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12-MAY-2014 :: China Should Invest in Kenya's Bonds Equities
I visited Poland (for the first time) and am now writing this piece
from the grand Four Seasons in Milan. I thank His Excellency the
Polish Ambassador to Kenya for the invitation to participate in the
EEC Conference in Katowice and it really was an eye-opener. Of course,
as I looked at the map, I realised that I was really close to the
frontline in Ukraine or as close as I cared to be physi- cally. I
learnt that Poland represents one per cent of the world's GDP output
and a back-of-the-hand calculation confirmed Poland's GDP of over EURO 500
billion (Sh60.29 trillion) represents more than a third of Africa's
total GDP. Poland is seeking to enter Africa with some vigour via its
'Go Africa' programme. And I for one am sure that Africa can
collaborate with Poland, particularly via its thriving manufacturing
sector. The big challenge for Africa is jobs, which will surely be
created in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, where Poland is
Of course, back home, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit has
evidently been the big news but in my view, a condition precedent that
our future success is surely the multilateralism and multipolarity of
our relationships. Therefore I am certain that Poland is set to play a
role in the #AfricaRising story.
From the wonderfully green Warsaw, I flew to Milan to attend the
mercurial Francesco Confuorti's 6th Edition of 'Global Perspectives
for Growth and Trade', which this year has a special focus on East
Africa. Mr Confuorti (the President of Advantage Financial, about
which I am sure you will hear a great deal in the near term) is a
magnetic personality whom I met in Nairobi and he is kind of
irresistible. I am a deep believer in serendipity and the 'power of
pull' and I like being in the company of folks who can bend
serendipity at a personal level. I have found that in life, you can be
the most intelligent person on the block but without serendipity and
the power of pull, all that intelligence can be a wasted asset.
Serendipity creates an environment that allows you to tap into its
sweet spots. When you do not have it, you know it. Great ideas
flounder because there is no forward momentum. Of course, nothing
comes without hard work and passion but hard work plus passion and
serendipity is an unstoppable combination. Here in Milan, you feel the
heartbeat of Italy, the wonderful quality of the workmanship and of
the design - just think Ferraris and Prada handbags. And if we wish to
ride up the global value chain (because that is where the juice is in
the 21st century economy), we can learn from Italy.
It would be remiss of me not to track back to the Chinese Premier's
visit. China has lashings and lashings of cash and more than $3
trillion at the last count and therefore has the capacity to be
transformative and a game-changer for practically any country anywhere
in the world. Kenya has of course a lop-sided relationship in that our
exports to China stand at $50 million (Sh4.35 billion) annually versus
$3.2 billion (Sh278.5 billion) of imports. Bringing this into balance
is a challenge and a serious one and the Premier is evidently
cognisant of that because in his Press conference, he characterised
trade and investment as being the "cornerstone" of China-Kenya ties
and affirmed that China has never pursued surplus in its foreign trade
I for one would also be urging the Premier to put some of their hard
earned reserves to work in our fixed income and equity markets because
it remains a conundrum to me that to date I have yet to see a single
Chinese investor at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, for example.
And on that note, I will sign off by reminding you that today will see
Bob Collymore's Safaricom release its full year earnings. Safa- ricom
has a market capitalisation of Sh514.57 billion and consti- tutes more
than a quarter of the stock market's value. Therefore, this is a big
beast of a release. You can bet the house on a real muscular earnings
release and an eye-popping dividend increase.
Shape Serendipity, Understand Stress, Reignite Passion
Serendipity can be shaped. Being in the right place at the right time
is not a new concept; the catchy little phrase has been with us since
childhood. But is a fortuitous encounter that leads to a new business
contract pure luck? Are some people luckier? Does luck last?
We believe you can shape serendipity. This is a very counter-intuitive
notion. After all, most of us believe that serendipity is pure luck.
How can you shape luck? While chance is an intrinsic element of
serendipity, we believe that you can significantly alter the
probability and quality of the unexpected encounters in our lives.
Three choices determine how we shape serendipity:
Where we spend our time.
How we spend our time.
Finding and pursuing passion in work.
Small moves smartly made. Many people tell us that the sub-title of
our book really speaks to them: small moves, smartly made, can set big
things in motion. That is ultimately the power of pull. By harnessing
the techniques of pull, we find that we do not need massive resources
to have big impact. Pull allows us to draw out people and resources
that can significantly amplify our own efforts. Rather than financial
leverage, think of it as capability leverage.
And it is a form of leverage that we can all tap into as individuals.
It isn't just for companies. This is a key message. It says that the
changes that need to be made in business start with each of us as
individuals. If we don't begin to master the techniques of pull in our
personal lives, our institutions will have little possibility of
change. On the other hand, if we begin to understand the power of pull
at an individual level, we will become catalysts for much broader
change at the institutional level and beyond. By using the power of
pull as individuals, we not only achieve our own potential more
effectively, we set into motion processes that will help institutions
to achieve their potential as well.
ANC wins South Africa 2014 election with 62 percent Reuters
Law & Politics
South Africa's ruling African National Congress won the 2014 national
election with 62.16 percent of the votes, the electoral commission
said on Friday.
The provisional result shows the ANC's main rival, the Democratic
Alliance (DA), took 22.22 percent, while the ultra-left Economic
Freedom Fighters (EFF) managed 6.35 percent.
With all votes counted, the ANC had a 62.2% share of the vote, down
from the 65.9% it won in the 2009 election, according to the national
Putin's trip to Sevastopol is his first since the Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine 17-MAR-2014
Law & Politics
Putin's trip to Sevastopol, the home of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, is
his first since the Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine in March.
It came hours after he watched tanks rumbling across Red Square in
Moscow to commemorate the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War
Russia is staging a parade in Sevastopol today to mark the 70th
anniversary of Soviet forces driving the Nazis out of the region.
Warships from the Black Sea Fleet will be on display and 70 air-force
jets will fly over the city, according to Defense Minister Sergei
In another development, Putin is planning to roll back informal limits
on Chinese investment as U.S. and European sanctions threaten to tip
the economy into recession, according to two senior government
officials who have direct knowledge of talks and asked not to be
identified as the information isn't public.
It would be simply unconscionable for Putin to lose Crimea. It would
represent the castration of Russia as a geopolitical player.
Having created chaos he can still probably control, Putin has stepped
back, appearing moderate and conciliatory while still able to pull the
levers of destabilisation at will.
For western would-be mediators, Putin is the one to go to. But who
does Putin go to? Is it Angela Merkel or Barack Obama? Or perhaps
Catherine Ashton? Or John Kerry or William Hague or Herman Van Rompuy?
Putin's central control contrasts with western fragmentation,
incoherence, and equivocation.
"Putin is continuing to pursue the strategy of indirect, proxy
destabilisation in order to achieve his goals. This latest apparent
feint appears at best a tactic to diminish the costs of pursuing this
strategy," said the Eurasia Group on Thursday.
Russian Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile launcher moves
through Red Square during Victory Day parade
New York Times noted, "The balancing act has become even trickier
because of the sharp deterioration of America's relations with Russia.
Perhaps no country has more to gain from a new Cold War than China,
which has historically benefited from periods of conflict between the
United States and Russia."
So-called 'micro-nationalities' concept
Law & Politics
so-called 'micro-nationalities' concept, which means that national
boundaries established in the 19th century should be swept aside in
favor of a crazy quilt of petty tribal entities, each one so small
that it could not hope to resist even a medium-sized oil
The number of people killed in religious-driven violence in India rose
by about half last year compared with 2012.
There is usually a rise in violence ahead of elections as political
parties stir up divisions to win votes, said N. Manoharan, an academic
who researches internal security in India at the New Delhi-based
Vivekananda International Foundation.
"The main driver is politics," he said. "Parties try to create
communal problems to ensure their vote bank supports them."
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a peace accord that seeks to end more than five months of fighting, as they met for the first time since the clashes began.
The agreement signed in Ethiopia's capital late yesterday commits the
sides to "cease all hostile activities within 24 hours," and create a
"transitional government of national unity," former Ethiopian Foreign
Minister Seyoum Mesfin, who helped mediate the deal, told reporters in
Addis Ababa. Earlier peace talks had led to a truce in January that
failed to halt the conflict.
"I want to assure you that I on my part, the party I am leading, the
army that I am leading, will implement this agreement without any
fail," Kiir said.
Machar said he was signaling his intention to end the conflict
peacefully and he hoped "the other side will also be serious on this
South Sudan's president Salva Kiir, left, and opposition leader
Riek Machar, right, join hands with a clergyman before signing a
ceasefire agreement. Photograph AFP/Getty Images
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +7.11% 2014
Dollar versus Rand 3 Month Chart INO 10.341175
Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.0563
Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +23.362% 2014
Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -3.71% 2014
"The Nigerian military is a shadow of what it's reputed to have once
been," said James Hall, a retired colonel and former British military
attaché to Nigeria. "They've fallen apart."
"In a typical unit, Boko Haram has between 300 and 500 fighters. It's
not a guerrilla force that you can fight half heartedly," said Jacob
Zenn, a Boko Haram expert at U.S. counter-terrorism institution CTC
Sentinel. "It's snowballing. It's getting more weapons, more recruits,
their power is increasing every day."
Nigeria Army Didn't Heed Warning Before Kidnap, Amnesty Says
"The fact that Nigerian security forces knew about Boko Haram's
impending raid, but failed to take the immediate action needed to stop
it, will only amplify the national and international outcry at this
horrific crime," Netsanet Belay, London-based Amnesty International's
Africa director for research and advocacy, said in the statement.
The country's President took nearly three weeks to address the
abduction at length in public.
"Most of the foot soldiers of Boko Haram aren't Muslim fanatics;
they're poor kids who were turned against their corrupt country by a
''injustice made it fertile for his ideology to grow fast, very fast,
UBA CEO Says Nigerian Currency Devaluation May Happen This Year
Nigeria's currency may face a "gradual depreciation" of as much as 15
percent this year with the naira coming under pressure as the Federal
Reserve reduces its asset purchase program, said United Bank for
Africa Plc (UBA) Chief Executive Officer Phillips Oduoza.
While Nigeria's foreign reserves have slowed their depletion this year
there is "very, very huge demand for foreign exchange arising probably
from the tapering of the quantitative easing in the United States," he
said in an interview yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Abuja,
Nigeria's capital. "It could happen any moment from now, there is so
much pressure on the local currency."
Nigeria's foreign-exchange reserves declined 13 percent this year to
$38 billion by May 5 as the central bank sold dollars to prop up the
naira and as oil production missed estimates. Godwin Emefiele, who
becomes the institution's governor in June, told the Senate in March
that a devaluation of the naira is "not an option" and would be
"devastating" for the economy.
"It may happen and probably the market may force that," said Oduoza.
The naira gained 0.6 percent to 160.95 per dollar as of 7:35 p.m.
yesterday in Lagos. That pared losses in the currency of Africa's
largest economy to 0.4 percent after falling 2.6 percent in 2013.
Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg +5.06% 2014
Sh327 billion to fund Standard Gauge Railway - China to fund 85 per
cent of project.
US$ 2 billion-to fund establishment China - Africa Development Bank.
Sh5.1 billion-Setting up of China -Africa Research Centre in Nairobi
Sh 880 million establishment of ecological and Wildlife Protection
The Chinese government also pledged support for the repatriation of
the Somali refugees residing in Kenya.
17 agreements to be signed by the time Chinese Premier leaves Sunday
The issue of balance of trade that favours Beijing came up with the
Premier regretting the imbalance and promising that his government was
working on helping Kenya to up her game in trade with China.