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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 11th of January 2022

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We are at the end of a Liquidity Supernova! Nicely worded by #Bloomberg @FundiMuigai
World Of Finance

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. 

There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones
I have been warning
The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop
And below captioned is my favourite musical snippet of recent times
Just played #laritournelle with @ESKAonline and some amazing musicians @southbankcentre paying tribute to the legendary #tonyallen @thenitinsawhney
https://twitter.com/thenitinsawhney/status/1459652573812695040? s=20

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Tsunamis also start by receding For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money. @ELuttwak
World Of Finance

For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money.  But when we had deflation instead of inflation, the Krugmans told us not to worry ("different this time") Tsunamis also start by receding

Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice


Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door

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The downfall of Evergrande foreshadows a difficult decade for China – and for Xi Jinping @NewStatesman @georgemagnus1
Law & Politics

The long-expected default of China’s second biggest property developer, Evergrande – with more than $300bn of liabilities – was called on 9 December. 

The fate of the company is yet to be decided, but it will involve some sort of restructuring, ownership change and allocation of losses. 

The consequences for the wider real estate sector, the economy and China’s political landscape are arguably more important, including for Xi Jinping.
The Evergrande default, along with that of another developer, Kaisa Group Holdings, came and went with little fanfare. 

Financial markets were more focused on the loosening of monetary policy by the People’s Bank of China, as well as a communiqué from the Politburo indicating that real estate sector curbs would be eased, and that  “stability is the top priority”. 

But economic sleuths should take note.
As I wrote in the New Statesman in September, the government faces a considerable challenge pulling off a soft landing for a sector that isn’t often known for this sort of outcome. 

In China, the property market is a $60trn sector – or four times GDP – which accounts for about a quarter to a third of annual growth. 

It faces years of adjustment shaped by a kaleidoscope of excessive debt, rapidly ageing demographics, low marriage and fertility rates, historic overbuilding and the risk of falling prices.
In addition, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) obsession with stability risks making matters worse. 

Dealing with capital misallocation, bad debt and asset bubbles in property markets means having to recognise and allocate losses. 

The more you try to “stabilise” the market – and avoid dealing with these losses and inadvertently persist with inflating the bubble – the greater the risk of even bigger financial instability later.
Beijing’s problem is precisely this. It wants to stabilise the market without paying the cost of correcting years of bad policies that produced the bubble. 

China’s leaders have to choose, now or very soon, between two poor options: deflate the bubble by accepting debt write-offs, bankruptcies and weak growth (or even a recession); or allow inflation to rise and thereby lower the value and burden of debt, which may be no less disruptive as it could entail financial instability, capital flight and a significant depreciation of the renminbi.
How does this all connect to Xi Jinping? Simply put, the property market might lead China to more pedestrian economic growth in the 2020s, and to getting stuck in the middle-income trap. 

This is a development stage in which countries fail to make more headway in closing the gap of income per head in comparison with rich nations. 

China could end up in the trap because Xi has turned his back on the liberalising reforms required to spur the productivity China needs to fulfil its goals.
For the moment, he is unassailable. He has presided triumphantly this year over the CCP’s centenary celebrations, hailing China’s rejuvenation. 

He certainly appears to be on a mission both at home and in trying to restructure the world order.
Now, as he prepares for the 20th Party Congress in November 2022, when he is expected to be nominated for a third term (he could be leader for life), he seems purposeful rather than panicked. 

He craves stability and control, at pretty much any cost, and even at the cost of growth. 

This may be fortuitous, because he wants China to shift away from what Marxists call the “forces of production” (or growth and material prosperity) to the “social relations of production” (or the quality of growth, inequalities and the environment). 

Insistent that the “East is rising, and the West is declining”, he wants China to become dominant by the time of the centenary of the People’s Republic in 2049.

Yet his “Chinese Dream”, which the CCP wants to encourage foreigners to embrace, is far from assured. 

It already uses language and behaves in ways that are not compatible with its strategic objectives. 

Indeed, the narrative looks much less robust when judged against the growing push-back against China abroad, including by the UK, the EU, India, Japan and parts of east Asia.

To facilitate new development, Xi has revived the expression “common prosperity”, which is less about European-style welfare and redistribution than control, regional inequality and socialist solutions to past capitalist problems and market excess. 

It follows a steady drumbeat of rhetoric and actions to mobilise the public behind greater self-reliance and national security across a range of military and commercial activities. 

Under the banner of common prosperity, the CCP has launched several political initiatives this year that put private firms in the cross hairs, including stricter regulation and a form of coercive corporate philanthropy, among other measures aiming to make the private sector comply with party goals.
This is important, because it raises a new contradiction that won’t be easily resolved: the conflict between lofty economic aspirations based on productivity and innovation and the control over and approach to private firms.
The downfall of Evergrande is a symbol of Xi Jinping’s ideological lurch towards taking on the excesses of capitalism and markets, which the CCP does not like. 

It is also a sign of what promises to be a difficult decade for the economy. 

If the consequences of these developments are poorly managed, or if they undermine Xi’s China narrative, there is only one person who’ll be held responsible. The yuan stops with him.


Actually I think Xi Jinping has been singularly brave and bold a la the Mellon doctrine. 

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Mellon advised him to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system'
Law & Politics

Mellon doctrine Territory. Mellon believed that economic recessions, such as those that had occurred in 1873 and 1907, were a necessary part of the business cycle because they purged the economy.
In his memoirs, Hoover wrote that Mellon advised him to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. ... enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.”

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We exist in a Tripolar World [US China and Russia] with rapidly emerging Middle Powers.
Law & Politics

I am not discounting Fortress Europe but one senses the Fortress is keener on a more defensive posture unlike the US [notwithstanding its withdrawal from Afghanistan], China and Russia. 

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.Vladimir Putin declares that Kazakhstan crisis was an attempted color revolution. @ClintEhrlich
Law & Politics

Blames the same actors behind the revolution in Ukraine.

From Russia with love

Andrew Korybko writes Moscow invaluably fills the much-needed niche of providing its partners there with “Democratic Security”, or in other words, the cost-effective and low-commitment capabilities needed to thwart colour revolutions and resolve unconventional Wars (collectively referred to as Hybrid War).

To simplify, Russia’s “political technologists” have reportedly devised bespoke solutions for confronting incipient and ongoing color revolutions, just like its private military contrac- tors (PMCs) have supposedly done the same when it comes to ending insurgencies

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Omicron COVID case acceleration observed across all world regions at levels not seen since beginning of pandemic. @jmlukens
Minerals, Oil & Energy

World region COVID avg 2wk case/day increase
Oceania: 885%
South America: 659%
Asia: 341%
North America: 259%
Middle East: 229%
Europe: 151%
Africa: 12%

The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.

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Cases globally are now 290% the earlier weekly record, while mortality stays 45% lower. @fibke

Good news, but:
Mortality has started rising again. When & where will it stop?
Will the unprecedented scale of infection globally set off more vicious variants?

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Nations w/ fast COVID 2wk avg death/day increase @jmlukens

Canada: 277%
Madagascar: 190%
South Africa: 163%
Bolivia: 146%
Australia: 142%
Argentina: 118%
UK: 99%
Spain: 70%
Italy: 44%
Latvia: 34%

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The Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved #COVID19

19-JUL-2021 Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.13410
Dollar Index 95.857
Japan Yen 115.2470
Swiss Franc 0.92627
Pound 1.359395
Aussie 0.718645
India Rupee 73.869
South Korea Won 1194.595
Brazil Real 5.6640
Egypt Pound 15.728700
South Africa Rand 15.68105

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They can never beat you if you buy the dips. @nayibbukele The ’Bukeleists’ are going to be tested Regime Change
World Currencies

The Lotos-eaters Courage! he said, and pointed toward the land, This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.

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Bitcoin does not like bonds selling off (higher yields). @nordvig
World Currencies

And that should be entirely logical, given that a key argument for Bitcoin was the 'too much money' / too easy monetary policy narrative.

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Crypto was a confluence of narratives - the two most relevant now are as a get-rich-quick scheme & as a hedge against easy money… the Fed signaling tightening is undermining both of those. @HayekAndKeynes
World Currencies

8 JAN 18 :: The Crypto Avocado Millenial Economy.


The ‘’Zeitgeist’’ of a time is its defining spirit or its mood. Capturing the ‘’zeitgeist’’ of the Now is not an easy thing because we are living in a dizzyingly fluid moment.

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Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a millino bucks sure no problem bro.
World Currencies

GameKyuubi posted "I AM HODLING," a drunk, semi-coherent, typo-laden rant about his poor trading skills and determination to simply hold his bitcoin from that point on.
"I type d that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong. w/e," he wrote in reference to the now-famous misspelling of "holding." 
"WHY AM I HOLDING? I'LL TELL YOU WHY," he continued. 
"It's because I'm a bad trader and I KNOW I'M A BAD TRADER.  Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a millino bucks sure no problem bro."
He concluded that the best course was to hold, since "You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob.  The people inbetween hold. In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can only take your money if you sell." 
He then confessed he'd had some whiskey and briefly mused about the spelling of whisk(e)y.  [HODL Definition | Investopedia]

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Vontobel Asset Management, says chances of Sri Lanka defaulting are higher than 50%. @moneyacademyKE
Emerging Markets

Vontobel Asset Management, says it is waiting for Sri Lanka to default in order to buy the nation’s debt cheaply.
It recently made huge gains buying Ecuador’s restructured bonds. It says chances of Sri Lanka defaulting are higher than 50%.

18-JUN-2018 :: So the first overarching Point, is that creditors are not Santa Claus and miscues will exact a very heavy price, Countries will be "Hambantota-ed"

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Just in case anyone forgot: Sri Lanka is now governed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a man so sinister he used to keep a tank of sharks in his garden. Death of the Tiger @newyorker H/T @jamescrabtree
Emerging Markets

The mobile-phone video clip shows a pair of soldiers pushing a naked, blindfolded man into the frame. 

His hands are tied behind his back. One soldier, dressed in the uniform of the Sri Lankan Army, forces him into a sitting position on the ground, kicks him in the back, and steps out of the way as the other soldier comes forward and shoots him in the back of the head. 

The man’s body jolts and flops down. Off camera, the shooter can be heard laughing giddily and exclaiming, “It’s like he jumped!” 

The soldiers kill two other men in similar fashion, and then dispatch a number of wounded prisoners. 

The camera turns to show at least eight other bodies, including those of several half-naked women, lying in pools of blood. All of them appear to have been freshly executed

A master of battlefield innovation, Prabhakaran devised a form of execution for collaborators with the enemy: the victim was tied to a lamppost and blown to pieces with Cordex explosive fuse wire. 

He didn’t drink, he said, and didn’t know what he had in the house. He knew only that he had a bottle of “Fonseka.” Would we like a drink of that? He grinned. On the trolley was a bottle of Fonseca Bin No. 27, a brand of port

 After dinner, Gotabaya led us outside. Across his lawn, by the garden’s high security wall, was a huge, illuminated outdoor aquarium. Inside, several large, unmistakable shapes moved relentlessly back and forth.

“Are those sharks?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said. “Do you want to see them?”

We crossed the lawn and stood in front of the tank, which was eight feet tall and twenty feet wide. There were four sharks, each about four feet long, swimming among smaller fish.

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China hopes to expand East African rail network and develop ports @SCMPNews

China is proposing a grand infrastructure plan for the Horn of Africa that would involve expanding the two major railroads and developing ports on the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Under the proposals, announced during last week’s visit by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya will be extended to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and eventually to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Meanwhile the line linking the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa with Djibouti would be extended to Eritrea – but both plans will only happen in “due course”.

Wang also called for faster development of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean to develop a framework of “two axes plus two coasts”.
“This is part of our effort to help this part of the region to accelerate the building of industrial belts and economic belts to create more jobs,” Wang said at a briefing with Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo in the coastal city of Mombasa on Thursday.
Besides Kenya, Wang visited Eritrea, which occupies a strategic location on the Red Sea and signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative in November, and Comoros, an archipelago on the Indian Ocean where China has been increasing its footprint under its Maritime Silk Road, the seabourne part of the BRI.
Wang’s visit may help revive plans to extend the Mombasa-Nairobi line to Malaba on the border with Uganda, which stalled after China’s Export-Import Bank asked Kenya in 2018 to redo a study to prove its commercial viability.

China is making inroads into the Horn of Africa and has already invested heavily in Djibouti, which is home to its first overseas military base. 

Further investment in ports in the region may prove crucial to the success of the Maritime Silk Road.
Seifudein Adem, a professor of global studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, said a proposed rail link between Addis Ababa and Assab, a port in Eritrea, may be the winning card in China’s new diplomatic strategy in the Horn.
Adem said:“Since Ethiopia is already linked to Kenya through a transnational road system, it is conceivable that the entire Eastern and Central African region would be interconnected before very long, with the other regions to follow.”
Adem said the expansion of rail networks in the Horn of Africa has been one of Beijing’s main strategic objectives in Africa as a way of boosting connectivity.

“Having a standard gauge railway connecting the region’s coastal and inland ports (including dry ports) will be essential for the region in the medium term,” said Deborah Brautigam, a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI).
She said if African countries want economic integration with each other and the world, they will need to reshape their economic geography.
But Wang’s comments that it will happen in “due course” suggests “it depends on African governments creating the conditions (peace, stability, realistic feasibility studies) that will allow Chinese capital to be employed productively and sustainably,” Brautigam added.
Despite the renwed interest in rail investment, Yu-Shan Wu, a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Pretoria in South Africa said:“China is unlikely to commit to large infrastructure projects as it did in the past. Such projects also depend on their feasibility.
W Gyude Moore, a senior policy fellow with the Centre for Global Development and a former Liberian public works minister, said: “Morocco recently signed onto the BRI – so it seems more of an indication of China doubling down in these regions.
“On the infrastructure front, the Chinese have repeatedly baulked at financing the rest of the [Kenyan] standard gauge railway so I would adopt a wait-and-see approach here.”


This was precisely what should have been done at the GETGO.

Question is around competition from Tanzania

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The Indian Ocean Economy and a Port Race

Professor Felipe Fernández-Armesto explains ‘’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’

As we scan the Blue Economy it is worth appreciating that Maritime shipping is the lifeblood of Africa, with over 90% of the continent’s imports and exports transported by sea. 

Today from Massawa, Eritrea [admittedly on the Red Sea] to Djibouti, from Berbera to Mogadishu, from Lamu to Mombasa to Tanga to Bagamoyo to Dar Es Salaam, through Beira and Maputo all the way to Durban and all points in between we are witnessing a Port race of sorts as everyone seeks to get a piece of the Indian Ocean Port action. 

China [The BRI initiative], the Gulf Countries [who now appear to see the Horn of Africa as their hinterland], Japan and India [to a lesser degree] are all jostling for optimal ‘’geo-economic’’ positioning.

I am bullish on the Blue Economy and in particular the Indian Ocean Economy which is set to relive its glory days. 

August 19 2013 I have no doubt that the Indian Ocean is set to regain its glory days

The Indian Ocean Region is expected to become the geostrategic center of gravity in the New Cold War @eurasia_future @AKorybko

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Abiy risks being left with no military force apart from drones - OSF cannot replace AFS-Fano-EDF - and no political base. He will be alone in the middle of nowhere. @rene_renelefort

Abiy risks being left with no military force apart from drones - OSF cannot replace AFS-Fano-EDF - and no political base. He will be alone in the middle of nowhere. Everything would then be played out directly between the 'autonomist' Oromo and the 'unitarist' Amhara-Asmara.

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Abiy's Catch22: In many ways, Abiy has become marginal to what happens next. This is already happening. @RAbdiAnalyst

Abiy's Catch22: If he engages Tigray, stops hostilities, lifts siege, he inflames Amhara State, makes it almost certain Eritrea and Amhara State will have their own plans to continue the war.
In many ways, Abiy has become marginal to what happens next. This is already happening.

A fiendishly complicated task fending off the centrifugal forces which are tearing Ethiopia apart

Alternatively Maybe Abiy is just a Pawn now caught between Afawerki and his own Extremists 

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Clustering 17,500 images shared on Twitter related to the Ethiopian conflict. Seems I am back to work. @objetpetitm

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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Africa Cannot Afford a Second Cold War @ProSyn @FofackHippolyte

More than 20,000 Africans were killed in violent conflicts in 2020, an almost tenfold increase from a decade ago. 

Concurrently, and perhaps not coincidentally, Sino-American rivalry has escalated sharply. 

A new cold war, this time between the United States and China, along with other regional security threats, could be disastrous for Africa’s economic development and green transition.
 The dramatic increase in high-intensity conflicts in Africa has coincided with two major trends: the expansion of transnational terrorist networks, sustained by a glut of itinerant foreign fighters, and the proliferation of foreign military bases amid rising Sino-American geopolitical tensions

This global contest to project power has given rise to proxy conflicts raging across the region – including in Ethiopia, which hosts the headquarters of the African Union – as the US and China vie for control of natural resources and strategic trade routes.
As of 2019, 13 foreign countries were carrying out military operations on African soil – more than in any other region – and most have several bases across the continent. 

Africa is home to at least 47 foreign outposts, with the US controlling the largest number, followed by France

Both China and Japan established their first overseas military bases since World War II in Djibouti, which is the only country in the world to host both American and Chinese outposts. 

A growing number of foreign countries are influencing the outcome of local conflicts, from Central Africa and the Sahel to the Horn and Northern Africa. 

The US has invited many countries in the region to join an alliance aimed at curbing China’s overseas ambitions. 

Unveiling a new US-Africa strategy in 2018, then-national security adviser John Bolton warned that African leaders who failed to support America diplomatically should not expect much US aid in the future. 

Bolton’s statement set the stage for a return to conditional development assistance, in which geopolitical considerations rather than investment returns largely determine rich countries’ allocation of resources to capital-poor economies.
In the 1950s, US President Dwight Eisenhower called proxy wars “the cheapest insurance in the world,” reflecting their limited political risks and human costs for sponsors. But these conflicts are tremendously costly for the countries in which they occur.
In Africa, besides causing huge loss of life, proxy wars are prolonging insecurity and locking countries into a downward spiral of intergenerational poverty. 

Moreover, they drain African countries’ already limited foreign-exchange reserves and shrink their equally narrow fiscal space while reversing democratic gains, reflected in the recent resurgence of military coups.
Moreover, African governments’ rising military spending is absorbing a growing share of African government budgets, in contrast to a general decline in other parts of the world, further heightening the macroeconomic management challenges. 

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending in Africa exceeded $43 billion in 2020, up from $15 billion in the 1990s

Defense outlays accounted for an average of 8.2% of government spending across Africa in 2020, compared to an unweighted global average of 6.5%. 

The share is considerably higher in conflict-affected countries like Mali (18%) and Burkina Faso (12%).
And that is where the fastest increases in defense outlays have occurred. 

According to SIPRI, three of the five African countries where military spending is rising most sharply – Mali, up 339% over the past decade, Niger (288%), and Burkina Faso (238%) – are battling terrorist networks in the Sahel, a desperately poor region stretching across the continent from Senegal to Sudan and Eritrea.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis erupted, most poor African countries already faced huge, persistent infrastructure financing gaps – and the increase in military spending has often come at the expense of investment in productive, climate-resilient projects. 

These shifts in government expenditure are undermining policymakers’ ability to use robust public investment to crowd in private capital and thus keep Africa on the long-run growth trajectory required to ensure global income convergence.
Growing political and conflict-related risks are also deterring investment and raising borrowing costs. 

In February 2021, for example, Fitch Ratings downgraded Ethiopia’s sovereign credit rating, citing among other factors the deterioration of the country’s political and security environment following the outbreak of civil war and heightened regional tensions.
The scars of the Cold War – which claimed millions of African lives and was largely responsible for the lost decades that precipitated a widening income gap between Africa and the rest of the world – are still fresh, and the region cannot afford a sequel. 

In addition to its enormous human and economic costs, the Cold War exacerbated political fragmentation in Africa as countries aligned themselves with either the West or the Soviet bloc. 

That division sustained market segmentation, reinforced colonial borders, and undermined cross-border trade and regional integration. 

A second cold war would likewise weaken ongoing efforts to deepen integration under the nascent African Continental Free Trade Area.
The subordination of growth and development objectives to security priorities can only worsen intergenerational poverty, fuel migration pressures, damage the environment, and impede climate-change mitigation and adaptation. 

These risks will increase further as policymakers are compelled to divert scarce resources away from the infrastructure investment needed to diversify African countries’ sources of growth and accelerate their integration into the global economy.
For centuries, colonial powers, and then superpowers, viewed Africa exclusively through the prism of their economic, security, and geopolitical interests. 

This undermined long-term investment and regional integration, which sparked spectacular growth elsewhere the world. 

Today, the same mentality, now fueled by US-China tensions, is perpetuating and exacerbating insecurity, ensnaring countries across Africa, especially in the Sahel, in both a “conflict trap” and “poverty trap” that keeps them in a downward spiral.
As John Maynard Keynes said, “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” 

Transcending a cold-war mindset will not be easy, especially in a changing geopolitical environment where technology diffusion reduces the direct costs borne by the sponsors of proxy wars. 

But it is essential to foster Africa’s future prosperity, alleviate migration pressures, combat climate change, and save innocent lives.

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Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for attack on 2 Kenyans in #Lamu County @margotkiser

Looking like 2014 all over again… @margotkiser


Sep 2012 The Swahili Coast is a Potential TinderBox

Then, last week, on the 27th of August, Aboud Rogo Mohammed was shot on the always busy Bamburi Road, not far from Pirates. This proved the spark that ignited a tinderbox
My concern remains that what appear like uncorrelated spikes and paroxysms of violence conflate, become more broad based and amplify.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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January 2022

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