20th April 2019
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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 18th of February 2019
 
Morning,
Africa

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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
http://www.rich.co.ke

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Word of the day: "Waldeinsamkeit" "Ich floh in die grune Waldeinsamkeit. Im Wald, im Wald!" (Heinrich Heine)
Africa


Word of the day: "Waldeinsamkeit" - the feeling of being alone in
woods or among trees (lit. forest-solitude, German). Usually (but not
always) connoting calmness, meditativeness & the solace of nature.

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"Will you be at the harvest"
Africa


“Will you be at the harvest,
Among the gatherers of new fruits?
Then you must begin today to remake
Your mental and spiritual world,
And join the warriors and celebrants
Of freedom, realizers of great dreams.
You can’t remake the world
Without remaking yourself.
Each new era begins within.
It is an inward event,
With unsuspected possibilities
For inner liberation.
We could use it to turn on
Our inward lights.
We could use it to use even the dark
And negative things positively.
We could use the new era
To clean our eyes,
To see the world differently,
To see ourselves more clearly.
Only free people can make a free world.
Infect the world with your light.
Help fulfill the golden prophecies.
Press forward the human genius.
Our future is greater than our past.”
― Ben Okri

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Dolphins Seem to Use Toxic Pufferfish to Get High @SmithsonianMag
Africa


Humans aren't the only creatures that suffer from substance abuse
problems. Horses eat hallucinogenic weeds, elephants get drunk on
overripe fruit and big horn sheep love narcotic lichen. Monkeys'
attraction to sugar-rich and ethanol-containing fruit, in fact, may
explain our own attraction to alcohol, some researchers think.

Now, dolphins may join that list. Footage from a new BBC documentary
series, "Spy in the Pod," reveals what appears to be dolphins getting
high off of pufferfish. Pufferfish produce a potent defensive
chemical, which they eject when threatened. In small enough doses,
however, the toxin seems to induce "a trance-like state" in dolphins
that come into contact with it, the Daily News reports:

The dolphins were filmed gently playing with the puffer, passing it
between each other for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, unlike the fish
they had caught as prey which were swiftly torn apart.
Zoologist and series producer Rob Pilley said that it was the first
time dolphins had been filmed behaving this way.

At one point the dolphins are seen floating just underneath the
water's surface, apparently mesmerised by their own reflections.

The dolphins' expert, deliberate handling of the terrorized puffer
fish, Pilley told the Daily News, implies that this is not their first
time at the hallucinogenic rodeo.

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11-FEB-2019 :: Africa and The "Vision" Thing
Law & Politics


"Reality is not always probable, or likely." - pronounced Jorge Luis Borges.

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28-OCT-2013 :: a losing sequence in US-Iran relations that goes all the way back to the Iranian revolution in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran
Law & Politics


a losing sequence in US-Iran relations that goes all the way back to
the Iranian revolution in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. The Shah was the second and
last monarch of the House of Pahlavi and otherwise known as the
peacock throne.

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Belgian spy chief held over Russia link @thetimes
Law & Politics


A senior Belgian counterintelligence officer is under house arrest
after allegations that he spied for Russia in a case that could
highlight the security threat to Nato and European Union headquarters
in Brussels.

The major, head of a division in Belgium’s external security
department of the General Intelligence and Security Service (Giss),
the equivalent of MI6, is suspected of passing secrets to Russia via a
Serbian agent.

In a further blow, Clement Vandenborre, the head of
counterintelligence in Giss, has been removed from office pending an
investigation into allegations he illegally destroyed documents.

The turmoil at the top of Belgium’s counterintelligence services
raises concerns that the security of key international institutions,
including the western military alliance, have been compromised.

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05-DEC-2016:: At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded
Law & Politics


The intellectual father of the new Zeitgeist that propelled Brexit, Le
Pen, the @Mov5Stelle  in Italy, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, is
Vladimir Putin. In the Middle East, it is Putin who is calling the
shots in Aleppo, and in a quite delicious irony it looks like he has
pocketed Opec as well.

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@ForeignAffairs Will China Seize Taiwan?
Law & Politics


“China must be, and will be reunified,” Chinese President Xi Jinping
declared in a speech in January. Xi spoke of “peaceful reunification”
with Taiwan, but he warned, “We do not forsake the use of force.” Ever
since Hong Kong and Macau rejoined Mainland China in 1997 and 1999,
respectively, Chinese expectations that Taiwan would follow suit have
grown. When, a decade ago, the Beijing Olympics and the global
financial crisis boosted China’s confidence on the world stage, those
expectations redoubled.

But “peaceful reunification” has proved elusive. After Taiwan elected
Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP), to the presidency in 2016, many Mainland Chinese lost patience
with the idea. Some Chinese nationalists now argue that China has only
a brief window of opportunity to seize Taiwan. Talk of “forceful
reunification” is ascendant.

China has already begun to tighten the noose. It has forced Taiwan out
of international bodies, such as the World Health Organization;
required airlines to replace “Taiwan” with descriptions such as
“Taiwan, Province of China”; and induced five more countries to sever
relations with Taipei.

Beijing seems to believe that the United States will sit by as it
squeezes Taiwan. Taipei, meanwhile, has convinced itself that China
has no plans to invade. And U.S. President Donald Trump seems to think
he can rock the boat without consequences. All are wrong—and their
wishful thinking is raising the odds of conflict.

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the West is also looking the other way in 2019, refusing to see the concentration camps in China's Xinjiang province. @washingtonpost @anneapplebaum
Law & Politics


These camps have been designed to suppress the Uighurs, a Muslim
ethnic minority whose status in China in some ways resembles that of
Ukrainians in the old U.S.S.R. Like the Ukrainians who did not want to
be Sovietized, the Uighurs do not want to be fully absorbed into the
Chinese state. Like the Soviets, the Chinese have responded with
repression. Previous Chinese leaders sought to flood Xinjiang with
ethnic Chinese, the same tactic they used against Tibetans. More
recently, the state has grown harsher, creating camps where at least 1
million Uighurs undergo forced indoctrination designed to eradicate
their language and culture.

The report is one of many to describe the massive surveillance program
that China has imposed in Xinjiang, using not only old-fashioned
informers and police checkpoints, but artificial intelligence, phone
spyware and biometric data. Every tool that a future, larger
totalitarian state may use to control citizens is currently being
tested in Xinjiang.

Under “terrorist” legislation in Xinjiang, anyone can be arrested for
anything — for expressing an allegiance to Uighur culture, for
example, or for reading the Koran. Once inside the “re-education”
camps, arrestees are forced to speak in Mandarin Chinese and made to
recite praises of the Communist Party. Those who break the rules
receive punishments no different from those meted out to prisoners in
the Soviet Gulag: “They put me in a small solitary confinement cell,”
said one former prisoner cited in the Canadian report, “in a space of
about two by two meters. I was not given any food or drink, my hands
were handcuffed in the back, and I had to stand for 24 hours without
sleep.”

None of that changes the fact that in a distant corner of China, a
totalitarian state — of the kind we all now denounce and condemn — has
emerged in a new form. “Never again?” I don’t think so: It’s already
happening.

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05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang
Law & Politics


Dissent is measured and snuffed out very quickly in China. China has
unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data
from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile
device locations, and official records to identify targets for
detention [CDT]. Xinjiang is surely a Precursor for how the CCCP will
manage dissent.  The actions in Xinjiang are part of the regional
authorities’ ongoing “Strike-Hard” campaign, and of President Xi’s
“stability maintenance” and “enduring peace” drive in the region.

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China and the US will continue economic and trade consultations in Washington next week, after reaching consensus in principle on major issues during their high-level Beijing talks which concluded Friday @PDChina
Law & Politics


China and the United States will continue economic and trade
consultations in Washington next week, after reaching consensus in
principle on major issues during their high-level Beijing talks which
concluded on Friday

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10-DEC-2018 :: Truce dinner @Huawei
Law & Politics


Sirloin steaks, Catena Zapata Nicolas Malbec [2014] Huawei
Technologies Co. and Wanzhou Meng

You will recall that Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping enjoyed a much
anticipated ''Truce'' Dinner at the G20 in Buenos Aires and quaffed a
Catena Zapata Nicolas Malbec [2014] wine with their sirloin steaks and
finished it all off with caramel rolled pancakes, crispy chocolate and
fresh cream, a dinner that ran over by 60 minutes and one where the
dinner Guests broke out into spontaneous applause thereafter.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1314
Dollar Index 96.77
Japan Yen 110.52
Swiss Franc 1.0035
Pound 1.2913
Aussie 0.7151
India Rupee 71.335
South Korea Won 1123.38
Brazil Real 3.7003
Egypt Pound 17.5015
South Africa Rand 14.0536

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Crude Oil Chart INO 55.84
Commodities


Emerging Markets

Frontier Markets

Sub Saharan Africa

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Tito Mboweni has most unenviable task of presenting a budget on Wednesday @sure_kamhunga
Africa


Tito Mboweni has most unenviable task of presenting a budget on
Wednesday that balances between cash strapped consumers, a struggling
economy, rising unemployment, the parlous state of Eskom and threat of
fiscal cliff that may trigger downgrade. Not made easy being election
year

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18-FEB-2019 :: :: #NigeriaDecides
Africa


Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa closed a speech quoting Ben Okri

We dream of a new politics
That will renew the world
Under their weary suspicious gaze.
There’s always a new way,
A better way that’s not been tried before.

This week Nigerians [84m people are registered to vote] were intending
to go to the Polls in the country’s sixth general election since
military rule ended in 1999. In fact, The Nigerian vote is ''the
largest democratic event in African history'' [@TheEconomist]  The
Elections were postponed at at 2.40am on election day. The Nigerian
electoral commission pronounced that the general elections were
postponed by a week. Charlie Robertson tweeted

''#Nigeriadecides but not yet. Postponement is typical.  2011
elections were pushed back twice, the 2nd time when the parliamentary
vote had already begun … In 2015 they were delayed by 6 weeks (roughly
a week ahead of time)''

Like Ben Okri's preferred literary genre of  ''magic realism''
Nigerian Politics has spun some surreal narratives of its own. Who can
forget the legendary Pleasure-Seeker General Sani Abacha, President
Umaru Yar'Adua who allegedly
was kept alive [or not] for a number of days in an ambulance in the
State House grounds. Even the austere President Buhari went missing
for a few months.

''The significance of the Nigerian elections for Africa is
tremendous,” said Professor Nic Cheeseman [Bloomberg]

“A flawed election and the political instability that this could
generate would not only undermine confidence in the feasibility of
democracy in one of Africa’s most important states, but also slow
economic growth in West Africa and the wider region.”

'In a system where candidates jump between political parties as if
they were changing buses, personality & money trump policy discussion'
tweeted David Pilling

Its a Nollywood Level drama but permit me to give you some context.
GDP growth has lagged Population growth, GDP grew by 1.93 percent last
year, up from 0.82 percent in 2017 and grew 2.4 percent in the fourth
quarter.Nigeria was the second biggest economy in Africa in 2018,
using the market exchange rate of NGN362/$ or the biggest economy
using the fixed rate [@RencapMan]. Unemployment has risen from 8.2% to
23.1% under President Buhari's watch which would be a plain untenable
position for any incumbent Politician seeking re-election in most
parts of the World. The President is a victim of low oil prices which
provide 70% of government revenue. ''Baba Go Slow'' has to be
contrasted with President Al-Sisi's Egypt. Al-Sisi [and I for one
disagree with him on many things particularly with his
''incarceration'' strategy] made bold moves when it came to the
Economy. Egypt devalued its currency early, took a brutal punch in the
solar plexus but is now reaping the dividend from its bolder economic
policy, Nigeria is still muddling along with its ''Voodoo'' level FX
economics. Since President Buhari came to power in May 2015, Nigeria's
stock market has fallen more than any other in the world, dropping 50%
in dollar terms. There is a Message in that performance. The Stock
Market has perked up over the last few sessions, however.

Atiku Abubakar, the main challenger to Mr Buhari, is also in his 70s.
It is an extraordinary Outcome that as the Continent becomes younger,
Our Leaders in many cases are getting older. This Elastic Band [the
difference between the average of leadership and the average of its
Citizens] is now stretched to breaking point and will snap.

Abubakar has struck a Bill Clinton circa 1992 when he kept chanting
"It's the economy, stupid"

Atiku Abubakar's mantra is  “Let’s Get Nigerians Working Again”.
Citing Margaret Thatcher, he says he wants to privatise state-owned
firms, which frankly is the optimal economic policy if its done fairly
and increases ownership in the Nigerian economy. I saw The Thatcher
Revolution up close and personal and it worked. From Ethiopia to
Nigeria to many other parts of Africa, Governments are running out of
headroom and they absolutely need to embrace Thatcherism. It is a
Silver Bullet.

We have seen a number of elections in Africa. Overturning Incumbents
is a thankless task but not too long ago we saw a number of Upsets in
West Africa. However, recently we witnessed a Nollywood level Plot
Twist in the DR Congo and its clear the Will of the People was not
expressed in the result.

Mr. Mbeki said “They are aware that the rest of the world is busy with
bigger issues, In Africa, things are most likely to get worse before
they get better.”

"We are tired of these same old leaders, We are laying the foundation
for a revolution in 2023." Until then, Nigeria will be stuck with
mediocrity pronounced the Economist.

Change is inevitable but not just yet.

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Ethiopia and Djibouti have signed a deal to build a pipeline to transport Ethiopian gas to an export terminal in the Red Sea state, officials said.
Africa


Ethiopia found extensive gas deposits in its eastern Ogaden Basin in
the 1970s. China’s POLY-GCL Petroleum Investments has been developing
the Calub and Hilala fields there since signing a production sharing
deal with Ethiopia in 2013.


Kenya

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FYI For the record we did not "recall" our Ambassador nor "expel" Somalia's . We summoned ours for consultations and asked that theirs departs for consultations on their side @AmbMKamau
Africa


FYI For the record we did not “recall” our Ambassador nor “expel”
Somalia’s . We summoned ours for consultations and asked that theirs
departs for consultations on their side so that we can resolve this
matter with credible and correct information from both sides.

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The Kenya Shilling has appreciated against the US Dollar by 1.6% year to date @CytonnInvest
Africa


diaspora remittances, increased by 38.6% in 2018 to USD 2.7 bn from
USD 1.9 bn recorded in 2017.

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91-day T-Bills at 7% 182-day T-Bills at 8.5% and 364-day T-Bills at 9.6% @CytonnInvest
Africa


The average interbank rate declined to 1.4%, from 2.7% the previous week

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@KenGenKenya share price data
Africa


Market Cap $412.9m PE 5.553 EPS 1.2

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@Safaricomplc share data
Africa


Price: 26.45 Market Cap: $10.576b EPS:1.38 PE:19.167 HY Mpesa Revenue
35.52b +18.2%

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@KNBStats released the Gross County Product (GCP) @CytonnInvest
Africa


Nairobi the highest contribution at 21.7%, followed by Nakuru and
Kiambu at 6.1% and 5.5%, respectively. Isiolo had the lowest
contribution coming in at 0.2%
services sector, which accounts for 54.6%, followed by the agriculture
sector at 24.0%, and the industry sector at 21.4%.

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