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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Wednesday 21st of January 2015
 
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Macro Thoughts

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Do you love the good smell of rain? If so, you're not alone. @techEpalermo @livescience
Africa


In fact, some scientists believe that people inherited their affection
for the scent of rain from ancestors who relied on rainy weather for
their survival.

But what makes rain smell so nice? There are several scents associated
with rainfall that people find pleasing.

One of these odors, called "petrichor," lingers when rain falls after
a prolonged dry spell. Petrichor -- the term was coined in 1964 by two
Australian scientists studying the smells of wet weather -- is derived
from a pair of chemical reactions.

Some plants secrete oils during dry periods, and when it rains, these
oils are released into the air. The second reaction that creates
petrichor occurs when chemicals produced by soil-dwelling bacteria
known as actinomycetes are released. These aromatic compounds combine
to create the pleasant petrichor scent when rain hits the ground.

Another scent associated with rain is ozone. During a thunderstorm,
lightning can split oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere,
and they in turn can recombine into nitric oxide. This substance
interacts with other chemicals in the atmosphere to form ozone, which
has a sharp smell faintly reminiscent of chlorine.

When someone says they can smell rain coming, it may be that wind from
an approaching storm has carried ozone down from the clouds and into
the person's nostrils.

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Hannah riding along the Shore Lake Elmentaita @SerenaHotels
Africa


As You have no doubt worked out by now the Little one Hannah is a kind
of indescribable Love Affair for me [and I love my Older Daughters but
the Teenage World is a whole another Ball Game] but in her eighth
year, she has become a very cheeky Pixie. And I here I am swinging a
Line and wanting my day to start real smooth and it starts with
Hannah. Lately, she has taken to asking;

''And what are you doing in my room?''

And I let my breath out slowly and look at her and ask sotto Voce
''What I am doing in your room, Hannah? I have come to tell you I love
you and I want to start my day with your smile.''

And today I asked ''Darling, Do You know the story about Emperor Babur
and Humayoun?''

And she said ''No.''

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One day Humayun fell ill and Babur became very sad
Africa


One day Humayun fell ill and Babur became very sad. He summoned the
best doctor in his empire.  The doctor treated Humayun with utmost
care, but his condition did not improve. The doctor finally said, "His
condition is now fatal and only God save him."

Babar lost all hope and with great sadness, he knelt down and prayed.
"God, please save my son." Just then, he heard the Queen weeping. He
consoled her and said, "Have faith in God. He alone can save our son."
The Queen requested the king to consult with Abdul Baka, the most
pious man in town.

"Medicines have failed," said Abdul Baka. "Still I believe that
Humayun will be alright. Pray to God and offer him the most valuable
thing in your house". "What's the most valuable thing in my house?"
asked Babar. "You have the most valuable diamond with you. Sell that
diamond and you will get lakhs of rupees. You may give the money to
the poor. God may then save you son's life", said Abdul Baka.

"The diamond is no doubt very valuable, but my life is more valuable
than the diamond," the King said to the pious man. "I offer my life".
Saying this Babar walked round the bed of Humayun. He knelt down and
said, "God, take my life and give life to my son".

Suddenly the doctor saw Humayun uttering a few words. "Oh Emperor! I
can see his pulse beat". Your son will be normal soon, cried the pious
man. "God has answered my prayer". So saying, Babar fell down and died
a little later.

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Full text of @BarackObama's State of the Union address H/T @kuirab @Reuters
Law & Politics


We are fifteen years into this new century.  Fifteen years that dawned
with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation
fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread
across our nation and the world.  It has been, and still is, a hard
time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page.

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing
and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.  Our unemployment
rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.  More of
our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are
insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil
as we've been in almost 30 years.

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

 At this moment - with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling
industry, and booming energy production - we have risen from recession
freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.  It's
now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years,
and for decades to come.

"It is amazing," Rebekah wrote, "what you can bounce back from when
you have to...we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through
some very, very hard times."

 We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very,
very hard times.

 America, Rebekah and Ben's story is our story.  They represent the
millions who have worked hard, and scrimped, and sacrificed, and
retooled.  You are the reason I ran for this office.

We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect
our planet.  And today, America is number one in oil and gas.
  America
is number one in wind power.  Every three weeks, we bring online as
much solar power as we did in all of 2008.  And thanks to lower gas
prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should
save $750 at the pump.

So the verdict is clear.  Middle-class economics works.  Expanding
opportunity works.  And these policies will continue to work, as long
as politics don't get in the way.  We can't slow down businesses or
put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns.
We can't put the security of families at risk by taking away their
health insurance, or unravelling the new rules on Wall Street, or
refighting past battles on immigration when we've got a system to fix.
And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things,
it will earn my veto.


21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure - modern
ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.

I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that
unleash new jobs - converting sunlight into liquid fuel;
creating
revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his
country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System
not just to visit, but to stay.  Last month, we launched a new
spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send
American astronauts to Mars.  In two months, to prepare us for those
missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space.  Good
luck, Captain - and make sure to Instagram it.

Of course, if there's one thing this new century has taught us, it's
that we cannot separate our work at home from challenges beyond our
shores.

My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of
America.  In doing so, the question is not whether America leads in
the world, but how.  When we make rash decisions, reacting to the
headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a
challenge is to send in our military - then we risk getting drawn into
unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a
safer, more prosperous world.  That's what our enemies want us to do.

 I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership.  We lead best
when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage
our power with coalition building; when we don't let our fears blind
us to the opportunities that this new century presents.  That's
exactly what we're doing right now - and around the globe, it is
making a difference.


We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks,
and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we've done
relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a
direct threat to us and our allies.

Second, we are demonstrating the power of American strength and
diplomacy.  We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't
bully the small - by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine's
democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.  Last year, as we were
doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some
suggested that Mr. Putin's aggression was a masterful display of
strategy and strength.  Well, today, it is America that stands strong
and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy
in tatters.

 That's how America leads - not with bluster, but with persistent,
steady resolve.


Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first
time in a decade, we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and
reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.  Between now and this
spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that
prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies -
including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict.
There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all
options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.  But new sanctions
passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but
guarantee that diplomacy fails - alienating America from its allies;
and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.  It
doesn't make sense.  That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill
that threatens to undo this progress.  The American people expect us
to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that
wisdom.

I have no more campaigns to run.  My only agenda for the next two
years is the same as the one I've had since the day I swore an oath on
the steps of this Capitol - to do what I believe is best for America.


My fellow Americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family.  We, too,
have made it through some hard times.  Fifteen years into this new
century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun
again the work of remaking America.  We've laid a new foundation.  A
brighter future is ours to write.  Let's begin this new chapter -
together - and let's start the work right now.

Conclusions


Sometimes I think he is just too cerebral. He has progressed the US
National Interest [and I have my issues with the Assassination program
which he has taken to a whole new level] in a really c21st and
sophisticated manner using Oil Currency and plain coercion in a manner
that his Predecessors probably would never even have understood.

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12-JAN-2015 The oil warfare specialist, US President @BarackObama, has successfully wrestled crude price to below $50 a barrel, and with that effected a choke- hold on Vladimir Putin's Russia, Venezuela and others as far afield as Nigeria and Angola.
Law & Politics


The big winners are the US and China. Last year, the US created the
most jobs since 1999. Lower oil prices are a tailwind worth a trillion
dollars.

The US economy is the 'come-back kid' of 2015.

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01-DEC-2014 US Emerges As New Price Setter For Oil Market
Law & Politics


On 13-OCT-2014 I said: "The conditions [and I will explain them
momentarily] are optimal for a complete wash-out [a 'blow-off bottom'
was more earthy description in my time] down as far as $50 a barrel''.
That prediction of $50.00 a barrel looks in sight now.

''It is the US that is the new price setter for the oil markets and
this is a deep and important geopolitical development ''


The meeting in Vienna merely confirmed that the US has wres- tled
control of the oil markets. President Obama while getting creamed in
the mid-terms, has been a very subtle, skilled and hard-nosed exponent
of currency and now oil warfare.

This plan to undercut oil was exquisitely constructed and executed.

The Russian Ruble has been crushed, the Russian Central Bank has
dropped a $100b defending the currency. Iran might have got an
extension but the new oil price normal keeps them on the ropes.
Venezuela's oil income has fallen by 35 per cent and is set to tumble
further.

This is a very 21st century 'Shock and Awe 'and a bullet has not even
been fired.

The oil price collapse marks a major inflexion point. The global
consumer is back. The value of this stimulus is worth a $1 trillion to
the US.

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13-OCT-2014 Who Kneecapped Prices in Global Oil Markets?
Law & Politics


President Obama and his administration is the answer to my question:
who kneecapped oil prices?

In fact, as long ago as 2011, Thomas Donilon, who was then a US
national security adviser, was signalling this and very clearly.

"America's new energy posture allows us to engage from a posi- tion of
greater strength. Increasing US energy supplies act as a cushion that
helps reduce our vulnerability to global supply disrup- tions and
price shocks. It also affords us a stronger hand in pursuing and
implementing our international security goals."

The US administration has turned price slasher and like in Alfred
Hitchcock's totemic movie "Pyscho", oil has been sliced up real good.
The US has flooded the oil market and the commodity is now a
geopolitical spear [Michael Klare and Tom Engelhardt].

It is the US that is the new price setter for the oil markets and this
is a deep and important geopolitical development. The new price levels
will have immediate and enormous geopolitical and financial knock-on
effects. It will place intolerable pressure on oil producers and
particularly those operating from a higher base price.

It is not too difficult to calculate who are the biggest losers in
this new price normal, and Vladimir Putin's Russia springs to mind
first.

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Gorbachev: It gives one a feeling of déjà-vu. Perhaps that would even make a good headline for this interview: Everything appears to be repeating itself. There was a time for building a Wall and a time for tearing it down. @DerSPIEGEL
Law & Politics


Gorbachev: It gives one a feeling of déjà-vu. Perhaps that would even
make a good headline for this interview: Everything appears to be
repeating itself. There was a time for building a Wall and a time for
tearing it down. I'm not the only person to thank for the fact that
this wall no longer exists. (Former Chancellor) Willy Brandt's
Ostpolitik was important, as were the protests in Eastern Europe. Now,
new walls are being built and the situation is threatening to
escalate. I do, in fact, see all the signs of a new Cold War. Things
could blow up at any time if we don't act. The loss of trust is
disastrous. Moscow no longer believes the West and the West doesn't
believe Moscow. That's terrible.

SPIEGEL: Do you think it is possible there could be another major war in Europe?

Gorbachev: Such a scenario shouldn't even be considered. Such a war
today would inevitably lead to a nuclear war. But the statements from
both sides and the propaganda lead me to fear the worst. If one side
loses its nerves in this inflamed atmosphere, then we won't survive
the coming years.

SPIEGEL: Aren't you overstating things a bit?

Gorbachev: I don't say such things lightly. I am a man with a
conscience. But that's the way things are. I am truly and deeply
concerned.

SPIEGEL: The new Russian military doctrine labels NATO's eastern
expansion and the "reinforcement of NATO's offensive capabilities" as
one of the primary threats facing Russia. Do you agree?

Gorbachev: NATO's eastward expansion has destroyed the European
security architecture as it was defined in the Helsinki Final Act in
1975. The eastern expansion was a 180-degree reversal, a departure
from the decision of the Paris Charter in 1990 taken together by all
the European states to put the Cold War behind us for good. Russian
proposals, like the one by former President Dmitri Medvedev that we
should sit down together to work on a new security architecture, were
arrogantly ignored by the West. We are now seeing the results.

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What Game is the House of Saud Playing? Pepe Escobar
Law & Politics


The House of Saud now finds itself in times of extreme trouble. Their
risky oil price war may eventually backfire. The succession of King
Abdullah may turn into a bloodbath. And the American protector may be
musing a change of heart.

US President Barack Obama, in this interview, openly admitted that he
wanted "disruptions" in the"price of oil" because he figured Russian
President Vladimir Putin would have "enormous difficulty managing it."
So that settles the argument about hurting Russia and US-Saudi
collusion, after US Secretary of State John Kerry allowed/endorsed
King Abdullah in Jeddah to simultaneously raise oil production and
embark on a cut price strategy.

Conclusions


They are not playing a Game - They are taking instructions.

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@KarlreMarks A Simple Diagram of the Arab Uprisings and Their Aftermath
Law & Politics


Very occasionally, the Israelis go for the jugular. Their
helicopter attack on "terrorists" near the Syrian city of Quneitra at
the weekend certainly drew aside the curtain of Hezbollah-Iranian
assistance to President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Damascus.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/israels-attack-on-hezbollah-is-a-case-of-shoot-first-ask-questions-later-9991210.html

"The command is at its absolute zenith. And it is indeed a golden age
for special operations." Those were the words of Army General Joseph
Votel III, a West Point graduate and Army Ranger, as he assumed
command of SOCOM last August.

http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2015/01/20/a-shadow-war-in-150-countries/

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1570
Dollar Index 92.77
Japan Yen 117.78
Swiss Franc 0.8726
Pound 1.5166
Aussie 0.8217
India Rupee 61.585
South Korea Won 1084.28
Brazil Real 2.6145
Egypt Pound 7.3016
South Africa Rand 11.5785

Dollar Index 3 Month Chart INO 92.77 [Target 100.00]

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

Euro versus the Dollar 3 Month Chart 1.1570 [Target 1.000]

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

more of their holdings have turned negative -- meaning they're
effectively paying governments to borrow.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-20/trillion-dollar-punishment-makes-european-buyers-pay-for-safety.html

The volume of such debt has swelled to 1.4 trillion euros ($1.62
trillion) from 500 billion euros in October, Bank of America Corp.
data show.

Yields on 10-year Swiss government notes have plunged to negative 0.09
percent, while five-year German bonds are yielding negative 0.04
percent. Across Europe's $7.1 trillion market for government debt,
yields are paying a record low 0.86 percent, less than one-third of
the average during the past decade, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
index data show.

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Commodity Markets at a Glance WSJ
Commodities


12-JAN-2015  I do not see a near-term bounce in the oil price. I think
it could average $50 a barrel for the next 24 months. There is no
'Hail-Mary' pass coming that I can see

http://www.rich.co.ke/media/docs/038NSX1201.pdf

I do not see a near-term bounce in the oil price. I think it could
average $50 a barrel for the next 24 months. There is no 'Hail-Mary'
pass coming that I can see for the oil producers and it's going to
stay very Darwinian. Oil supply is not reducing as prices implode,
it's actually increasing as producers try to make up for some of the
shortfall by selling more barrels. This lower oil price structure is a
silver bullet for the G2 - the US and China. Of course, it also
benefits Asia, Japan, places like the Philippines and ourselves [once
the Energy Regulatory Commission passes on the price cut in a
meaningful manner].

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At least four people were killed on Monday in clashes between security forces and protesters in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital as opposition parties tried to block a change in the law that may delay elections due in 2016.
Africa


Police in Democratic Republic of Congo fired shots in the air on
Tuesday to disperse demonstrators protesting for a second day against
a proposed revision to the electoral code that could delay for years a
presidential election slated for 2016.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN0KT0TU20150120

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10-NOV-2014 Ouagadougou's Signal to Sub-Sahara Africa
Africa


The tipping point for this accelerated sequence of events was
President Compaoré stacking parliament in order to extend the
presidential term limit. There are plenty of African presidents who
are seeking to pull off the same magic trick and events in Ouagadougou
have surely put them on notice.

Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: "After the Arab
Spring, this is the Black Spring".


During the Arab Spring [now in the bleak mid-Winter], nearly all
commentators spoke of how this North African wildfire could not leap
the Sahara and head to sub-Saharan Africa. The reasons were that the
State [incumbents] had a monopoly on the tools of violence and would
bring overwhelming force and violence to bear. We need to ask
ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such
a situation - 100, 1,000, 10,000? This is another point: there is a
threshold beyond which the incumbent can't go. Where that threshold
lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

Therefore, the preeminent point to note is that protests in Burkina
Faso achieved escape velocity
. Overthrowing incumbents is all about
acceleration, momentum and speed best characterised by the German word
'Blitzkrieg'.

Out of a population of 17 million people in Burkina Faso, over 60 per
cent are aged between 17 and 24 years, according to the World Bank,
and this is another point to note. The country's youth flexed their
muscles. What's clear is that a very young, very informed and very
connected African youth demographic [many characterise this as a
'demographic dividend'] - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a
demographic terminator - is set to alter the existing equilibrium
between the rulers and the subjects, and a re-balancing has begun.

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Zambian elections: This is just a trailer for 2016 Daily Maverick
Africa


After the late but not unexpected death of President Michael Sata,
Zambia must now choose his replacement. There are two main candidates,
but whoever wins has the unenviable task of fixing a failing economy,
with just 18 months to do so. Already, all eyes on the 2016 election,
which really is the main prize. By SIMON ALLISON.

An official looks on as voters queue to cast votes in the Zambian
presidential election at Kanyama primary school.  Photograph:
Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

http://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2015/jan/20/photo-highlights-of-the-day#img-7

South Africa All Share Bloomberg -1.24% 2015

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

49,124.77 +127.83 +0.26%

Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 11.5791

http://quotes.ino.com/charting/index.html?s=FOREX_USDZAR&v=d6&t=c&a=50&w=1

Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.3032

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

Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +9.87% 2015

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

9,804.18 +205.08 +2.14%

Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -13.96% 2015

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

29,819.39 +45.99 +0.15%

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Nigeria Ignores Call for Devaluation as Key Rate Kept at 13%
Africa


The naira has slumped 14 percent against the dollar on the interbank
market in the past six months and was trading at 189.05 as of 3:04
p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital.

The central bank kept the cash reserve requirement on private-sector
funds at 20 percent, following a 500 basis-point increase in November.
The ratio for public funds was retained at 75 percent.

"There was no need for a change because the policy measures announced
in November need to take effect," Kunle Ezun, Lagos-based strategist
at Ecobank, said by phone. "We project the naira to hover between 185
to 190 naira per dollar before the next MPC. That of course will be
sustained by central bank interventions and administrative measures."

In a presidential poll set for Feb. 14, chief challenger and former
military ruler Muhammadu Buhari will try to unseat incumbent Goodluck
Jonathan, who is seeking a second, full term ruling Africa's biggest
economy and most populous nation.

20-Jan-2015 14:23 - NIGERIA CENTRAL BANK NOTES CONTINUED DOMINANCE OF
NON-OIL SECTOR IN ECONOMY - CENBANK GOVERNOR GODWIN EMEFIELE
20-Jan-2015 14:24 - EMEFIELE: CONCERNED ABOUT WEAKENING CONTRIBUTION
OF OIL SECTOR TO GROWTH
20-Jan-2015 14:24 - EMEFIELE: NIGERIA NOTES INFLATION WITHIN TARGET RANGE
20-Jan-2015 14:25 - EMEFIELE: UPSIDE RISKS TO INFLATION EXIST
20-Jan-2015 14:28 - EMEFIELE: BEARISH CONDITIONS IN CAPITAL MARKETS CONTINUE
20-Jan-2015 14:29 - NIGERIA CENBANK GOVERNOR EMEFIELE: SIGNIFICANT
PRESSURE ON FOREX MARKET
20-Jan-2015 14:31 - NIGERIA'S EMEFIELE: EXTERNAL RESERVES AS OF DEC 21
$34.25 BLN
20-Jan-2015 14:32 - EMEFIELE: CONCERNS ON A NUMBER OF RISK, INC.
SECURITY, SUSTAINED DECLINED IN OIL GDP
20-Jan-2015 14:34 - NIGERIA'S EMEFIELE: CENBANK HOLDS RATES AT 13 PCT
20-Jan-2015 14:34 - NIGERIA LIQUIDITY RATIO RETAINED AT 30 PCT - CENBANK

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Aly-Khan Satchu, portfolio manager at Nairobi-based Rich Management said the rate decision was taken "in the teeth of a raging insurgency and an extraordinary collapse in the price of oil".
Africa


He added that "The currency is headed to 220 ... and Emefiele's finger
in the dyke strategy is about to be overwhelmed by a tsunami."

read more





"We are the ones that carried out the attack and it is just the tip of the iceberg," the man says. "There are more coming."
Africa


Commenting on weapons seized from Baga, he says they are "enough to
annihilate Nigeria."

Soldiers fled the area after the nearby army base, which is the
headquarters of a multinational force comprising troops from Chad,
Niger and Cameroon, by Lake Chad was overrun. Chad and Cameroon are
being drawn into the fight against Boko Haram, but mistrust has
hampered cooperation.

The main claiming to be Shekau taunted the leaders of Cameroon, Niger
and Chad: Paul Biya, Mahamadou Issoufou and Idris Deby.

He also made it clear he doesn't care for either Nigerian President
Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, or his main opposition
contender in Feb. 14 presidential elections Muhammadu Buhari, a
northern Muslim.

"Jonathan you are in trouble," he says. "And Buhari, do you think he
is a true Muslim? He's an infidel."

read more



Qalaa Invests in East Africa Cargo as China Builds Rail Link
Africa


Egyptian private-equity company Qalaa Holdings SAE is investing $70
million to accelerate the movement of rail cargo carried from East
Africa's busiest port, as it faces competition from a new
Chinese-backed link.

Qalaa controls Rift Valley Railways Ltd., the operator of a railway
built almost a century ago running from Kenya's Mombasa port to
neighboring Uganda. It covers a portion of the same route as a new
rail line under construction from Mombasa, designed to speed up
freight-transit times, cut transport costs and boost mining and
agricultural exports. It isn't yet clear who will operate the second
railway.

Qalaa "is investing heavily in a new subsidiary, which will complement
RVR by handling cargo at the port of Mombasa in Kenya," Karim Sadek,
managing director of the company's transportation division, said in an
interview from Nairobi.

In neighboring South Sudan, Qalaa, through its Nile Logistics arm,
plans to acquire additional handling equipment for its river-transport
and marine-port businesses, he said. Its service, operating a fleet of
barges between the north and south of the oil-producing nation, was
disrupted in December 2013 when a power struggle in the ruling party
sparked civil war.

Tens of thousands of people have died and almost 2 million others have
been driven from their homes as the violence continues, according to
the United Nations. About 1.5 million people are receiving food aid,
less than a quarter of those in need, amid funding shortages and due
to bad roads, which are inaccessible in the wet season, according to
the UN.

"We are moving cargo for the World Food Programme and International
Committee of the Red Cross from Juba to the north," Sadek said on Jan.
13. "Depending on how that goes, we may expand our fleet in South
Sudan."

Spending by Qalaa this year in South Sudan will probably reach $35
million, he said.

Qalaa, formerly known as Citadel Capital SAE, in April bought the 34
percent stake that Kenyan-based Transcentury Ltd.'s Safari Rail Co.
owned in RVR, raising its shareholding to 85 percent. Citadel first
acquired a minority interest in RVR in 2010. Since then, it's led
investments to upgrade hundreds of kilometers of tracks, rehabilitate
rolling stock, and restore service on a rail section in Uganda that
was idle for two decades.

RVR said in September it agreed to borrow $20 million from Standard
Bank Group Ltd. and other lenders to buy 20 locomotives, which should
all be delivered from General Electric Co. (GE) by April.

Currently, more than 90 percent of cargo is ferried by road from
Mombasa. Kenya is the largest economy in the five-nation East African
Community, also comprising Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, which
formed a customs union in 2010 to strengthen intra-regional trading.
South Sudan is seeking to join the EAC.

"Kenya remains the pivot state in East Africa and the route to the sea
and the world markets for a lot of countries in East Africa," Aly-Khan
Satchu, chief executive officer of Nairobi-based Rich Management Ltd.,
said in an e-mailed response to questions. "RVR has devised a good
strategy of integrating the railway with a door-to-door delivery
service."


An estimated 23.5 million metric tons of freight was expected to pass
through the Mombasa port last year, up about 5 percent from 2013,
according to the Kenya Ports Authority. Durban, Africa's busiest port
according to the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern
Africa, handled 44.8 million tons of cargo in 2013-14.

Qalaa's planned spending on RVR in the 12 months through June comes as
construction gets underway on a $3.8 billion railway linking Mombasa
to Kenya's capital, Nairobi, being 90 percent financed by the
Export-Import Bank of China.

It's expected to take 42 months from October to complete, and the link
will eventually continue to Uganda and the landlocked states of
Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. The "high capacity" standard-gauge
railway will enable locomotives to travel as fast as 120 kilometers
(75 miles) per hour for passengers and 80 kilometers per hour for
cargo, according to the government.

"Our rates should be more competitive, even when the new railway is
complete because of a lesser debt burden," Sadek said. "The agreement
we signed with the governments provides for compensation for any
business lost as a result of a new railway. But it has not yet been
worked out how."

read more



Swazi King Delays School so That Students Can Weed His Fields
Africa


Swaziland's King Mswati III has delayed the start of the school year,
ordering students to complete the weeding of his fields instead.

Tending to the monarch's farmland is a "national duty," the education
ministry said in a statement carried in the Times of Swaziland.
Private schools that reopened on Jan. 13 were ordered to close and
government schools set to resume lessons today have to push back the
start of teaching by a week, when all students will return after the
weeding is completed.

Mswati, 46, rules over the landlocked southern African country's one
million people as the continent's last absolute monarch. Political
parties are banned in the country, which gained independence from the
U.K. in 1968. Forbes Magazine said in June the King's personal wealth
was at least $50 million, the amount of the annual salary he is paid
from government coffers.

"This borders on being child labor," Nomsa Cembi, a spokeswoman for
the South African Democratic Teachers Union, said in an interview with
eNCA television news in Johannesburg. "We see it as exploiting
children."

News of the delay to classes "came as a shock," Cembi said. The union
appealed to the Southern African Development Community to put pressure
on Swaziland to end the disruption to the country's schools.

read more


Ebola: Most African Countries Avoid Major Economic Loss but Impact on Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone Remains Crippling @WorldBank
Africa


An earlier World Bank Group economic analysis (from October 8, 2014)
found that the West Africa region alone could experience a downside
scenario of US$25 billion in economic losses in 2015, but the current
report estimates the range for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole to be
from a low of US$500 million to a high of US$6.2 billion.

read more



Coca-Cola joins list of global firms cutting Kenya jobs
Kenyan Economy


"In Kenya this exercise has just begun and the extent of its impact
will only be known at the end of quarter one," said Coca-Cola's
regional communications director Norah Odwesso in a response to
Business Daily queries.

Other local subsidiaries of global firms that have recently sacked
staff are Nestlé, Tata Chemicals Magadi, Sher Karuturi and Cadbury who
together have trimmed over 600 jobs in the last one year.

Food group Nestlé last week sent home 46 staff in its Kenya and regional hub.

The job losses stem from a mix of corporate cost-cutting strategies
meant to improve profit margins for the multinationals in the
increasingly competitive fast-moving-consumer-goods market.

Conclusions


Not good.

read more


Kenya Shilling versus The Dollar Live ForexPros 91.603
Kenyan Economy


Nairobi All Share Bloomberg +0.68% 2015

http://www.BLOOMBERG.COM/quote/NSEASI:IND

164.00 -1.88 -1.13%

Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg +0.52% 2015

http://j.mp/ajuMHJ

5,139.06 -38.32 -0.74%

read more


The next frontier in the final frontier @changarampatt
Kenyan Economy


Secondly, an ex-colleague explained to me that the coders/developers
fear sharing an idea or even thinking out aloud. Why would that be an
issue? If you are innovative, you will forever be innovative. Yes, it
is a bit scary to even think that someone will run with your idea and
be successful. I agree too. But let me explain it differently: The
Ocean/Sea is common for all. But some take out pearls, some take out
fish, some go on cruises (holidays), some just wet their leg and some
live on boats. You see, it is food for some, shelter for some,
business for some and leisure for some others. More generally, the
world is the same for all but we get what we look for. So are the
ideas.

The most important thing in a startup company is the startup team.

Don't beat yourself up; there are exactly two ideas in my opinion,
viz., a quantum leap idea and a locally marketable idea. For the first
one, this is now the innovators and game changers (read Hotmail,
Tweeter, Facebook and the Instagram). These ideas will thrive for
yours to come unless somebody else gets it too and markets it before
you do. On the other hand, there a number of ideas that exist globally
but not marketed yet with a locally tweaked version. This later one
better be on the right time otherwise it is easier to lose it in a
jiffy.

So how about an experiment; let us give motivation, confidence,
funding, tools, resources and the right mentoring from the early days.
I must say that life keeps training me and teaching me, I pray I don't
stop learning.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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January 2015
 
 
 
 
 
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