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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 23rd of October 2020

19-OCT-2020 :: Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
World Of Finance

Ibn Khaldun sought to explain the intrinsic relationship between political leadership and the management of pandemics in the pre-colonial period in his book Muqaddimah

Historically, such pandemics had the capacity to overtake “the dynasties at the time of their senility, when they had reached the limit of their duration” and, in the process, challenged their “power and curtailed their [rulers’] influence...”

Rulers who are only concerned with the well-being of their “inner circle and their parties” are an incurable “disease”.

States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”

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Whether it is in the First, second, third or fourth wave is an academic Question.

And here we are


The Virus clocked a record 400,000+ cases 3 times last week.

Whether it is in the First, second, third or fourth wave is an academic Question.

What we know is that #COVID19 [is] unlike the flow of capital [and that] this virus seeks proliferation, not profit, and has, therefore, inadvertently, to some extent, reversed the direction of the flow.

Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’ – The Open Question is a Portal to whence.

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No-one has ever produced a safe and effective vaccine against a coronavirus. Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish & Andres Susrud


What if, as I fear, there will never be a vaccine. I was involved in the early stages of identifying the HIV virus as the cause of Aids. I remember drugs companies back then saying there would be a vaccine within around 18 months. Some 37 years on, we are still waiting. Prof ANGUS DALGLEISH @MailOnline

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‘’Zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released

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Law & Politics

Chinese military beefs up coastal forces as it prepares for possible invasion of Taiwan @SCMPNews

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Carrier Reagan Back in the South China Sea, U.S. Destroyer Makes Taiwan Strait Transit
Law & Politics

The Ronald Regan Carrier Strike Group is now operating in the South China Sea for the third time as part of its current underway period. Meanwhile, a destroyer made a transit of the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and its strike group passed through the Strait of Malacca and entered the South China Sea on Monday, according to ship spotters. 

Accompanying the carrier was guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) and destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97).

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Dollar Index 93.051

Japan Yen 104.733

Swiss Franc 0.906945

Pound 1.306545

Aussie 0.711965

India Rupee 73.5519

South Korea Won 1131.840

Brazil Real 5.5926238

Egypt Pound 15.709600

South Africa Rand 16.20930

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World Of Finance

I listened to the soothing platitudes of the IMF and the World Bank and now those August Institutions have ditched Talk of a ‘’V’’ shaped recovery but still hold fast to a Quaalude level Snap Back next year.

Quaaludes ‘’promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’

They are dreaming

We are spinning deeper into negative interest rate territory



The virus is not correlated to endogenous market dynamics but is an exogenous uncertainty that remains unresolved #COVID19







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10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

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

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.

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Nigerian President Urges End to Protests, Warns State Will Act @bpolitics @AlakeTope @WTBClowes
Law & Politics

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called for an end to mass protests against police brutality in which dozens of people have died, as he warned the authorities will act to protect lives and property.

Addressing the nation on state television, Buhari said protesters should “resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos” and undermine democracy

“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.”

It was the first time Buhari has addressed protesters directly, one of their key demands since the rallies began two weeks ago. 

He’s largely remained silent through the growing crisis, mainly using aides and statements to deliver his response to calls for reforms.

The protests that erupted in Africa’s biggest economy on Oct. 5 have spread to about half of Nigeria’s 36 states, posing the most serious challenge yet to Buhari’s authority

They’ve also dealt another blow to an economy that was already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

At least 56 people have died in the marches, with 38 of them killed on Tuesday alone, when the authorities began a crackdown, according to human-rights group Amnesty International said. 

The government hasn’t announced a death toll.

The unrest and the authorities’ increasingly heavy-handed response has begun to unnerve financial markets, with the naira dropping as much as 1.2% against the dollar on Thursday.

The risk premium that investors demand to hold Nigeria’s dollar debt rather than U.S. Treasuries has widened 20 basis points this week, while the average for African nations narrowed two basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes.

The streets of Lagos and Abuja, the capital, were largely devoid of protesters on Thursday, and demonstrations in the southern oil-producing Rivers and Delta states that erupted on Wednesday have also died down. At least 10 states have imposed curfews.

Most of the demonstrators are young adults who don’t appear to have a clearly defined leadership structure and communicate using social media, which the government says has frustrated efforts to negotiate with them.

The largely peaceful demonstrations persisted even after Buhari promised to disband a police unit at the center of the brutality allegations. 

He reiterated the government’s commitment to further police reforms on Thursday, as he also highlighted government youth-development programs.

Buhari’s speech will do little to appease the protesters and demonstrations are likely to continue once curfews are lifted, said Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at Lagos-based SBM Intelligence.

“The president’s speech was essentially a middle finger to Nigerians,” he said. “In saying nothing of note, and refusing to show any empathy for the plight of the people he purports to govern, he has alienated a generation that is really motivated by high youth unemployment and a sharply rising cost of living.”

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21 OCT 19 :: "The New Economy of Anger"

Nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions. 

People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets.

Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, 

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

The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feedback loop.

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‘They started shooting into the crowd . . . it was barbaric’, says Nigeria witness @FT @neiLmunshi

“Don’t run! Sit down!” yelled the young woman on the stage at the hundreds of impassioned protesters in front of her. “Hold your flag . . . Nobody will attack us.”

But even as she was captured on video trying to calm the young Nigerians gathered at Lekki tollgate in Lagos for a protest against police brutality, gunfire was already crackling.

Soon, footage began to circulate online showing people fleeing and screaming as men in camouflage opened fire on the crowd. 

The violence in Africa’s biggest city on Tuesday night left at least 10 dead, according to Amnesty International, and the nation reeling.

“They didn’t take out a bullhorn . . . to say ‘we’re here to disperse the crowd’ — no . . . about seven of them walked [up] and standing four feet apart they started firing shots,” Akin Olaoye, a 38-year-old businessman, who helped organise food, water and security at the tollgate, told the Financial Times. “It was carnage.”

The nationwide protests in Africa’s biggest economy began this month after a video allegedly showing a Special Anti-Robbery Squad officer killing a man went viral under the #EndSARS hashtag. 

Sars has long been accused of gross human rights abuses, including murder, extortion and torture. 

The biggest demonstrations since the return of civilian rule in 1999 — which participants say are spontaneous, with no specific leaders or organisers — have been largely peaceful. 

But on Tuesday they were met with a brutal crackdown.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor, had earlier in the day imposed a lockdown on the city — ostensibly because of attacks on police stations but with many suspecting the aim was to shut down the rallies.

Ahead of the scheduled start of the curfew, hundreds gathered at the tollgate to continue their protest, with many singing the national anthem and waving the national flag as gunfire broke out.

“We decided we couldn’t leave because we are not here to run from the government — we are here demanding our rights,” Famade Ayodeji, 30, who works in logistics, told the FT.

“First they started shooting in the air, so we said, keep sitting on the floor, wave your flags, sing the national anthem — they are military, they won’t shoot you if you are waving a Nigerian flag. Then they started shooting into the crowd . . . it was barbaric.”

Many demonstrators said the assault seemed premeditated. They point out that street lights did not come on as usual amid the chaos on Tuesday night, while a large electronic billboard above the tollgate was switched off, leaving the scene in darkness later as, witnesses allege, soldiers removed bodies and bullet casings.

The government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has denied that anyone was killed in the crackdown or that the military was involved. But public mistrust runs deep.

“[The government] needs to understand this generation,” said Mr Olaoye. “We’re tired of the very disgraceful approach they’ve taken to governance, where they think they can create all kinds of propaganda and tell all kinds of lies when confronted with evidence.”

Lagos has been in lockdown since the violence, but armed gangs have roamed the city, setting fire to the high court, police stations and the offices of a leading television station and looting and torching stores. 

The scenes contrast with the peaceful movement of recent days. The demonstration at Lekki tollgate — the most prominent of the nationwide rallies — had been focused but festive. 

Protesters made speeches, led chants and shared stories of their brutalisation at the hands of the police from a makeshift stage.

DJs played sets. Vendors sold food and volunteers handed out water, while others organised legal aid and health services. 

Young Nigerians from all walks of life, from start-up founders and the scions of the country’s wealthy elite to minibus drivers and cooks, joined together to demand change.

“The Lekki protest was peaceful the whole time . . .[but] we have a country where the lives of the citizens don’t matter to anybody in power,” said Chike Okonkwo, 28, who said he counted at least seven people who had been shot.

“It tells me that we are not safe in our country, that if I’m going to bring children into this country somebody one day might shoot them for just demanding their rights.”

Mr Okonkwo and multiple other witnesses said the shooting was carried out by soldiers. The army has denied any involvement, although Mr Sanwo-Olu also suggested the military was responsible and has urged Mr Buhari, a former general who ran a military government in the 1980s, to investigate. 

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack.International condemnation was swift, with Antonio Gutteres, the UN secretary-general, Joe Biden, the US presidential candidate, and Amnesty International criticising the events. 

Mr Buhari addressed the country for 10 minutes on Thursday night, though he did not mention the Lekki shootings, seemed to conflate protesters with looters and said his decision to dissolve Sars and enact police reforms had “been misconstrued as a sign of weakness”.

“This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation,” he said, calling for an end to street protests.

Bishop Okoronkwo, 33, a restaurateur who had appeared onstage at the tollgate rally, said he hoped Nigerians would stay home and regroup. 

“Young people should just stay safe . . . don't die . . . just be careful, avoid their bullets,” said Mr Okoronkwo.

“We need to [regroup and] structure ourselves . . .[and] one day things will change . . . They can kill us but they can’t kill us all.”

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s Difficult Road to Recovery @IMFNews

Policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa now face the added challenge of rekindling their economies with fewer resources and more difficult choices.

In our latest Regional Economic Outlook, we project -3 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP in 2020, representing the worst outcome on record for the region. 

The drop will be even larger for economies dependent on tourism and commodity exports. Growth in the region should rebound modestly in 2021 to 3.1 percent, but for many countries, a return to 2019 levels won’t occur until 2022–24.

As the region looks toward the future, uncertainty over the path of the pandemic continues to loom over an enduring recovery.

However, countries in the region entered the crisis with significantly less fiscal space than they had prior to the global financial crisis of 2008–09. 

COVID-19 related fiscal support in sub-Saharan Africa has averaged 3 percent of GDP—markedly less than what has been spent in other regions of the world.

But more help is needed. Sub-Saharan Africa faces additional financing needs of $890 billion through 2023. 

Private financial flows are expected to fill less than half of that need, while current commitments from international financial institutions and bilateral donors will cover only one-quarter of the need. 

Under that scenario, the region still faces a projected financing gap of $290 billion through 2023.

Nelson Mandela once said, “may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” 

The long climb out of this crisis won’t come easy, but the actions and choices of today will be vital for a prosperous and resilient future for sub-Saharan Africa.

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Geneviève Verdier, IMF Algeria Mission Head, “the IMF remains committed to helping Algeria cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic” @Markbohlund

Geneviève Verdier, IMF Algeria Mission Head, “the IMF remains committed to helping Algeria cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Remote missions on capacity building have taken place, and the country team has worked with the authorities to obtain strategic advice.”

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COVID-19 Date of issue: 21 October 2020 @WHOAFRO

During the last seven, a total of 29 919 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 474 new deaths were reported from 46 countries, compared to 30 145 cases and 747 deaths registered during the previous seven days (7 - 13 October 2020). 

In the past seven days, 14 countries recorded a decrease in new cases by 20% or above: Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe and Seychelles. 

Twelve countries have recorded an increase in new cases by 20% or above in the past seven days: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Eritrea, Guinea- Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.

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Africa’s food and agricultural import bill averages $72bn a year, according to the FAO.

Agriculture is also vital for economic growth and political stability, accounting for 20 per cent of the continent’s gross domestic product and 60 per cent of its labour force.

In Ethiopia, which accounts for almost half of OCP’s sales on the continent, Mr Benameur says the company has helped increase maize yields by 50 per cent. “Remember Ethiopia, which was once known for famine,” he says. “It now exports maize to Kenya.”

3% Proportion of global fertiliser consumption accounted for by Africa. This compares with 57 per cent by Asia

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Guinea president retains election lead as protests turn deadly @Reuters

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde retained his lead on Wednesday in provisional results from the Oct. 18 election, beating his challengers in 14 constituencies out of 20 that have been announced by the electoral commission.

Earlier in the day, Conde appealed for calm following deadly clashes between opposition supporters and police.

At least six people were killed, including two police officers, and many injured when supporters of Conde’s main rival Cellou Dalein Diallo set piles of old furniture and tyres on fire in some opposition neighbourhoods of Conakry, Security Minister Damantang Albert Camara said.

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Tanzania President John @MagufuliJP The man who declared victory over coronavirus #COVID19 @BBC
Law & Politics

Tanzania President John Magufuli's idiosyncratic handling of the coronavirus pandemic has put the country in the global spotlight. Now one of the region's most unconventional leaders is seeking a second term.

When Covid-19 arrived in Tanzania, President Magufuli didn't believe in people staying at home. 

He wanted them to get into the churches and mosques to pray.

"Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ... It will burn instantly," Magufuli, a devout Christian, pronounced on 22 March from the altar of a church in Tanzania's capital, Dodoma.

He would later speak against social distancing and the wearing of masks, and questioned the efficacy of testing after sending various animals and fruit to be checked for the virus - he announced that a papaya, a quail and a goat had all tested positive. 

The president said he could not countenance closing down the economy, and excoriated neighbouring countries for doing so.

Although many might dismiss Magufuli's approach as eccentric, it is emblematic of his combative style.

When John Magufuli was declared president on his 56th birthday in October 2015, he seemed to be the sort of person Tanzania needed — an efficient, incorruptible president. 

His results-oriented actions were also framed as applicable to other African countries - a dose of what the continent needed to deal with its governance issues.

On the very first day of his presidency, he sent a stark message that he would not tolerate the country's chronic absenteeism in its civil service, when he visited the finance ministry offices asking for the whereabouts of those not at work.

He also purged thousands of so-called "ghost workers" - essentially non-existent employees - from the public payroll, and fired officials considered corrupt or under-performing, in public. Sometimes this was even done live on television.

And he clamped down on what he saw as extravagant spending, cancelling Independence Day celebrations for the first time in 54 years. 

Instead, he ordered a public clean-up, getting his own hands dirty by picking up rubbish outside State House.

In the first year of Magufuli's presidency, this approach earned him a great deal of praise, inspiring the Twitter hashtag: #WhatWouldMagufuliDo. 

While some posts mocked the president's austere policies - for example: "Was about to buy myself an oven then I asked myself #WhatWouldMagufuliDo" with a photo of a saucepan suspended over candles - others called for more African leaders to emulate his leadership style. 

In 2017, a Kenyan professor went so far as to call for the "Magufulication" of Africa during an address at the University of Dar es Salaam.

But from the outset, it was also clear there was a darker side to his leadership - that a number of his initiatives would slowly chip away at the country's democratic space.

In January 2016, barely two months into his term, his administration announced that state TV would no longer broadcast live parliamentary proceedings, as a cost-cutting measure. 

The opposition saw this as censorship as it was among the few ways it could hold the government to account. 

It planned demonstrations against the ban, but the government responded by banning all protests.

Another example of such censorship was Magufuli's response to a 2017 song by popular Tanzanian rapper Nay wa Mitego. Less than a day after its release, Mitego found himself in police custody.

"Is there still freedom of expression in this country?" the raspy-voiced artist, whose real name is Emmanuel Elibariki, had rapped.

"What if I speak and later find myself at Central [Police Station]?"

"Are there leaders who make stupid decisions? There are!"

"Are there those who miss [former president] Jakaya Kikwete? There are!"

He was accused of insulting the president and maligning the government. The fear he sang about had come true - he was now being detained at the Central Police Station in Dar es Salaam that he referenced in the lyrics.

Although President Magufuli ordered Nay wa Mitego's release just a day later, he advised that the song should be reworked to include lyrics about other problems in the society, such as tax cheats.

Magufuli's administration has continued to roll out a cocktail of bold and unusual directives, introducing new laws intended to increase revenue from multinational mining firms.

In 2017, Acacia Mining, a subsidiary of Canadian parent company Barrick Gold, was slapped with an incredible $190bn (£145bn) tax bill over royalties the government said it owed, though it denied any wrongdoing. 

As part of the settlement, Barrick eventually agreed to pay $300m after buying out Acacia, and a new operating company, Twiga Minerals, was formed with the government owning 16% of the joint venture. 

Barrick and the Tanzanian government also agreed to the sharing of unspecified future economic benefits from the mines on a 50-50 basis.

Then there was his highly contentious decree that Tanzanian schoolgirls who get pregnant cannot return to school even after they have given birth. 

And in 2018, Tanzania passed a law to punish anyone questioning official statistics, making the state the sole custodian of data. The World Bank said the changes were "deeply worrying".

But critics agree that Magufuli has contributed to Tanzania's development in recent years, investing in several large infrastructure projects such as the creation of a standard gauge railway to connect the country with its regional neighbours, the expansion of major highways, and the construction of a bus rapid transit system in the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam. 

He has also increased electricity production to the grid which has reduced the need for power rationing.

And he has revived the state-run national airline, Air Tanzania, which, plagued by debt and mismanagement for years, was effectively grounded with only one plane in its fleet when he took office.

The president appointed a new board and chief executive of the company, which has gone on to purchase six new planes and integrate others which were under maintenance.

The leader of the East African nation has also introduced free education for all Tanzanians in public schools up to the fourth year of secondary school.

But it is Magufuli's handling of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought particular international attention to his governance in recent months.

After the first case on 16 March, the only immediate shutdown was of schools and learning institutions. It took about a month for the country to bring in other restrictions - such as halting sporting activities and closing borders.

Buses and public transport carried fewer passengers, and numbers at pubs and restaurants were restricted, but World Health Organization (WHO) Africa director Matshidiso Moeti accused Tanzania of acting slowly to curb the spread of the virus.

"In Tanzania we have observed that physical distancing, including the prohibition of mass gatherings, took some time to happen and we believe that these might have been probable factors that led to a rapid increase in cases there," the WHO official said in April.

Markets and other workplaces stayed open as normal, as did places of worship.

"We have had a number of viral diseases, including Aids and measles. Our economy must come first. It must not sleep… Life must go on," Magufuli has said.

"Countries [elsewhere] in Africa will be coming here to buy food in the years to come… they will be suffering because of shutting down their economy."

In early June, Magufuli declared the country "coronavirus-free", and the health ministry also announced the closure of coronavirus treatment and isolation centres, which had been set up across the country.

Given Tanzania stopped publishing numbers of its coronavirus cases in May, it is difficult to verify how well the country's approach has worked. The country had 509 infections when it published its final tally on 29 April.

"The country operates in data darkness," Tanzanian analyst Aidan Eyakuze noted recently.

Hospitals around the country appear to be operating normally, though independent media and NGOs have not been able to check that themselves as access has been restricted. 

In July, doctors told the BBC that hospitals were not overwhelmed.

Magufuli was keen to deal with the virus on his own terms, rather than being influenced by the actions of other regional and international leaders. 

He styles his governance after Tanzania's first president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who was always fiercely independent.

"Our founding father was not someone to be directed to be told what to do… Those who devise these kinds of rules [lockdown] are used to making these directives that our founding father refused," Magufuli said, referring to Nyerere's habit of rejecting advice coming from Western nations, who the committed socialist distrusted.

Magufuli grew up under Nyerere's rule in a village in north-western Chato district along the shore of Lake Victoria, and says his modest background has inspired his own desire to work for the Tanzanian public.

"Our home was grass thatched, and like many boys I was assigned to herd cattle, as well as selling milk and fish to support my family," he said during his 2015 campaign.

"I know what it means to be poor. I will strive to help improve people's welfare," he added.

After school he worked for a year as a senior school maths and chemistry teacher before returning to further education. 

He worked for a few years as an industrial chemist before resigning in 1995 to run for the parliamentary seat in his own Chato constituency. 

After taking that seat, he quickly rose through the ranks to be appointed deputy minister for public works.

The department's senior minister, Mama Anna Abdallah, says his no-nonsense style, focused on efficiency and results, was quickly evident. In his first year in the job he succeeded in steamrolling through the building of a long-delayed road.

"He is a person who seems to want to leave a legacy… That's his character, he wants to make sure things are done properly," she told me.

By 2015, Magufuli wanted to run for the presidency. He is said to have been considered a consensus candidate for the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party - which had been in power for 54 years. 

Analysts say his lack of a political base was seen as an asset rather than a liability, his name not associated with corruption unlike some of his contemporaries.

The elections were the tightest in the country's history, but Magufuli pulled ahead to win with 58% of the vote.

As Tanzania approaches the vote for a new presidential term, calls for other regional leaders to emulate Magufuli's style have long diminished. 

He has faced criticism from political opponents, civil society and Western countries, who say he is oppressing the opposition, curtailing press freedom and holding foreign companies to ransom.

But as a president who has often styled himself as a stout African nationalist and a devout Catholic waging war against foreign powers seeking to exploit the East African nation, Magufuli is unlikely to be bothered by such censure.

In the country, few have stood up to him, but for some of those who have, the consequences have been grave.

The president's pronouncements are often final, says Zitto Kabwe, an opposition leader who has been arrested more than a dozen times since 2016.

"The state wants us to keep quiet, they threaten us. The best weapon for us is to speak up and radicalise even more," he told the AP news agency in July.

The main opposition candidate in the forthcoming election is Tundu Lissu from the Chadema party, who survived an assassination attempt in 2017, and required nearly three years in hospital abroad for treatment and rehabilitation. 

No-one has been convicted for the attempt on his life, and there have been no updates on the police investigation. 

A few weeks ago he was barred from campaigning by the electoral commission for seven days for alleged ethics violations regarding remarks he made against the president.

But while Magufuli discourages challenges to his authority, he is keen on speaking directly to members of the public and hearing what they have to say.

At the end of July, he chose to be driven rather than flown home from a state funeral so he could stop along the way to listen to bystanders' concerns.

 He stopped in Mkuranga and listened to their issues - about grabbed land, marital problems, women who had been disinherited, a school without desks. 

The president tried to find solutions, including holding a fundraiser on the spot.

An expat who worked for the multinational Telco says some of the country's civilians seem to genuinely love a president who gets things done.

As the fight for the presidency draws to a close, Magufuli has the advantage of incumbency, and is backed by a party that has never lost the presidency.

Opposition candidate Tundu Lissu is promising economic growth and respect for human rights. The other key opposition contender is Bernard Membe, a former minister and member of the CCM central committee, who is standing for the ACT-Wazalendo party.

If Magufuli does win a second term, he has promised to continue with infrastructural development and improve people's livelihoods.

But unless his style of governance changes, some opposition activists, independent journalists and critics will fear for their future.

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Refusing to wear a mask in Ethiopia could cost you two years in jail @ReutersAfrica

The restrictions prohibit shaking hands, not wearing a mask in a public place, seating more than three people at a table or not keeping “two adult steps” - around six feet - apart .

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Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya face devastating drought @nature H/T @WillKnocker

Every five or so years, it rips me apart to watch the same tragedy: a La Niña weather cycle brings devastating drought and hunger to East Africa, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. 

Using climate models and Earth observations, we can now predict these droughts. And once again, dry conditions are predicted from this month until December, with a very good chance of another poor rainy season in March to May 2021.

How firm is the drought prediction? Very. Almost all forecast models and climate agencies anticipate lower-than-normal rainfall between October and December. 

My group puts the chance at about 80%. Poor rains in March to May 2021 also seem likely. Of course, there’s uncertainty. But that shouldn’t prevent action. Forewarned is forearmed.

Conditions on the ground can deteriorate quickly. Today’s climate-model forecasts look a lot like they did in mid-2016 —

La Niña conditions are associated with cool sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific. But around Indonesia, the seas are very warm. That combination is drying East Africa.

If governments don’t take note, however, all the data collection and modelling is for nothing. 

Few nations in eastern and southern Africa use drought predictions adequately. 

For example, when El Niño-related drought was forecast in September 2015, it was ten months before an emergency was declared.

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Congo Republic Plans to Settle Domestic Debt Ahead of 2021 Vote @BloombergQuint

The Republic of Congo plans to settle its internal debt to stimulate the economy, starting with 300 billion CFA francs ($542 million), or about a third of the amount the government owes currently, according to the deputy Finance Minister.

The money was mobilized by the so-called Brazzaville Club, which comprises three commercial banks in the central African nation, Ludovic Ngatsé said by phone. 

While 25% is reserved for small operators, the remaining three-quarters is intended for “large accounts, with a good-faith commitment on their part to inject the proceeds into major projects,” he said. 

The economy of the highly indebted oil-dependent country will probably contract 8.6% this year and expand only 0.5% next year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. 

The payment of domestic arrears will serve as an economic stimulus before President Denis Sassou Nguesso seeks to extend his 23-year tenure in March elections. 

The Republic of Congo owes at least $6.77 billion to external funders, including $732 million to Glencore Plc, $966 million to Trafigura Group Ltd. and $2.23 billion to Chinese creditors. 

While the government began a three-year, $449 million loan program with the IMF in 2019, talks are on hold because the IMF is seeking clarification on debts owed to China, government spokesman Thierry Moungalla 

“While the IMF is making our lives difficult, the Brazzaville Club has been able to raise 300 billion francs without any preconditions,” Ngatsé said.

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President Kenyatta speaks to thousands of Wananchi at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground which has been renamed to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Complex. @StateHouseKenya
Law & Politics

The President encouraged Kisumu residents to back BBI saying the process is aimed at crafting a united, cohesive & progressive Kenya.

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“Camel milk is the elixir of life for many people,” Zamzam Haji says. Stick in hand, she walks behind her family’s camel herd in Laikipia County, in central west Kenya. FT

“The whole animal is medicine walking,” she says, flexing her muscles in a display of vigour. “The milk is medicine. It gives me strength and helps my bones because camel milk has the highest content of calcium.” 

Three years ago, she and her husband, Jamal Warsame, founded White Gold, one of the few companies in Africa pasteurising and bottling camel milk, which naturally has a fat content that is roughly equivalent to that of semi-skimmed cows’ milk. 

They sell between 10,000 and 15,000 litres a month, including flavoured varieties — chocolate, vanilla, strawberry — and are looking into making ice cream.

“There’s no policy framework for camel milk in Kenya, we need to raise awareness of the need for that,” says Mr Warsame.

So for now, White Gold is supplying a burgeoning local market — including lovers of “camelccino” coffees in the capital, Nairobi, and a handful of exports to Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. 

Africa hosts more than 80 per cent of the world’s camel population, with 60 per cent mainly in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. 

In sub-Saharan Africa, camels contribute some 5 per cent of total milk production, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is generally produced “under low-input, low-output systems”, according to the FAO, hence five litres a day is considered a decent yield.

“This is free-range milking with someone standing with a bucket on their knees,” says David Hewett, an agricultural economist who manages Mpala Ranch in Laikipia, a research centre home to 110 camels supplying milk to White Gold.

Camel milk’s lower levels of lactose when compared with cow’s milk make it better suited to those with intolerances and, according to preliminary scientific research, it could also help with diabetes, autism and other medical conditions, explains Pauline Gitonga, a veterinary consultant with the FAO in Kenya. “As researchers we are still assessing the medical value of camel milk,” she adds.

What is known is that it is three times as rich in vitamin C as cow’s milk and high in B vitamins, iron and unsaturated fatty acids.

“Such features account for the milk’s appeal not only to young camels and their nomad owners but to an estimated 200m potential customers in the Arab world — and millions more in Africa, Europe and the Americas,” the FAO has previously said.

His goal is to milk 30,000 litres per day by 2026, but in order to secure a minimum output of 3,000 litres at the start of the venture, he is keeping a herd of some 400 camels in the communal lands near the factory.

Back in Laikipia, the Haji family are now joined on the dirt road by Habiba Mowulid, an Ethiopian-Somali newcomer to the business, who owns seven camels. 

She became a herder only two years ago in order to support her four children — with money and with milk. “This is the milk of the future,” she says. “You can’t compare cow milk to camel milk at all.”

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Roadtrip to Garissa

We arrived at a village called Saldig. I drank fresh camel milk and ate goat. It was a very beautiful experience. I watched the sunset

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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October 2020

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