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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 15th of December 2020

The open vastness of Turkana and the north in general holds some deeply evolutionary and connective allure to my basis as a being. @just_sham_it

I’m sure those of you who have travelled to Marsabit and Turkana understand what I’m trying to say. 

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09-NOV-2020 :: The Spinning Top
World Of Finance

The World has spun at dizzying speed in 2020 and is bookended with the Decapitation of Qasem Soleimani and then the Political decapitation of President Trump by the [not so] ''Sleepy'' Joe Biden and who exits stage left twittering into the wilderness or is it Trump TV?

The demise of the Reality TV Star turned seriously vaudeville with Mr. Giulani mounting the last stand from the Four Seasons Total Landscaping next to Fantasy Island Adult Books across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center.

Some Folks seem convinced that the Prophet of Populism Donald J. Trump is going to lead his 70m Disciples into some major 5th generational chess moves but surely just as likely is an Unfolding psychological breakdown played out in front of our eyes on TV like Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of Salesman

“You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit.”

“If personal meaning, in this cheer leader society, lies in success, then failure must threaten identity itself.”

I’m tired to the death. The flute has faded away. He sits on the bed beside her, a little numb. I couldn’t make it. I just couldn’t make it, Linda.

Counterintuitively, The Trump Vladislav Surkov Talking Points which of course always feature George Soros are

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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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SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome

Prolonged SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding and recurrence of PCR-positive tests have been widely reported in patients after recovery, yet these patients most commonly are non-infectious. 

Here we investigated the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 RNAs can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome and that transcription of the integrated sequences might account for PCR-positive tests. 

In support of this hypothesis, we found chimeric transcripts consisting of viral fused to cellular sequences in published data sets of SARS-CoV-2 infected cultured cells and primary cells of patients, consistent with the transcription of viral sequences integrated into the genome. 

To experimentally corroborate the possibility of viral retro-integration, we describe evidence that SARS-CoV-2 RNAs can be reverse transcribed in human cells by reverse transcriptase (RT) from LINE-1 elements or by HIV-1 RT, and that these DNA sequences can be integrated into the cell genome and subsequently be transcribed. 

Human endogenous LINE-1 expression was induced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection or by cytokine exposure in cultured cells, suggesting a molecular mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 retro-integration in patients. 

This novel feature of SARS-CoV-2 infection may explain why patients can continue to produce viral RNA after recovery and suggests a new aspect of RNA virus replication.

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“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ― Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

“There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”

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@DrTedros @WHO chief may face genocide charges @thetimes

An American economist nominated for the Nobel peace prize has called for the head of the World Health Organisation to be prosecuted for genocide over his alleged involvement in directing Ethiopia’s security forces.

David Steinman accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 55, who took over at the WHO three years ago, of being one of three officials in control of the Ethiopian security services from 2013 to 2015.

Dr Tedros was the country’s health minister from 2005 to 2012 and its foreign minister until 2016, when his Tigray People’s Liberation Front party was the main member of the ruling coalition.

Mr Steinman, an economist and campaigner nominated for the peace prize last year, lodged the complaint at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

He claimed that Dr Tedros “was a crucial decision maker in relation to security service actions that included killing, arbitrarily detaining and torturing Ethiopians”.

Dr Tedros has risen to international prominence as the leader of the UN’s health body during the coronavirus pandemic. 

He is the organisation’s first leader without medical qualifications.

The complaint to prosecutors at the ICC comes after General Berhanu Jula, Ethiopia’s army chief of staff, called last month for the WHO leader to resign. He accused him of trying to procure weapons for the Tigray region, where the Ethiopian army is fighting local forces.

In his complaint, Mr Steinman pointed to a 2016 US government report on human rights in Ethiopia that found the “civilian authorities at times did not maintain control over the security forces, and local police in rural areas and local militias sometimes acted independently”.

Mr Steinman added that the US report cited “other documented crimes”. He accused Dr Tedros of being involved in the “intimidation of opposition candidates and supporters”, including “arbitrary arrest . . . and lengthy pre-trial detention”.

The complaint also alleged that Dr Tedros oversaw the “killing, and causing serious bodily and mental harm to, members of the Amhara, Konso, Oromo and Somali tribes with intent to destroy those tribes in whole or in part”.

Mr Steinman claimed that during the four years Dr Tedros “co-led” Ethiopia’s government, the regime “was marked by widespread or systematic crimes against humanity by subordinates”. 

His complaint can proceed only if it is adopted by prosecutors at The Hague court, which is independent of the UN. If they do, it would be the first prosecution of a senior UN figure.

Mr Steinman, a former consultant to the US National Security Council, was a senior foreign adviser to Ethiopia’s democracy movement for 27 years until its victory in 2018 under Abiy Ahmed Ali, the current prime minister.

Dr Tedros has denied the allegations and any wrongdoing. He issued a statement last month regarding the current situation in Tigray. “There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation,” he said. “This is not true and I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.”

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When that period ended, he said, “We have passed the worst.”
World Of Finance

Just weeks after the stock market crashed in 1929, President Herbert Hoover assured the country that things were already “back to normal,” Liaquat Ahamed writes in Lords of Finance

Five months later, in March 1930, Hoover said the worst would be over “during the next 60 days.”

When that period ended, he said, “We have passed the worst.”

Eventually, Ahamed writes, “when the facts refused to obey Hoover’s forecasts, he started to make them up.”

Government agencies were pressed to issue false data. Officials resigned rather than do so, including the chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And we all know how that turned out: The Great Depression.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2141

Dollar Index 90.726

Japan Yen 104.06

Swiss Franc 0.8878

Pound 1.3329

Aussie 0.7524

India Rupee 73.6555

South Korea Won 1093.09

Brazil Real 5.1203

Egypt Pound 15.7299

South Africa Rand 15.00735

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Declines in remittances in 2020 will affect all regions: @WorldBankKenya
Emerging Markets

• 16% in Europe & Central Asia

• 11% in East Asia & the Pacific

• 8% in the Middle East & North Africa

• 9% in Sub-Saharan Africa

• 4% in South Asia

• .02% in Latin America & the Caribbean

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Africa 15,748 #COVID19 cases yesterday exponentially grew total 0.70% to 2,246,973. @jmlukens

#SouthAfrica 7,999 cases yesterday more than half continent’s total with avg up 132% past 2wks.  

Africa 49,115 total deaths exponentially grew 0.68% yesterday and now averages 329 deaths/day.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating

As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.

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Thousands of people are believed killed and nearly a million fled their homes during air strikes and ground battles in Tigray @Reuters.

The government seized Mekelle, home to 500,000 people, on Nov. 28, and released a video last week entitled “Normalcy in the eyes of the residents” featuring interviews with Tigrayans.

Tigray’s airspace was reopened on Monday.

The government said mobile voice services in Mekelle and six other towns had been restored, and that electricity was also back in the regional capital. 

However, of 27 calls made by Reuters to Mekelle on Monday, only 6 connected.

A 40-year-old driver reached by phone in Mekelle said power was back but there was little water and food was extremely expensive. 

“People are going outside because they are hungry,” he told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

He said the price of fuel had jumped nearly 14 times from 22 birr ($0.57) before the conflict to 300 birr on the black market. 

A kilo of berbere, a popular spice, soared from 70 to 800 birr. Reuters could not verify the prices.

TPLF leaders, believed to be hiding in the mountains, have previously said they were fighting back. Reuters has not been able to reach them for comment for more than a week.

It has been near impossible to verify accounts from all sides due to the communications difficulties.

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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region on Monday called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops

The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” 

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Turning to Africa The Spinning Top

Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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Uganda: Stop killings and human rights violations ahead of election day @amnesty

The Ugandan authorities must take measures to immediately end the wave of human rights violations and abuses in the context of the ongoing election campaigns, said Amnesty International today with a month left to election day.

Voters in the East African country are due to go to the polls on 14 January 2021 to elect a president, members of parliament and local government representatives, in what is proving to be the most violent election period in the country’s history.

“With election day fast approaching, it is imperative that the Ugandan authorities reverse the persistent use of excessive force by the security forces, arbitrary arrests and detention and attacks on journalists. Authorities must ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice and that victims are granted access to justice and effective remedies,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

The campaign period has been characterized by killings, beatings and violent dispersal of opposition supporters using teargas and rubber bullets.

In the five weeks since electoral campaigns began on 9 November, dozens of people have been killed in election-related violence, most of them shot dead by police and other security forces, including unidentified gun-toting individuals in plainclothes, and dozens more have been injured.

President Yoweri Museveni has publicly stated that 54 people were killed on 18 and 19 November in the protests and unrest that followed the arrest of the leading opposition presidential candidate and popular musician, Robert Kyagulanyi (popularly known as Bobi Wine).

“That no less than 54 protesters were killed by police and other unidentified individuals in plainclothes in just two days should be a warning call to the world that worse may be yet to come as election day approaches,” said Deprose Muchena.

“While it is reasonable that the Ugandan authorities, like others elsewhere around the world, should take measure to halt the further spread of COVID-19, it is apparent that in Uganda, COVID-19 regulations have been weaponized and disproportionately applied to the opposition as pretext for political repression and to restrict their activities, and their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly,” said Deprose Muchena.

For his part, President Museveni, speaking at a political rally in Kotido town, northern Uganda, warned people against protesting, saying they would be “crushed”. 

He has also increasingly taken to anti-LGBTI rhetoric, which is deeply concerning given Uganda’s history of attacks on gay people. 

“Some of these groups are being used by outsiders; the homosexuals and other groups outside there who don’t like the stability and independence of Uganda. But they will discover what they are looking for,” he said in Kotido.

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This part of the film features fascinating footage showing Milton Obote's return to Uganda, May 1980. @Unseen_Archive

Obote had been overthrown (by Idi Amin) in Jan. 1971, and lived unhappy exile in Tanzania during Amin's presidency.

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At least 400,000 people have fled militant attacks in northern Mozambique, the UN @Refugees agency said @Reuters

Mozambique’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, home to gas developments worth some $60 billion, is grappling with an insurgency linked to Islamic State that has gathered pace this year, with insurgents regularly taking on the army and seizing entire towns.

Valentin Tapsoba, the southern African head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), said families who were rebuilding their lives after the destruction caused by Cyclone Kenneth in 2019 have had to flee from militant attacks.

“This is a situation starting in one country but if all the countries don’t get their act together to tackle it and wait too long, it could spread within the sub-region,” Tapsoba told Reuters by phone from Pempa in Mozambique.

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The Spread of Surveillance Technology in Africa Stirs Security Concerns @AfricaACSS

In 2019, Kampala police procured $126 million worth of closed circuit television camera (CCTV) surveillance technology from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to help control the city’s growing crime problem

Opposition and civil society leaders contend that the surveillance cameras, which rely on facial recognition technology, will be used instead to track and target government critics. 

This concern appears justified as an independent investigation has found that Ugandan intelligence officials are using the technology to crack the encrypted communications of popular singer and opposition leader Bobi Wine.

Similar concerns have emerged across the continent as over a dozen African countries have deployed surveillance devices in recent years. 

These countries represent a range of political systems, and the intended purposes of the surveillance systems vary. 

Nonetheless, these technologies present challenges to democratic norms and practices. Specifically, activists and digital rights organizations have raised concerns over privacy. 

The introduction of these technologies without institutional checks and balances renders citizens more vulnerable to political surveillance and suppression.

The growing accessibility of monitoring products in Africa has been made possible by the sales of foreign technology supported by soft loans, primarily from China

In addition to Huawei and other Chinese firms, which have built roughly 70 percent of the 4G network infrastructure on the continent, private cybersecurity and surveillance firms from Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, among others, have also been active in Africa.

“Remote-control hacking” is another form of surveillance technology that is spreading across the continent. 

These surveillance systems enable governments to access files on targeted laptops. 

They also log keystrokes and passwords as a means to turn on webcams and microphones.

Eavesdropping is another surveillance technique that allows governments to access calls, texts, and the locations of phones around the world. 

This technique, most closely linked to the Bulgarian-based surveillance firm Circles, an affiliate of the NSO Group, which developed the infamous Pegasus software, provides spyware technology to countries as a means to exploit faults in telecom systems. 

Several governments in African countries, such as Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, are reportedly using these systems to connect to their local telecommunications companies’ infrastructure to conduct surveillance.

The adoption of surveillance products in Africa is closely linked to Huawei’s Safe Cities projects. 

The Safe Cities concept makes use of a range of interconnected tracking devices, video cameras, software, and cloud storage systems to tap public and private platforms in a more cohesive manner to enhance public goals such as policing, managing traffic, and streamlining administrative services. 

Access to this web of systems ostensibly increases the visibility of police officers who can then agilely track and respond to crime in real time.

There is no robust evidence linking the adoption of surveillance technology and a decrease in crime in Africa. 

However, the spread of surveillance technologies in Africa does thrust the continent into a critical inflection point, torn between the increased capability to monitor citizens through widely available digital products and protections for democratic norms and practices

This is happening without much public debate due to an underappreciation of the implications.

Ethiopia’s approach to ICT investment is informative. With the help of Beijing, Ethiopia has championed the use of ICT technologies as an instrument to strengthen its local administrative capacity. 

For example, the Woredanet project digitally connects ministers in Addis Ababa with the country’s 950 district administrations (woredas), nine regions, and two city administrations.

This growing ICT capacity for local governments is tempered by Ethiopia’s poor record of internet freedom. Its online environment remains encumbered by regular internet shutdowns, which are motivated by political objectives. 

This suggests that the implementation of surveillance technologies is vulnerable to being abused. 

This vulnerability is compounded by Ethiopia’s lack of a comprehensive legal instrument to regulate privacy and data protection measures.

Ethiopia is not an outlier. Half of the countries in Africa do not have laws on data protection. 

Promoting national cybersecurity policies for the expanding use of digital surveillance devices is therefore an essential step toward advancing digital rights.

Huawei’s 2018 annual report maintained that its Safe Cities project serves over 100 countries.  

Huawei’s first African Safe City system  connected 1,800 high-definition cameras and 200 high-definition traffic surveillance infrastructures across Nairobi. 

Additionally, a national police command center was established to provide support to over 9,000 police officers and 195 police stations. 

These technologies aim to support crime prevention, as well as  accelerate response and recovery.

The benefits of the Safe City project are hard to verify and appear exaggerated. According to Huawei, crime rates from 2014 to 2015 decreased by 46 percent in areas supported by their technologies in Kenya

Yet, Kenya’s National Police Service reports indicate smaller reductions in crime during those years. Nairobi and Mombasa, the two cities with the surveillance technologies, have also seen increases in reported crimes in 2017 and 2018.

While Huawei’s Safe Cities model may provide a template, it is important to recognize that these governance and surveillance systems are being installed at the request of African governments. 

The relevant question, then, is to determine in which contexts are these surveillance tools being utilized to enhance the public good versus primarily to advance the repressive capacity of those in power. 

Given the diversity of African governments that have adopted the surveillance technology, answering this question must be determined on a country-by-country basis. 

This, in turn, will support reform strategies and illustrate the viability of locally driven policy solutions.

Priorities for Addressing the Misuse of Surveillance Technology

The impulse for governments to control information in a society and surveil citizens has always existed. 

In fact, this has been the focus of many African intelligence services over the years. The adoption of new surveillance technology in Africa, however, has dramatically empowered governments to do so—and at a scale not previously seen. 

What may have taken a whole army of operatives to do in the past can now be accomplished by a few engineers.

Building on country-level reform strategies and best practices, African legislators and digital rights advocacy groups can strengthen norms and regulations surrounding surveillance technology by establishing AU advisory panels to lay out recommendations. 

The African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection was established in 2014 to provide a framework for cybersecurity in Africa. 

As part of this, member states are asked to establish national cybersecurity policies as well as legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks for cybersecurity governance. 

Yet, the Convention requires the ratification of 15 countries to take effect. Thus far, only five countries (Namibia, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, and Mauritius) have done so.

The absence of a clear regulatory framework leaves many African countries vulnerable to misuse of surveillance technologies. 

While individual countries must continue to work toward domestically driven policy solutions, facilitating a shared understanding of regulatory approaches to these devices can accelerate the means to confront common concerns and illegitimate uses. 

By taking advantage of already established frameworks, these advisory panels can provide the necessary counsel on whether appropriate checks and balances are in place.

A common regulatory approach also has value given the increasing interconnectedness of information communication technology systems across nations. 

Additionally, many African countries lack the capacity in terms of expert personnel to facilitate the development and implementation of cybersecurity policy and regulatory frameworks. 

A common regulatory approach offers a collection of tools, policies, and guidelines that can enable local actors to more quickly protect their respective cyber environments.

Tapping available training content and programs consistent with domestic realities can support digital rights advocates and other stakeholders with essential facts and frameworks to engage constructively with the demands of digital rights and security concerns. 

Promoting cyber stability and increasing awareness of cybersecurity governance in Africa, moreover, helps support the establishment of enforcement mechanisms and the development of institutional capacities. 

International actors can also work with local African civil society organizations to strengthen checks and balances and address concerns over privacy. 

By supporting digital rights initiatives, international actors can empower and scale the work of local organizations.

African citizens are facing a digital inflection point. There is an urgent need to understand and strengthen the means of protecting digital rights as part of the broader array of civil liberties and political rights. 

To advance these goals, training, best practices, advisory panels, and conferences that include digital advocacy groups, policymakers, security professionals, and citizens can accelerate the learning curve on these issues and find policy solutions that ensure freedom while paying critical attention to security demands.

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In Ghana, deficit financing needs for 2021 are high and the upcoming Eurobond issuance will help. CB claims on government (government bond purchase program) are up to 35% of total assets as of September @elinaribakova

In Ghana, deficit financing needs for 2021 are high and the upcoming Eurobond issuance will help. CB claims on government (government bond purchase program) are up to 35% of total assets as of September (from 21% at the beginning of the year) w @BHilgenstockIIF

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March 2020 Debt, virus and locusts create a perfect storm for Africa @TheAfricaReport

He told Bloomberg, “Debt is not a problem, it’s very bad debt that’s a problem,”.

The point is this.

SSA Countries with no exception that I can think of have gorged on borrowing and balance sheets are maxed out.

Africa’s sovereign issuance in the Eurobond markets totaled $53bn in 2018 and 2019 and total outstanding debt topped $100bn last year.

Debt burdens have increased and affordability has weakened across most of Sub-Saharan Africa, while a shift in debt structures has left some countries more exposed to a financial shock, said Moody’s in November last year.

Very few of the investments made are within spitting distance of providing an ROI [Return on Investment].

Rising debt service ratios are best exemplified by Nigeria where the Government is spending more than half of its revenue servicing its debt.

More than 50% of SSA GDP is produced by South Africa, Nigeria and Angola.

South Africa reported that GDP in Q4 2019 shrank by a massive 1.4%.

Annual growth at 0.2% is the lowest yearly growth since 2009 and the tape is back at GFC times.

The rand which has been in free fall has a lot further to fall in 2020.

And this is before the viral infection.

Nigeria’s oil revenue is cratering and there is $16bn of ”hot money” parked in short term certificates which is all headed for the Exit as we speak. A Currency Devaluation is now predicted and predictable.

South Africa, Nigeria and Angola are poised to dive into deep recession.

East Africa which was a bright spot is facing down a locust invasion which according to the FAO could turn 500x by June.

It is practically biblical.

“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;” – 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

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Kenya orders 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine @TheStarKenya

• Doses to arrive early next year, to cover 20 per cent of Kenya's population  

•The announcement means Kenya has applied for the largest number of doses in East Africa.

Kenya has ordered 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, enough to cover 20 per cent of the country’s population, the Star has learnt.

This is approximately the cost also given by Gavi, which says each dose will cost about $3 (about Sh320).

The amount is already heavily discounted by Gavi through donations from a number of developed countries, the World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

“The first to be vaccinated will be frontline workers, then the vulnerable and the elderly,” acting director-general of Health Patrick Amoth told the Star.

He said Kenya did not dictate which vaccine to receive because Gavi has signed agreements with manufacturers of about nine vaccine candidates.

“The Oxford University-Astrazeneca candidate will be ideal for Kenya because it fits within our cold chain supply system. It can be stored in 2-8 degrees and we have refrigerators for that,” Amoth said. "It is also being tested in the country in Kilifi."

Pfizer- BioNTech’s, Moderna’s and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines have all reported efficacy of more than 90 per cent.

However, the first two require ultra-cold storage not widely available in Kenya.

The Pfizer candidate is also not among the contracted vaccines that will be supplied to poor countries through Gavi.

Kenya expects to receive a vaccine early next year, but Amoth did not specify the timeframe.

He said Kenya will grant emergency use approval to the appropriate candidate immediately that vaccine gets such approvals in Europe and the US.

“Once they get the approval from the European Medicines Agency and in the UK, then we will also consider granting such authorisation in Kenya,” he said.

The announcement means Kenya has applied for the largest number of doses in East Africa.

Last week on Thursday, Uganda’s Ministry of Health said it ordered nine million doses to cover 20 per cent of the country’s population of 43 million people.

“Plans are underway to secure additional doses of the vaccine to cover more people,” the Ugandan Health ministry said in a statement.

Uganda said it specifically applied for the Oxford University-Astrazeneca vaccine because it has no capacity to store other vaccines that require ultra-cold conditions.

Rwanda's Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije on Sunday also announced they had applied for either AstraZeneca or the Moderna vaccine.

Ngamije didn't, however, say how many doses they applied for but said they hoped Rwanda would be among the first countries in Africa to receive them.

It is not known if Tanzania, which claims there is no Covid-19 there, applied for any vaccine.

Separately, Egypt announced it applied for 20 million doses from Gavi, and expected to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In Egypt, priority will be given to medical staff, followed by those with chronic diseases, Health minister Hala Zayed said,

Egypt has also received its first batch of coronavirus vaccine, produced by the Chinese company Sinopharma.

Gavi is supplying Covid-19 vaccines to 92 developing countries, including Kenya, through a facility called Covax.

Covax was created by Gavi, Unicef and the WHO to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

The facility says it has already secured millions of ready-made doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate, ready for distribution to the 92 developing countries. 

The Geneva-based Gavi had given beneficiary countries up to December 7 to make their requests.

Experts say although there won’t be enough vaccines for every Kenyan, getting the shots to the right people could tame the pandemic.

Although Covax has signed agreements for nine different candidates, the Oxford candidate might reach developing countries first because it can utilise existing infrastructure in most countries.

The Oxford vaccine can utilise standard 2-8 degree cold chain infrastructure for transport, storage and delivery.

Gavi says it has already secured “hundreds of millions of doses” of the candidate through an MoU between Gavi and AstraZeneca, as well as through agreements between Gavi, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Serum Institute of India, the contracted manufacturer.

"Access to safe and efficacious Covid-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable groups everywhere in the world is the only way to bring the acute stage of this pandemic under control,” Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley said in a recent statement.

The Oxford vaccine — being tested in Kilifi in a phase I trial — uses a harmless, weakened version of a common virus that causes a cold in chimpanzees.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, said it has already manufactured millions of doses and will make millions more immediately governments authorise its use.

Kenya has formed a Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce, which will develop policies and guidelines on how the vaccines will be rolled out once available.

“These are processes that are currently underway. We are quite excited and we are going to have a discussion with AstraZeneca to ensure that Kenya is first in line because about eight countries are on trial for the vaccine,” Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said recently.

In September, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation endorsed new guidelines on groups to prioritise for vaccination while supply is limited.

The framework advises countries to prioritise health workers who are directly engaged in the Covid-19 response.

The framework also leaves countries to make their own decisions depending on the type of vaccines that are available and what countries intend to achieve.

“Health is not, however, the only dimension of wellbeing that has been severely affected by the pandemic,” the guidelines say.

This means the choice for Kenya might also depend on whether the highest priority for the country is just to prevent death or to curb the spread of the virus and return to normalcy.

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BREAKING: Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with neighbouring Kenya citing constant violation of Somalia’s sovereignty, statement. @HarunMaruf
Law & Politics

Somalia to withdraw diplomats from Kenya, gives Kenya diplomats to leave Mogadishu within 7 seven days starting tonight.

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BOC Publishes Offeror’s Statement, Paving Way for Takeover by Carbacid @tradingroomke
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied

The intended offer to acquire BOC Kenya PLC by listed Carbacid Investments Limited (CIL)  in collaboration with Aksaya Investments LLP has moved a stage further with the two entities fulfilling their legal obligation to serve on BOC an Offeror’s Statement.

In response to the service and in compliance with the Capital Markets Regulations governing takeovers and mergers for listed firms, BOC Kenya PLC on Saturday published the Offeror’s Statement acknowledging the intention by CIL and Aksaya Investments LLP to acquire up to100% of its ordinary shares.

The statement issued by BOC Kenya indicates that CIL and Aksaya Investments LLP are confident of BOC Kenya’s business prospects and are seeking to acquire the firm as part of a long-term investment strategy.

While BOC Kenya produces and supplies industrial, medical and special gases, CIL’s main operating subsidiary Carbacid (CO2) Limited is the region’s leading producer of food-grade carbon dioxide extracted from natural underground reservoirs in Kenya.

“The Offerors are aware that between the fiscal year 2015 and the fiscal year 2019, the Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of BOC has dropped by a Compounded Annual Growth Rate(CAGR) of 10.9% to Kes 145 million from a high of Kes 230.3 million. The Offerors acknowledge the changes in the performance of the business; however they believe in the underlying long term prospects of BOC’s business and product offerings and therefore have confidence in making this offer,” the Offeror’s Statement explains.

Among other elements, the Offeror’s Statement also confirms that at the close of the takeover deal, the existing contractual and statutory employment rights of all BOC Kenya employees will continue to be in force in accordance with the law.

CIL Chairperson Amb. Dennis Awori recently confirmed that BOC Kenya’s United Kingdom-based majority shareholder, BOC Holdings supports the intended offer and has issued an irrevocable undertaking to sell its 65.38%stake in BOC Kenya.

Amb. Awori further explained that the proposed acquisition of BOC Kenya by CIL and Aksaya is an excellent match that will, in the longer term, position the enlarged group to become the leading regional supplier of choice for carbon dioxide gas and related products, industrial, medical and special gases, and related equipment and services.

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Carbacid Investments Ltd. share price data
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied

Closing Price:           11.95

Market Capitalization: 3,045,481,257

EPS: 1.27

PE: 9.409

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B.O.C Kenya Ltd.
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied

Closing Price: 57.00

Market Capitalization: 1,112,950,422

EPS: 2.86

PE:  19.930

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

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