22nd January 2019
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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Wednesday 02nd of January 2019
 
Morning
Africa

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02-JAN-2019 :: 2019 Annus Mirabilis The markets will be more "Darwinian"
Africa


This recent series of Articles was headlined Annus horribilis [which
is a Latin phrase, meaning "horrible year"].   It is complementary to
annus mirabilis, which means "wonderful year". And therefore in the
spirit of Tennyson's "The Death of the Old Year" which concludes:

His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone,
Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door.
There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door.

We should pronounce 2018 and its Annus Horriblis dead and lets embrace
2019, an annus mirabilis.

In my preceeding articles, I looked at Geopolitical risk, The Trump
impeachment spike to 50%, the Tariff War [which I think will bite hard
in 2019], the China slow-down [Its slowing sharply], the Dollar about
which I am significantly more bullish than consensus, the nose-dive in
the Crude Oil price coincident with the Khashoggi incident. I touched
on Europe being off-balance and the fact that the streets of Paris
[the beating heart of Europe] was a Virilian metaphor

Paul Virilio, in his book Speed and Politics, says: “ The
revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of
production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog
in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of
attack), in other words a producer of speed.’’

Lets cast our Gaze further. Emerging Markets were a Train Smash in
2018 and ''are tentatively picking themselves up from the floor after
a rout that’s wiped about $5 trillion off the value of stocks since a
high in January 2018'' [Bloomberg Economics].

“The theory is dead simple: emerging-market assets have already
bombed, so the downside, if things get worse, is much lower and if
things recover they have greater potential to perform,” said Anthony
Peters, an independent analyst, formerly at Blockex Ltd. However,
“they have the potential to go much lower for much longer than anybody
had ever thought possible.”

Take your Pick.

I recall being at a presentation last year given by Standard
Chartered's Chief Economist Razia Khan and every single African
Sovereign Bond Issuer was clustered within 50 basis points of each
other. For some reason the Phrase

''If it makes no sense it must be nonsense.'' kept popping into my
head. The Point is this, since 2008 the markets have been firehosed in
a Tidal wave of liquidity. The Chart that Razia showed that day was
the most extreme example of the consequences of that liquidity
firehose. From the Dow Jones to the German Dax to EM and SSA sovereign
spreads, we are in the midst of the ''Great Unwind'' from a decade
long Liquidity Firehose.

Of course I am not suggesting we are headed into Mellon doctrine Territory

Mellon believed that economic recessions, such as those that had
occurred in 1873 and 1907, were a necessary part of the business cycle
because they purged the economy. In his memoirs, Hoover wrote that
Mellon advised him to "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate
the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the
system. High costs of living and high living will come down. ...
enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent
people."

Now the lesson that I am drawing is this. The markets will be more
''Darwinian''. It will reward Winners and punish the Losers.
Therefore, We too will have to differentiate. In the case of the
BRICS, Brazil was a Big Outperformer last year. China has rerouted a
lot of its Agri-Demand in their direction as well. They have been a
Winner so far in the Tariff War. However, we have all noted how a bump
can morph into a slump real quick - Just look at Mr. Trump. Russia
under Mr. Putin whilst projecting outsize Geopolitical Power on an
Italian GDP Level economy has proven resilient but another swoon lower
in Oil will surely test its mettle. India has an election and Prime
Minister Modi [whilst surrounded by Xi on all sides] seems to be
losing his shine, which always risks him going Full-On Hindutva.
China's Shanghai Index was the worse performing Index in the World in
2018. These are indeed choppy waters for the BRICS at the macro level.
We will have to dig deeper to ear our returns. There is a lot of
growth in these economies, You just have to position yourself in the
right place.

Africa had a tough time in 2018. Borrowing costs spiked higher,
currencies lost ground against the Dollar and stock markets retreated.
South Africa and Nigeria [50% of SSA GDP] go to the Polls in 2019.
Both Economies have been in the slow Lane and need a positive
Catalyst. Whilst on the continuum of Political Impact and change Prime
minister Abiy ranks first, President Ramaphosa has made steady
progress in rolling back the ''Zupta'' state and trying to put the
Rainbow Nation on an even Keel. Nigeria is at risk of being walloped
by a lower Oil Price. Ivory Coast and Ghana [underpinned by firming
Cocoa Prices through 2018 coupled with sensible macro economic policy
making] have been a bright Spot. Here in East Africa, Abiy's Ethiopia
continues to lead the GDP charge and will be the fastest growing
Economy in the World in 2019. lnvestors are looking for the Ramp and
that is dependent on the speed of execution of the Administration.
Here in Kenya, we popped towards 6% GDP on good rains, the Shilling
performed better than the Yen but the stock market retreated around
24%. In Tanzania, Investors are having to price in a ''Magafuli''
haircut. Many are electing not to price at all. Last Year the best
trades to have done in the markets was to have bought 1 Year
Government of Egypt or GOK T-Bills and run the currency risk. Both
Trades achieved double digit dollarised returns. 93% of all
investments wordl-wide last year were underwater [Deutsche Bank]

So I think wherever you are you need to get a lot closer to the
Ground. In the case of the Continent, if you are not on the Continent,
then i am afraid you know nothing.

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@NASA rang in the New Year on Tuesday with a historic flyby of the farthest, and quite possibly the oldest, cosmic body ever explored by humankind -- a tiny, distant world called Ultima Thule @AFP @YahooNews
Africa


A series of anxiously awaited "phone home" signals arrived after 10:30
am (1530 GMT), indicating that the spacecraft had made it, intact,
through the risky, high-speed encounter.
The flyby took place about a billion miles beyond Pluto, which was
until now the most faraway world ever visited up close by a
spacecraft.
Real-time video of the actual flyby was impossible, since it takes
more than six hours for a signal sent from Earth to reach the
spaceship, and another six hours for the response to arrive.
Hurtling through space at a speed of 32,000 miles per hour, the
spacecraft made its closest approach within 2,200 miles of the surface
of Ultima Thule.
"This is a night none of us are going to forget," said Queen guitarist
Brian May -- who also holds an advanced degree in astrophysics -- and
who recorded a solo track to honor the spacecraft and its spirit of
exploration.

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05-DEC-2016:: The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice breaks in, "a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable poignancy".
Africa


 The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of
repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest
sadness”.
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60
years ago.”

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Why Time Slows Down When We're Afraid, Speeds Up as We Age, and Gets Warped on Vacation @brainpickings
Africa


our memory “is never a precise duplicate of the original [but] a
continuing act of creation” and how flawed our perception of time is —
almost everything that occurred a year ago appears as having taken
place either significantly further in the past (“a different
lifetime,” I’d often marvel at this time-illusion) or significantly
more recently (“this feels like just last month!”). Rather than a
personal deficiency of those of us befallen by this tendency, however,
it turns out to be a defining feature of how the human mind works, the
science of which is at first unsettling, then strangely comforting,
and altogether intensely interesting.

Among the most intriguing illustrations of “mind time” is the
incredible elasticity of how we experience time. (“Where is it, this
present?,” William James famously wondered. “It has melted in our
grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming.”)
For instance, Hammond points out, we slow time down when gripped by
mortal fear — the cliche about the slow-motion car crash is, in fact,
a cognitive reality. This plays out even in situations that aren’t
life-or-death per se but are still associated with strong feelings of
fear. Hammond points to a study in which people with arachnophobia
were asked to look at spiders — the very object of their intense fear
— for 45 seconds and they overestimated the elapsed time. The same
pattern was observed in novice skydivers, who estimated the duration
of their peers’ falls as short, whereas their own, from the same
altitude, were deemed longer.

Inversely, time seems to speed up as we get older — a phenomenon of
which competing theories have attempted to make light. One, known as
the “proportionality theory,” uses pure mathematics, holding that a
year feels faster when you’re 40 than when you’re 8 because it only
constitutes one fortieth of your life rather than a whole eighth.

But, curiously, we are most likely to vividly remember experiences we
had between the ages of 15 and 25. What the social sciences might
simply call “nostalgia” psychologists have termed the “reminiscence
bump” and, Hammond argues, it could be the key to why we feel like
time speeds up as we get older:

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"We have also achieved a great victory in frustrating the Taiwan independence movement." @samsonellis
Law & Politics


The theme for our 2019 new year's flag-raising ceremony is "Brave
and Confident–One with the World." 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen @iingwen

https://twitter.com/iingwen/status/1080084736326823937

In our rapidly changing world, #Taiwan's best option is to persevere
on the path of democracy, & work together with like-minded people
around the globe.

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China's detention of Canadians part of bid to challenge Western democratic norms, experts say. By @PerrinGrauer @TorontoStar
Law & Politics


VANCOUVER—A common narrative has emerged this month: Canada being
caught between two global superpowers vying for dominance.
The notion has been used to frame the detentions of two Canadians in
China, an apparent response to Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief
financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of
authorities in the United States.
But experts say this explanation obscures a larger truth: that China’s
detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are part of an ongoing
bid to assert its authoritarian “rule by law” system against the
democratic rule-of-law order of the Western world.
Kovrig, an ex-diplomat, and Spavor, an entrepreneur, were arrested in
China a little more than a week after Meng, a top executive of Chinese
telecommunications and tech giant Huawei, was taken into Canadian
custody.
Suggesting Meng’s arrest is equivalent to — or worse than — China’s
handling of Spavor and Kovrig is the latest chapter in a Chinese
government effort to undermine long-standing democratic norms and
legitimize its own brand of state-directed justice, he argued.
“The Chinese government denies the reality of judicial independence in
Western liberal democracies by insisting that (the current conflict
over Kovrig and Spavor) is a political matter and can be resolved by
the Canadian prime minister if enough pressure is exerted,” Burton
said in a phone interview.
The Chinese regime, he said, wishes to establish a “moral equivalence”
between the Chinese and Canadian justice systems.
“And frankly that’s ridiculous, because our system is based on the
rule of law and their system is based on rule-by-law, which is that
the Chinese Communist Party enforces its political decisions through
the use of administrative law.”
Chinese authorities have said Kovrig and Spavor are not under arrest
but rather are being held for interrogation in an undisclosed
location, effectively allowing them to circumvent international
protocols around due process, said Burton.
These “undisclosed locations,” he added, are sometimes called “black
jails” — secret, extrajudicial detention centres that the Chinese
government has denied exist but Human Rights Watch has documented for
nearly a decade.
Beijing’s only occasional adherence to established liberal democratic
norms can be traced back to what can be seen as its national myth,
according to Howard W. French, journalism professor at Columbia
University and author of Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past
Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power.
Like every nation state, China maintains a national myth to legitimize
and underpin the priorities and perspectives of the state, French
said. And like every national myth, China’s contains both some truth
and some fiction that rings true.
The important fiction in China’s national myth, French said, is the
story of China’s “century of humiliation” and victimhood at the hands
of imperial Western powers, which, he added, does in some ways reflect
the historical victimization of China in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries.
“This business about having been a victim, of having suffered at the
hands of imperial powers, is coupled with another idea, which is that
the rules of the world were created by Western nations at a time when
China was excluded from the system and China had no say in anything,”
French said.
When international rules work for China’s longer or short-term goals,
they are framed by China as legitimate, he argued. But when those
rules work against governmental ends, mythology can be invoked “to
derive a reason not to pay attention to (the rules) or even to
undermine the logic” of that order, giving China the ability to play
both insider or outsider depending on the needs of the moment, he
added.
But striking this contradictory balance can be a challenge, French noted.
“The Chinese party and state have to signal to their people that
they’re strong ... and signalling to their people that they’re strong
while also opportunistically drawing upon notions of victimhood is a
tricky game,” he said.
“So this is a public-relations game that China is playing ... both
victim to illegitimate rules but also feeling a need to say, ‘We’re
tough and we’re big now and we’re not going to let ourselves be pushed
around by these pernicious westerners.’”

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Frowns, clowns and fire breathing mutant lobsters My predictions for 2019? @thesundaytimes
Law & Politics


In the final days of 2018 came a story that sort of summed up the
year. Clowns objected to politicians being called “clowns” because
they thought it was demeaning to clowns. The justifiable disdain in
which our politicians are held has certainly been one trope of the
year. But, then, so has groups of thin-skinned people devoid of a
sense of humour (in this case, the clowns) complaining that they are
being slighted.

This was the year everyone got arsey about their imagined victimhood —
women, men who think they are women, vegans, dwarves, the Welsh and so
on, ad infinitum. I don’t suppose any of this will change in 2019 . .
.

January
A leak reveals Theresa May has been stockpiling drones, to be released
near airports whenever there is an adverse story about Brexit.
Thousands more Iranians wash up near Dover, having risked their lives
to get the hell out of France. In the Commons, MPs reject May’s
reworked deal for leaving the EU, known as “Burkina Faso++”.

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Kim seeks meeting with @realDonaldTrump but warns he could lose patience @asiatimesonline
Law & Politics


In his New Year’s Day speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
reiterated his commitment to denuclearization and said he was willing
to meet US President Donald Trump at any time, but also warned that
his state could pursue different initiatives if the US continues its
sanctions and pressure tactics.
In international statesman mode, a grey-suited Kim forewent his usual
flamboyant tunic, and instead of speaking at a podium, delivered his
address from a leather armchair in a book-lined, wood-paneled office.
This year, Kim’s key messaging was binary. He also appeared to be
aiming at three distinct audiences: the United States, South Korea and
his domestic populace.
Even so, in a sign of the détente that is flowing across the
Demilitarized Zone, Kim’s speech (believed to be pre-recorded) was –
for the first time – broadcast in South Korea, at the same time as it
was shown in the North. Customarily, only edited highlights of North
Korean speeches and events have been shown on South Korean TV.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1447
Dollar Index 96.18
Japan Yen 109.41
Swiss Franc 0.9835
Pound 1.2732
Aussie 0.7020
India Rupee 69.655
South Korea Won 1120.355
Brazil Real 3.8816
Egypt Pound 17.9430
South Africa Rand 14.3925

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The @FinancialTimes is reporting that @JunckerEU is telling the UK to 'get act together' on Brexit.
World Currencies


The Financial Times is reporting that Juncker is telling the UK to
‘get act together’ on Brexit.  The UK remains a political conundrum.
The recalcitrant Jeremy Corbyn refuses to pivot on Brexit and surge
into 10 Downing Street on a ‘’Youthquake’’ wave.
Prime Minister Theresa May who came to Africa and danced in 2018 is
still there like Geoffrey Boycott and that of itself is an
achievement.  The Pound has not priced in a hard Brexit nor has the
Euro.

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Australian Dollar testing/breaking key support extending from February 2016 @ RVAnalysis 0.7023
World Currencies


With weak #China Caixin PMI below 50 for the first time since 2017, it
signals contraction in the manufacturing sector and feeding into #AUD

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Stream on - the @Netflix story
International Trade


Maybe not, but new shows today have less time to make a good
impression than they once had. “They know within a month how many
people have watched it, and if people are not watching beyond an hour
or two, they just cancel the shows, they’re gone,” says one producer.
“It’s pretty savage.” Another producer bemoans the issue with
promotion. After all, if you’ve only got one portal to go to, and
there are more and more shows, how do you stand out?

In the meantime, the numbers keep growing. Many in the industry assume
that they’ll one day sell to Amazon or another big competitor such as
Apple. For the time being, however, it’s clear that they’re way out
front. And there’s no point in trying to stop them.

Founded in 1997 by chief executive Reed Hastings and tech entrepreneur
Marc Randolph, Netflix first began streaming in 2007 — but it wasn’t
until 2013, with the premiere of its first original drama House of
Cards, that it emerged as a content creator in its own right.
Today it has around 130m paying subscribers, 73m of whom live outside
the US (9m in the UK), and a subscription growth that some analysts
predict will hit 300m by 2028. It accounts for 15 per cent of all
internet bandwidth worldwide and the company recently surpassed Disney
to become, at $153.8bn, the most valued media company in the world.

And the output is growing and growing and growing. Next year, Netflix
is expected to spend up to $13bn on content, of which the majority
will be spent on original programming. It’s also making a more
strategic effort to build its global profile. In 2018, Netflix had 141
projects in Europe, 40 of which were based in the UK, and the channel
is planning to launch 100 foreign-language originals within the next
two years. Many will be developed at the massive new production site
that the company is building in Madrid.

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Oil, Populist Leaders and the Dollar: Guide to EM Risks in 2019 @economics
Emerging Markets


Emerging markets are tentatively picking themselves up from the floor
after a rout that’s wiped about $5 trillion off the value of stocks
since a high in January 2018. But the reprieve may not last long.
Rising rates in the U.S., a stronger dollar, Beijing and Washington’s
trade war, lower oil prices and the emergence of populist leaders in
Latin America’s two biggest economies could all weigh on markets.
“The theory is dead simple: emerging-market assets have already
bombed, so the downside, if things get worse, is much lower and if
things recover they have greater potential to perform,” said Anthony
Peters, an independent analyst, formerly at Blockex Ltd., who’s long
covered developing nations. However, “they have the potential to go
much lower for much longer than anybody had ever thought possible.”
Investors will be carefully watching the U.S. Federal Reserve after
Chairman Jerome Powell wasn’t as dovish as they’d hoped in comments
that followed the central bank’s interest-rate increase on Dec. 19.
Added to that, the European Central Bank is set to end asset purchases
that have pushed billions of euros into higher-yielding markets such
as Poland and Hungary. That may force eastern European monetary
authorities into rate increases they’ve long resisted.
In emerging Asia, economies heavily reliant on foreign investments,
such as Indonesia, will face the challenge of maintaining currency
stability and stemming outflows.
Chinese President Xi Jinping remains defiant, telling some of the
nation’s most influential military and business figures that Beijing
won’t back down quickly to U.S. trade and investment demands. Any
increase in tensions between the world’s two dominant economies would
probably deal a blow to Asian assets. They’ve already taken a hit,
with China’s main stock index suffering its worst year since 2008 and
equities in South Korea and Taiwan also falling sharply.
A U.S. trade delegation is preparing to travel to Beijing for talks
slated for the week of Jan. 7, Bloomberg News reported in December,
citing two people familiar with the matter.
Brazil and Mexico start 2019 with new populist presidents, albeit from
opposite ends of the spectrum. Brazilian stocks rose to record highs
after President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said he’d sell dozens of
state-owned companies and picked University of Chicago-trained Paulo
Guedes as his chief economic adviser. Still, the right-winger faces a
tough challenge reforming the country’s generous and exhausted pension
system, which will be key to sustaining the market rally.
In Mexico, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has traders on edge
after canceling a $13 billion airport. Some concerns diminished after
he published a conservative fiscal plan for 2019 and after bondholders
accepted Mexico’s offer to buy back $1.8 billion of debt used to fund
the airport’s construction. Nonetheless, investors will watch to see
if the president can maintain a primary budget surplus even while
spending more on social programs.
Even after the U.S. Treasury said it’s ready to lift sanctions on one
of Russia’s biggest companies, United Co. Rusal, investors will be
wary of moves by Congress. If Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s
investigation into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 American
election reaches a damning conclusion, that could trigger new
penalties, including restrictions on trading Russian sovereign debt or
banks.
Brent crude’s plunge since early October to below $55 a barrel is bad
news for many major developing economies, not the least Saudi Arabia.
It needs prices as high as $95 per barrel to balance its 2019 budget,
according to Bloomberg Economics. The financial squeeze -- combined
with the Western backlash over columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in
Istanbul -- means that MSCI’s decision to include Saudi stocks in its
emerging-market index in 2019 might not be enough to attract the
investment the kingdom desperately needs.
There are plenty of upcoming polls to keep traders on edge. Indians
vote in a general election in April or May and analysts at Credit
Suisse Group AG say markets haven’t priced in the risk of a coalition
government emerging, which could derail Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
economic reforms.
In Argentina, Mauricio Macri, who’s popular with foreign investors,
faces an election in October. With the economy in a recession and
inflation at almost 50 percent, investors are concerned that voters
may turn to former populist President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

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Sudan's Bashir Defends Crackdown as Opponents Plan More Protests @BBGAfrica
Africa


Police confronted protesters Monday as they began a march in downtown
Khartoum called by an independent union and some opposition parties
and youth groups to urge al-Bashir, who’s ruled the African nation for
almost 30 years, to resign.
“We won’t allow our country to slide into insecurity,” al-Bashir said
the previous day in Khartoum, in an address to police officers
broadcast on national TV. He said force was used to protect property,
not with the aim of killing.
Widespread discontent with Sudan’s economic crisis, which includes
severe cash shortages and inflation of almost 70 percent, is
representing one of the most serious challenges to al-Bashir, 74,
since he took power in a 1989 Islamist-backed military coup.

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DRC: State says it cut internet to avoid 'uprising' after vote @AFP via @MailOnline
Africa


The DR Congo government said Tuesday it had cut the country's internet
services to avert a "popular uprising" as tensions rise pending the
results of fractious presidential elections.
The opposition accused authorities of cutting the internet on Monday
to thwart activism, while leading Western powers called on the
troubled central African nation's government to quickly restore web
access.
The long-delayed vote was barely completed on Sunday when the three
main candidates -- President Joseph Kabila's hand-picked successor and
two opposition leaders -- each claimed that early counts showed them
winning.
Kabila's diplomatic advisor, Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, told AFP the
national security council had decided it was "imperative" to shut down
the internet to allow the electoral commission to finish counting and
compiling votes.
"There are people who have indoctrinated the public with false numbers
about this election. This has laid the groundwork for a popular
uprising," he said Tuesday.

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Today's election in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a fraud - and the rich world shares the blame @Mondoweiss
Africa


Today’s election in the Democratic Republic of Congo is already
collapsing under the weight of massive fraud. Reporters who visited
Limete, an opposition stronghold in the capital, Kinshasa, reported
that no voting materials had been delivered all morning, while long
lines waited patiently. Even before the vote, the Joseph Kabila regime
had banned voting outright in three other opposition areas, falsely
claiming that an outbreak of ebola in one of them made voting unsafe.
A Washington Post editorial two days ago had already accurately called
the election “a travesty,” citing Kabila’s “chicanery,” “repression,”
“subterfuge,” and “electoral flimflam.”

But if the mainstream news coverage is typical, the reports will be
centered on Africans, with the implication that once again they have
failed the test of democracy.
The implication is false. Of course President Kabila and his entourage
are partly responsible for the disaster. But they share blame with
non-Congolese, including:
* Dan Gertler, the Israeli businessman who has partnered with Kabila
over mining concessions in the mineral-rich central African nation.
Gertler is so corrupt that even the Trump administration had to
sanction him under the Magnitsky anti-corruption act — although
Israel, where he actually lives, so far has done nothing.
* An Anglo-Swiss mining multinational, Glencore, that teams up with
with Gertler and Kabila in looting the Congo’s extensive cobalt and
copper deposits
* U.S. banks, including Citicorp and Bank of America, whose loans keep
Glencore humming along
* A well-connected Washington, D.C. public relations/lobbying firm,
Sanitas International, that orchestrated a surprisingly successful
campaign to manipulate certain U.S. journalists who parachuted in to
interview Kabila (I described the media malpractice in The Nation.)
* Successive governments in the the U.S. and Europe that have
admonished Kabila occasionally, but refuse to apply stronger pressure
because they favor what they think will be stability over justice.
They now face a moment of decision; do they let Kabila steal the
election and shoot down pro-democracy protesters?

What is inspiring about today’s events is that Congolese showed up to
vote en masse, even though they all know the election is rigged. The
turnout follows weeks in which thousands flocked to rallies for the
two leading opposition candidates, risking police gunfire in some
cases to show their support. The respected Congo Research Group
released an election eve poll that showed the two, Martin Fayulu and
Etienne Tshisekedi, both trouncing Kabila’s stand-in, a nonentity
named Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

“All Congolese know that a free and fair election is impossible,”
Kambale Musavuli, an energetic young Congolese who works with the
US-based solidarity group, Friends of the Congo, explains. “But they
collectively decided not to boycott anyway. And then they chose to use
the election campaigns as a chance to mobilize and engage politically
— to an extent that is surprising everybody.”

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Congo cuts internet for second day to avert "chaos" before poll results @ReutersAfrica
Africa


Both the opposition and ruling coaltion said on Monday they were on
track to win after a turbulent election day on Sunday in which many
Congolese were unable to vote due to an Ebola outbreak, conflict and
logistical problems.
Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, a senior adviser to President Joseph
Kabila, said internet and SMS services were cut to preserve public
order after “fictitious results” began circulating on social media.
“That could lead us straight toward chaos,” Kikaya told Reuters,
adding the connections would remain cut until the publication of
complete results on Jan. 6.
The signal to Radio France Internationale (RFI), one of the most
popular news sources in Congo, was also down, and the government
withdrew the accreditation of RFI’s main correspondent in Congo late
on Monday for having aired unofficial results from the opposition.
“I call for vigilance across the board and the general mobilisation of
all Congolese so that the truth of the ballot box, the sole witness to
the will of the Congolese people, can reward their efforts and
sacrifices,” he said.

read more


"It is true that I have been through a difficult period, as sometimes happens in life," @PresidentABO said in a video recorded in Rabat @mailandguardian
Africa


Seated at a table, the president’s lower body is not shown.
“Today, as you can see, I am better and I am preparing to meet you
again soon,” Bongo said in the video.
Presidency spokesman Ike Ngouoni said: “This speech is proof that
President Ali Bongo is fully recovered. His health problems are now
behind him.”

read more



South Africa's election in May will be a key test for President Cyril Ramaphosa @economics
Africa


If his party fails to win a significant majority, he may be forced to
delay market-friendly reforms such as revamping debt-laden state
companies by retrenching workers or selling assets. That could trigger
a credit-rating downgrade and billions of dollars of outflows,
according to Citigroup Inc.

read more



Nigerians vote in mid-February. @economics
Africa


Their main choice is between President Muhammadu Buhari, who’s
struggling to buoy an anemic economy, and former Vice President Atiku
Abubakar, seen as more pro-business but who’s long been dogged by
allegations of corruption, which he’s denied.

read more




@Pernod_Ricard IS TAKING A SLICE OF #JUMIA TO GROW ITS PRESENCE IN AFRICA
Africa


Although details of the investment is yet to be made public, Pernod
Ricard said in a statement that the investment makes it a strategic
shareholder in Jumia, enabling the world’s second largest wine and
spirits’ company share its deep knowledge about consumer and physical
distribution networks in Africa with Jumia. Jumia, which has
successfully ran its eCommerce business in Africa since 2012 and has
developed capabilities in digital, logistics and payment platforms.

“Pernod Ricard has made Africa its new frontier, as shown by the
successive openings of subsidiaries over the last few years. Our
strategy is consumer-oriented and we strive to transform to strenghten
our growth in this very promising continent,” stated Gilles Bogaert,
Pernod Ricard’s EMEA LATAM CEO.
“Jumia is a partner of choice as digital and e-commerce represent real
strategic accelerators in this Region for us,” Bogaert added.
Already present in 13 African countries, the funding from Pernod
Ricard positions Jumia to consolidate its regional leadership and also
allows Pernod Ricard to benefit from new opportunities to distribute
its products online on the continent.
“We are very proud to welcome Pernod Ricard as a new strategic partner
of Jumia,” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jérémy Hodara, co-CEOs of Jumia.
“This investment is an acknowledgement of the growth and innovation
that Jumia has achieved since 2012.”
Paul-Robert Bouhier, President of Pernod Ricard Sub Saharan Africa
noted that the company has been partnering with Jumia since 2016, but
the “reinforced strategic partnership” will enable Pernod Ricard offer
its premium brands to more consumers in Africa.
Pernord Ricard’s partnership with Jumia has been through Jumia Party,
which delivers alcoholic drinks to customers within an hour.

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22-JAN-2018 :: E-commerce and home-based deliveries have changed the world from London to China. I am certain the same disruption is headed our way
Africa


E-commerce and home-based deliveries have changed the world from
London to China. I am certain the same disruption is headed our way
and that a lot of commercial real-estate will be legacy assets. The
millenials with their avocado-eating and cryptocurrency trading ways
are just as likely to be African as they are European or American.

read more


Kenyan Economy Expands 6% as Farming Production Recovers @economics @adengat
Kenyan Economy


Kenya’s economy grew 6 percent in the third quarter from a year
earlier as the nation benefits from a continued rebound in farm
output.
Expansion in gross domestic product in East Africa’s biggest economy
in the three months through September compared with 6.3 percent in the
previous quarter, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Monday
in a statement emailed from Nairobi, the capital. The number matched
the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
The Kenyan economy grew 4.9 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in five
years, as the combined impact of a drought and protracted elections
suppressed output in the world’s largest shipper of black tea.
The farming sector in Kenya, which supplies about a third of the
flowers sold in Europe, contributes about 35 percent to the country’s
total output.
Tea production rose 12 percent from a year earlier. Together with
horticulture, it’s Kenya’s biggest foreign-exchange earner after
remittances.
Agricultural output climbed 5.2 percent, while manufacturing rose 3.2 percent.
Expansion in financial services quickened to 2.6 percent from 2.3
percent amid an interest-rate cap that’s constrained lending. Kenya’s
Treasury has raised its full-year growth estimate to 6 percent, while
the central bank says it may revise its 6.2 percent expansion target.

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Washington-headquartered @FrontierStrtGrp is projecting the highest growth for Kenya in 2019 at 6.8 percent while New York-based @FitchSolutions sees the country clocking 5.2 percent - @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


Washington-headquartered @FrontierStrtGrp is projecting the highest
growth for Kenya in 2019 at 6.8 percent while New York-based
@FitchSolutions sees the country clocking 5.2 percent – the slowest
growth among firms surveyed.

read more


"Kenya costs are particularly vulnerable to the effects of an external shock due to their high current account deficit," Capital Economics analysts said. @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


“One concern we have over Kenya’s debt is the impact of a one-off
shock (i.e. a drought or currency devaluation) which could cause
either growth to slow sharply (to around one-two per cent) or the
servicing costs on debt denominated in foreign currency to increase.''

read more


Serrano says: 'I flew my drone high above the huge flocks of lesser flamingos at the muddy banks of Lake Bogoria [Kenya]" Photograph: Cristobal Serrano/2018 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Kenyan Economy


Serrano says: ‘I flew my drone high above the huge flocks of lesser
flamingos at the muddy banks of Lake Bogoria [Kenya], where they find
their favourite food, cyanobacteria of the spirulina genus, in the
alkaline water of the lake. Because of the dry season, minerals and
salts from the volcanic subsoil are highly concentrated, creating an
explosion of rich colours that is visible from the air’

read more


Kenya's trade deficit jumps to Sh715.7bn @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


During the period, Sh997.1 billion goods were imported compared to
Sh291.8 billion exports.
This was a rise from Sh989.8 billion in imports and Sh281.4 billion in
exports during the same period in 2017.
This means the trade deficit rose from Sh708.4 billion in 2017 to
Sh715.7 billion.
According to the just released Leading economic Indicators (LEI,
October 2018), exports grew by five percent or Sh14.2 billion to stand
at Sh295.6 billion compared to 2017’s Sh281.4 billion.
China remained Kenya’s largest source of imports for machinery and
transport equipment, accounting for Sh291.8 billion followed by India
at Sh161.2 billion, Saudi Arabia (Sh138.4 billion) and UAE (Sh126
billion). Japan sold to Kenya goods worth Sh78 billion, while South
Africa brought in Sh54 billion worth of goods, US (46.3 billion),
Germany (39.6 billion), UK (Sh26 billion) and the Netherlands, Sh16.6
billion.
The LEI October report showed that Pakistan remained Kenya’s biggest
trading partner, buying fresh produce mainly tea, coffee and flowers
worth Sh50.2 billion followed by Uganda (Sh42.2 billion), the US
(Sh39.5 billion), the Netherlands (Sh38.9 billion) and United Kingdom
at Sh37 billion.
Tanzania bought goods worth Sh22.5 billion, UAE (Sh19.5 billion),
Egypt (Sh16.6 billion), Germany (Sh9.4 billion) while France settled
for Sh6.7 billion.
While China remained a major infrastructural construction contractor,
its imports dropped by 17.2 percent from last 2017’s first 10 months
where imports, mainly machinery and transport equipment accounted for
Sh341.9 billion.

read more






 
 
by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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January 2019
 
 
 
 
 
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