|Friday 15th of November 2019
Ruins of Gedi
The Ruins of Gedi are the remains of a Swahili town located in Gedi, a
village near the coastal town of Malindi in Kenya. From the 13th or
14th to 17th centuries, Gedi was a thriving community along the jungle
coast of East Africa. Although no written record exists of this town,
excavations between 1948 and 1958 revealed that the Muslim inhabitants
traded with people from all over the world. Some of the
findingsincluded beads from Venice, coins and a Ming vase from China,
an iron lamp from India, and scissors from Spain. The population was
estimated to exceed at least 2500 people. Gedi had a mosque, a
palace, and large stone houses. These houses were complex for their
time, with bathrooms with drains and overhead basins to flush toilets.
The city's streets were laid out at right angles and had drainage
gutters. There are also wells which supplied water to the community.
The material used to construct the buildings was made from coral reef
from the nearby ocean.
In the early 16th century, the village was abandoned. A possible
explanation was that a punitive expedition came from Mombasa against
Malindi and forced the inhabitants to leave. A temporary reoccupation
likely occurred by the nomadic Oromo tribe from Somalia in the late
16th century, who later abandoned the town. It is unclear whether the
actual name of the town was Gedi, Gede, or Kilimani. The Galla word
"Gede" means "precious", but the town might have been named after the
last Galla leader to camp on the site.
The site is inhabited by guenon monkeys, which frequently interact
with visitors.
According to local tradition, the ruins are protected by the spirits
of its priests. These "Old Ones" supposedly curse anyone who harms the
site or removes anything.
Elite police force spreads terror in the barrios of Venezuela @Reuters Special Reports
Law & Politics
CARACAS–Before daybreak on January 8, several dozen police officers
swept through the streets of Barrio Kennedy, a hillside slum outside
Some of the officers came under fire from assailants, unprompted. They
shot back, hitting five young men. The five were then taken to a
hospital, where they died of their wounds.
That, at least, is the official account, detailed in a statement the
next day by the elite unit that conducted the operation – the Special
Action Force of the Venezuelan National Police.
The force’s version of events is contradicted by five eyewitness
accounts gathered by Reuters. These people say the police killed one
of the victims not in a street shootout, but in his home.
The official story is also contradicted by video of that victim,
reviewed by Reuters and reported here for the first time, that was
obtained by investigators at Venezuela’s opposition-controlled
The 82-second clip shows the young man sitting shirtless and unarmed
in a storage room inside his home, under police interrogation about a
nearby car theft, begging officers to spare his life.
“Brother,” says José Arévalo, a 29-year-old shop worker who had been
convicted of robbery earlier this decade but avoided legal trouble
since. “Don’t kill me.”
“If you collaborate, you’ll go free,” responds an unidentified
officer, wearing black fatigues and a balaclava. “Otherwise, you’re
going to die.”
The footage was recorded in the final minutes of Arévalo’s life, his
girlfriend told Reuters. The couple was at home with her two children,
she said, when about 15 uniformed officers and an unidentified person
in civilian clothes barged in.
They ejected her and the kids from the house. Speaking on condition of
anonymity, the girlfriend said she believes the video was shot by one
of those people, all unknown to her, once she was outside.
From the street, she said, she heard the sound of Arévalo being
beaten. A few minutes later, she heard gunshots. Next, she saw
officers carry Arévalo out of the house, apparently dead and now fully
The police then riddled the walls of the house with bullets, making it
appear that a gunfight had taken place. Just before leaving, she said,
they stole a carton of eggs and her kids’ bicycle.
“If my son had committed a crime, they should have charged him and
taken him to court,” said Zuleica Pérez, Arévalo’s mother, who later
identified his body at the morgue. “Instead, they decided to execute
It is one of 20 cases Reuters has documented across Venezuela in which
witnesses have described extrajudicial killings by the Special Action
Force, or FAES, as the unit is known by its Spanish acronym.
José Domínguez, the chief commissioner of the FAES, declined to
discuss Arévalo’s death or the other cases recounted in this story.
Neither the Interior Ministry nor the Information Ministry responded
to requests for comment on detailed descriptions of this article’s
The FAES has been accused by the political opposition, the United
Nations and many poor Venezuelans of conducting extralegal killings on
behalf of the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
In July, a U.N. report denounced FAES “executions” and called on
Maduro to dissolve the force. The report didn’t detail specific cases
of abuse or identify any of the individuals killed.
Maduro called the report “biased” and in a nationally televised speech
shouted defiantly: “Long live the FAES!”
This portrait of the FAES, a force of some 1,500 officers, complements
earlier reports in which Reuters examined other blunt instruments used
by the leftist leader to control his hungry and impoverished populace
– from a multitudinous and loyal cadre of senior military officers to
a special intelligence service created with the help of imported
security advisors from Cuba.
The FAES is a tool of Maduro’s own devising. He established the force
in July 2017 as he faced a surge in violent crime that followed the
collapse of Venezuela’s oil-based economy. The force was touted as a
means to stem the crime wave.
Instead, according to opposition politicians and former Maduro
supporters, the FAES became a means of social control in the country’s
poor neighborhoods, wracked by hunger and joblessness, where criminal
networks might stir upheaval and threaten government hegemony.
The aim, says one senior former member of the Maduro government, was
to spread fear and keep Venezuela’s mean streets from spawning a new
“Maduro uses the FAES whenever he needs a unit that is completely
under his control, to carry out whatever attack, whatever atrocity,”
said Zair Mundaray, a former deputy chief prosecutor, who left
Venezuela after falling out with Maduro two years ago.
The wounds are “precise and in the same place,” said the director of a
trauma unit where many victims of FAES shootings have been taken. The
doctor, like many other local specialists consulted for this story,
spoke on condition he not be identified.
“The number of gunshot wounds in the midline at the lower chest, upper
abdomen is worrisome given that the deaths are said to have occurred
in the dynamic context of shootouts.”
“The community knows who robs, who sells drugs, who extorts,” said
María Silva, state leader in Lara of the Revolutionary Tupamaro
Movement, a militant organization that backs Maduro and provides local
intelligence to authorities. “Once they are identified, they are
Venezuela’s government doesn’t publish official figures for FAES
killings. Internal government data reviewed by Reuters show 5,280
people died at the hands of all the country’s police after “resisting
authority” last year. That marks a 160% increase from 2016, the year
before the FAES was created.
Some tallies are higher. The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a
Caracas-based research organization affiliated with universities
across the country, counted 7,523 police killings under those
circumstances last year.
By the time Chávez died in 2013, the murder rate had quadrupled to one
of the highest on the planet – nearly 80 homicides per 100,000
residents, according to the Observatory of Violence, or nearly 20
times that of the United States at the time. Oil prices plummeted the
following year. Venezuela’s economy withered. Crime spiked even
Maduro, a fiery former bus driver and union leader, took over in April
2013 and declared crime a priority. “Stop the violence!” he yelled
during rallies. He ordered security forces into poor barrios to root
out criminals. Among those sent in was the Corps for Scientific, Penal
and Criminal Investigation, or CICPC. The CICPC, once the country’s
top crime-fighting unit, soon drew criticism.
In June 2017, amid violent protests against Maduro’s rule, a CICPC
officer named Óscar Pérez commandeered a police helicopter and fired
grenades at government buildings. Pérez survived the episode and went
The next month, the government unveiled the FAES at a ceremony in
Caracas. The force, hand-picked by police officials who support the
administration, would combat “terrorist groups encouraged by the
criminal right wing,” Maduro said on state television. Opponents, he
added, had turned Venezuela into a “war zone.”
The FAES soon pursued the CICPC. In January 2018, FAES officers found
Pérez and killed him. After that, current and former officers from the
CICPC and the National Police told Reuters, the CICPC became little
more than a forensics team, mostly at the service of the FAES.
Officials from the CICPC didn’t return calls seeking comment.
An officer told her, “FAES headquarters here is the morgue.” He
suggested she go there to look.
There, the mother said, she found the body.
The Hong Kong Protesters Aren't Driven by Hope "We might as well go down fighting." @TheAtlantic @zeynep
Law & Politics
HONG KONG—For months now, I’ve been told that Hong Kong’s protests
would end soon. They’ll end when school starts, I heard during the
summer. School did start, but the protests wore on, only now I saw
high-school students in crisp school uniforms joining the protesters’
Next, the mask ban of early October was supposed to slow protesters
down, but the very first day after that ban, I watched streams of
protesters in masks and helmets make their way to their usual haunts
on Hong Kong Island.
The government shut down many of the subway lines that day, a practice
that has become a de facto curfew, because Hong Kong’s über-efficient
subway system is the way most people get around.
No matter; the protesters ended up walking, sometimes a lot, and I
walked with them, asking some of the same questions I had asked for
months: Do you think you will continue protesting? What would it take
for you to stop?
One of the most popular chants in Hong Kong is “Five demands, not one
less.” These include the full withdrawal of the anti-extradition bill,
which originally sparked the protests in June; an independent
commission to investigate police misconduct; retracting the riot
charges against protesters; amnesty for arrested protesters; and,
crucially, universal suffrage.
Nothing animates the Hong Kongers I’ve been talking with as much as
that final demand. Yesterday, the police shot one protester in the
stomach at point-blank range, and another police officer drove into
the protesters with his motorcycle, weaving into the crowd to circle
Later in the day, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, gave a
press conference and, in chilling language, called the protesters the
“enemy of the people.”
She was voted into office by 777 people from the 1,200-person
“Election Committee,” many of whose members are businesspeople with
close ties to mainland China. It’s fair to describe her as handpicked
Polls in October showed her popularity around 22 percent, with just
over one in 10 Hong Kongers saying that they would vote for her
voluntarily. No wonder the protesters want the right to elect their
It’s not that the protests haven’t taken a toll on the protesters.
Many are tired. Some surveys suggest that more than 80 percent of the
people of Hong Kong may have been exposed to tear gas—an astonishing
Some neighborhoods close to protest sites have been so repeatedly
drowned in the noxious clouds that the protesters held a rally on
behalf of their pets. “I can’t put a mask on my dog,” one resident
tearfully explained to me, as others distributed posters of puppies
and kittens in protest gear: wearing helmets and masks, and holding
bottles of Pocari Sweat, the electrolyte mixture that has become the
unofficial drink of the protests. (Electrolyte drinks are great if you
are walking long distances in humid weather, as so many in Hong Kong
do almost every weekend.)
Almost every protest results in videos of protesters being beaten by
the police. Many are live-streamed, to horrified viewers. Thousands
have been arrested.
Fearful accounts are coming out of the police stations, alleging
torture, sexual assault, and rape.
On Telegram, many protesters claim that some recent suicides are
actually murders by the police that have been disguised as suicides.
(It’s not clear whether these claims are anything more than just
rumors, misinformation, or a tendency to believe the worst.)
When being arrested, it is not unusual for protesters to shout their
name, in the hopes of lawyers and family being able to reach them, and
some yell that they are in no way suicidal. If they aren’t heard from
again, they want to make sure it’s clear who’s to blame.
I often ask protesters whether they fear the consequences of showing
up to these protests. Many of my interviews are interrupted: by tear
gas and pepper spray, by police lines marching toward us, by the
The seasoned protesters are less and less afraid of the tear gas. Some
wear tear-gas masks, but risk a year in jail just for that, or even a
riot charge, which carries a potential 10-year sentence.
Some wear flimsy surgical masks, which may help conceal their
identity, but don’t do anything for the burning sensation in their
eyes, throat, and lungs. They cough, they run, they wash their eyes
with saline or water, and they go on. They do, however, fear being
kidnapped or killed.
Many protesters believe that people were killed by the police on the
night of August 31 in Prince Edward station, when the police shut down
the subway station with protesters trapped inside.
Videos emerged of young people cowering on the floor, as they were
pepper-sprayed from a close distance and beaten.
Medics weren’t allowed in, though, and the police whisked away the
injured to other stations while many people waited outside, in vain,
to receive the wounded.
We know that there were serious injuries, because those people were
hospitalized, but the protesters believe that the police killed at
least a few people, and closed the station to erase the evidence.
No official evidence of missing people has surfaced, but in this
environment of mistrust, seriously injured protesters have started
going to “hidden clinics”—underground hospitals—rather than regular
Almost every night now, protesters show up at the entrance of the
subway at Prince Edward, right next to the Mong Kok police station.
They bring flowers, candles, and other offerings.
They demand that the CCTV footage from that night be released. They
shout slogans and obscenities at the police. Often they get tear gas
and rubber bullets in return. The police sometimes remove the flowers.
The next day, the protesters are back with more.
Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to
this with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control. It
seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to
crack down even more.
Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to
10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero. Before this
current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the
Whatever else might be happening, this unelected government isn’t
winning any hearts and minds. Maybe outright intimidation will work
Last week, I headed to Victoria Park, where pro-democracy candidates
for the upcoming elections in Hong Kong announced that they would be
The legislative council doesn’t have full powers or true universal
suffrage, and candidates deemed unacceptable can be “disqualified” and
prevented from running, as happened to Joshua Wong, a high-profile
leader of the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
(Wong is a widely recognized figure especially for international
audiences, though he is not a leader of this round of protests, which
is deliberately leaderless.)
But there are still these pro-democracy candidates and their voters,
and people seem eager to make a statement. I chatted with two young
women, of the many thousands of people who had shown up, right before
the police teargassed the park and arrested many of the candidates,
beating them up in the process.
One of the women who chatted with me had baby-blue drawings of stars
and the moon on her fingernails. The other had a fashionable hat that
matched the color of her surgical mask, her animated eyes shining in
the small opening between them.
They didn’t have helmets or goggles, and weren’t carrying backpacks
with such gear.
Aren’t you afraid? I asked, gingerly. “We are afraid,” they quickly
admitted. They even giggled, but it got serious quickly. This is our
last chance, they said very matter-of-factly. If we stand down,
nothing will stand between us and mainland China, they said.
They talked about Xinjiang, and what China had done to the Uighur
minority. I’ve heard about the fate of the Uighurs from so many
protesters over the months. China may have wanted to make an example
out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other
direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there
will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it.
The two women weren’t sure whether they would win. That’s also
something I’ve heard often—these protesters aren’t the most optimistic
group. No rose-colored glasses here.
“But we cannot give up,” one insisted, “because if we do, there will
be no future for us anyway. We might as well go down fighting.”
One of the young women gave me an umbrella: a tool protesters use to
shield themselves from the sun, from CCTV cameras, from overhead
helicopters, from the blue water laced with pepper spray and fired
from water cannons, from tear-gas canisters.
They had noticed I didn’t have one, and were worried for me. They had
brought extras to share. “You might need this,” one of them said as
she handed it to me, and wished me good luck.
And then the clouds of tear gas drifted in our direction, as they so
often do in Hong Kong these days, and we scattered.
23-SEP-2019 :: Streaming Dreams @Netflix I, therefore, am putting out a "conviction" Buy on Netflix at Friday's closing price of $270.75.
‘’Annals of Technology Streaming Dreams’’ by John Seabrook January 16, 2012.
“People went from broad to narrow,” he said, “and we think they will
continue to go that way—spend more and more time in the niches—
because now the distribution landscape allows for more narrowness’’.
Netflix is not a US business, it is a global business. The Majority of
Analysts are in the US and in my opinion, these same Analysts have an
international ‘’blind spot’’
Once Investors appreciate that the Story is an international one and
not a US one anymore, we will see the price ramp to fresh all-time
I, therefore, am putting out a ‘’conviction’’ Buy on Netflix at
Friday’s closing price of $270.75.
Libya's Prime Minister Says Russia Mercenaries Will Drag Out War @bpolitics
Libya’s internationally recognized prime minister said Russian
mercenaries backing his rival, Khalifa Haftar, will drag out a
months-long war in the North African oil producer, and urged the U.S.
to act to restore peace.
Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said he had raised the matter with
Russian officials during an October conference in Sochi.
“We expressed our concern over the increase of foreign fighters in
Libya in general, that this would increase the duration of the war,”
Sarraj said in an interview in Tripoli on Wednesday.
Hundreds of mercenaries with the Russian Wagner group, headed by
President Vladimir Putin’s associate Yevgeny Prigozhin, are fighting
alongside Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army in a stalled
offensive to take the capital, Tripoli, and dislodge Sarraj’s
government, according to Western and Russian officials.
Russia and Haftar’s Libyan National Army officially deny the presence
of mercenaries in Libya.
Libya has been wracked by violence ever since the NATO-backed ouster
of Moammar Qaddafi in 2011. The years of instability that followed
allowed Libya to become a breeding ground for Islamist radicals, and a
magnet for migrants hoping to reach Europe.
Haftar launched his campaign on Tripoli just as the United Nations was
laying the groundwork for a conference meant to reunited the divided
country, which has dueling governments in Tripoli and another in
Tobruk allied with Haftar.
Wagner troops had fought in Ukraine and Syria before deploying in
September to Libya. A person close to the Kremlin told Bloomberg at
the time that Russia was distancing itself from the administration in
Tripoli and expected Haftar, who already controls eastern and southern
Libya and much of its oil fields, to gain the upper hand after his
initial failure to push into the capital in April.
“These security companies are private companies but we all know that
in those states, such companies do not act without the permission of
their governments,” Sarraj said.
He said he’s also raised concerns about billions of Libyan dinars
printed in Russia and supplied to Haftar and the Tobruk government.
“This is a method of financing the war,” he said, noting Malta’s
seizure of a ship carrying Libyan banknotes believed to have been
destined for Haftar.
By throwing its weight behind the commander, Russia joins a crowded
field of regional powers that have intervened to support either side.
The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have backed Haftar, while Turkey
supports Sarraj’s government.
The U.S. has mostly watched from the sidelines as the conflict raged
in the country that sits on top of Africa’s largest proven oil
It’s sent muddled messages about its Libya policy, officially calling
for a cease-fire even as President Donald Trump indicated support for
Haftar by taking a phone call with him in the midst of the commander’s
April assault on Tripoli.
“The United States as a democratic country holds the banner of
defending human rights. It has to intervene to stop the aggressor’s
militias from committing systematic violations against civilians,”
Sarraj said, calling on Washington to “participate in a clear manner
in restoring security and stability.”
The UN is leading talks for a fall conference in Berlin that would
call for a cease-fire and include countries that back both sides.
Sarraj said his government would accept a truce if Haftar’s forces
withdrew, and hold elections.
The talks leading up the Berlin summit, which has yet to be scheduled,
also include negotiations of economic reforms, including transparency
in the country’s main financial institutions that would partly address
key grievances in the east.
Sarraj said his government had already begun to enact reforms.
But “there can be no economic reforms when a whole parallel currency
is being printed,” he said referring to the Russian-minted dinars.
28-OCT-2019 :: From Russia with Love
I would argue Putin’s timing is exquisite and optimal and his Model
has an exponential ROI.
Russia’s clout on African soil runs on many tracks, and its expansion
is geared primarily towards hybrid activities. In Moscow’s offer for
Africa are mercenaries, military equipment, mining investments,
nuclear power plants, and railway connections.
Andrew Korybko writes Moscow invaluably fills the much-needed niche of
providing its partners there with “Democratic Security”, or in other
words, the cost-effective and low-commitment capabilities needed to
thwart colour revolutions and resolve unconventional Wars
(collectively referred to as Hybrid War).
To simplify, Russia’s “political technologists” have reportedly
devised bespoke solutions for confronting incipient and ongoing color
revolutions, just like its private military contractors (PMCs) have
supposedly done the same when it comes to ending insurgencies.
Once we look through the Optics of two nuclear-capable supersonic
bombers belonging to the Russian Air Force landing in Pretoria for the
aircraft’s first-ever landing on the African continent and, according
to an embassy official, only the second country in which it has made a
public appearance outside of Russia.
The first was Venezuela. Then we need to see this move for what it is.
It is meaningful.
Where Xi is fed up and speaks about the ‘’The End of Vanity’’ because
the ROI [outside commodities and telecoms for China] is negative,
Putin has created a hybrid model with an exponential ROI. I would
imagine he is on speed dial.
More than half of sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity @ECONdailycharts
IN MOST PARTS of the world energy demand is growing too quickly to
keep greenhouse-gas emissions within international targets, according
to a report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA), a
Many in Africa, however, worry about the opposite problem: the acute
shortage of electricity.
The continent is home to almost a fifth of the world’s population, but
accounts for less than 4% of global electricity use.
North Africa enjoys near-universal access to electricity, yet more
than half of the sub-Saharan population—600m people—live in the dark
This can hinder the provision of basic services. Half of secondary
schools in sub-Saharan Africa do not have power; many clinics and
hospitals in the region also lack access to reliable electricity.
Poverty is part of the problem. More than 40% of sub-Saharan Africans
live on less than $2 a day. The IEA report notes that paying for the
electricity needed to power a few basic appliances would eat up a
tenth of earnings for poorer households.
Rural areas are hit particularly hard. Whereas nearly three-quarters
of households in cities have access to electricity, in rural places
the figure is closer to one-quarter.
Progress has been painfully slow. Since 2013 the number of Africans
without electricity has fallen from 610m to 595m.
Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia have performed particularly well. In 2013
roughly a quarter of Kenyans had access to electricity; today
On current plans, the IEA reckons, 530m Africans will still lack
access to electricity in 2030.
To achieve the target, Africa will have to expand the provision of
electricity faster than China and India did
The IEA says African countries should focus on two groups. One is
people who live “under the grid”—in informal urban settlements near a
supply of electricity—but face cost or other barriers to using it.
Offering poor residents reduced connection fees and instalment-based
payment plans can help bring them onto the grid.
The second group comprises people who live far from existing
transmission and distribution systems. Here, the IEA points to the use
of decentralised methods, such as home solar-panel systems, as an
efficient and cost-effective way to provide energy to rural areas
which would otherwise rely on polluting and inefficient sources of
energy (such as wood for cooking).
“Africa has a unique opportunity to pursue a much less
carbon-intensive development path than many other parts of the world,”
says Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director. For instance, he
notes, Africa has “the richest solar resources on the planet”, yet has
installed just 1% of the world’s solar electricity-generation
As with much else, Africa has a long way to go to reach its potential.
Senegal Plans 2020 Eurobonds as Debt Costs Decline to Record @economics
Senegal plans to sell as much as 800 million euros ($880 million) of
offshore bonds next year after yields on the country’s debt fell to a
The West African nation will use the proceeds to fund new
infrastructure and loans given to the state power utility, Economy,
Planning and International Cooperation Minister Amadou Hott, 47, said
in an interview in Johannesburg.
Similar to when Senegal issued foreign debt in 2018, the notes will be
denominated in euros to avoid currency-risk costs, he said. The euro
is the peg for the West African CFA franc, the common tender of
Guinea-Bissau and seven francophone nations in the region.
The price of Senegalese debt fell below the average of Africa’s
sovereign issuers for the first time in the quarter through March as
its economic growth forecasts outpace those of continental peers.
The 1 billion euros of 2028 notes that Senegal sold at 4.75% in March
last year yielded 4.12% in Dakar, the capital, on Thursday.
“This kind of yield will help us to sell a favorable Eurobond,” said Hott.
Even so, the government hasn’t made a final decision and the eventual
size of the issuance will depend on how much debt Senegal sells on the
regional market in local currency, Hott said. “We are still working
out the mix between the local currency and the portion that will be in
euros,” he said.
An early bond sale in 2020 could help Senegal benefit from a four-year
rally in emerging markets that shows no sign of slowing, especially
with major central banks still a long way off reversing their
Senegal’s economy is on course to expand at 6% or more for a sixth
straight year in 2019 as the government of President Macky Sall has
built large infrastructure projects, including a new international
airport and public transport to facilitate further growth in one of
Africa’s most stable democracies.
Since 2008, gross domestic product has expanded 42%, outperforming the
global and sub-Saharan Africa’s average.
A string of major discoveries off the coast mean Senegal will become
an oil and gas exporter in coming years.
The government expects production to start as early as 2021 and it
stands to receive more than $30 billion over the next 30 years from
two of its offshore reserves, according to state-run oil company
The government will use some of the gas to feed power plants as it
seeks to reduce the cost of electricity. The nation has one of the
highest power-production costs in Africa, according to a 2017 study by
In September, the state provided a loan to electricity company Senelec
to offset deferred power-price increases, Hott said.
The minister served as the African Development Bank’s vice president
for power and energy before he was appointed in April.
Senelec’s arrears stood at $374 million as of August 2018, the
International Monetary Fund said in report published in January. This
year’s budget included $42 million in electricity-fee subsidies to
“Our strategy is to push down the price of electricity and have the
lowest possible tariffs,” Hott said.
“Especially now that Senegal is becoming a gas producer, we want to be
able to supply power through a gas plant, and encourage businesses to
move to gas and away from diesel.”
Gideon Mendel Series: Damage: A Testament of Faded Memory, 2016 Prix Pictet @guardian
“These images emerge from a time of hope, activism and tragedy. In the
1980s, I was part of a young generation of ‘struggle photographers’ in
South Africa, documenting the fight against apartheid. In 1990 I left
a box of my outtakes (negatives and transparencies) in storage in
Johannesburg, and forgot about it. A few years ago, they were returned
to me and I discovered that, in their many years of neglect, the box
had been rained on, and the top layers had been affected by moisture
Tanzania plans to more than triple output of cashews to 1 million tons over the next four to five years, and potentially become the biggest exporter of the nuts @BBGAfrica
Tanzania plans to more than triple output of cashews to 1 million tons
over the next four to five years, and potentially become the biggest
exporter of the nuts.
Output will increase from an estimated 290,000 tons this season as the
government encourages cultivation in more provinces and enhances
transparency in the trade, according to Agriculture Minister Japhet
Tanzania’s target could affect pricing and supply chains in a market
whose 2017-18 global output was 3.3 million tons, according to the
International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.
More than half of the nuts came from African countries including Ivory
Coast and Guinea-Bissau. India and Vietnam are the other main
“We are aiming to grow the crop in at least 17 provinces” Hasunga said
in an interview. Only five of the East African nation’s 30 provinces
currently grow the kidney-shaped nuts.
Cashew production in Tanzania dropped to 225,000 tonnes in the last
season from a peak of 313,223 tons, valued at $578.4 million, in
2017-18 after farmers halted sales in protest against low prices.
The government intervened by spending about $251 million to purchase
almost 157,000 tons at rates 65% higher than traders’ offers.
The state blamed secretive trading processes that forced unfavorable
terms on the farmers, and amended the system for the current season.
Bids are now announced openly. “Once the farmers agree on the quoted
prices then the deal is sealed,” Hasunga said. “We believe this move
will eliminate corruption and enhance transparency.”
Why eating bugs is so popular in Congo @TheEconomist
At a market in Goma, a city in the east of the Democratic Republic of
Congo, an old woman pulls the wings off live grasshoppers and tosses
their wriggling bodies into a bucket. She collected the insects from
the airport at 5am that morning, and will go back the next day.
Grasshopper season has just begun.
Throughout November dozens of grasshopper-hunters gather at Goma
airport most mornings. It is one of the few buildings in the city with
constant electricity, and the lights that mark the runway attract
swarms of the bug. People stuff them into plastic bottles to take to
market. Buyers season them with salt and eat them with rice or
Selling insects is more lucrative than selling fruit. A small pile of
grasshoppers fetches the equivalent of $0.60 (Congo’s gdp per person
is $562). Gathering them costs nothing but time.
Caterpillars are more valuable still. Once they are boiled and salted,
a large handful will sell for $1.20—the same price as ten bananas.
Households in Kinshasa, the country’s sprawling capital, consume about
300 grams of caterpillars (about 80, if they are averagely juicy) a
The Congolese have been eating bugs for centuries. People say
caterpillars, in particular, are not just tasty but healthy. “Our
ancestors taught us to eat them to protect us from illnesses,” says
Leonie Lukambala, a seller. She believes they can even help people
infected with hiv.
Caterpillars are packed with potassium, calcium and magnesium. A
hundred grams of them will provide a person with the required daily
intake of each of these minerals. They are richer in protein than beef
or fish. A handful is packed with about 500 calories, more than are in
a fast-food cheeseburger.
But that is a boon, not a drawback, in a country that suffers from one
of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition.
Others around the world should catch up. Bug farming takes up less
land, requires less food and does less damage to the environment than
meat or fish farming.
Crickets, for example, need 12 times less food than cattle to produce
the same amount of protein. Bugs can even be fed farm and kitchen
waste, such as rotten fruit and vegetables.
Hunting insects is easy, too. Anyone can wander into the forest—or,
indeed, to the airport—and gather caterpillars, ants and grasshoppers.
But that can also lead to bad outcomes. The wrong variety of insect
can poison consumers.
Mrs Lukambala says she knows which caterpillars to pick because her
family has gathered them for generations (the safe kind have red heads
and fall out of trees). Your correspondent tried a sample: it was
brittle and had a smoky taste. Add one more to the 2bn people
worldwide who chomp insects.
Joana Choumali, born in 1974 in Ivory Coast, based in Abidjan Series: Ca va aller, 2016-2019 @guardian
“These pictures were taken three weeks after the terrorist attacks in
Grand Bassam [Ivory Coast] on 13 March 2016. After the attacks, the
atmosphere of this little town changed. A a kind of melancholy invaded
the town. I decided to wander the silent empty streets and I chose to
leave my camera behind and shoot with my iPhone instead. I did not
want to intrude on people’s intimacy and disrupt their mourning. In
that moment, I did not feel like a photographer, detached by the
place, instead I felt part of the wounded inhabitants.”
@StanChart Targets Younger African Clients With Digital Loans @business cc @StanChartKE
Standard Chartered Plc will offer small loans via mobile phones in
Kenya as part of a broader effort to capture younger African clients.
“Traditionally our customers have been an average age of 50-plus, so
the plan is to attract younger customers by offering all our banking
services on phones,” Sunil Kaushal, the chief executive officer of the
lender’s Africa and Middle East business, said in an interview in
“We are planning to use telecoms data to determine the credit profile
of customers for our smaller-ticket lending product.”
The London-based lender is entering a crowded space. With only a few
clicks, subscribers in East Africa’s largest economy can seek loans of
up to $400 from more than 50 providers, pushing many into a debt trap.
Even so, mobile-money transactions on the continent account for almost
half of the world total, making the region fertile ground for growth.
From Kenya, Standard Chartered will roll it out into other markets.
Standard Chartered already gives customers in Kenya access to
investment and insurance products via its mobile-phone application and
has a partnership with Sanlam Ltd., Africa’s largest insurer, to
access other markets on the continent, Kaushal said.
It plans to expand the offerings to Nigeria “soon,” he said.
With operations in 16 African markets and a history on the continent
stretching back 160 years, Standard Chartered is trying to tap a
population of about 1.25 billion people, 60% of which are under the
age of 25, according to estimates by the Brookings Institution.
But poverty and a lack of infrastructure means digital offerings that
push large volumes are the most effective way to target customers who
make smaller purchases, said Kaushal.
“Look at the food and drink sector -- in many markets the product
offering starts with a sachet, because that is the customer’s
purchasing power,” he said.
“You need to build a product where even if you lose out on the ticket
size per customer, you make up in the number of products sold. This is
where digital comes into play. Get small ticket customers today, that
becomes a larger ticket customer in the future.”
The bank is further investing in digital upgrades for its custody
business, including using blockchain technology to settle trades.
“We are able to add three times the amount of retail customers through
digital than we had before,” Kaushal said.
“That’s not enough, we also want our other traditional customers to
start using our digital offerings.”
@Coopbankenya reports Q3 2019 EPS +5.682% Earnings
Cooperative Bank of Kenya PLC Q3 2019 results through 30th September
2019 vs. 30th September 2018
Q3 Investment securities held at amortised cost – Kenya Gov’t
60.001344b vs. 51.291702b +16.981%
Q3 Investment securities available for sale – Kenya Gov’t 34.556066b
vs. 31.955850b +8.137%
Q3 Loans and advances to customers (net) 268.870854b vs. 254.206736b +5.769%
Q3 Total Assets 440.765238b vs. 404.152889b +9.059%
Q3 Customer deposits 322.549159b vs. 296.084279b +8.938%
Q3 Total shareholders’ funds 73.945929b vs. 70.886378b +4.316%
Q3 Net interest income 21.152424b vs. 21.743340b -2.718%
Q3 Other fees and commissions 9.774075b vs. 6.588821b +48.343%
Q3 Total Non-interest income 14.096712b vs. 10.575962b +33.290%
Q3 Total operating income 35.249135b vs. 32.319302b +9.065%
Q3 Loan loss provision [2.122486b] vs. [1.272602b] +66.783%
Q3 Total other operating expenses [19.817054b] vs. [17.805603b] +11.297%
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] before tax and exceptional items 15.432081b vs.
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items 10.883744b vs.
Basic and diluted EPS 1.86 vs. 1.76 +5.682%
Total NPL and Advances 24.805453b vs. 28.676307b -13.498%
UAP issues profit warning on softening property prices @BD_Africa
UAP Holdings Limited has issued a profit warning citing depressed
property prices and a tough environment in South Sudan, signaling the
second consecutive year in loss territory.
The board said Thursday that the performance for the financial year
ended December 2019 is set to drop by at least 25 percent.
This means the firm will sink deeper into losses, having closed last
year with a Sh518 million loss- the first in a decade.
“There are indications that the weakening performance of property
market in Kenya and the uncertain political environment in South Sudan
will likely lead to further impairments in the carrying value of
certain group investment properties,” said the firm.
Eaagads Ltd. reports H1 2019 Earnings here
Par Value: 1/25
Closing Price: 12.50
Total Shares Issued: 32157000.00
Market Capitalization: 401,962,500
Eaagads Limited HY 2020 results through 30th September 2019 vs. 30th
HY Revenue 14.900m vs. 35.982m -58.590%
HY Fair value gain on biological assets [0.870m] vs. 0.191m -555.497%
HY Cost of production [42.008m] vs. [63.977m] -34.339%
HY Gross [loss] [27.978m] vs. [27.784m] +0.698%
HY Loss before taxation [44.536m] vs. [46.554m] -4.335%
HY Loss for the period [43.321m] vs. [46.624m] -7.084%
Basic and diluted EPS [1.35] vs. [1.45] -6.897%
Total Equity 803.595m vs. 769.540m +4.425%
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 3.697m vs. 1.598m +131.352%
During the six-month period under review, the Company incurred an
after-tax loss of Kshs. 43.3 Million, as compared to an after-tax loss
of Kshs.46.6 million in the previous year. The realized sales revenues
were Kshs. 14.9 million (2018: Kshs. 35.9 million) which were affected
by the depressed international coffee prices due to an oversupply in
the South American countries amid suppressed production volumes due to
lower than projected coffee volumes. Early crop volumes for the
six-month period decreased by 44% [2019: 46Tons, 2018: 94 Tons] as a
result of severe drought in the first half of the year, coupled by
high temperatures. Coffee is especially sensitive to such high
temperatures, a factor that contributed to poor flowering of the crop.
The coffee average prices decreased by more than 25% [ 2019: $2.81,
2018: $3.73] in the period under review.
The Company’s coffee bushes are in good shape under the management of
CMS. Management has continued to embark on coffee tree nutrition
practices to ensure that Eaagads coffee quality levels are not
compromised. Prudent cost management will also result in cost savings.
The Board of Directors do not recommend the payment of an interim
dividend for the six months ended 30 September 2019 [30 September
BY THE ORDER OF THE BOARD
12 November 2019