|Friday 18th of October 2013
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Normal Board - The Whole shebang
Prompt Board Next day settlement
Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
The shutdown has been "very cavalier, very damaging to the US"
financial analyst @alykhansatchu tells #BBCNewsday @bbcworldservice
Inside Story : Where are Africa's leaders? @AJEnglish @JaneDutton
To discuss this, Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, is joined
by guests: Denis Kodhe, a commentator on African governance and
politics; Ayo Johnson, an award-winning journalist on African
development; and Aly-Khan Satchu, the CEO of Rich Management in
"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe."
-- Lao Tzu
"Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard. Plants
are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus
whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is
soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be
broken. The soft and supple will prevail."
-- Lao Tzu
U.S. builds up military bases in Italy for African ops UPI
Law & Politics
TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. deployment of 200 Marines to
a naval base in Sicily for possible operations in Libya, a short hop
across the Mediterranean, underlines how the Americans have been
building a network of bases in Italy as launch pads for military
interventions in Africa and the Mideast. The signs are that 20 years
after the American military's first, and costly, encounter with Muslim
militants in Mogadishu, Somalia, U.S. operations in Africa are growing
as the Islamist threat expands.
Another key factor is U.S. President Barack Obama's switch in his
counter-terror strategy from drone strikes against al-Qaida to
pinpoint raids by small Special Forces teams, as seen in Somalia and
Libya Oct. 5.
These raids reflect a U.S. move away from the kind of risk-averse
operations the Americans have been mounting with missile-firing drones
to on-the-ground raids against high-value targets.
Many of these involve small-scale "secret wars" against Islamists,
mainly linked to al-Qaida and often carried out under the aegis of the
U.S. Africa Command established in 2007.
"Both the number and complexity of U.S. military operations in Africa
will continue to grow in the medium term," observed Oxford Analytica.
"However, they will also increasingly commit the United States to an
'intervention-led' foreign policy in Africa."
Although Africom and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command claim
they have a small footprint in Africa, over the last year or so
they've been increasingly active in building up a U.S. military
presence -- and especially reach -- across the continent. The United
States has only one official base in Africa, the counter-terrorism
facility at Camp Lemonnier, a former French Foreign Legion base in
Djibouti, East Africa, where Special Forces, strike jets and armed
unmanned aerial vehicles are based.But small units are deployed across
Africa. Meantime, the Americans have established a network of bases in
Italy, involving a significant manpower shift southward from the old
Cold War bastion of Germany.
The Marines moved to Italy from Spain this month are the vanguard of a
larger force dubbed Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task
It was established after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S.
consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher
Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
According to U.S. security specialist David Vine, the Pentagon has
spent around $2 billion -- and that's just construction costs --
"shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany" and
transforming Italy "into a launching pad for future wars in Africa,
the Middle East and beyond."
The U.S. Marines are being moved to the Naval Air Station at Sigonella
on Sicily, which will eventually have a force of 1,000 Marines with
its main focus Libya, 100 miles across the Med.
Vines estimates there are now 13,000 U.S. troops in Italy at Sigonella
and some 50 other facilities like Vicenza, a former Italian air force
base near Venice, with the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
(Airborne), a rapid response force.
The Pivot to Asia detours through Africa.
Three P-3C Orion aircraft belonging to the Tridents of Patrol
Squadron Two Six (VP-26) stand ready on a rain soaked airfield on
board Naval Air Station Sigonella.
A Sine qua non of President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia is US/NATO
Power Projection over the Indian Ocean 19-AUG-2013
I have no doubt that the Indian Ocean is set to regain its glory days.
China's dependence on imported crude oil is increasing and the US'
interestingly is decreasing. I am also certain the Eastern Seaboard of
Africa from Mozambique through Somalia is the last Great Energy Prize
in the c21st. Therefore, the control of the Indian Ocean becomes kind
of decisive and with control China can be shut down quite quickly. A
Sine qua non of President Barack Obama's pivot to Asia is US/NATO
Power Projection over the Indian Ocean.
United States and @USAfricaCommand has carved out a much more forward Position on the African Continent
Law & Politics
Taking a broader Sweep, it is clear that the United States and
@USAfricaCommand has carved out a much more forward Position on the
African Continent. In some respects, @BarackObama 's Pivot to Asia
detours through Africa. China has made a Parabolic Advance across the
African Continent and one of the 'desired' Side Effects of staunching
the 'Al-Qaeda' Advance is that it also counters the Chinese Advance
via The Insertion of US Hard Power. The US cannot challenge China's
Extreme Dollar Diplomacy but it can insert Hard Power with which it
can tilt the African Pitch.
Now returning to Africa and although @USAfricaCommand was set up under
a Previous President's Watch, I think the Penny dropped [re China's
extraordinary Surge in Africa] only quite recently or in the last 24
Zbigniew Brzezinski [whom I admire and I believe is a Foreign Policy
Eminence Grise and has @BarackObama's Ear] once said that '' the three
grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and
maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries
pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming
I think the interesting Point is how Africa has now become Front and
Centre of the Geopolitical Global Puzzle and the Collision between US
Hard Power and China's Soft Power.
Norwegian suspected of being Kenya mall attacker named BBC
The man being investigated by Norwegian police over the attack on
Kenya's Westgate shopping centre is Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, BBC
Newsnight has learned.
Stig Hansen, an expert on security and political Islam based in
Norway, told Newsnight said that he was not surprised to learn that a
Norwegian citizen was suspected of taking part in the attack.
He said that an estimated 20-30 Norwegians had gone to Somalia to sign
up as fighters for the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
"The biggest problem is the so-called 'Generation 1.5', those who
weren't born in Norway, but came when they were quite young, falling
between two cultures," he said.
"[Al-Shabab] need people who are quite ignorant about Somalia. That is
in their interest because that will give them a more internationalist
agenda. And it might also make them more dangerous when they return
back to their home countries," he added.
Interestingly, I think the #Westgate Attackers might well represent an
The Extraordinary thing is how Al-Shabaab are able to leverage the new
Digital World to such outstanding effect. The Linguistics around their
Tweets speak powerfully to the fact that
Al-Shabaab's Audience is no longer in Mogadishu, its in the Diaspora
Communities in the West in Minneapolis, London et al. The Direction of
their Digital Voice speaks volumes to the Internationalisation of this
Reflections on #Westgate, #Samanthalewthwaite The White Widow
#Westgate happened more than a week ago and to date there is no Grand
Unified Theory. There are competing Narratives and it is this Pot
Pourri of Narratives which is leaving many of us uncertain. Earlier
This week I characterised it as a BP Moment. Kenya's share of Voice
was at a Level heretofore never experienced. The World's Media was
camped on our Doorstep. I found myself watching the #Live Feed,
trawling Eyewitness Accounts, reading the Al-Shabaab Twitter Handles
[Twitter knocked them down about 4x only for it to bounce back under a
different Handle]. In fact, Al-Shabaab live tweeted #Westgate and the
Cabinet Secretary's Bona Fides was undermined by the real time
rebuttals issued by Al-Shabaab and on Twitter. The latency of the
responses leads to me place the Author of the Twitter Handles on the
scene in #Westgate for an as yet undetermined time.
Numerous Eye Witness Accounts put a White Woman at the scene. And a
number of those Accounts give this Woman a Leadership Roll.
That's the Backgrounder. Now lets jump to #Westgate. As I scanned the
Al-Shabaab Tweets I recalled this one that @GGoodwin retweeted
"Westgate: 14hr standoff relayed in 1400 rounds of bullets & 140
characters of vengeance & still ongoing. Gd morning Kenya!"
Another read ''Here are 2 of the Mujahideen inside #Westgate mall,
unruffled and strolling around the mall in such sangfroid manner.''
I kept thinking to myself 'sangfroid' is such an unusual word. It
means coolness of mind; calmness; composure a kind of cold bloodedness
under Pressure. I kept thinking to myself that Sangfroid is a Quality
highly prized in the Military. Thats a word the Daughter of a Military
Man might know. Nishet tells me, I think this is a Woman. And I said
Thats exactly it. Another Tweet says ''I am Titanium.'' referencing a
David Guetta Song, whose lyrics read and are practically a Taunt
David Guetta - Titanium ft. Sia The Lyrics
You shouted out
But I can't hear a word you say
I'm talking loud not saying much
I'm criticized but all your bullets ricochet
You shoot me down, but I get up
I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
Cut me down
But it's you who'll have further to fall
Ghost town and haunted love
Raise your voice, sticks and stones may break my bones
I'm talking loud not saying much
And therefore, I am putting Samantha Lewthwaite at the Scene and I
think she live tweeted from inside #Westgate for an as yet
undetermined Period. And I think she signalled her Presence and is
probably seeking some kind of recognition. Finally, there is a Tweet
I recall about taking a walk. And I remember when my Phone was stolen
at Westlands roundabout, The Thief ran into a Tunnel. I think She was
in there, she live tweeted from inside and then she escaped through a
My Friend Aidan Hartley tweeted ''what use would Samantha Lewthwaite
be when shooting starts? She's a bogey woman in a burkha, a media
construct'' and ''Yes immoral! like plucked eyebrows & lipstick sulky
selfies in hijab.''
And I thought to myself, thats a whole new Audience. In fact, that is
the Audience. It's not in Mogadishu, its in Minneapolis, London, its
IN THE MARKETS: Five megatrends that support investment in Africa BDLive
IN 1982, John Naisbitt's book Megatrends: Ten New Directions
Transforming Our Lives popularised the idea of looking at the world so
as to try to figure out the main things likely to affect the future.
Naisbitt predicted vast globalisation and the knowledge-based economy.
As a result, investing in megatrends has become a fundamental aspect
of long-term investment strategies.
On Friday PwC released the 2013 edition of the Africa Business Agenda,
part of its research on the mind-set of global CEOs. The conclusion
reached is that Africa is "open for business". And, by implication,
likely to make a good investment destination.
Compiled from interviews with 1,330 CEOs from some of the largest
organisations in 68 countries, including 301 CEOs in 22 African
countries, the PwC Agenda identifies five global trends that justify
the assertion. The first is demographics. The developed world's
population is ageing. The developing economies have a younger
population, and Africa in particular will reap a demographic dividend
in years to come. Next is the economic power shift; power is moving to
the East and a lot more trade is taking place between emerging
economies. The third megatrend is accelerated urbanisation. People
want to move to cities. PwC says there will be 440 new cities across
Africa by 2050. "These cities will require infrastructure, whether
it's power, schools, highways, roads, harbours, bridges and so we have
tremendous interest in Africa," says Suresh Kana, senior partner at
PwC. The fourth trend is to do with climate change, resource scarcity
and food security. "Africa should play well in this space as there has
been huge resources finds across the continent which, along with about
60% of the world's cultivatable land, represents another huge
opportunity." The fifth megatrend affects the other four, and that is
technology. "This is a huge trend, in particular the changes that
social media is bringing about and companies that are investing in
that space are part of a very important development," says Kana.
It is no surprise that 85% of African CEOs expect operations on the
continent to grow this year. The question for investors is whether to
jump on the bandwagon. Not everyone thinks so. "We are very excited
about growth opportunities in Africa," says RE-CM chairman Piet
Viljoen. "But one needs to distinguish between the potential for
businessmen on the ground and passive outside investors represented by
funds investing in Africa. The first have a substantial advantage:
they know the regulatory system, they know the officials, they know
how things work. Passive investors have none of these advantages. So
while we think businessmen will make a lot of money in Africa, the
odds of passive investors doing likewise are much less."
Nor is that the only risk associated with betting on companies
investing in Africa.
"Availability of key skills is a big concern for CEOs across Africa,"
says Kana. "Bribery and corruption seems to come up quite a lot, the
cost of energy is another concern; as is inadequate infrastructure and
the increasing tax burden across the continent."
Acting quickly is important. According to the Association for
Certified Fraud Examiners, firms are typically losing 5% or more of
their turnover to fraud. "If you extrapolate it across Africa, you
realise that the amount of money lost daily is huge," says Dawes.
Naisbitt warns that predictions are difficult. Even when megatrends
are predicted correctly, foreseeing the market's reaction is more
difficult. Which does not detract from the majority view expressed in
the Agenda and by many participants in financial markets, such as the
Imara Group, which says: " Long considered the delinquent continent,
Africa is transforming into one of the fastest-growing regions,
featuring robust economies, a stable banking sector, strong markets,
liberalising policies and undiscovered, high-quality fast-growing
The Africa Business Agenda PWC
Our Africa CEO Survey of 301 CEOs was conducted from November
2012--June 2013 and those results form the basis of this publication.
The majority of CEOs in Africa are very confident of revenue growth
over the next 12 months. A greater percentage of CEOs in Ghana (94%),
Rwanda (87%) and Nigeria (77%) report very strong confidence, while
CEOs in Gabon, Tunisia and Côte d'Ivoire are less confident of growth.
With expected real GDP growth rates of, for example, more than 6% over
the next five years in the West African Economic and Monetary Union
and 5% in the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community
Most CEOs in Africa consistently express optimism about their
medium-term growth prospects, as compared to the short term. In
Mozambique (100%), Nigeria (87%), Rwanda (87%) and Kenya (77%), a
greater percentage of CEOs are very confident of growth.
Agility in response to change, challenge and opportunity is the
deciding factor between companies that thrive in Africa and those that
are merely doing business.
The Financial Times recently reported that in a seven-year period
mobile phone subscriptions had risen to 475 million from 90 million in
Mobile technology has changed not only the nature of communication,
but also the state of banking, commerce and investment on the
continent. From enabling access to communications via the mobile
phone, to more sophisticated mobile banking, e-health and farming
applications, mobile technology offers a transformative opportunity
for business in Africa.
The speed of technological change was identified as an important
threat by CEOs across most territories.
Operational effectiveness is mentioned as the second-most- important
investment priority among CEOs in Africa
The current annual infrastructure investments across the continent are
estimated to be $27 billion in power, $15 billion in water and $10
billion in transportation per year.
African CEOs are increasingly looking beyond their national frontiers.
The first step tends to be regional, to the countries that are most
easily accessible and most easily understandable.
"Insurance penetration in Africa is exceptionally low, indicating
significant growth runway. Regulatory barriers are generally fewer and
regulations less onerous, but there are a few exceptions. The African
population's health is improving, as is longevity. Africa also has a
vast young population. One cannot, however, ignore the potential
downside risks of doing business in Africa. This does not seem to
outweigh positive factors, but political instability, corruption, poor
infrastructure, red tape, bureaucracy and inaction all remain real
risks." Nicolaas Kruger, Group CEO of MMI Holdings, South Africa
A substantial percentage of CEOs in our Africa survey say that
inadequate infrastructure is a threat to growth. In the
Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana,
Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, 80% or more of CEOs say that
inadequate infrastructure is a threat to growth.
The far-reaching effects of Africa's infrastructure backlogs include:
Constrained headline growth - at least 2-3% per annum;
More than 50 significant regional projects have been identified by
PIDA to deal with the projected 8- to 14-fold increase in demand by
2040 for road and rail transport, from 265 million tonnes up to two
trillion tonnes through the ports and from 128Gw to 700Gw of
With the exception of countries like Rwanda, Congo-Brazzaville,
Angola, Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire, most CEOs in Africa do not believe
that governments are doing enough to improve infrastructure. However,
as the global average of 32% suggests, this is not a condition
peculiar to Africa.
At least half of all CEOs in every country surveyed are concerned
about the threat uncertain or volatile growth poses to their
businesses. However, the average level of concern for the continent is
still slightly lower than the global average.
Other significant risks identified by respondents include bribery and
corruption (76%), over-regulation (69%) and government response to
fiscal deficit and debt burden (66%).
A very significant percentage of CEOs in Africa view bribery and
corruption as a threat to growth, compared to the global average. Only
in Namibia (40%), Tunisia (40%) and Rwanda (34%) are CEOs roughly
aligned with their global peers on this issue.
Over-regulation is perceived as a threat by more than two-thirds of
global CEOs. In Africa, levels of concern vary from country to country
- from 40% in Angola to 100% in Zimbabwe. To some extent this can be
explained by the level of maturity of the regulatory environment in
Figure 16: Social media users increasingly influential
A significantly higher percentage of CEOs in Africa recognise the
power of social media users compared to their global counterparts.
This may be best interpreted in the context of business in Africa's
focus on customer service and growing client bases - and CEOs'
understanding of the critical influence of the social media on public
Overall, the priority given to filling talent gaps in Africa is
comparable to the global average. But looking at the results a little
closer highlights the specific challenges being faced by businesses in
countries like Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Botswana.
Angola's Dos Santos Threatens Portugal Trade Over Investigations
"The president actually placed himself in a tight spot," Ana Cristina
Alves, a professor of international relations at Johannesburg-based
University of Witwatersrand, said an e-mailed response to questions.
"Either he is taking the opportunity to surf the always latent tension
between Angola and the former colonizer to gain the upper hand while
grasping the sympathy of some sectors of Angolan society, or he has
personal interests in those judicial cases."
While the discord is "serious," deep personal links between the
countries will probably salvage the situation in the long term, Weimer
Portuguese workers and companies are heading to Angola at a faster
pace than at any time since the southern African nation's 1975
independence. Angola is Portugal's biggest non-European export market.
The number of Portuguese citizens registered in Angola rose 13 percent
to 113,194 in 2012 from a year earlier, according to the Emigration
Observatory in Lisbon. This includes people who acquired Portuguese
nationality through marriage and Portuguese nationals born abroad.
Angola's economy has expanded every year since 1994, with growth
peaking at 22.6 percent in 2007, according to the World Bank. The $114
billion economy will probably increase 5.1 percent this year, dos
Santos said in his speech, lowering the estimate from 7.1 percent.
The $212 billion economy of Portugal, the third country after Greece
and Ireland to be bailed out by the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund, will contract 1.8 percent this year
before returning to growth in 2014, according to government forecasts.
It expanded at an average rate of less than 1 percent a year for the
Africa accounted for 42 percent of Mota-Engil's 1 billion euros ($1.4
billion) in sales in the first half of 2013, according to the website
of Portugal's biggest construction company. Angola is Mota-Engil's
biggest market in Africa, Mota-Engil Chief Executive Officer Goncalo
Martins said in an interview on Sept. 19.
"I will do everything within my reach, as head of the Portuguese
government, so that this relationship between the two countries will
not be shaken by episodes of any kind," Portuguese Prime Minister
Pedro Passos Coelho said on Oct. 16
Seven in ten Africans own their own mobile phones, with access
essentially universal in Algeria and Senegal, according to
Afrobarometer findings from across 34 countries.
Kenya's status as a global leader in innovative uses of mobile phones
to transfer funds and make payments is confirmed: 71% report using
their phones to move money, far surpassing the next closest countries:
Tanzania (40%), Liberia (39%), and Sudan (38%).
Access to the internet is growing much more slowly. In the 20
countries where this question has been asked since 2008, access at
least monthly has increased only 4 points, from 11% to 15%
US prosecutor condemns Hague trials of Kenyan leaders @Howden_Africa
A former chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has
condemned its cases against Kenya's president and vice-president,
warning that the indictments could damage the fledgling international
David Crane, the US lawyer who built the case against Liberia's former
president Charles Taylor, said his successors at The Hague had ignored
political realities in pursuing the Kenyan prosecution, which he said
"could be the beginning of a long slide into irrelevance for
Last week the African Union passed a resolution calling for immunity
for all serving African heads of state.
"I would never have indicted or gotten involved in justice for the
Kenyan tragedy," said Crane, a former chief prosecutor of the special
court for Sierra Leone, a precursor to the ICC. "It's placed them in a
situation where they are damned if they do or damned if they don't."
The African Union has called on the Kenyan leaders not to attend
hearings at The Hague until the UN security council, which oversees
the ICC, has responded to its recent demands.
France is working on a UN resolution that would defer the Kenyan cases
for 12 months, according to a senior diplomat in the Kenyan capital,
Human rights groups have said giving in to AU demands for immunity
would set a terrible precedent that would encourage heads of state to
trample constitutional term limits, cling to power and rig elections.
"It's become a lose-lose situation," said Crane.
Crane said the cases he built during three years of investigations in
westAfrica from 2002-05 had taken into account local politics as well
as the law. "Politics is the bright red thread of modern international
law, a successful prosecution must factor in the international stage."
Crane said Moreno-Ocampo had a "political tin ear" and had been overly
ambitious in his indictments.
Crane said the ICC should have used the threat of its intervention to
nudge for reform rather than launching prosecutions that the Kenyan
elite would never support.
"It's a question of some justice versus no justice," he said. "If it's
perceived that Kenyatta and Ruto have won then we're thrown back to
the pre-Taylor era in Africa."