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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
January 7th 2013 On The Road Nairobi Mombasa
The Nairobi-Mombasa road arrows 'into immensities and is
'impossible-to- believe.' It retains a near mystical hold on my
imagination and connects me to my childhood and beyond.
This time we were swarmed by doves near Emali which was breathtaking.
There is still the eerie and deserted very Oscar Niemeyer building
which might have been a petrol station with a restaurant. We stopped
at Makindu which is like being teleported to Amritsar and on New Years
day was packed to the rafters. We always stop at Mackinnon road where
there is a shrine which houses the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Pun- jabi
foreman at the time of the building of the railway who was renowned
for his strength. And this time we took ourselves to Vipingo and
Watamu. In Vipingo,I was introduced to a pristine beach which is
accessed via a ladder as if you were descending from the real world
Words mean. Words point. They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. Susan Sontag @brainpickings
Sontag begins by weighing the elasticity of language and the way in
which words can expand meaning as much as they can contract it:
We fret about words, we writers. Words mean. Words point. They are
arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. And the more
portentous, more general the word, the more they also resemble rooms
or tunnels. They can expand, or cave in. They can come to be filled
with a bad smell. They will often remind us of other rooms, where we’d
rather dwell or where we think we are already living. They can be
spaces we lose the art or the wisdom of inhabiting. And eventually
those volumes of mental intention we no longer know how to inhabit
will be abandoned, boarded up, closed down.
What do we mean, for example, by the word “peace”? Do we mean an
absence of strife? Do we mean a forgetting? Do we mean a forgiveness?
Or do we mean a great weariness, an exhaustion, an emptying out of
rancor? It seems to me that what most people mean by “peace” is
victory. The victory of their side. That’s what “peace” means to them,
while to the others peace means defeat… Peace becomes a space people
no longer know how to inhabit.
Chiles all grown here - As a child I used to watch the old Albanian
men in my family eat healthy amounts of Chile with each meal.
U.S. and China Redefining the Terms of War @Consortiumnews
Law & Politics
In his highly acclaimed 2017 book, “Destined for War,” Harvard
professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United
States and China would one day find themselves at war. Comparing the
U.S.-Chinese relationship to great-power rivalries all the way back to
the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century B.C., he concluded that the
future risk of a conflagration was substantial. Like much current
analysis of U.S.-Chinese relations, however, he missed a crucial
point: for all intents and purposes, the United States and China are
already at war with one another. Even if their present slow-burn
conflict may not produce the immediate devastation of a conventional
hot war, its long-term consequences could prove no less dire.
Today, war means so much more than military combat and can take place
even as the leaders of the warring powers meet to negotiate and share
dry-aged steak and whipped potatoes (as President Donald Trump and
President Xi Jinping did at Mar-a-Lago in 2017). That is exactly where
we are when it comes to Sino-American relations. Consider it war by
another name, or perhaps, to bring back a long-retired term, a burning
new version of a cold war.
Even before Trump entered the Oval Office, the U.S. military and other
branches of government were already gearing up for a long-term
quasi-war, involving both growing economic and diplomatic pressure on
China and a buildup of military forces along that country’s periphery.
Since his arrival, such initiatives have escalated into Cold War-style
combat by another name, with his administration committed to defeating
China in a struggle for global economic, technological and military
This includes the president’s much-publicized “trade war” with China,
aimed at hobbling that country’s future growth; a techno-war designed
to prevent it from overtaking the U.S. in key breakthrough areas of
technology; a diplomatic war intended to isolate Beijing and frustrate
its grandiose plans for global outreach; a cyber war (largely hidden
from public scrutiny); and a range of military measures as well. This
may not be war in the traditional sense of the term, but for leaders
on both sides, it has the feel of one.
“The United States must retain overmatch,” the administration’s
National Security Strategy insists, and preserve a “combination of
capabilities in sufficient scale to prevent enemy success,” while
continuing to “shape the international environment to protect our
To demonstrate its ire at the effrontery of Beijing in the Pacific
(once known as an “American lake”), the White House has ordered an
increased pace of so-called freedom-of-navigation operations
(FRONOPs). Navy warships regularly sail within shooting range of those
very island bases, suggesting a U.S. willingness to employ military
force to resist future Chinese moves in the region (and also creating
situations in which a misstep could lead to a military incident that
could lead… well, anywhere).
10-DEC-2018 :: Truce dinner @Huawei
Law & Politics
Sirloin steaks, Catena Zapata Nicolas Malbec  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  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.
The refugee crisis isn't about refugees. It's about us @guardian @aiww
Law & Politics
I was born in 1957, the same year China purged more than 300,000
intellectuals, including writers, teachers, journalists and whoever
dared to criticise the newly established communist government. As part
of a series of campaigns led by what was known as the anti-rightist
movement, these intellectuals were sent to labour camps for
Because my father, Ai Qing, was the most renowned poet in China then,
the government made a symbolic example of him. In 1958, my family was
forced from our home in Beijing and banished to the most remote area
of the country – we had no idea that this was the beginning of a very
dark, long journey that would last for two decades.
Not a single refugee we met had willingly left their home, even when
home was impoverished and undeveloped. The promise of economic
prosperity is not more important than place. People left their homes
because they were forced to by violence which caused the deaths of
family members, relatives and fellow citizens. Often it is not just a
single house that is destroyed, but entire villages vanish under
indiscriminate bombing. There is simply no way for them to stay.
Fleeing is the only choice they have to preserve their own lives and
the lives of those they love.
If we map the 70-plus border walls and fences built between nations
in the past three decades – increasing from roughly a dozen after the
fall of the Berlin Wall – we can see the extent of global economic and
In nature there are two approaches to dealing with flooding. One is to
build a dam to stop the flow. The other is to find the right path to
allow the flow to continue. Building a dam does not address the source
of the flow – it would need to be built higher and higher, eventually
holding back a massive volume. If a powerful flood were to occur, it
could wipe out everything in its path. The nature of water is to flow.
Human nature too seeks freedom and that human desire is stronger than
any natural force.
The refugee crisis is not about refugees, rather, it is about us
There are many borders to dismantle, but the most important are the
ones within our own hearts and minds – these are the borders that are
dividing humanity from itself.
@Aiww What's in a Name?
Law & Politics
A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed
part of the ever-changing human world. A name is the most basic
characteristic of our human rights: No matter how poor or how rich,
all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the
expectant blessings of kindness and virtue.
Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed: Africa's new talisman @FT
It is the compound from which Emperor Menelik II conquered swaths of
territory, where Haile Selassie passed judgment until he was toppled
by a Marxist revolt in 1974, and from which Meles Zenawi, strongman
prime minister until his death in 2012, plotted an Asian-style
economic miracle on the Nile.
Surveying the same 40-hectare plot in the centre of Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia’s capital, Abiy Ahmed, the most talked-about leader in
Africa, sets out his grand plans for transforming Ethiopia. In an act
of political theatre, he leads the FT on a tour of the prime
ministerial grounds, from Menelik’s cathedral-sized banqueting hall to
the cages where the emperor kept lions and the dungeon where he had
disloyal generals and ministers tortured on the rack.
In Mr Abiy’s first one-on-one interview with the international media
since he was catapulted to the premiership last April, he alternates
between homespun prophet, hard man and visionary leader.
He mixes humour with a tactile arm-grab worthy of LBJ. His sentences,
delivered in proficient English, are laced with biblical references,
Big Data and Michael Jackson. Committed to opening up Ethiopia’s
closed political system, he is fascinated by the nature of popularity.
“If you change this,” says Mr Abiy, gesturing to the rubble-strewn
compound and the rapidly changing skyline in the capital beyond, “you
can change Addis. And if you can change Addis, definitely you can
Improving his own surroundings, he says, is a metaphor for the
transformation of a country that has, for 15 years, been the
best-performing economy in Africa, but whose authoritarian government
provoked a sustained popular uprising.
On his first day, he says, he ordered an overhaul of his office. In
two months, what had been a dark and austere interior became a
blindingly white luxury-hotel-style affair, replete with wall-to-wall
videoconferencing screens, modern art and sleek white rooms for
cabinet meetings and visiting delegations.
Cluttered storage rooms are now pulsing data banks and the ground
floor is a California-style café — white, of course — where the
premier’s mostly western-educated young staffers can sit and
“I want to make this office futuristic. Many Ethiopians see yesterday.
I see tomorrow,” he says. “This place has gone from hell to paradise.”
The youngest leader in Africa at 42, Mr Abiy is building a digital
museum to celebrate Ethiopia’s history, a mini-Ethiopian theme park
and a zoo with 250 animals. He envisages thousands of paying visitors
coming each day.
“This is a prototype of the new Ethiopia,” says the former army
intelligence officer and software engineer. “I have done so many great
things compared to many leaders. But I didn’t do 1 per cent of what I
His words may sound boastful, not to say arrogant, the sorts of
qualities that have led many a leader in the past to cultivate a cult
of personality. The recent precariousness of the country should also
give pause for thought: only a year ago, the Ethiopian People’s
Revolutionary Democratic Front, the four-party coalition Mr Abiy
leads, faced an almost existential crisis and there was even talk of a
Yet Mr Abiy’s first 10 months in office have been remarkable by the
yardstick of any leader around the world.
In that time, he has overseen the swiftest political liberalisation in
Ethiopia’s more than 2,000-year history. He has made peace with
Eritrea; freed 60,000 political prisoners, including every journalist
previously detained; unbanned opposition groups once deemed terrorist
organisations; and appointed women to fully half his cabinet. He has
pledged free elections in 2020 and made a prominent opposition
activist head of the electoral commission. In a country where
government spies were ubiquitous, people feel free to express opinions
that a year ago would have had them clapped in jail.
“He says the most unbelievable things and then he ends up doing them,”
says Blen Sahilu, a lawyer and women’s rights activist, referring
partly to the unexpected peace treaty with Eritrea that brought an end
to more than 20 years of military stand-off.
“In many ways, Abiy has been a shock to the system,” she says. “I’m
still waiting to see whether the country can sustain that much change
in such a short period of time and if these actions have a thoughtful
Mr Abiy’s emergence has unleashed opportunity and danger in equal
measure. Some fear that rapid liberalisation could spin out of
control, leading to anarchy or violent ethnic separatism.
“It was a given that the euphoria was not going to last,” says Tsedale
Lemma, editor in chief of Addis Standard, a website she edits from
“Everyone is waking up to the grim reality that the previous EPRDF
administration has left behind,” she says, referring to the four-party
coalition that has ruled with a vice-like grip since 1991.
The EPRDF’s track-record was not all bad. For nearly 15 years, the
economy had been growing at more than 10 per cent annually, according
to official statistics.
Even if overstated, growth has propelled a nation long associated with
famine from an $8bn minnow at the turn of the century to an $80bn
economy that has surpassed Kenya as the biggest in east Africa.
Driven by former prime minister Meles’s vision of a South Korean or
Chinese-style “developmental state”, the government poured money into
roads, giant dams, agriculture, health and education. Life expectancy
has risen from 40 when the EPRDF took over by force in 1991 to 65.
Ethiopia came to be seen by international agencies as a model of
authoritarian development and Africa’s best hope of emulating the sort
of economic and social transformation engineered in Asia. But
development came at a cost.
In a country with more than 80 ethnic groups, resentment built up
against the Tigrayans, who comprise only 6 per cent of the 105m
population but who were seen as dominating power. That resentment was
particularly strong among the Oromo, who make up roughly a third of
the population, but who have long felt marginalised.
The crisis intensified after 2015 when the EPRDF rigged an election so
completely it ended up with every parliamentary seat. Oromia, which
surrounds Addis Ababa, erupted in violent protests, some of which
targeted the foreign investments and industrial parks at the heart of
the administration’s modernisation push.
In an unusual coalition, the Oromo were joined by the Amhara, who make
up about a quarter of Ethiopians, and who had been used to running the
country until the Tigrayans muscled in.
The EPRDF responded with repression, imposing states of emergency,
throwing tens of thousands of people into prison and shooting
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters.
Last February, amid talk of civil war, Hailemariam Desalegn, the
ineffectual prime minister who had succeeded Meles in 2012, resigned,
paving the way for a succession struggle within the EPRDF. Mr Abiy,
who was then deputy president of the Oromia region, emerged the winner
after two days of heated debate.
Over the objections of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, one of
the parties in the coalition, he was elected EPRDF chairman and hence
prime minister, the first from Oromia in the nation’s history.
“I knew when they kept insulting me that I had won,” he says. “I
ignored it and wrote my acceptance speech.”
Growing up poor, with a Muslim Oromo father and a Christian Amhara
mother, in retrospect Mr Abiy seemed destined for the job.
He even speaks Tigrinya after spending time as a young soldier in
Tigray province. Indeed, he claims he knew from the age of seven that
he would one day lead the country.
Stefan Dercon, professor of economic policy at Oxford university’s
Blavatnik School of Government, says Mr Abiy’s historic task is to
complete the economic transformation that Meles began. If South
Korea’s miracle took 25 years, he says, “Ethiopia has completed half a
Mr Abiy must now oversee the political and economic liberalisation
needed, he says, to keep rapid levels of growth going for a decade or
more, which would bring the country comfortably into middle-income
“Meles was too controlling, like Mao,” says Mr Dercon, who knew the
feared but respectedEthiopian leader. “But command and control only
works so far. That makes Abiy like Deng Xiaoping,” he says, referring
to the Chinese leader whose opening and reform from 1979 propelled
China’s economic lift-off.
While Mr Abiy remains wildly popular, particularly in the capital, not
everything has gone his way.
He has faced one assassination attempt. And on October 11, a cadre of
junior officers forced their way into the compound demanding to be
“I showed them I was a soldier,” he recalls. “I told them, if
something wrong happens, you can’t kill me before I kill five or six
of you.” He followed up with a macho burst of press-ups. Inside an
hour, the incipient coup was over.
Abiy Ahmed does press-ups with soldiers. He says he told junior
officers plotting against him that "if something wrong happens, you
can’t kill me before I kill five or six of you" © Daily Nation/Youtube
Such bravado aside, Mr Abiy must grapple with two challenges that
would test even the most gifted of leaders.
The first is political. With censorship lifted and formerly outlawed
groups unbanned, some people are demanding greater autonomy for their
ethnically constituted regions.
Armed militia are forming and youth gangs are carrying out vigilante
attacks. Some 1.2m people were displaced in the first half of last
year, although Mr Abiy says many of them have since returned home.
The prime minister hints he would like to tinker with the 1994
constitution, which some see as exacerbating ethnic rivalries but
others regard as enshrining their rights. Such delicate changes, he
adds, cannot be contemplated until he receives a hoped-for popular
mandate in elections scheduled for next year. Some think the timing
He would also like to move to a presidential system in which leaders
are directly elected, he says, rather than the current indirect
process conducted through an EPRDF-dominated parliament.
While the prime minister preaches “unity of the nation and national
pride”, the notion of a greater Ethiopia grates with those pressing
for more regional autonomy.
He has also moved against generals and officials from the TPLF in what
many in Tigray province interpret as an assault, not on the corruption
of party cadres, but on Tigrayans themselves.
“Every region has its own reason to fight for the continuation of the
current federal system,” says Ms Lemma of the Addis Standard. “This is
very dangerous. Abiy is stuck between a rock and a hard place,” she
adds, referring to his need to unite the country and to satisfy
demands for regional autonomy.
The prime minister professes to be unfazed by the forces he has
unleashed. “Yesterday they were on the streets of Mekelle insulting
me,” he says, referring to the Tigrayan capital. “But I love that.
That is democracy.”
Mr Abiy says he wants to secure peace by persuasion, not through
military pacification. “Negative peace is possible as long as you have
a strong army. We are heading to positive peace,” he says.
Ultimately, Mr Abiy says, tensions will dissolve if the economy keeps
expanding. “When you grow, you don’t have time for these communal
Keeping growth on track, he says, depends on dealing with past
constraints, including debt and a seemingly perpetual foreign exchange
crisis that puts import cover at barely two months.
He also wants to tweak the Meles developmental model, where so much
money was funnelled into public investment that the private sector got
“Economically, we’re making big, big change, but the backlog is
killing us. Today the debt is up to here,” he says, gesturing to his
He has, he says, eased that situation by renegotiating commercial debt
to concessional terms with China and others and by tapping states in
the Gulf and the Middle East for loans and investment.
Growth slowed to 7 per cent last year, though Mr Abiy suggests this
owes more to a realistic assessment than to an actual slowdown. Among
his most critical challenges will be to decide how quickly to
liberalise an economy that has produced impressive results, but also
shown signs of running out of steam.
Describing himself as “capitalist”, he nevertheless cites Meles as
saying it is the government’s job to correct market failures. “The
economy will grow naturally, but you have to lead it in a guided
Still, unlike Meles, Mr Abiy is less wedded to the idea that the state
must control the economy’s commanding heights. He is moving swiftly
towards privatisation of the telecoms sector in an exercise that
should raise billions of dollars, as well as modernising a network
that has fallen badly behind African peers.
Here too there are risks. “I need to realise the privatisation with
zero corruption,” he says, adding that people who have stashed money
abroad want to launder it back into the country.
Successful privatisation of telecoms could potentially lead to a
similar exercise in energy and shipping, as well as sugar refineries
and, most controversially, the successful national airline that has
turned Addis Ababa into a continental hub. Mr Abiy says that, for the
moment at least, he draws the line at banking.
“The biggest challenge for Abiy is not politics. It is jobs, jobs,
jobs,” says Zemedeneh Negatu, an Ethiopian banker.
With 800,000 students in university or college and 2.5m Ethiopians
being born each year, lack of opportunity could quickly catalyse
unrest, he adds.
As Mr Abiy steers through the political and economic rocks, one
concern is that he could join a long line of once promising African
leaders who turned authoritarian.
“Most of the dictators, including Mugabe [in Zimbabwe] and [Libya’s]
Gaddafi, came as liberators,” says Befequadu Hailu, a blogger and
activist, who was regularly jailed and beaten under the previous
administration. “They ended up consolidating power in their own
Mr Abiy brushes aside such concerns, saying he will happily leave
power if the people reject him. “I am sure I can’t be here eternally.
I don’t know when, but I want to leave this office.”
Still, another voice tells him that he has a once-in-a generation
opportunity to etch his name in Ethiopian history. “I will be popular
if I lift 60m-70m people out of poverty,” he says. “If I do that,
whether I like it or not, you will magnify my name.”
02-JUL-2018 :: Ethiopia Rising He is evidently a Virilian and Gladwellian Figure.
“To create one contagious movement, you often have to create many
small movements first.” “Look at the world around you. It may seem
like an immovable, implacable place. It is not, With the slightest
push—in just the right place—it can be tipped.”—Malcolm Gladwell .
He has been Prime Minster for 90 days. During those 90 days, he has
criss-crossed the country, ended a state of emergency, released
thousands of political prisoners, thawed relations with Eritrea [29
Mar 2018 HE Abiy Ahmed @PM_AbiyAhmed - It is time. Lets build a wall
of love between #Ethiopia & #Eritrea], bagged a $1b from the UAE,
announced a dramatic economic about-turn. In matters language and
linguistics, he has tapped into a ‘’Nelson Mandela’’ 1994 mood. These
90 or so days represent the most consequential arrival of an African
politician on the African stage since Mandela walked out of prison
blinking in the sunlight and constructed his ‘’rainbow nation’’.
02-JUL-2018 :: It's all about speed and velocity. Paul Virilio terms it 'dromology', which he defined as the "science (or logic) of speed"
I was watching the France-Argentina game and the arrival of Kylian
Mbappe on the world stage at the tender age of 19. I recalled watching
the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi order on a night of a full moon
in Konya, Turkey. I thought what they all have in common with Abiy
Ahmed. It’s all about speed and velocity. Paul Virilio terms it
‘dromology’, which he defined as the “science (or logic) of speed“. He
notes that the speed at which something happens may change its
essential nature, and that which moves with speed quickly comes to
dominate that which is slower.
“Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory
is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a
matter of movement and circulation.
From 5% Growth to a $4.9 Billion Bailout: What Went Wrong? @economics
The sorry state of South Africa’s state power utility starkly
illustrates just how far the country slipped during former President
Jacob Zuma’s scandal-marred rule and the enormity of the task of
rebuilding the nation’s stricken finances.
From the heady days of the 2000s, when growth topped 5 percent a year,
the economy has struggled through two recessions, and debt ratios have
tripled. There have been almost daily revelations of state corruption,
the nation's final investment-grade rating is hanging by a thread and
budget surpluses have turned to ever-widening shortfalls.
And then there’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which supplies 95 percent of
the nation’s power. Driven to the brink of collapse, it secured a
record 69-billion rand ($4.9-billion) bailout in the national budget
Wednesday—an allocation that will force the government to break its
expenditure ceiling. Company chairman Jabu Mabuza said even that might
not be enough. The utility had wanted 100 billion rand to help service
its mountain of debt, pay its bloated workforce and maintain an aging
fleet of power plants that intermittently trip and cause rolling
“We are paying for the past, the nine years of waste,” said Colin
Coleman, chief executive officer of sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. “South Africans are going to pay for that for
generations to come.”
Eskom is a South African success story gone wrong.
Founded in 1923, the utility built dozens of mainly coal-fired plants
over six decades to become the world’s fourth-largest power company.
When white minority rule ended in 1994, its spare generating capacity
during peak demand times was more than double the international norm
of 15 percent. Seven years later, it was named power company of the
year at the Financial Times Global Energy Awards in New York, with all
of its 78 production units considered to be in good working condition.
But by 2005, South Africa was running short of power, after the
government underestimated the scale of demand and delayed investments
in new generating capacity. The real rot at Eskom set in following
Zuma’s election to head the ruling African National Congress in late
2007. He became president in May 2009. By last year, after Zuma had
been booted from office, a series of inquiries placed the utility at
the epicenter of a looting spree of billions of rand in taxpayer funds
by allies of the then-president, with his tacit consent. Zuma denies
Meanwhile, the utility’s staff soared by a third, to 48,628, between
2007 and last year, while its generating capacity rose just 7 percent
and power sales volumes less than 3 percent. Electricity prices surged
almost five times over the period and Eskom’s debt ballooned almost
This is crazy nearly 20% of tweets about Nigerian politics are from bots & fake accounts, according to new research by @CDDWestAfrica. Soon Twitter will just be robots fighting amongst themselves. @mailandguardian H/T @simonallison
Disinformation is a significant threat to democracy and the
credibility of electoral outcomes.
In Nigeria it is being weaponised by political parties to influence
voters ahead of the all-important general elections scheduled for 23
February and 9 March 2019.
The political strategy of spreading factually inaccurate information
and negative rumours is part and parcel of Nigerian politics.
However, the volume of disinformation is unprecedented and further
exacerbating ethnic and religious tensions in the heavily divided and
Nigerian politicians may have been involved in creating “fake news
factories” where paid employees, both local and international, create
content with the aim of bullying, intimidating and sometimes cajoling,
the public to accept it.
Your views are either interpreted as #Buharist or #Atikulated,
representing the two major presidential candidates — President
Muhammadu Buhari and the main opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar.
For example, using influential social media networks, a rumour that
starts online can reach a huge audience in just a few hours. When
something starts to go viral, groups like the Sojojin Baci take it up,
spreading the message from door to door in a way that helps it to
resonate with the local offline audiences.
The suggestion that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is a clone —
that he is actually a man named Jubrin from Sudan — has been one of
the most pervasive rumours during this election cycle. The allegation
was first made in a YouTube video by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of
separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra on September 3 2017.
“The man you are looking at on the television is not Buhari; he is
Jubrin from Sudan. After extensive plastic surgery, they brought him
back,” Kanu said with certitude.This assertion has been widely
repeated with memes for more than a year, but despite Mr Buhari
denying the rumours that he is dead during a trip to Poland last
December, some people still believe the rumours are plausible. For
some the idea that 76-year-old Buhari would be able to recover from a
serious illness and return looking healthy and agile is hard to
Our Twitter dataset, which contained 118 649 tweets collected from
December 31 2018 to January 30 2019, revealed a dense and
interconnected landscape with an above-average prevalence of automated
accounts - roughly 19.5% of collected accounts show signs of
automation, which suggests a high level of bot activity around the
hashtags, accounts and subjects collected. The initial results of the
analysis revealed a number of interesting issues. One observable trend
showed that accounts with bot like tendencies promoted messages
concerning Biafra and calls to boycott the elections.
18-FEB-2019 :: #NigeriaDecides
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]
"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.
@KenGenKenya reports H1 2019 PAT +0.708% Earnings here
Par Value: 2.50/-
Closing Price: 6.48
Total Shares Issued: 6243873667.00
Market Capitalization: 40,460,301,362
KenGen PLC HY 2019 results through 31st December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
HY Revenue 22.185b vs. 22.323b -0.618%
HY Revenue less reimbursable expenses 18.040b vs. 17.981b +0.328%
HY Other income 211m vs. 125m +68.800%
HY Depreciation and amortization [5.133b] vs. [5.194b] -1.174%
HY Operating expenses [4.980b] vs. [4.648b] +7.143%
HY Steam costs [1.667b] vs. [1.793b] -7.027%
HY Operating profit 7.120b vs. 7.458b -4.532%
HY Finance income 242m vs. 251m -3.586%
HY Profit before tax 6.022b vs. 6.081b -0.970%
HY PAT 4.124b vs. 4.095b +0.708%
HY EPS 0.63 vs. 0.62 +1.613%
Cash and cash equivalents balance at 31st December 8.763b vs. 701m +1,150.071%
No interim dividend
Electricity Unit Sales grew by 16% from 3,825 GWh to 4,451GWh
Electricity generated from hydro plants +53% in the period under review
Hydro 4.408b versus 4.097b
Geothermal 8.583b versus 8.528b
Wind 1.800b versus 1.729b
Big Turn-Around in the Cash and cash equivalents position +1,150%
PE Ratio is 5.4 which is at least a 50% discount to Fair Value which
means the Price should be at least at 9.72.
Rebecca Miano is displaying a very safe pair of hands and that too is
deserving of a further premium.
I think the undervaluation is plain egregious.
KenGen PLC FY 2018 Results through 30th June 2018 vs. 30th June 2017
FY Electricity revenue 29.286b vs. 29.007b +0.962%
FY Steam revenue 6.222b vs. 5.189b +19.907%
FY Revenue 45.290b vs. 43.432b +4.278%
FY PBT 11.746b vs. 11.461b 2.487%
FY Income tax expense [3.855b] vs. [2.455b] +57.026%
FY PAT 7.891b vs. 9.006b -12.381%
Basic and diluted EPS 1.20 vs. 1.37 -12.409%
Dividend per share 0.40 vs.
Total Assets 379.353b vs. 376.730b +0.696%
Total equity 190.104b vs. 182.836b +3.975%
@KenyaPower reports H1 2019 EPS -16.000% Earnings here
Par Value: 20/-
Closing Price: 5.00
Total Shares Issued: 1951467045.00
Market Capitalization: 9,757,335,225
The energy company in charge of national transmission, distribution
and retail of electricity throughout Kenya.
The Kenya Power and Lighting Company HY 2019 results through 31st
December 2018 vs. 31st December 2017
HY Revenue 56.952b vs. 46.931b +21.353%
HY FX adjustment 810m vs. 4.492b -81.968%
HY Fuel cost charge 7.678b vs. 11.637b -34.021%
HY Other operating income 3.932b vs. 4.043b -2.745%
HY Power purchase costs (non-fuel) [32.599b] vs. [27.429b] +18.849%
HY FX Costs [523m] vs. [3.793b] -86.211%
HY Fuel costs [6.887b] vs. [12.294b] -43.981%
HY Transmission and distribution costs [21.708b] vs. [15.814b] +37.271%
HY Total operating costs [61.717b] vs. [59.330b] +4.023%
HY Operating profit 7.655b vs. 7.773b -1.518%
HY Finance income 63m vs. 52m +21.154%
HY Finance costs [4.024b] vs. [3.257b] +23.549%
HY PBT 3.694b vs. 4.568b -19.133%
HY Profit for the year 2.458b vs. 2.927b -16.023%
Basic and diluted EPS 1.26 vs. 1.50 -16.000%
Total Assets 338.414b vs. 357.067b -3.431%
Cash and cash equivalents at 31st December [4.226b] vs. [7.743b] -45.422%
No interim dividend
Electricity Sales grew by +21.3%
Transmission and distribution costs increased by +37.3% to 21.708b
Finance Costs increased +23.5%
The firm remains in negative working capital with current liabilities
being 1.9 times higher than the current assets, pointing to pressure
in honouring short term obligations. It is also in breach of debt
Finance costs rose by 23.5 percent to Sh4.02 billion from Sh3.25
billion reflecting increased borrowing.
Kenya Power’s total debt is Sh115.87 billion. While Sh16.8 billion is
repayable in under 12 months, Sh99 billion has maturity period longer
than a year.
There is growth which is always a good thing.
however, they need to repair the balance sheet