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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 26th of July 2021
 
Morning
Africa


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WILDERNESS TIPS BY MARGARET ATWOOD ‧ RELEASE DATE: DEC. 3, 1991
Misc.



I am still reading all the 
@MargaretAtwood books I can find in the Muthaiga Library. Clearly There was a Member of the Library who was a Big Fan. I have to admit that @MargaretAtwood has distorted the fabric of my reality and invaded my dreams.

The latest book I am reading is :


In "Wilderness Tips," a middle-aged woman is bluntly confronted with her husband's infidelity. "Hairball," the most disturbing here, involves the dissolution of a woman's affair with a married man; the otherwise naturalistic posture of the story is powerfully undercut by the presence of a removed tumor that the young lady keeps in a jar, eventually sending it, neatly wrapped, to her lover's wife. 

In "True Trash," a young woman encounters a youth who is still unaware that he had impregnated a camp employee many years earlier.

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''Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you've been.” @MargaretAtwood The Blind Assassin
Misc.



“When you're young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You're your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too—leave them behind. You don't yet know about the habit they have, of coming back.

Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you've been.” 

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Below image is of Kabul River from 1879 & Bala Hissar is in the background, visible through the trees. @AfghanHistorian
Misc.


The Bala Hissar fortress is reputedly to have been one of the homes of Timur Shah Baba, eldest son of Ahmad Shah Baba (founder of Durrani Dynasty).

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19-JUL-2021 :: The World is full of friction points and it is Xi Jinping [President for Life and Eternity] who has rolled the dice and is on a winning streak.
Law & Politics


The ''Salami Slicer'' has snaffled up Hong Kong and the World waits on tenterhooks for the inevitable move on Taiwan.

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The World in the c21st exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight.
Law & Politics



It was in 1991 [3 decades ago now] that Krauthammer spoke of the “Unipolar Moment” and highlighted that the US had emerged as the center of world power and unchallenged superpower.

Thirty years later, The US is exiting Afghanistan and we can speak of a Tripolar World with the US, China and Russia now ruling the c21st Roost. 

The ''Salami Slicer'' has snaffled up Hong Kong and the World waits on tenterhooks for the inevitable move on Taiwan.
Putin's Russia expanded into Crimea and has a firm foothold in the Middle East in Syria. 

It is often said that Russia's economy is a Pygmy [and comparable to Italy's] but then we have to admit Russia's Power Projection is practically miraculous.
The World is full of friction points and it is Xi Jinping [President for Life and Eternity] who has rolled the dice and is on a winning streak. 

The Virus whether by design or accident accelerated the advantage in China's favour whichever way you care to slice and dice it.

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Many shouted “Patria y Vida!”—Fatherland and Life—the title of a banned but extremely popular rap song that riffs on a slogan coined by the late Fidel Castro: “Fatherland or Death.” Many also shouted “Libertad!”—Freedom @NewYorker
Law & Politics




Recent demonstrations throughout Cuba are the largest mass action by the public since 1994.Photograph by Alexandre Meneghini / Getty

Abraham Jimenez Enoa, a young Cuban friend who reported on the protests, told me this week, “The only certainty right now is that the people of this country want a change, and the Internet is helping us fight for it.”

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The New Economy of Anger
Law & Politics



Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics

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

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19-JUL-2021 :: COVID-19
Misc.



The Virus remains unresolved. I recall a few months ago every Pharma Co. pronounced how their Vaccine had an efficacy of close enough to 100%. 

Today the relative viral loads in the Delta variant infections are 1260 times higher than the 19A/19B strains infections @GuptaR_lab
Thread
We now further define Delta immune evasion using a panel of 38 monoclonal antibodies, showing significant loss of potency of NTD and RBD targeting antibodies. @GuptaR_lab 


Far from ebbing, the virus has gained virulence and you have to be a Naif to believe the Microbe is licked.
554,753 cases yesterday also above accelerating 485,767/day avg (up 28% past 2wks). @jmlukens 


We are now approaching the FIFTH peak in COVID cases and deaths in just sixteen months @greg_travis 


Certainly, the Vaccine has mitigated Mortality but lets see for how long because in a hyperconnected World just about everyone has to be vaccinated for the World to reach Herd Immunity. Its just not going to happen.

The standard (albeit rough) calculation for herd immunity threshold is (1/E) x (1-1/R) where E is vaccine effectiveness in reducing transmission above calc suggests would need to vaccinate (1-1/6)/0.85 = 98% of population @AdamJKucharski 

https://twitter.com/AdamJKucharski/status/1415587170941874178?s=20
In scenario where R is 6 (plausible for Delta in susceptible populations without any restrictions), and vaccination reduces infection/infectiousness such that onwards transmission reduced by 85%, above calc suggests would need to vaccinate (1-1/6)/0.85 = 98% of population. 2/
If transmission reduction is less than this (which is likely the case for some vaccines against Delta), or R higher, then herd immunity wouldn't be achievable through current vaccines alone. @AdamJKucharski 

https://twitter.com/AdamJKucharski/status/1415587175794679810?s=20
So, my Point is this, our Attention span is short and Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.



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Nations w/ high #COVID19 avg 2wk case/day increase @jmlukens
Misc.


France: 399%
Vietnam: 379%
Italy: 284%
Senegal: 207%
Botswana: 192%
Switzerland: 192%
US: 169%
Israel: 167%
Morocco: 164%
Ireland: 139%

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“But hospitalisation rates are four times lower. That's massive!” A four-fold improvement is brilliant, and I’m grateful to the vaccine scientists. But beware of linear thinking. 4-fold is two doublings. @ProfColinDavis
Misc.



“But hospitalisation rates are four times lower. That's massive!” A four-fold improvement is brilliant, and I’m grateful to the vaccine scientists. But beware of linear thinking. 4-fold is two doublings. Cases are doubling every 13 days, and have been for a couple of months.

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A 4-fold reduction in the hospitalisation rate isn't much use if we just allow infections to reach 4x the previous peak. @ProfColinDavis
Africa


Was the whole point of developing vaccines and jabbing most adults simply to allow us to have a few extra weeks of clubbing before the NHS is overwhelmed?

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett
https://bit.ly/3bcXcec

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Both coefficients are relevant, but the correlation coefficient – the measure of the link – is especially critical when we’re dealing with exponential growth @ProfColinDavis
Misc.


Both coefficients are relevant, but the correlation coefficient – the measure of the link – is especially critical when we’re dealing with exponential growth (it's frustrating to be so far into the pandemic and still having to explain exponential growth, but there we are).

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19-JUL-2021 :: limit long the US Ultra Bond because I recall Japan and the words of that iconic Eagles song ''Hotel California''
World Of Finance




However, I am resetting my target Yield to 1.25% now. 09-MAY-2021 The Markets The Lotos-eaters 



Conclusions

I believe we are now headed to < than 1%

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22. 09-MAY-2021 The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance





The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM!  I beg to differ

Given the volume of money Printing and the extraordinary stimulus I have to say that the US Recovery is actually really weak and I believe it will be very short lived and the Penny will drop soon with the Bond Market and the Shorts will be forced to cover.



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19-JUL-2021 :: “We injected monetary heroin into the system.” Richard Fisher
World Of Finance




The Markets have scorched higher on a tidal wave of practically ''free'' money and in anticipation of the much heralded unleashing of ''pent up'' demand.
Ex-Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher put it: “We injected monetary heroin into the system.” @ClarkiiStomias 

https://twitter.com/ClarkiiStomias/status/1416248086049869829?s=20
Now the only systemic outcomes are withdrawal (asset destruction) or overdose (currency destruction), either of which would lead to the system’s death.
However, there are many discordant notes.
Firstly consider
The Bullwhip Effect after the great lockdown is often confused with a new and stronger growth trend. @dlacalle_IA 


Secondly consider the price behaviour
US Bonds across the curve @coloradotravis

I am limit long the US Ultra Bond because I recall Japan and the words of that iconic Eagles song ''Hotel California''

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device" And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,

"We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! "
And when the Feedback Loop kicks in I expect it to kick big to the downside.


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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.1777
Dollar Index 92.822
Japan Yen 110.28
Swiss Franc 0.9186
Pound 1.3748
Aussie 0.7351
India Rupee 74.4245
South Korea Won 1154.56
Brazil Real 5.2001
Egypt Pound 15.666
South Africa Rand 14.86042

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19-JUL-2021 :: Now lets turn to Africa. lets look at the Virus first
Africa



"Over the past month, #Africa recorded an additional 1 million cases. This is the shortest time it’s taken so far to add one million cases." Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19 @WHOAFRO
"Comparatively, it took around three months to move from 4 million to 5 million cases." - Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19
From the Africa CDC. (Note: this is based only on official statistics and formal testing, so it undercounts the real situation.) @geoffreyyork
We are on the cusp of the Gladwellian moment
Malcolm Gladwell ‟Tipping Point‟ moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass. It‟s the boiling point. It‟s the moment on the graph when the line starts to shoot straight upwards. 
https://bit.ly/35ekJJr
“Past next year we will be moving toward endemicity of this virus on our continent and the consequences will be catastrophic,” ⁦@JNkengason

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Dr @MoetiTshidi warns “Africa’s third wave is not over.” @WHOAFRO
Africa


#COVID19 new case numbers in #Africa fell by 1.7% in the week ending 18 July. Yet removing data from South Africa, which accounts for 37% of cases, reveals a  steep nine-week surge.

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 26 days @ReutersGraphics
Africa


6 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve. Algeria Senegal Rwanda Mozambique Mauritius at peak Botswana at 97% 

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Man accused of trying to assassinate Mali president 'dies in custody' @FRANCE24
Africa



"During the investigations ... his state of health deteriorated," the statement said. He was taken to hospital, where he died, it said.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of death.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared a total war on the Tigray People's Liberation Front, bringing in soldiers from most of the country's 10 regions to boost the federal forces' ailing campaign. @Africa_Conf
Africa



'The enemy we are facing is Ethiopia's cancer,' said Abiy, comparing the TPLF to an Emboch, the fast-proliferating water hyacinth that has clogged up the country's rivers and lakes.




November 8, 2020 @PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.
https://j.mp/35ekJJr

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst
@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province

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Quite simply, there is nothing that could stop our advance and #Abiy&his cronies know it. Sadly though, they are in a farcical recruiting drive. @reda_getachew
Africa


Ill trained/equipped peasants are being sent to Afar & Amhara as cannon fodders. We will continue to send them back home.

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19-JUL-2021 :: Prime Minister of Ethiopia who cloaked his messianic zeal in the language of Mandela 1994 is unlikely to last more than twelve months.
Africa



In the Horn of Africa the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who cloaked his messianic zeal in the language of Mandela 1994 is unlikely to last more than twelve months.

His Army has been defeated and now he is sending conscripts to slaughter whilst his Adversaries are fighting for their existence. 

The Contagion will surely boomerang as far as Asmara and destabilise the Horn of Africa for the forseeable future.
If I could I would be limit short the Ethiopian Birr [It trades at 60 to the $ on the black market]

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SUDAN Between money and the military @Africa_Conf
Africa


After negotiating a new round of credits, Khartoum’s respected prime minister warns that the old guard wants to derail the transition
The latest deal for debt relief and the signing of a US$2.5 billion credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are necessary but far from sufficient to keep the country's transition to a constitutional democracy on track. 

The deals are a milestone and accolades are due to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his team of technocrats for steering the negotiations, analysts say.
Despite the economic devastation that Hamdok and his government inherited two years ago, he says the primary challenges are political as his officials try to reform the judicial system and multitude of security agencies set up under the previous National Congress Party regime

Last month he warned that the fragmentation of the security system and the tensions between the Sudan Armed Forces, the General Intelligence Service and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) threatened the stability of the country.
In all three factions, there are senior officers whose core aim is to derail the political transition to civil rule, instead establishing an authoritarian military-backed regime on the lines of General Abdel Fattah el Sisi's in Egypt. 

For those officers and their regional supporters, Sudan's economic weakness offers an opportunity to undermine the technocrats in this civil-military transitional government.
Hamdok's team has been winning international support but its local supporters are growing impatient with the torturous pace of reforms. 

Rampant inflation has given rise to the biggest street protests since the revolution of April 2019 
The IMF ruled on 29 June that Sudan qualified for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), under which its debt is to be reduced from $56bn to $6bn within three years

The Hamdok government's reforms included ending fuel subsidies, which, as in Nigeria, had benefited politically connected fuel importers but also cut prices for ordinary Sudanese. Pump prices doubled.
The IMF-backed reforms had seen the government abandon its fixed exchange rate, moving to a managed float

It was meant to end the arbitrage between the official rate set by the Central Bank of Sudan and the parallel market rate, where dollars were six times more expensive. 

Now, commercial banks have to trade dollars 5% above or below a new official rate, announced daily and more closely aligned with the parallel market.
While the move outlawed lucrative currency round-tripping deals, it has stoked inflation. 

In June, year-on-year inflation was running at 412.75%, compared with 144% a year ago, and 48% in 2019.
Military business
The next set of reforms urged on Sudan by the IMF is the disbanding or privatisation of hundreds of state firms, many controlled by the military or security departments. These, too, are coming up against vested interests.
Prime Minister Hamdok argues the military's business empire has been depressing government revenues 

But Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council – which is military-dominated and above the cabinet in the hierarchy – insists the 'entire military economic capacity does not exceed $3 billion'. 

For many Sudanese these billion dollar military enterprises proved Hamdok's point and the high cost of the country's security system.
It may not be Burhan, however, from whom Hamdok has most to fear, but rather his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti'. 

In June, Hamdok warned of the danger of Sudan falling under the control of 'gangs and criminal groups', and said failure to reform the security services 'might lead to civil war'.
The Prime Minister did not say who represented the most serious danger, but within two weeks Hemeti ratcheted up tensions, refusing to integrate his RSF into the national army. 

This was an about-turn on his commitments under the power-sharing agreement that ushered in the joint civilian-military administration in August 2019, and under the Juba peace agreement signed in October last year with rebel groups 
'Talk of RSF integration into the army could break up the country,' Hemeti said, arguing for the RSF's special status as a unit 'established under a law passed by an elected parliament'. 

The RSF has its origins in the Janjaweed militia, responsible for many of the worst atrocities in the Darfur conflict that broke out in 2003 and in which 300,000 civilians were killed and millions displaced (AC Vol 45 No 9, Mass murder).
Hemeti now has his own interests to protect – not only to maintain his political position as the Sovereignty Council's No. 2, but also personally and commercially.
An investigation into the June 2019 massacre of over a hundred protestors – who were calling for a civilian democracy, after President Omer el Beshir's ousting – could pin the blame on Hemeti's RSF 

That inquiry is led by human rights lawyer Nabil Adeeb and reports to the prime minister, with the aim of filing criminal charges. 

Sudanese news outlet Dabanga says Adeeb has heard from more than 3,000 witnesses so far.
Although in the sights of Adeeb's investigation, Hemeti is not on the list of those charged by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in Darfur. 

On 28 June, Sudan's government approved the transfer of Beshir and other indictees – including the former internal affairs minister and the ex-minster for humanitarian affairs – to The Hague for trial. 

El Beshir has been imprisoned in Khartoum since his overthrow and is currently languishing in the city's Kober Central Prison.
The Janjaweed, in which Hemeti played a key role, have also been targeted by the ICC. 

On 9 July, the court ruled that a commander of thousands of Janjaweed fighters, Ali Muhammad Ali Abd Al Rahman, can be charged with crimes against humanity.
While presiding over the RSF, which may have 50,000 in its ranks and which has provided troops to fight as mercenaries in Yemen and Libya, Hemeti has also expanded his gold business. 

His family company Al Gunade, which controls Darfur's only gold concession, has mining interests in the South Kordofan region and a wider gold-trading network, allowing it to operate a budget independently of the government, anti-corruption group Global Witness has found.
The RSF's commercial network has dodged government attempts to control companies linked to the security forces. 

In April, the government published a list of state companies which, while including companies owned by the army and intelligence services, made no mention of Hemeti and the RSF's interests. 

The government, unconvincingly, said it couldn't find any RSF-linked companies despite public investigative reporting on its commercial network.
Even without the Hemeti-linked companies, the commercial operations tied to the security forces are octopus-like. 

As reported by United States-based advocacy group The Sentry, they include companies controlled by the army's Defence Industrial Systems. 

Notable examples are Giad, which has operated since 2002 producing cars, armoured personnel carriers and tanks, and Al Ategahat Al Mutadeda, Sudan's top meat processor. 

Other state-owned enterprises controlling key sectors such as fuel imports and the gold industry have operated as a law unto themselves. 

The think-tank Global Financial Integrity has found that over $8bn has gone missing from oil and gold export revenues controlled by the national oil company Sudapet and the Sudanese Mineral Resources Company.
Progress stalled
Other security issues loom large: stumbling peace talks between the government and rebel groups that did not sign up to the Juba Peace Agreement last year; tensions with Ethiopia, over water and disputed border areas; and unrest in Darfur. 

The UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) wound up at the end of last year; scores have been killed in clashes since then.
Two rebel groups, both militarily strong, did not sign the Juba peace accord: the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW) in Darfur; and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in the 'Two Areas', South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, which remained uneasily within Sudan when South Sudan became independent in 2011.
Among the two groups' preconditions for signing is that Sudan establishes a truly civilian-run administration. 

In a round of talks in June, the secularist SPLM-N – which has agreed a ceasefire with the government – also said devolution to the regions was a stumbling block.
Tensions with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, meanwhile, show no signs of abating. 

After the GERD was filled for the second year, Sudan's Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources said on 20 July that Ethiopia was ignoring its 'legitimate interests and serious concerns'. 

Ethiopia plans to start electricity production at the 6,000-megawatt dam within months.
Talks led by the African Union over the GERD and Nile water resources have been going on for years, making some technical and incremental progress. 

But as regional tensions heighten between the three main countries, progress has stalled while the rhetoric soars.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said GERD poses an 'existential threat' to his country.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating
Africa





As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.

And now we have two visions of the Future. 

One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children. The other vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. 

Hugh Masekela said ‘’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’’ Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment. 

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No Southern African Spring on the horizon, rather a longer winter of discontent @BDliveSA @RonakGopaldas
Africa


In the wake of violent unrest in SA last week, which followed hot on the heels of antimonarchy protests in Eswatini, alarm bells are being raised over the prospects of a “Southern African Spring” similar to the violent revolutions that rocked North Africa just more than a decade ago.
Despite the fertile conditions that could inflame such actions, contagion appears unlikely. Instead of a sharp and sudden “spring” resulting in regime change,  investors should prepare themselves for a longer-term “winter of discontent”.
To be sure, the recent events in SA point to a broader negative trendline in the region, which is set to intensify until governance issues are dealt with. 

Though the specific drivers of unrest vary from country to country, the common thread is governance failures.
Policy missteps, widespread poverty and rampant corruption have fuelled both economic and physical insecurity. 

This has created a laggard subregion that is struggling to cope with the demands made by its citizens and the modern world. The implications, though less immediate, are weighty.
Current dynamics make for grim reading. Eswatini recently experienced its most violent antimonarchy protests since 2011, and will continue to face such pressures (despite piecemeal concessions) for as long as it has an unresponsive and uncaring government.
Chronic political instability in Lesotho will continue, and is likely to worsen ahead of the June 2022 elections

This threatens to dampen investor sentiment at a time when the country is seeking to attract capital to emerging industries such as renewables, diamonds and cannabis.
SA, the regional hegemon, has floundered despite the fanfare around the new Cyril Ramaphosa presidency in 2018. 

Economic reform remains stillborn amid continued policy inertia. 

Unemployment and inequality sit at record highs, state-owned enterprises are dysfunctional and debt-ridden, while corruption appears to be endemic.
Mozambique continues to battle deadly terror attacks, which threaten its gas boom, while a hangover from the sovereign debt crisis lingers

Zimbabwe’s leadership transition from Robert Mugabe to Emmerson Mnangagwa has flattered to deceive, resulting in an equally repressive regime, if not more.
Meanwhile, Zambia goes to the polls in August amid a democratic regression and having defaulted on its external debt obligations. 

Even Mauritius, historically lauded for its governance, last August experienced its largest demonstrations since independence, while its reputation as a beacon of transparency is under the spotlight after a string of scandals and blacklistings. 

All the while socioeconomic pressures continue to build.
To say the region is floundering is an understatement. In addition to underwhelming coronavirus containment responses and poor vaccination strategies, the countries in question exhibit a number of common features:
There is a fundamental lack of competitiveness in their economies, which remain largely dependent on commodity exports. 

In the bulk of these countries youth unemployment is north of 35% and governments are outsize and inefficient. 

Furthermore, several states are dependent on  transfers from the Southern African Customs Union to support their fiscal position, which is already constrained due to narrow tax bases and a lack of economic diversification. 

And with sclerotic growth, energy and infrastructure gaps and a lack of digital literacy, these economies cannot create the jobs required to fast-track inclusive growth.
Political dysfunction, underperformance and corruption scandals (most notably the Ematum “hidden debt” scandal in Mozambique and state capture in SA) have alienated citizens from their leaders

At the same time, inconsistent and haphazard policies (with interventionist, nationalistic and populist dispositions) have deterred investors from these countries. 

Trust deficits in relation to the state exist both internally and externally.
The region is acutely exposed to extreme climatic shocks — manifest in flooding, drought and fires. Cyclone Idai and its devastating effect on Mozambique is the most obvious recent example

Such conditions act as a conflict multiplier, accentuating poverty and food insecurity and have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable of society.
All of these challenges have established the conditions for conflict and disruptive change. 

While a  frustrated, jobless youth population with nothing to lose is certainly a key risk to stability, the cocktail of challenges has created opportunities for unsavoury elements to exploit.

Where there are power vacuums with weak state legitimacy, organised crime thrives. This has most clearly been the case in insurgent-embattled northern Mozambique.
Given the relatively late independence movements there is still a significant ‘liberation dividend’, which most governing parties can leverage.
Nevertheless, it is still unlikely that regime change will materialise. 

For a start, this is a region where there have seldom been power transitions. 

Given the relatively late independence movements there is still a significant “liberation dividend”, which most governing parties can leverage. 

Though the gaps in popular support between incumbents and opposition are narrowing as the youth display less affinity to the old guard, the trend is still overwhelmingly in favour of parties such as the ANC, Frelimo, the Botswana Democratic Party and Swapo.
Curiously, disillusionment with the status quo does not necessarily translate to votes for opposition parties. Moreover, opposition parties generally do not have the resources or organisational clout to sustain momentum, or are too divided to mount serious challenges to incumbents — which can consolidate the political space by using state resources. 

Coupled with the strong grip on military power that these leaders maintain, this suggests that any internal threat can generally be managed.
In addition, with leadership across the region willing to maintain “power at all costs” they have not been shy to shut the internet or deploy heavy-handed tactics. 

Stacking the judiciary with pliant officials while stifling dissent are also commonly used tactics, as both Zambia and Zimbabwe have routinely demonstrated.
Then there are the vastly different systems of government in each country. The freedom, transparency and broad range of avenues for democratic expression available in SA are the exception rather than the rule across the Southern African Development Community region. 

Regressive politics dominates the broader region, most notably in Zimbabwe. Eswatini is an absolute monarchy, while Lesotho is a hybrid system. This lack of homogeneity in political systems and governance structures — as well as cultural and linguistic differences — make sweeping change difficult to envisage.
Taken together, these dynamics make a “Southern Africa Spring” unlikely, but it is possible that a winter of discontent could morph into something more systemic. 

To this end the fortunes of the region hinge dramatically on the success or failure of SA. 

A distracted and dysfunctional regional hegemon will trigger a host of negative consequences for neighbouring countries, whose military, financial and economic dependence on SA cannot be overstated.
For investors, the question is therefore less about the short-term risk and more about the longer-term implications of the current regional unrest. 

The prevailing conditions are fertile for continued volatility, and there are no clear signs from governments that the root causes are being decisively tackled. 

Somewhere in between the dichotomous sense of complacency and alarm, a recalibration of the region’s risk profile is required.

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Why the latest violence in South Africa is an uprising of elites – and not of the people Via @ConversationEDU @scroll_in
Africa



Whether President Cyril Ramaphosa is right that it was a failed insurrection is open to debate. 

But the violence was aimed at ensuring that democracy did not work. Democracy survived the assault. 

Whether this test strengthens it depends on whether the issues which caused the violence are addressed. And that depends on understanding what the test was.

The violence has been widely seen as an expression of anger and frustration by people living in poverty, which has been much worsened in South Africa by the impact of Covid-19. 

But there was no revolt of the poor – it was an assault on democracy by elites.
While there was looting, a common response to conflict by people living in poverty, there was also an assault on infrastructure, destruction of businesses and the “disappearance” of large stocks of bullets. 

None of this squares with what we might expect people fighting poverty to do during a conflict.
Nor was the violence a popular uprising. There were no large public demonstrations. 

The scale of the KwaZulu-Natal violence was huge but you do not need many people to set fire to electricity installations or factories.

The damage could have been done with minimal public support and almost certainly was. 

This was an uprising of elites, not of the people, although some joined the looting as we would expect people in poverty to do.
Ironically, the claims that this was about poverty or the Covid-19 lockdown blame the people for something the elites did.
But which elites? It will take a while before we know exactly what happened. 

But there are two elements in reports of the violence that suggest that it was a product of realities that have been evident to researchers for years.
First, although South Africa’s democracy is the product of a negotiated settlement, it followed armed conflict between the minority government and the forces fighting for majority rule. 

This makes the country another example of what some academics call “war transitions”: change from one political system to another where there are armed people on both sides of the divide.

In these cases, the textbook idea that only the state uses violence and does this within rules which are clear to all does not apply. 

Some people still have weapons and armed networks, whether they are inside or outside the government, and are not necessarily bound by the rules.

Both the people under arms and the local networks had ample reason to mobilise their power for harm – Zuma’s imprisonment may well have signalled that power had shifted in ways which threatened the survival of the networks. 

They may not have been trying an insurrection, which means they were trying to seize power. But they were doing whatever they could to ensure that their networks survived.

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There is a clear attempt at rendering South Africa ungovernable. To use state paralysis as a bargaining chip to achieve a political objective. Call this what it is, its an insurgency @Pol_Sec_Analyst
Africa


We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point
This week’s violence has stretched the social fabric to breaking point and left the economic powerhouse of the continent on a knife-edge. — Karl Maier
Phase Two: looting was just the start say investigators and intelligence @mailandguardian
https://j.mp/3hP8itT
A source close to Zuma told the M&G that it would be wise to remember that the instigators are soldiers. They know where to hit and how to plan economic sabotage.
“The plan was not for the looting but to hit the white capital that supports [President Cyril] Ramaphosa so that they will go to him and say; ‘Stop what you are doing. This is hurting us now.’ They will now strike where they don’t expect it. Zuma must be released, and Ramaphosa must go,” said the source. 
According to an ANC national executive committee (NEC) leader, Ramaphosa was warned by intelligence that this was the first phase of a programme that aims to destabilise the country.
The NEC member said they were told that the instigators are equipped with heavy machinery and the looting is only phase one.
“This is what we are hearing. The second phase is to burn resources and this is what I foresee will happen soon,” said the source.
I am limit short the ZAR

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. @CityLodgeHotels is selling its stakes in three hotels in Kenya, as well as its City Lodge Hotel Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, to subsidiaries of UK-based investment firm Actis.
Tourism, Travel & Transport


The Kenyan hotels - the 127-room Fairview Hotel in Nairobi, the 171-room City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers in Runda and the 84-room Town Lodge Upper Hill in Nairobi - will be sold for almost R141 million, while the Tanzanian hotel will fetch R1 million.
The 148-room City Lodge Hotel Dar es Salaam was opened in 2018, and City Lodge owns the hotel and land on a leasehold basis in Dar es Salaam.
Including impairments, the Kenyan and Tanzanian hotels contributed more than R371 million in losses for the six months to end-December, as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the global tourism industry.
City Lodge saw revenue from its 62 hotels fall by 73% in the six months to end-December, compared to same period in the previous year.
The company suffered a loss of R550 million in the six months, from a profit of R46 million in the previous year.  
The group said the proceeds from the sale of of its Kenyan and Tanzanian hotels will be used to help settle its debt.
The group had R530 million in interest-bearing borrowings at the end of the year.

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Vodafone CEO hints at spinning off M-Pesa in future: @MwangoCapital
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services


“In the future, there may be opportunities to scale further. At that point I think we would make the decision as to whether we would want to do anything, let’s say, more inorganically.”

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.@SafaricomPLC share price data
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services


Price: 42.80
Market Capitalization: $15.848b
EPS: 1.71
PE: 25.029

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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July 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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