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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 16th of June 2021

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Anybody can be decisive during a panic It takes a strong Man to act during a Boom. VS NAIPAUL
World Of Finance

“The businessman bought at ten and was happy to get out at twelve; the mathematician saw his ten rise to eighteen, but didn’t sell because he wanted to double his ten to twenty.”

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An old warrior was sighted yesterday, King Loonkito at Amboseli National Park. He is over 17 years old and with one female. @LIONLOVERS5

He's got to be the oldest lion in the wild and many thought he was dead as he had not been seen for a very long time.

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Who killed the lab leak hypothesis? @alexandrosM
Law & Politics

Jeremy Farrar got news of the outbreak early, he hand-picked experts to advise world leaders, and made sure institutions spoke as one: "There was no leak, the virus emerged naturally".

On 2019's last day, the head of China's CDC called him

04-JAN-2021 ::  What Will Happen In 2021

Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

Those who have chosen to propagate this narrative are above the radar and in plain sight and need to be called to account. 

The Utter Failure to call these 5th columnists to Account is the clearest Signal that there is no external threat because it is already on the inside.

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Footnote: “[possibly add brief explanation that this does not preclude an unintentional release from a laboratory studying the evolution of related coronaviruses].”. Somehow the final version does not mention this. @alexandrosM
Law & Politics

After discussion, the first draft of their response includes this footnote: “[possibly add brief explanation that this does not preclude an unintentional release from a laboratory studying the evolution of related coronaviruses].”. Somehow the final version does not mention this.

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“No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to Heidi
Law & Politics

Thomas Pynchon in Bleeding Edge “No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to Heidi, "these are the places we should be looking, not in newspapers or television but at the margins, graffiti, uncontrolled utterances, bad dreamers who sleep in public and scream in their sleep.”

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Beijing’s useful idiots @unherd @ianbirrell
Law & Politics

Just over a year ago, I stumbled across an intriguing scientific paper. It suggested the pandemic that was ripping around the world was “uniquely adapted to infect humans”; it was “not typical of a normal zoonotic infection” since it first appeared with “exceptional” ability to enter human cells. 

The author of the paper, Nikolai Petrovsky, was frank about the disease when we spoke back then, saying its adaptability was either “a remarkable coincidence or a sign of human intervention”. 

He even broke the scientific omertà by daring to admit that “no one can say a laboratory leak is not a possibility”.

Yet this is the same prestigious journal that published a now infamous statement early last year attacking “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin“. Clearly, this was designed to stifle debate. 

It was signed by 27 experts but later turned out to have been covertly drafted by Peter Daszak, the British scientist with extensive ties to Wuhan Institute of Virology.

To make matters worse, The Lancet then set up a commission on the origins — and incredibly, picked Daszak to chair its 12-person task force, joined by five others who signed that statement dismissing ideas the virus was not a natural occurrence.

The pangolin link was a false trail laid from China. 

“The game seems to be for Nature and The Lancet to rush non-peer revised correspondences to set the tone and then delay critical papers and responses.”

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

What is clear is that the #COVID19 was bio-engineered The Science [and I am not a Scientist is irrefutable and in the public domain  for those with a modicum of intellectual interest. 

This information is being deliberately suppressed.

This took me to Thomas Pynchon

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”

“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.”

 Now Why are we being led away from this irrefutable Truth

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04-JAN-2021 :: What Will Happen In 2021

Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 

Those who have chosen to propagate this narrative are above the radar and in plain sight and need to be called to account. 

The Utter Failure to call these 5th columnists to Account is the clearest Signal that there is no external threat because it is already on the inside.

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Xi has taken calculated risks. The muscular and multi-faceted nature of Chinese Power is seen in its handling of COVID19
Law & Politics

Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment  

Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain, the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’

It remains a remarkable achievement

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New global cases fairly steady, with R still below 1.0 - but rising. @video4me

In deaths per million, Argentina¹⁷ overtakes UK¹⁸.

>15%: Saint Kitts and Nevis²⁰⁵

>5%: Fiji¹⁹⁵

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09-MAY-2021 The Markets The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance

On 8th March when the Bears had gotten hold of the US 10 Year, I wrote that I expected the 10 Year to target 1.45% well we got real close on Friday before the market reversed 

Ten- year yields initially plunged to a more than two-month low of 1.46%, then reversed to end the day at 1.58%. However, I am resetting my target Yield to 1.25% now.

Given the volume of money Printing and the extraordinary stimulus I have to say that the US Recovery is actually really weak and I believe it will be very short lived and the Penny will drop soon with the Bond Market and the Shorts will be forced to cover.

The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM! 

I beg to differ

Furthermore The Central Banks are in a corner. 

They have fired a lot of bullets and even if there was a meaningful bounce they cannot raise rates.

Here is why central banks are trapped and cannot raise rates even if inflation rises: @dlacalle_IA Feb 2 

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U.S. retail sales declined in May, after a stimulus-related splurge in the prior two months
World Of Finance

The total value of retail purchases fell 1.3% in May following an upwardly revised 0.9% gain in April, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. 

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.8% decrease.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2126

Dollar Index 90.449

Japan Yen 109.96

Swiss Franc 0.8980

Pound 1.4118

Aussie 0.7702

India Rupee 73.3685

South Korea Won 1117.25

Brazil Real 5.0452

Egypt Pound 15.654

South Africa Rand 13.772

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The countries with the highest reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2 as estimated from reported cases are listed below. All are in Africa, except 1. @lrossouw

The average daily cases over the last week is also shown.  Some have very low numbers of cases but all have large R.  All are in Africa, except 1.

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Vaccines and oxygen run out as third wave of Covid hits Uganda @guardian

Uganda has all but run out of Covid-19 vaccines and oxygen as the country grapples with another wave of the pandemic.

Both private and public medical facilities in the capital, Kampala and in towns across the country – including regional hubs in Entebbe, Jinja, Soroti, Gulu and Masaka – have reported running out or having acute shortages of AstraZeneca vaccines and oxygen. 

Hospitals report they are no longer able to admit patients to intensive care.

Several vaccination centres and hospitals across the country have suspended programmes, throwing into doubt efforts to vaccinate 21.9 million high-risk people.

Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organization’s representative to Uganda, confirmed that as of Monday, the National Medical Stores, Uganda’s central distribution hub for all public health facilities, had run out of vaccines.

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) said the situation was dire, as the country records week-on-week increases in new cases. 

The WHO reported 1,735 confirmed cases on Sunday 13 June, compared with 60 cases on 13 May– an increase of nearly 2,800%. 

As of Monday, the total number of confirmed cases stood at 60,250 with 423 deaths.

Last week, the WHO warned of a third wave of the pandemic across Africa, with 90% of countries likely to miss a vaccination target of at least 10% of their populations by September.

More than 3.6 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in 47 countries in the WHO’s Africa region. Eight countries, including Uganda, had seen a more than 30% rise in cases in the space of a week.

“We really feel it’s an emergency,” said Mukuzi Muhereza, UMA secretary general. “We are receiving SOS [calls] for oxygen and human resources from health facilities across the country.

“It’s dire, especially in public hospitals, which fill first because they are free. Many people are being turned away from hospitals because of few spaces,” he said.

“We need to expand equipment capacity and human resources to continue to offer these services and respond to this crisis.”

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, a Ministry of Health spokesman, claimed there were still some stocks.

“The hospitals that need their second shots, some have not been able to find stock and replenish their doses,” he said. 

“We hope by the end of this week [that] every vaccination centre would have been restocked. We expect to receive 175,000 doses of AstraZeneca this week.”

Uganda received 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via the UN’s Covax scheme, and more than 100,000 doses from the Indian government in March. At least 660,000 more doses are expected from Covax in early August.

The health ministry said 786,160 people had been vaccinated in the past three months.

“I desperately need a Covid-19 jab,” said Josephine Namukasa, a businesswoman in Kampala. 

She said she had “moved from one vaccination centre and hospital to another for the past week” in search of doses.

“I am told the vaccines are not there. I am told to wait until the vaccines arrive in the country. I am here, stuck,” she said.

Meanwhile, police in Kampala arrested 10 people over the alleged theft of 600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from public health facilities to sell to private pharmacies. There have also been arrests over thefts of oxygen cylinders.

On Sunday, the National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of Uganda’s armed forces, announced it had started the production and supply of oxygen cylinders and face masks.

Muhereza said the government had installed oxygen plants at referral hospitals “but now you need massive, massive amounts of oxygen that isn’t there”.

“We locked [down] earlier last year … Why didn’t we see these things coming and ameliorate?” he asked.

Last week President Yoweri Museveni announced a partial lockdown with schools, places of worship and markets ordered to close for 42 days. Public gatherings and some travel have been banned.

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Uganda’s military started producing medical oxygen to bridge supplies in hospitals facing rising cases of Covid-19. @Politics

National Enterprises Corp., a unit of the army, has begun output at its Luwero Industries Ltd. unit north of the capital, Kampala, army spokeswoman Flavia Byekwaso said by phone Tuesday, without providing further details.

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Youth vs the gerontocrats: a potent political force tests Africa’s ageing rulers @FT @davidpilling @AndresSchipani @neiLmunshi

Until last November, Luzige Masudi, a skinny young man with the physique of a ballet dancer, made his money as a hip-hop artist, paid to dance at clubs and bars in Kampala, the boisterous Ugandan capital. But for now at least, 20-year-old Masudi’s dancing days are over.

On November 18, he was shot in the chest and face by a soldier during a protest against the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, the 39-year-old ragga star turned voice of Uganda’s disaffected youth. 

Masudi is one of an estimated 770 of Wine’s followers who were arrested or “disappeared” by authorities in the run-up to January’s presidential election. Another 80 were killed, according to the National Unity Platform, Wine’s party.

“It’s tough living in Uganda as a young person,” he says. “There are no job opportunities for young people. I don’t think there are any opportunities.” 

After three months in hospital guarded by security guards, Masudi escaped and is now in hiding. 

Unable to dance because of the pain, he quotes an expression in Luganda, one of Uganda’s main languages: “When someone presses you hard, blood gushes out.”

Even before the election, Masudi barely got by, earning about USh200,000 ($56) a month from gigs and odd bricklaying jobs. Politically, his protests were in vain. 

Wine, the red beret-wearing presidential candidate, was prevented from holding rallies, ostensibly because of Covid-19 restrictions, and social media platforms were blocked. 

Yoweri Museveni, the 76-year-old president now in his 35th year of power, notched up yet another controversial victory.

Uganda, where the median age is 16.7, young even for Africa, has come to epitomise a continent in which a cadre of immovable gerontocratic leaders of Museveni’s generation are fighting an unstoppable urban force: hundreds of millions of disenfranchised, ambitious and often unemployed young people who are fed up with politics-as-usual and a lack of opportunities. 

Without significant political and economic reforms, the disparities could threaten the stability of some governments — as has already happened in the likes of Sudan and Algeria. 

This clash of youth against gerontocrats, some of whom are former military men, is playing out in the world’s youngest continent where three in every five people are under 25

The median age in Africa is 19.7 against 42.5 in Europe and 48 in Japan. The average age of Africa’s leaders is 62, according to the UN Development Programme.

In theory, a young population can be an economic boon, bringing energy, technological skills, new ideas and a bulging workforce. 

President Emmanuel Macron of France has called African youth “the most dynamic in the world” and the continent’s principal asset. 

Many nations in Europe, the US and Asia are grappling with the opposite problem. Just this month, China, which like the US has a median age of 38, allowed couples to have three children — a reversal of decades of population control.

Yet in Africa the supposed demographic dividend remains mostly theoretical. 

Not enough jobs are being created to absorb what could be a productive workforce. 

Few governments have done anything like enough to engineer the conditions — in education, infrastructure, rule of law or ease of doing business — to attract domestic or global investors

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which measures a series of indicators across the continent, has consistently shown a broad, if imperfect, correlation between democratic accountability, institutional strength and economic progress.

Unemployment numbers are almost meaningless, disguising as they do chronic underemployment. 

But even official data paint a horrifying picture, with jobless rates for 15 to 25-year-olds well above 50 per cent in both Nigeria and South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa’s two biggest economies.

Fertility rates across much of the continent remain high, at an average of about 4.5 children per woman. 

That means populations are continuing to grow quickly — the number of Africans is likely to nearly double over the next 30 years — while the so-called dependency ratio of working to non-working age population stays elevated. 

Much of Asia’s growth miracle occurred when fertility rates fell sharply, lowering the dependency ratio and increasing the relative size of the productive workforce.

Lack of work means that many young people, especially in the cities, are obliged to do odd jobs, hawk on the streets or start their own microbusinesses. The lucky few become coders or entrepreneurs. 

But while some agitate for political change, others drift into crime or even terrorism, a rising problem across the Sahel and in much of Africa from Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to northern Mozambique.

Officials in some countries are aware of the importance of delivering reforms. In Djibouti, where 73-year-old President Ismail Omar Guelleh has run the country in the Horn of Africa since 1999, some 70 per cent of youngsters are unemployed.

 “There is a very strong, natural demographic growth,” says Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Djibouti’s finance minister. “The risk is there, and it will be more and more pressing. That’s why we don’t have the time. We have to reform. We have to offer opportunities.”

Digital era

As well as demographic trends, two other forces are turning Africa’s youth into a potent political force: urbanisation and technology

Of the world’s 30 fastest-growing cities, 21 are in Africa, according to the UN. In 1990, less than a third of Africa’s population lived in cities. By 2015, that had risen to half, according to the Paris-based OECD.

Africa’s youth is also connected. Of the 1.2bn people on the continent, 477m have unique mobile subscriptions, according to GSMA, the mobile trade body

Thanks to the falling price of smartphone handsets made by companies such as Transsion, a Chinese manufacturer, 272m people are mobile internet users. 

WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook, is a near-ubiquitous communication tool.

More people in cities thus have access to both information and the power to organise, including planning protests. 

Surveys by Afrobarometer and other polling organisations show that the aspiration for democracy is strong, as is impatience with sham democracies that prolong the tenure of multi-term autocrats. 

“It means having a first world mindset, but being stuck with Third World leaders with Third World ideas,” Wine told the Financial Times shortly after Museveni’s latest inauguration in Uganda last month.

Africa’s leaders well understand the dangers of rapid, free-flowing information in helping opposition forces to organise. 

Last year alone there were 26 internet shutdowns in Africa, according to Access Now, an independent monitoring group.

In Uganda, social media platforms were blocked for much of the election campaign. 

“We are in a digital era,” says Sarah Bireete, director of the Center for Constitutional Governance in Kampala. “One of the examples to show that Museveni is detached from reality is the way he casually shuts off the internet.”

This month, the government of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s 78-year-old president, banned Twitter from mobile networks indefinitely after the social media company removed a tweet in which the president threatened a violent crackdown against people in the south-east. 

The government said that the platform had been persistently used for “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

‘Out for themselves’

Internet shutdowns or not, these converging forces of demographics, urbanisation and the spread of information amount to a potent mix. 

In country after country young people are becoming a new political force, a nemesis of out-of-touch leaders sometimes three or four times their age. 

But like Museveni, many leaders have become skilled at gaming systems that are democracies in name only.

This new force has already played decisive roles in securing political change in some countries. 

In Sudan, in an echo of the Arab spring, disenchanted young professionals led months of protests that culminated in April 2019 in the military overthrow of Omar al-Bashir after 30 years in power. 

In the same year in Algeria, predominantly youthful protesters triggered the ousting of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the then 82-year-old president who had insisted on retaining power even though he had not spoken in public since 2013 after suffering a stroke. 

In Ethiopia, young nationalists in the Oromo region, known as Qeerroo, helped topple the 27-year-old regime of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, paving the way for Abiy Ahmed, now 44, to become Africa’s youngest leader.

Many leaders are well aware of this new force. In relatively stable Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta, 59, said last year: “We have a youth bulge that, if not properly handled, can be a time-bomb that can blow this country to pieces.”

In other countries, young people have mobilised politically only to be crushed by the state. 

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 210m people (125m of them under 25), tens of thousands of young people began protesting in 2017 against police brutality. 

Their social media-driven mass movement #EndSARS, named for the notoriously violent Special Anti-Robbery Squad, has sometimes been compared with the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. 

The movement was halted in October 2020 when members of the Nigerian army opened fire at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, the commercial capital, killing 12.

Many have blamed the bloody denouement on Buhari who, like Bouteflika, has often been absent in moments of crisis. 

A former military leader who won the presidency on his third attempt in 2015, Buhari spent months of his first term on medical leave in London for an unnamed ailment. 

“Young people are just generally alienated from the government, and old people are not willing to let go of power,” says Rinu Oduala, a 22-year-old Nigerian activist. 

“What happened at Lekki tollgate was a crackdown on a youthful population that was showing exemplary leadership,” she says of the largely peaceful demonstrations. “The ruling elites weren’t able to see that.”

On Kukawa Street in Lagos Island, Grace Ojo, an administrative officer at a law firm, ticks off the challenges facing Nigeria, a country whose population is projected to reach 400m by 2050, and evident in other, less populous countries. 

They include soaring inflation, sluggish growth, a near-absence of social services, rampant corruption at every level of government and a decrepit power supply. 

“We are not fine right now,” she says. “These old people are weak, and they are just out there for themselves.”

Ojo says it is hardly surprising that some of Nigeria’s youth should adopt the extractive methods of earning a living they see all around them. 

Violence and insecurity have spread to nearly every corner of the country and thousands have been killed or kidnapped by roving gangs of armed criminals. 

“The youth don’t have anything to do, so they turn to criminality because the so-called leaders are corrupt themselves,” she says. “What do you expect the youth to do? They follow their example.”

Buhari is a rare two-term gerontocrat in west Africa, a region full of leaders who are loath to budge. 

Some seek to rule for life like Equatorial Guinea’s 79-year-old Teodoro Obiang, who has held on to power since 1979 when he overthrew his uncle in a coup. 

Others enact constitutional changes allowing them to prolong power: last year, Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast’s 79-year-old president, and Alpha Condé, Guinea’s 83-year-old leader, were both re-elected beyond original term limits, brushing off significant protests against the moves.

In Cameroon, which faces a separatist crisis in its anglophone regions, president Paul Biya is a decade older than Buhari and has ruled for nearly seven times as long. 

Biya, 88, spends much of his time at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva. His four decades in power mean that most Cameroonians — 62 per cent of whom are under 25 — have known only one leader.

Zacheus Angwabong, a 22-year-old student and activist with Stand Up For Cameroon, says of his country’s ageing elite: “When you have people who know that they are operating at the end of their lives, they don’t promote sustainable development because they know they will not be alive to enjoy those facilities.” 

Angwabong argues that, in Cameroon at least, young people are partly to blame because they have disengaged from the political process. “They have left politics to the old,” he says.

Dynastic succession erodes the legitimacy of many countries’ political systems. Biya’s 49-year-old son Franck is reportedly being groomed to replace him as Cameroon leader. 

In nearby Gabon, President Ali Bongo replaced his father Omar in 2009 after he died following 42 years in power. 

Last month, after the death of Chad’s 68-year-old president-for-life Idriss Déby on the battlefield, his son Mahamat was swiftly installed. 

In Uganda, some believe Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a military officer, may someday replace his father.

Without improvements in democratic accountability, experts and activists warn, more civil strife is likely in many countries as youthful movements step up their demands for a change from the old guard.

Last month, days before the sixth presidential inauguration of Museveni on May 12, fighter jets flew low, armoured cars paraded the streets of Kampala, and snipers stood on rooftops to scare away potential young troublemakers. 

“The government harshly engages the youth who riot, but needs to learn to address the social and economic reasons for the discontent,” says Fred Muhumuza, an economist at Makerere University in Kampala.

Meanwhile, Museveni’s challenger Wine was trapped in his house, surrounded by soldiers. “It is a pain not only to have an old president, but to have a person that is disconnected in terms of mindset,” he said. “They use brute force to try and subjugate and silence the angry and outspoken young people.”

But Wine has a warning for those leaders on the continent who can neither provide their young people with opportunities nor are willing to leave power when their time is up. 

“Those who make peaceful change impossible,” he said, “make violent revolution inevitable.”

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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.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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Sudan's prime minister @SudanPMHamdok warns of risk of chaos, civil war @Reuters

KHARTOUM, June 15 (Reuters) - Sudan's prime minister warned on Tuesday of the risk of chaos and civil war fomented by loyalists of the previous regime as he sought to defend reforms meant to pull the country out of a deep economic crisis and stabilise a political transition.

Abdalla Hamdok made the comments in a televised address days after young men carrying clubs and sticks blocked roads in the capital Khartoum following the removal of fuel subsidies.

Hamdok's government serves under a fragile military-civilian power-sharing deal struck after a popular uprising spurred the army to overthrow veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

The transition is meant to last until the end of 2023, leading to elections.

"The deterioration of the security situation is mainly linked to fragmentation between components of the revolution, which left a vacuum exploited by its enemies and elements of the former regime," Hamdok said.

He said that without reform of Sudan's sprawling security sector, which expanded under Bashir as he fought multiple internal conflicts, 

Sudan will continue to face internal and external threats.

"These fragmentations can lead us to a situation of chaos and control by gangs and criminal groups, just as it can lead to the spread of conflict among all civilian groups and might lead to civil war."

Though Sudan has won international praise for economic reforms since Bashir's fall and has made progress towards debt relief, many Sudanese face food shortages or have struggled to make ends meet as prices have soared over the past year.

Inflation hit 379% in May and electricity or water outages occur daily.

While roadblocks have often been used in protests triggered by economic or political grievances since 2018, a Reuters witness saw more aggression around the barriers set up in recent days.

The state government said police and prosecutors would deal with what it called the gangs involved in blocking the roads, but there appeared to be little police presence on the streets.

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In 2019, Africa's share of global trade about 2.8% @RencapMan

This is what happens when everyone else industrialises but too few countries in Africa do - the share of global trade just keeps falling because in the long-term it is industrial goods we keep spending money on, not commodities. In 2019, Africa's share of global trade about 2.8%

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Ethiopian elections: Key states in regional structure @AFP

Ethiopia's national elections will draw in voters from seven of 10 semi-autonomous regions, highlighting the country's rich history and striking diversity.

The regional system dates back to the early 1990s and was designed to allow for ethnic self-rule.

From the mountains of northern Tigray to the savannah of Ethiopia's south, the regions feature distinct landscapes and languages -- and their own tensions that will shape the outcome of balloting.

Here is a look at some of the key Ethiopian states:

- Oromia -

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who hopes the elections will deliver him a popular mandate, is the first Ethiopian leader to hail from the most populous region, Oromia.

He assumed the office in 2018 on the back of several years of anti-government protests led by ethnic Oromo youth denouncing perceived economic and political marginalisation.

But while protesters cheered Abiy's appointment, Oromia remains as restive as ever.

These days, prominent Oromo nationalists like Jawar Mohammed denounce Abiy as a poor champion of their interests. They have been at the centre of protests -- and subsequent crackdowns -- that have killed hundreds.

The shooting death a year ago of Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa kicked off an especially bloody conflagration that spurred mass arrests targeting, among others, Jawar and his fellow Oromo opposition leader Bekele Gerba.

Two of the most prominent Oromo opposition parties, the Oromo Federalist Congress and the Oromo Liberation Front, are not participating in this year's vote, complaining their candidates have been arrested and their offices vandalised.

Campaigning has thus been muted across the region.

- Amhara -

A more competitive race is expected in Ethiopia's Amhara region, the second most populous.

Amhara youth also joined the protest movement that swept Abiy to power in 2018, but the local arm of Abiy's Prosperity Party now faces stiff resistance from the more hard-line opposition National Movement for Amhara (NAMA).

The region has experienced its share of turmoil under Abiy.

Two years ago forces commanded by the Amhara security chief killed the region's president and other top officials in what Abiy's office described as a failed "regional coup" bid.

More recently Amhara security forces have played a prominent role in the seven-month-old conflict in Tigray, backing up the army while annexing parts of Tigray that Amhara leaders claim belong to them.

Their involvement, particularly in western Tigray, has drawn global denunciation, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken lambasting what he describes as "ethnic cleansing".

Amhara also abuts Sudan and risks being drawn further into a simmering conflict over the disputed Al-Fashqa region, where Ethiopian farmers cultivate fertile land claimed by Khartoum.

- Tigray -

There will be no voting at all for now in Tigray, where world leaders warn the fighting is birthing a humanitarian catastrophe.

For decades the northernmost region was headed by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which led the charge to oust longtime dictator Mengistu Hailemariam in the early 1990s and then dominated Ethiopia's ruling coalition until Abiy took office.

Mutual tensions spilled over into war last November when Abiy sent in troops, a move he said came in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps.

But while Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, vowed the conflict would be brief, intense fighting persists in much of the region, reports of atrocities continue to proliferate, and UN agencies say some 350,000 people are enduring famine conditions.

- Benishangul-Gumuz -

Long considered one of Ethiopia's more peripheral regions, Benishangul-Gumuz gained new prominence in 2011 when then-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi launched construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a mega-project on the Blue Nile River that Ethiopians see as the solution to their power and development woes.

The dam, a rare unifying issue within Ethiopia, has triggered a protracted diplomatic dispute with downstream countries Sudan and Egypt, who worry it will jeopardise essential water supplies.

Benishangul-Gumuz has also been the site of some of Ethiopia's worst ethnic violence in recent years, with repeated massacres making voting impossible in four constituencies there.

- Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region -

Multiple ethnic groups in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' region (SNNPR) have taken advantage of Abiy's premiership, and his initial push to liberalise Ethiopia's democratic space, to demand expanded rights.

Around 10 groups in the south have long wanted to form their own regions, a move permitted under the constitution.

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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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Galp to hold off on LNG investment until Mozambique ensures security @Reuters

Portugal's Galp Energia (GALP.LS), a partner in an Exxon Mobil-led gas consortium in Mozambique, will not invest in onshore plants there until authorities guarantee security and social stability, which may take time, CEO Andy Brown told Reuters.

This marks a second setback to Mozambique's hopes to develop a major liquefied nature gas (LNG) hub in the coming years after TotalEnergies (TOTF.PA) suspended its own, separate LNG project in the country.

But the CEO of Galp, which has a 10% stake in the consortium, told Reuters on Monday his company did not include investments in Rovuma's onshore facilities in its net capital expenditure plan for the next five years.

"It means that at the moment it's very hard for us to predict when the time to invest will be," Brown said.

"Last year we were really planning to have built Rovuma by 2025 and I don't want to make a promise on Rovuma and then disappoint the market again," he said.

The other major partner, Italy's Eni (ENI.MI), declined to comment.

3 JUN 14 ::  Mozambique: #Africarising - Mozambique Could Be the Next Qatar [“Events, dear boy, events”]

“The precocity of the Indian Ocean as a zone of long-range navigation and cultural exchange is one of the glaring facts of history’, made possible by the ‘reversible escalator’ of the monsoon.” [Professor Felipe Fernández-Armesto].

Today, it is self-evident that Mozambique sits on gas reserves which will [if the execution is optimal – and optimal execution around our natural resources is a sine qua non of the #Africarising narrative] in my opinion transform Mozambique into the next Qatar.

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Nigeria’s Cratering Economy May Become Africa’s Biggest Threat @economics

If there was ever a time Nigeria could have taken off, it was in 1999. 

Democracy had been restored, with its economy reopening after decades of mismanagement and plunder under military dictatorships.

Tomi Davies, a systems analyst, was one of thousands of Nigerians who came home to help rebuild the country. After a few years working on public-sector projects, he was offered a bag full of dollars to add ghost employees to the payroll system he was installing. 

When he refused, a group of men attacked him at his home in the capital, Abuja.

“I arrived like many others full of hope, but had to escape in disgust,” said Davies, 65, who returned to the U.K., where he is now chief investment officer of Frankfurt-based venture capital firm GreenTec Capital Partners.

Others like him have left too, defeated by the dashed aspirations of a nation that wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. 

Endowed with some of the world’s biggest oil reserves, plenty of arable land and a young, tech-savvy population of 206 million that sets Africa’s music and fashion trends, Nigeria had the potential to break onto the global stage.

Instead, policy missteps, entrenched corruption and an over-reliance on crude oil mean that a country that makes up a quarter of the continent’s economy risks becoming its biggest problem. 

A dangerous cauldron of ethnic tension, youth discontent and criminality threatens to spread more poverty and violence to a region quickly falling behind the rest of the world.

Since its discovery in the 1950s, beneath the mangrove forests of its south eastern coast, oil has dictated the boom and bust cycles of the former British colony, with the commodity now accounting for 90% of exports and half of government revenue.

Poverty Capital

The economy has yet to recover from the oil crash of 2014, and is unlikely to do so anytime soon, meaning its population will continue to out pace economic expansion adding more poor to what is already the poverty capital of the world. 

Over 90 million people live in penury, more than India, which has a population seven times greater.

A presidential spokesman referred questions to the government’s economics team. The finance ministry and central bank didn’t respond to several requests for comment.

The coronavirus has only made things worse. 

Personal incomes are set to fall to their lowest in four decades, pushing an additional 11 million people into poverty by 2022, according to the World Bank. 

One in three Nigerians in the workforce unemployed, among the world’s highest jobless rates, fanning social discontent and insecurity.

Policy blunders by President Muhammadu Buhari have complicated the road to recovery. 

He came to power in 2015 pledging to create 12 million jobs in his first four-year term; halfway through his second term, unemployment has more than quadrupled.

Buhari, 78, revived an import-substitution drive that was popular when he was a military ruler in the early 1980s, crippling businesses that can’t get goods to survive. 

He has banned foreign currency for imports of dozens of products from toothpicks to cement, closed borders to halt rice smuggling and refused to fully ease exchange controls.

Policies like this have curbed foreign investment, pushed food inflation to 15-year highs and scared off companies such as South Africa’s supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings Ltd.

“The government made so many mistakes even before the pandemic made things worse,” said Amina Ado, who was one of Buhari’s oil advisers from 2017 to 2020. 

“We need to urgently change course because we are big enough to matter in the world.”

The roots of the malaise though, predate Buhari. Under British rule, Nigeria’s three main regions, divided along ethnic and religious lines, were awkwardly sandwiched together in a 1914 amalgamation. 

Since independence in 1960, elites from the largely Christian south west and south east have tussled for power with the Muslim north.

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9 DEC 19 Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes

Nigeria matters and it has not posted positive GDP growth above its population growth for a number of years. Essentially Baba Go Slow’s Nigeria is in reverse gear 

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5 March 2020 Debt, coronavirus and locusts create a perfect storm for Africa

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.

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Kenya has appointed Citi and JP Morgan as joint book-runners for a dollar-denominated sovereign bond issue, and I&M Bank and NCBA Group as co-managers a 12 to 15-year tenor @Refinitiv @MwangoCapital
Kenyan Economy

According to data from the final Budget Policy Statement, the Treasury will be seeking Kes123 billion from the issue before the end of the fiscal year

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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June 2021

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