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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 30th of May 2019
 
Morning
Africa

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29-APR-2019 :: If You accept that Mankind is at the apogee of its Progress then at this moment of apogee, there is no other World Leader thinking or operating at this level
Africa


It would be churlish not to recognise the breath-taking scope and
contours of H.E Xi Jinping's vision.
IIf You accept that Mankind is at the apogee of its Progress then at
this moment of apogee, there is no other World Leader thinking or
operating at this level.

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Italy's BTPs now the only choice for positive 5yr yields among major Eurozone bonds w/ 5y Bund yields at -0.55%, #Spain's 5y yields at -0.003%, #Portugal's 5y yield at -0.047%. @Schuldensuehner
Africa


Home Thoughts

My Eldest Daughter Aysha came last night. She is so grown up now and
on the way home late last night My youngest Daughter said to Aysha
''You Know Aysha, Mum was married to Dad, at your age, just saying''
Girls are just so intuitive and I am so happy to have her with me, I
really am. And this morning I had a shower in her room just because I
wanted to see her before I went to work and I thought of that scene in
Monsoon Wedding when the husband and wife were talking about their
daughter whilst she was sleeping.

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How Cameras Filmed a Rare Black Leopard Mother and Cubs @sandiegozoo H/T @magicalkenya
Africa


When leopard conservation research assistant, Ambrose Letoluai, sent
me footage of a melanistic (black) leopard mother with cubs that our
cameras had captured in Kenya’s Mpala Research Centre, I was
overjoyed.
Second, this footage also indicates that black leopards are breeding
on Mpala. It has been hypothesized that the dark coloration of black
leopards may be an adaption to shaded habitats—but finding breeding
black leopards here challenges that notion, because the environment is
semi-arid with no dense forest cover.

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Africa


The conundrum for those who wish to bet on the End of the World is
this, however. What would be the point? The World would have ended.

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WB Yeats' The Second Coming
Africa


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;- Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

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05-DEC-2016:: From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line ("a constant state of destabilised perception"), timely and judicious doses of Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary's bona fides and her turn-out and motivated Trump's
Law & Politics


From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant
state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of
Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out
and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable
and noteworthy.
Putin has proven himself an information master, and his adversaries
are his information victims.

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"I urge you to carefully consider the potential sanctions exposure of Instex," Mandelker wrote in the letter to Instex President Per Fischer
Law & Politics


“Engaging in activities that run afoul of U.S. sanctions can result in
severe consequences, including a loss of access to the U.S. financial
system.”
A senior official involved in the internal debate that led to the
letter said the U.S. decided to issue the threat after concluding that
European officials, who had earlier downplayed the significance of
Instex in conversations with the Trump administration, were far more
serious about it than they had initially let on.
The official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal
deliberations, said the letter was intended to serve as a warning that
the U.S. would punish anyone associated with Instex -- including
businesses, government officials and staff -- if they were working to
set up a program to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions.
“This is a shot across the bow of a European political establishment
committed to using Instex and its sanctions-connected Iranian
counterpart to circumvent U.S. measures,” said Mark Dubowitz, the
chief executive officer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
in Washington.
Asked to comment on the letter, the Treasury Department issued a
statement saying “entities that transact in trade with the Iranian
regime through any means may expose themselves to considerable
sanctions risk, and Treasury intends to aggressively enforce our
authorities.”

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Hitler was actually an incompetent, lazy egomaniac and his government was an absolute clown show. @Newsweek H/T @pdacosta
Law & Politics


Why did the elites of Germany so consistently underestimate Hitler?
Possibly because they weren’t actually wrong in their assessment of
his competency—they just failed to realise that this wasn’t enough to
stand in the way of his ambition.
As it would turn out, Hitler was really bad at running a government.
As his own press chief Otto Dietrich later wrote in his memoir The
Hitler I Knew, "In the twelve years of his rule in Germany Hitler
produced the biggest confusion in government that has ever existed in
a civilized state."
His government was constantly in chaos, with officials having no idea
what he wanted them to do, and nobody was entirely clear who was
actually in charge of what.
He procrastinated wildly when asked to make difficult decisions, and
would often end up relying on gut feeling, leaving even close allies
in the dark about his plans.
His "unreliability had those who worked with him pulling out their
hair," as his confidant Ernst Hanfstaengl later wrote in his memoir
Zwischen Weißem und Braunem Haus.
This meant that rather than carrying out the duties of state, they
spent most of their time in-fighting and back-stabbing each other in
an attempt to either win his approval or avoid his attention
altogether, depending on what mood he was in that day.
There’s a bit of an argument among historians about whether this was a
deliberate ploy on Hitler’s part to get his own way, or whether he was
just really, really bad at being in charge of stuff.
Dietrich himself came down on the side of it being a cunning tactic to
sow division and chaos—and it’s undeniable that he was very effective
at that.
But when you look at Hitler’s personal habits, it’s hard to shake the
feeling that it was just a natural result of putting a workshy
narcissist in charge of a country.
Hitler was incredibly lazy. According to his aide Fritz Wiedemann,
even when he was in Berlin he wouldn’t get out of bed until after 11
a.m., and wouldn’t do much before lunch other than read what the
newspapers had to say about him, the press cuttings being dutifully
delivered to him by Dietrich.
He was obsessed with the media and celebrity, and often seems to have
viewed himself through that lens.
He once described himself as "the greatest actor in Europe," and wrote
to a friend, "I believe my life is the greatest novel in world
history."
In many of his personal habits he came across as strange or even
childish—he would have regular naps during the day, he would bite his
fingernails at the dinner table, and he had a remarkably sweet tooth
that led him to eat "prodigious amounts of cake" and "put so many
lumps of sugar in his cup that there was hardly any room for the tea."
He was deeply insecure about his own lack of knowledge, preferring to
either ignore information that contradicted his preconceptions, or to
lash out at the expertise of others.
He hated being laughed at, but enjoyed it when other people were the
butt of the joke (he would perform mocking impressions of people he
disliked).
But he also craved the approval of those he disdained, and his mood
would quickly improve if a newspaper wrote something complimentary
about him.
Little of this was especially secret or unknown at the time. It’s why
so many people failed to take Hitler seriously until it was too late,
dismissing him as merely a "half-mad rascal" or a "man with a beery
vocal organ."
In a sense, they weren’t wrong. In another, much more important sense,
they were as wrong as it’s possible to get.
Hitler’s personal failings didn’t stop him having an uncanny instinct
for political rhetoric that would gain mass appeal, and it turns out
you don’t actually need to have a particularly competent or functional
government to do terrible things.
We tend to assume that when something awful happens there must have
been some great controlling intelligence behind it. It’s
understandable: how could things have gone so wrong, we think, if
there wasn’t an evil genius pulling the strings?
The downside of this is that we tend to assume that if we can’t
immediately spot an evil genius, then we can all chill out a bit
because everything will be fine.
But history suggests that’s a mistake, and it’s one that we make over
and over again.
Many of the worst man-made events that ever occurred were not the
product of evil geniuses.
Instead they were the product of a parade of idiots and lunatics,
incoherently flailing their way through events, helped along the way
by overconfident people who thought they could control them.
Adapted from HUMANS: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up by Tom
Phillips © by Tom Phillips 2019, used with permission from Hanover
Square Press/HarperCollins.

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'Don't say we didn't warn you': A phrase from China signals the trade war could get even worse @CNBC
Law & Politics


“We advise the U.S. side not to underestimate the Chinese side’s
ability to safeguard its development rights and interests.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” the People’s Daily said in a commentary
titled “United States, don’t underestimate China’s ability to strike
back.”
The phrase “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” has been used by the
People’s Daily in 1962 before China’s border war with India and ahead
of the 1979 China-Vietnam War.
China threatened it would cut off rare earth minerals as a
countermeasure in the escalated trade battle. The materials are
crucial to the production of iPhones, electric vehicles and advanced
precision weapons

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27-MAY-2019 :: China vs. US War Ballistic @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics


My base-line is the trade war is headed off the charts into territory
the market still continues a ‘’tail’’ risk.

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27-MAY-2019 :: Essentially, My Base-Line is that the Trade War is headed off the charts into Territory the market still continues to price as a "Tail" Risk.
Law & Politics


The Markets across the World shivered in May, some caught a Fever and
some on the Periphery have become as delirious as victims of cerebral
malaria. The Markets are still pricing in a benign [but much less
benign than a month ago] Outcome. We need to consider what a non
benign or even maximum non benign outcome looks like. The Chinese
Currency which is -8.8% on a Year on Year basis is surely a very
visible proxy. And if this all turns ballistic as is my baseline
scenario then this is going to fly through 7.00 like a hot knife
through butter and the Chinese will surely use the value as currency
as Push-Back. If they do they will be pushing at an open door. Its
clear that directionally money wants to leave China and a great deal
of the 2019 surge in Bitcoin is surely correlated to Chinese Flight
Capital. Therefore, my prediction is when the currency slides its
going to slide real quick and Dollar Call Options are an interesting
risk adjusted trade.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1143
Dollar Index 98.114
Japan Yen 109.70
Swiss Franc 1.0091
Pound 1.2633
Aussie 0.6933
India Rupee 68.8755
South Korea Won 1191.02
Brazil Real 3.9746
Egypt Pound 16.8089
South Africa Rand 14.6382

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Africa


Africa, largely ignored in a U.S.-China trade war that could roil
economies worldwide, is quietly piecing together the world’s largest
free-trade zone.
The African Continental Free Trade Area comes into force on paper on
Thursday after the required 22 countries ratified the deal a month
ago.
Once it’s passed by all 55 nations recognized as part of the African
Union, it would cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined
gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
The potential benefits are obvious, if the usual hurdles of
nationalism and protectionism don’t yet stand in the way.
The deal would help the continent move away from mainly exporting
commodities to build manufacturing capacity and industrialize, said
Jakkie Cilliers, head of African Futures and Innovation at the
Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies.
Boosting intra-regional trade would spur the construction of roads and
railways, reducing the infrastructure gap in Africa, he said.
After four years of talks, the mechanics of the agreement will be
negotiated in phases and it should be fully in operational by 2030.
Non-trade barriers, such as delays at ports, and politics, would have
to be navigated before the plan to remove tariffs on 90% of goods can
be realized.
Negotiators will also have to convince economies reliant on these
levies for revenue to let them go.
“This is a technocratic agreement,” said Ronak Gopaldas, a
London-based director at Signal Risk, which advises companies in
Africa.
“It’s aspirational in nature and while the direction is positive,
translating what has been agreed by the technocrats and the policy
makers into stuff that has a material impact on the ease and the cost
of doing business and fosters more integrated markets remains to be
seen.”
One hurdle to integration is Nigeria. The country that vies with South
Africa for the title of Africa’s biggest economy, hasn’t signed up
yet. Now re-elected, President Muhammadu Buhari is reviewing an
impact-assessment report.
The trade pact’s implementation could also be scuppered if leaders
seeking re-election put sovereign interests ahead of the continent,
Moremong said.
“In each of our countries, there are proper issues that one needs to
deal with and where people need to see that the government is focused
on their day-to-day issues,” she said.
“Opening up a market for the people from other parts of the continent
to freely come and do commerce and trade in your country is going to
take a lot.”

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Will Africa's historic Free Trade Agreement succeed? African Continental Free Trade Agreement #AfCFTA @AJENews @AJInsideStory @MartineDennis
Africa


Presenter: Martine Dennis
Guests:
Aly-Khan Satchu - CEO of Rich Management and an emerging markets economist
Stephen Yeboah - cofounder of Commodity Monitor
Olusegun Okubanjo - founder and managing partner of finance firm OBSIDIAN

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Billionaire Agarwal Has a Warning for Zambia @markets
Africa


Anil Agarwal, the Indian billionaire owner of Vedanta Resources Ltd.,
said mining companies are likely to stop operating in Zambia as a
result of a state-owned firm seeking to liquidate his copper-mining
business there.
Agarwal’s warning, published in a government newspaper on Wednesday as
a “personal message” to citizens of Africa’s second-biggest copper
producer, comes as his company is trying to meet with President Edgar
Lungu over state-owned ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc’s move this month
to wind up Konkola Copper Mines Plc.
“The current position can only hurt the country’s hard-earned
democracy and investor-friendly status,” Agarwal said.
“I see a lot of mining companies looking to exit Zambia, despite there
being huge potential to develop downstream industries.”
Fixed-income investors have already fled the country’s bonds. Yields
on Zambia’s $1 billion in notes due 2024 surged to a record 20.8% on
Wednesday.
That’s higher than any country besides Venezuela, which is in default.
If Agarwal’s warning proves right, an already struggling economy would
suffer further from a decline in production of copper, which accounts
for more than 70% of export earnings.
ZCCM-IH, which owns 20.6% of Vedanta’s KCM, on May 20 won a
provisional order to liquidate the company -- three days after Lungu
had warned Vedanta of “divorce” as he claimed the company had lied to
the country about planned expansions and cheated on tax payments.
The government said it moved to wind up the company to prevent its
collapse and to protect jobs. Vedanta is seeking to formally challenge
the court decision and the matter will be heard on June 4.
While acknowledging that the government owes Vedanta 1.9 billion
($142.8 million) kwacha in value-added tax refunds, the company owes
the nation 3.01 billion kwacha in taxes, Information Minister Dora
Siliya told reporters Wednesday in Lusaka, the capital.
Vedanta is “trying to hold us ransom,” she said in response to claims
the government is spooking investors.
“Even now there are many companies, people have flown into the country
because they see the opportunity,” she said, referring to KCM. “We
just want the best partner for the people of Zambia.”
Vedanta’s dealings with the southern African nation have been strained
since at least 2013, when the government canceled its then chief
executive’s work permit after KCM announced plans to fire 2,000
workers.
The company has hardly posted profits since Vedanta bought it 15 years
ago, and there are frequent allegations mining companies including KCM
don’t pay enough tax, claims Vedanta has denied.

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OP-ED: Zambia: When you get to the bottom of the hole, stop digging
Africa


Last week, the Zambian government applied to place Konkola Copper
Mines, the country’s largest private employer, into provisional
liquidation.
Is this a sign that an increasingly desperate government, starved of
resources to pay the salaries of a burgeoning civil service and of
cash to meet the international debt it has rung up in record time, is
thinking of nationalising the mines?
After all, Zambia has been here before — and with devastating
consequences the last time around.
Four-fifths owned by Indian commodity tycoon Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta
and the remainder by the government-controlled Zambia Consolidated
Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)
is Zambia’s largest PAYE provider with more than 13,000 workers at its
mines at Nchanga and Konkola.
It has invested more than $3-billion into these facilities since its
acquisition of a majority share after Anglo American’s withdrawal from
the project in 2002, including sinking a deep shaft in the
Chililabombwe ore body in 2006, commissioning a new smelter in 2008
and opening three new concentrators between 2010 and 2012.
Whereas KCM’s lack of productivity had made it one of the biggest
contributors of the daily $1-million loss of the mines before ZCCM’s
privatisation in 2000, now it contributes usually about one-fifth of
Zambia’s 800,000-ton annual copper production.
In explaining the liquidation application, President Edgar Lungu’s
government cited breaches of KCM’s operating licence and its financial
position. But there may be more sinister motives related to Zambia’s
precarious debt situation.
In 2005, Zambia’s debt had largely been forgiven. Today, however, the
country is once more in it up to its eyeballs, and the government has
no plan to stop spending. External debt, at the end of 2018, has
increased to $10.1-billion, of which about $3-billion was in
Eurobonds, $1.8-billion multilateral and $2.9-billion from China
(mainly Exim bank).
Since then Zambia has announced a further $1-billion from the Chinese,
while there are other ongoing contracts which are committed, but not
yet disbursed.
As external debt payments ramp up to be larger more-often-than-not to
inflows, Zambia’s foreign exchange reserves have declined since 2017.
External debt service is up by 90% in 2019. There is no way out,
apparently, from these debt challenges without an IMF programme or
another credit line, or both.
This explains why the kwacha has recently broken through the
psychological K13-$1 margin for the first time since 2015, making it
the world’s second-worst performing currency in 2019.
There are other negative events. The seasonal drought promises a poor
yield for farmers, while Kariba Lake has dwindled to 2014/15 levels,
in part because of low rainfall and in part because of the
irresponsible use of new turbines by both Zimbabwe and Zambia, which
promises power cuts and productivity losses.
An IMF deal is currently unlikely. The Zambian government kicked out
the IMF representative Alfredo Baldini in 2018, and there’s no good
way to negotiate without a resident representative in place.
Moreover, the IMF is unlikely to change its view that the government
of Zambia needs to stop spending and borrowing, especially from the
Chinese, which they won’t do.
A pandered-to and fully-stuffed civil service, and rents from
infrastructure projects are politically indispensable, at least for
the ruling party.
Zambia is at the bottom of the hole now, but the ruling elite is keen
to keep digging, despite regular promises that they won’t take on any
more debt.
This means that the only likely rescuers are the Chinese. But the
question is, at what cost?
It’s hard to read the president’s end game, if there is one.
The most benign explanation for this action is of an honest if a
cack-handed attempt to try to recoup the money owed by Vedanta, a
notoriously slow payer, including on the $103-million
price-participation award made to ZCCM-IH against KCM by UK
arbitrators two years ago.
Yet, while the Zambian government laments that KCM hasn’t met its
production targets, it doesn’t admit to changing the tax rules over
the years such that it will have made it more and more difficult for
KCM to finance whatever was required to improve performance, such as
the withheld VAT or the increase in mining royalties.
Equally, a rise in electricity tariffs hit KCM particularly hard, with
its huge power demand on pumping no less than 350 million litres of
water a day, which doesn’t produce any copper.
Trimming labour costs is made more difficult in an environment where
cash flow is weak and workers are entitled to three months’ pay for
each year of service.
Now the government is essentially suing itself in liquidating KCM,
just as it has done by threatening other mining companies with audits
in the wake this liquidation application.
More threateningly, however, through the liquidation, Lungu could be
trying to force Vedanta’s hand — and those of other mining companies —
overpayment of a new, non-refundable sales tax and any other scheme
that it might dream up.
Vedanta, and KCM, with a record of environmental problems and
faltering production, is the softest target for such a move among the
big miners.
The liquidation application came shortly after Vedanta reported an
annual loss of $165-million, blamed on import taxes on concentrate
from the Congo and the weakening of the kwacha.
Yet there are considerable costs to such an extortion tactic by
government, even if it stops short of nationalisation. Though it may
briefly oil the wheels, it can only bring further long-term misery.
There is the cost to employment in the Copperbelt, already politically
indisposed to Lungu. This comes on the back of Glencore’s announcement
that it will close two shafts at its Nkana mine in Kitwe, threatening
2,000 jobs. The consequences are unpredictable; the place could just
blow up.
The problem with the PF’s approach to government is that eventually,
to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, they will run out of someone else’s
money.
Thus a recovery strategy should be less about from where Lusaka will
source its next loan or tax bonanza than how they will grow the pie,
diversify away from mining, improve productivity, ease logistical
constraints and reduce government red-tape and overheads.
Instead, without such policy debate, KCM’s plight is a marker for
Zambia’s future path, which if unchecked, is as depressing as the
likely solutions.
The IMF will set terms which the Zambians won’t like, so there is
unlikely to be a deal, but they will find a way to keep going, in part
through extortion, and in part through further borrowing.
Repression will likely increase as fast as joblessness.
The next election in 2021 might offer prospects for change, but by
then Zambia will be in so deep that changing the political and
economic trajectory will be much more difficult. Just look at
Zimbabwe. DM

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@EmmanuelMacron's France bets on start-up Africa @RFI_En
Africa


France is to invest some two billion euros into African start-ups over
the next three years in a bid to unlock the continent's untapped
potential.
A new initiative called Choose Africa aims to empower the private
sector to drive economic growth, increasingly driven by
entrepreneurship. The problem is that entrepreneurs lack funding and
resources.
"Africa is the continent of entrepreneurs," organisers of the Choose
Africa initiative hammered home last Tuesday to a room packed with
MPs, potential investors and many of the continent's innovative young
players. "The problem is money."
The French-led intitative, modeled on its counterpart Choose France,
has pledged a 2.5 billion euro investment into 10,000 small and medium
sized companies by 2022 to drive growth.
“The Choose Africa initiative is based on the speech that President
Emmanuel Macron gave in Ouagadougou," explains Damien Braud, head of
private equity at Proparco, the private sector arm of France's
Development Agency.
In that iconic speech in 2017, Macron vowed to build a new partnership
with Africa founded on mutual interest.
"He committed 1 billion euros to Africa, and now he's adding 1.5
billion more," Braud told RFI.
The aim is to boost the attractiveness of doing business on the
continent by unlocking its potential. Africa's entrepreneurs are
pivotal to that.
"There is a growing number of start-ups and entrepreneurs that have
innovative ideas and are trying innovative business models that offer
financial and digital services that are extremely important for the
development of the continent," comments Khaled Ben Jilani, a senior
partner at private equity firm Africinvest.
Start-ups such as the Rwandan Flyzipline that delivers medicine by
drones to people in isolated areas, have shown the potential of
African tech to offer solutions "not just for African problems, but
for the global market," Jilani told RFI.
However, around 87 percent of start-ups and small businesses lack
funding, and many go bust in the first few years.
"To pass from the idea to success, an entrepreneur needs an
ecosystem," comments Karim Sy, chairman of Digital Africa, which
connects French and African business players.
Set up last year, the online platform has received 65 million euros in
funding  from the French government as part of the Choose Africa
initiative.
"There is a need for finance yes, but when the entrepreneur gets his
idea, he then needs to structure it, develop a prototype, go to market
and then scale-up. At each phase of the path of entrepreneurship, he
has different needs," Sy told RFI.
For one entrepreneur, Folly Koussawo, the path to success was far from
easy. Koussawo quit his life in France to set up a construction
company, Trianon BTP, in Gabon seven years ago and has not looked back
since.
“To start Trianon we had two difficulties. One was finding funding,
the other was talent," Koussawo told RFI.
Koussawo set up the company, which today employs more than 200,000
people in Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal, with 100,000 euros
acquired from his savings.
The rest came from the IEP investment fund, one of a number of
investors queueing up to take advantage of Africa's untapped
potential.
Indeed France joins a scramble of foreign investors such as China for
influence on the African continent. However, Proparco's Braud insists
that French interest is rooted in "cooperation," and that any
investment made is shared with local actors on the ground.
"When we finance a bank, an entrepreneur, an investment fund, we don’t
do it on our own," he commented.
For Koussawo's part, the main winners of this new scramble can be
Africans themselves.
"The African continent is really the future," he reckons. Although "I
loved what I did in my construction companies in France, I realized
that I can have more impact in my country and in my continent and I
decided to go back to Africa."
Those in the diaspora "should do too, because the potential is really,
really big," he said.

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Six heads of state expected at Etienne Tshisekedi's funeral in Kinshasa, according to the presidency. things are looking up from January when only Kenyatta attended the inauguration. @WTBClowes
Africa


Six heads of state expected at Etienne Tshisekedi’s funeral in
Kinshasa, according to the presidency. Sassou, Lourenco, Lungu, Conde,
Kagame and Gnassingbé. In terms of visible continental support, things
are looking up from January when only Kenyatta attended the
inauguration.

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S Africa finance minister @tito_mboweni [most excellent] returns as president trims cabinet @FT
Africa


Tito Mboweni returned as South Africa’s finance minister in a
slimmed-down cabinet appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to tackle
a stagnant economy and roll back corruption and waste in the state.
Mr Ramaphosa said he was reducing a “bloated” cabinet to 28 posts from
36 and merging ministries to pursue a “capable, efficient and ethical
government” as he announced his picks on Wednesday.
“All South Africans are acutely aware of the great economic
difficulties our country has been experiencing and the constraints
this has placed on public finances, requiring greater efficiency,” he
said.
The trade unionist-turned-tycoon, who unseated the scandal-hit Jacob
Zuma as president last year, returned to power with his African
National Congress in a national election earlier this month.
The cabinet was seen as a litmus test of whether Mr Ramaphosa could
overcome divisions in the ANC over his promise to combat corruption, a
legacy of Mr Zuma.
Mr Ramaphosa’s picks removed his predecessor’s allies while
reinforcing his strongest supporters.
Mr Mboweni, a former governor of South Africa’s Reserve Bank, was
appointed as finance minister last year and is seen by markets as a
steady hand.
He has taken a tough line on bailouts for struggling state-owned
companies that are imperilling public finances.
In particular Mr Mboweni has called Eskom, the blackout-prone state
power monopoly, a “sieve” for public money.
One of Mr Ramaphosa’s priorities is seeing through an ambitious
restructuring of Eskom, which has more than $30bn in debt and was
brought low by corruption under Mr Zuma.
David Masondo, a young ANC official with finance experience, was
appointed as Mr Mboweni’s deputy.
Mr Ramaphosa also reappointed Pravin Gordhan, a former finance
minister and prominent critic of corruption, as overseer of Eskom and
other state firms despite howls of protest by old allies of Mr Zuma
and the opposition leftist Economic Freedom Fighters.
Mr Gordhan’s enemies wanted him ousted following criticism by South
Africa’s public protector, a government ombudsman.
Mr Gordhan has said the public protector timed the criticism to help
his political foes. The ombudsman has protested her independence.
Gwede Mantashe, who served as mining minister before the election,
will return to a beefed-up ministry that will also include
responsibility for the energy portfolio.
Mr Ramaphosa also merged the portfolios of agriculture and land
reform, a controversial area due to looming constitutional change that
has unnerved investors. In another merger he combined the trade and
economic development ministries.
After a decade of looting and economic stagnation under Mr Zuma, the
ANC won its lowest ever parliamentary majority in this month’s
election, at 57.5 per cent.
Only Mr Ramaphosa’s popular appeal and his pledges to punish
corruption rescued the party from what could have been its first
defeat after 25 years in power, analysts have said.

read more


Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa closed a speech quoting Ben Okri
Africa


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.

read more


The reappointment of David Mabuza, who's been implicated in a string of scandals, as his deputy reflects the political trade-offs he's had to make @economics
Africa


The rand extended gains made overnight, strengthening 0.2% to 14.6304
per dollar by 7:40 a.m. in Johannesburg.
“He really tried cleaning up,” said Sethulego Matebesi, a political
analyst at the University of the Free State. “
He has done extremely well under the circumstances. This is a team
that will give us a new sense of hope.”
The new executive comprises 28 ministers, from 36 previously. The
mineral resources and energy ministries were combined and will fall
under Gwede Mantashe, who previously held the mining portfolio and had
helped heal a rift with the industry. There was no place for Jeff
Radebe, the longest-serving cabinet minister, who had headed the
energy portfolio.
New faces included Jackson Mthembu, the ANC’s former chief whip in
Parliament, as a minister in the presidency, lawyer Ronald Lamola as
minister of justice and correctional services, and Patricia de Lille,
the former mayor of Cape Town and leader of the opposition Good party,
as public works minister.
Mabuza faced accusations that he helped rig state tenders and had his
opponents silenced and even assassinated while he was premier of the
eastern Mpumalanga province -- allegations that were described in a
New York Times expose last year.
Mabuza denies wrongdoing and has never been charged and was cleared of
wrongdoing by the ANC’s integrity committee.
Ramaphosa initially favored Naledi Pandor or Lindiwe Sisulu to be his
deputy, but gave the post to Mabuza, who won the deputy leadership of
the ruling party in December 2017 and helped him secure the top post.
Sisulu was named minister of human settlements, water and sanitation,
while Pandor, formerly the minister of higher education, took over
from Sisulu as minister of international relations.
Mabuza may be less of a threat to Ramaphosa as deputy president than
he would have been had he ended up angry or frustrated in a full-time
ANC position, said Susan Booysen, director of research at the
Johannesburg-based Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection.
“Ramaphosa can only perform his cleanup if he’s not sabotaged by own
party,” she said. “This is an intricate balancing act.”
Ramaphosa did replace Bathabile Dlamini, the head of the ANC’s women’s
league and former women’s minister, after the nation’s highest court
accused her of perjury.
Nomvula Mokonyane, previously the environment minister who was accused
in a judicial probe of taking bribes, also didn’t make the cut. Both
women deny wrongdoing.
Finance Minister Mboweni, a former central bank governor, kept his
position, despite opposition from the ANC’s powerful labor union
allies that object to his support for selling off some loss-making
state companies and spending reductions. His deputy is David Masondo.
In a nod to the unions, Ramaphosa named Ebrahim Patel, an ex-union
leader as minister of trade, industry and economic development even
though he never secured election as a lawmaker.

Other key ministerial appointments:

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Thoko Didiza
Basic Education: Angie Motshekga
Communications: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Defence and Military Veterans: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries: Barbara Creecy
Employment and Labor: Thulas Nxesi
Health: Zweli Mkhize
Higher Education, Science and Technology: Blade Nzimande
Home Affairs: Aaron Motsoaledi
Police: Bheki Cele
Public Service and Administration: Senzo Mchunu
Social Development: Lindiwe Zulu
Sports, Arts and Culture: Nathi Mthethwa
State Security: Ayanda Dlodlo
Tourism: Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane
Transport: Fikile Mbalula

read more


Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa closed a speech quoting Ben Okri.
Africa


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.

read more




South Africa All Share Bloomberg +4.29% 2019
Africa


Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 16.789

http://quotes.ino.com/charting/index.html?s=FOREX_USDEGP&v=d3&t=c&a=50&w=1

Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +7.20% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CASE:IND

Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -0.39% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/NGSEINDX:IND

Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -2.21% 2019

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GGSECI:IND

read more


Data by @CBKKenya shows that in the 12 months to April 2019, petroleum product imports stood at Sh344.8 billion ($3.41 billion) compared to Sh299.6 billion in the corresponding period in 2018. @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


Diesel consumption went up by 55,520 metric tonnes or three percent to
2.18 million metric tonnes in the 12 months to February 2019 compared
to a similar period in 2018.
While consumption of super petrol rose by 150,000 metric tonnes or 12
percent to 1.38 million metric tonnes.

read more












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