, which shall now be counted as Day zero.@herveGogo
Kenyan Economy


Dear @MihrThakar, I view the 20/11 SCOK ruling as a circuit breaker.
The reset button will be activated next Tuesday, which shall now be
counted as Day zero. That’s the consequence of the political
guillotine that took place concomitantly on 20/11. Cc:@alykhansatchu
@herveGogo

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Kenya Holds Key Rate as Policy Bind Persists on Rate-Cap Law @business
Kenyan Economy


“The committee concluded that inflationary pressures in the economy
were muted, and inflation was expected to continue to decline in the
short term,” Njoroge said in a statement emailed from the capital,
Nairobi. The Central Bank of Kenya, which last cut the rate in 2016,
targets inflation in a 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent range.

Inflation slowed to a 17-month low of 5.7 percent in October on
falling food prices and subdued consumer demand. Growth in East
Africa’s biggest economy has slowed this year as the annulment of the
country’s presidential election stymied investment and farm output
contracted for the first time in eight years because of a drought. The
Treasury this month cut its 2017 growth forecast to 5 percent from 5.9
percent.

While the environment is ripe for a rate cut, a law limiting how much
commercial lenders can charge for loans “adds a layer of complexity”
to monetary policy decisions, said Jacques Nel, senior economist at
Paarl, South Africa-based NKC African Economics.

Njoroge “fears” reducing rates could lock more borrowers out of the
credit market, Nel said in emailed responses to questions. “If the
regulation is scrapped sometime during the first half of 2018, the
central bank is expected to continue the easing cycle.”

Kenya slapped banks with a law limiting loan charges to 400 basis
points above the benchmark rate last year, exacerbating a slowdown in
credit growth. Lending to individuals and businesses grew 1.6 percent
in August, compared with 5.9 percent a year ago, according to the
central bank.

Banks have resorted to lending only to their best clients to cut risk,
according to Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa at Standard
Chartered Bank. Njoroge may cut rates by a 100 basis points between
March and May if the law is amended, she said.

“In normal circumstances, the central bank would be easing rates
comfortably, providing a much-needed boost to the economy,” Khan said
in an emailed note. “A cut could conceivably weaken credit growth
further.”

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"Essentially the rate caps have created material interference in the monetary transmission mechanism," Aly-Khan Satchu
Kenyan Economy


“Therefore, any rate cut – which in a normal monetary ecosystem is now
due because of the sharp slide in inflation and an economy which is at
a standstill – would be muddied,” he added.

read more




@StanbicKE reports Q3 2017 EPS +19.684% Earnings here
Kenyan Economy


Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           79.50
Total Shares Issued:          395321638.00
Market Capitalization:        31,428,070,221
EPS:             11.18
PE:                 7.111

Q3 Kenya Government Securities Held for dealing purposes 35.948358b
vs. 19.465077b +84.681%
Q3 Kenya Government Securities Available for Sale 46.507858b vs.
35.090790b +32.536%
Q3 Loans and advances to customers (net) 121.348510b vs. 106.675316b +13.755%
Q3 Total assets 236.547378b vs. 229.925246b +2.880%
Q3 Customers’ deposits 150.851863b vs. 139.398034b +8.217%
Q3 Total shareholders’ funds 31.922509b vs. 28.594236b +11.640%
Q3 Total Interest income 12.203517b vs. 13.169661b -7.336%
Q3 Total interest expenses [4.432509b] vs. [4.857832b] -8.755%
Q3 Net Interest income 7.771008b vs. 8.311829b -6.507%
Q3 FX trading income 2.139345b vs. 2.077537b +2.975%
Q3 Total non-interest income 6.198642b vs. 5.898300b +5.092%
Q3 Total operating income 13.969650b vs. 14.210129b -1.692%
Q3 Loan loss provision [2.265006b] vs. [1.201743b] +88.477%
Q3 Staff costs [3.615153b] vs. [3.670588b] -1.510%
Q3 Other expenses [2.777276b] vs. [3.249326b] -14.528%
Q3 Total other operating expenses [9.588996b] vs. [8.908859b] +7.634%
Q3 Profit before tax and exceptional items 4.380654b vs. 5.301271b -17.366%
Q3 Exceptional items [101.760m] vs. [1.125797b] -90.961%
Q3 Profit after tax and exceptional items 3.225740b vs. 2.694617b +19.711%
Basic and Diluted EPS 18.91 vs. 15.80 +19.684%
Net NPL and Advances 5.307794b vs. 3.746317b +41.680%
Liquidity ratio 57.4% vs. 72.8% -15.400%

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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November 2017
 
 
 
 
 
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