|Thursday 05th of March 2020
A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. - Albert Camus, The Plague
“In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up
in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved
A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell
ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that
will pass away.
But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it
is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they
have taken no precautions.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
21-OCT-2019 :: "The New Economy of Anger"
Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, “The
revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of
production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog
in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of
attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’
Sub Saharan Africa
While there are no precise figures on number of victims of Burundi's mass killings, analysts put range in the hundreds of thousands. @business
The commission estimates that there are about 4,700 mass graves across
the country about the size of Israel.
Generose Banyankindagiye gazed at the picture of her late husband on
the wall of her spartan brick house and remembered the last time she
saw him almost 50 years ago.
She decided to hang up the picture after Burundi’s Truth and
Reconciliation Commission started exhuming the bodies of victims of
several waves of political and ethnic violence since independence from
Belgium in 1962.
She thought it could help find her husband by recognizing his clothes.
And then she might finally be able to mourn him.
“My husband was a trader and had recently purchased a car,” the
70-year-old said in an interview in Gitega, the capital. “One day he
left early in the morning to go to Mass — he never came back.”
Burundi, a coffee producer that counts Starbucks Corp. among its
customers, is covered in verdant, rolling hills and is one of the most
densely populated countries in Africa.
It lies in the heart of the Great Lakes region, where political
tension is once again surging. Both Burundi and Uganda have traded
accusations with neighboring Rwanda, which suffered a genocide in
1994, of backing insurgents.
And all three countries participated in conflicts in neighboring
Democratic Republic of Congo since the 1990s.
While there are no precise figures on the number of victims of
Burundi’s mass killings, analysts put the range in the hundreds of
The commission estimates that there are about 4,700 mass graves across
the country about the size of Israel.
In January, in the central province of Karusi, it discovered 18 mass
graves, opened six, and found 6,032 victims of a 1972 genocide that
targeted ethnic Hutus and decimated the educated class.
02-MAR-2020 : The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word
There are 2 issues with respect to the #Coronavirus.
The First Issue is whether The #CoronaVirus will infect the Continent
We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.
what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world.
Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ...
then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!
.@BillGates said. “This disease, when it comes to Africa, will be
more dramatic than in China – and I don't want to play down what is
happening in China.” #COVID19
There is a School of thought that Africa has viral defences See Video
Kalonzo @skmusyoka I think our genes are strong because we have not
heard of any CoronaVirus case on an African, we thank God
The Answer will surely be discovered imminently
Outside The Question of Infection
There is the #COVID19 Economic Blowback
At the beginning of the Year These were the forecasts from the AFDB
IMF and WORLD BANK
.@AfDB_Group African Economic Outlook 2020
Africa’s economic outlook continues to brighten. Its real GDP growth,
estimated at 3.4 percent for 2019, is projected to accelerate to 3.9
percent in 2020 and to 4.1 percent in 2021
In sub-Saharan Africa, growth is expected to strengthen to 3.5 percent
in 2020–21 (from 3.3 percent in 2019). @IMFnews WEO
Regional growth is expected to pick up to 2.9% in 2020 @WorldBank
Risks: A sharper-than-expected deceleration in major trading partners
such as China, the Euro Area, or the United States, would
substantially lower export revenues and investment.
A faster-than-expected slowdown in China would cause a sharp fall in
commodity prices and, given Sub-Saharan Africa’s heavy reliance on
extractive sectors for export and fiscal revenues, weigh heavily on
CHINA will post negative GDP in Q1 2020 and even Q2 2020 [I believe]
Commodity Prices have been crushed
11 African states are most at risk from the physical spread of
Coronavirus*: Algeria, Egypt and South Africa; Nigeria and Ethiopia;
Morocco, Sudan, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya. @patthaker
We can already see weaker China Demand
China to Take a Third Less West African Oil as Virus Hits Demand
2-SEP-2019 :: the China EM Frontier Feedback Loop Phenomenon. #COVID19
This Phenomenon was positive for the last two decades but has now
undergone a Trend reversal.
The Fall-out is being experienced as far away as Germany Inc.
The ZAR is the purest proxy for this Phenomenon.
African Countries heavily dependent on China being the main Taker are
also at the bleeding edge of this Phenomenon.
This Pressure Point will not ease soon but will continue to intensify
"a one percentage point decrease in China’s domestic investment growth
is associated with an average 0.6 percentage point decrease in
@MoodysInvSvc downgraded Nigeria to negative and we learnt that
Foreign Investors are propping up the Naira to the tune of NGN5.8
trillion ($16 billion) via short-term certificates.
Everyone knows how this story ends. When the music stops, everyone
will dash for the Exit and the currency will collapse just like its
collapsing in Lusaka as we speak.
The @MoodysInvSvc downgrade in two graphs @nonso2
Balance Sheets are maxed out
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 #MoodysAfrica
And on top of all this we have a Locust Invasion
Locusts in the Horn of Africa "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 (KJV)
THIS IS A PERFECT STORM
Anticipating #Coronavirus in West Africa Interview with Nigeria CDC leader @Chikwe_I on outbreak detection preparedness, response, and COVID-19 in Africa
IHEKWEAZU: I think our biggest area of vulnerability—and it’s an area
that no one really quite knows how it will pan out—is if we do have
established circulation, transmission in Nigeria, what level of
clinical care do we need to provide for patients?
Because if you do have widespread, established transmission in
Nigeria, the biggest risk will be in our ability to provide clinical
care. That includes ventilators and oxygen therapy to a large number
of patients, and that’s what I worry about the most.
There are specific bottlenecks that we need to work together as a
global community to improve—the one obvious one is access to
We are two hundred million people, with one of the highest population
densities in the world, living in the middle of the tropics. If I were
a virus, there is no better place than Nigerian context to grow. So as
the viruses grow or emerge and compete for space, we have to also have
the capabilities to respond.
Zambia Awards China Railway $825 Million Deal for Line Upgrades @caixin H/T @cobbo3
Zambia signed an $825 million contract with a China Railway
Construction Corp. unit to upgrade tracks in the south of the country,
the company said.
The project will last eight years and will cover nearly 650 kilometers
(404 miles) of lines, China Railway said a statement, without saying
how it will be financed.
If the government is planning on funding the rehabilitation project
through borrowing, it could raise questions about the credibility of
measures Zambia announced last month to cut foreign debt.
Zambia’s economy is straining under soaring liabilities, and S&P
Global Ratings last month cut the nation’s credit rating to CCC, eight
levels below investment grade.
That’s the lowest level for any African country it assesses. Finance
Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said last month the cabinet agreed to a
moratorium on contracting external project loans.
The government also planned to cancel or re-scope contracts to reduce
its pipeline foreign debt by about $5 billion, he said.
@IMFNews Staff Completes Visit to Kenya || March 3, 2020
March 3, 2020
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams
that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country.
The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and
do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.
Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare
a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to
the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
Significant progress was made during the visit, and discussions will
continue in the coming period.
Discussions focused on the policies needed to support the authorities’
ambitious reform agenda, which aims to further bolster Kenya’s strong
and inclusive growth.
There is broad agreement on the main principles of a plan for
growth-enhancing fiscal consolidation that would cut waste and boost
revenues to enable priority spending while reducing the deficit to
below 4 percent of GDP by FY2022/23.
A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by
Benedict Clements, visited Kenya from February 19-March 3, 2020, to
conduct the Article IV consultation discussions with the authorities
and undertake negotiations on a new precautionary three-year Stand-By
Arrangement/Stand-By Credit Facility.
At the end of the visit, Mr. Clements made the following statement:
“Kenya’s economy continues to perform well. Real GDP growth was an
estimated 5.6 percent in 2019, driven by the continued resilience of
the service sector. This helped offset a slowdown in agriculture due
to delayed rains in the first half of the year and excessive rains
later in the year. Headline inflation averaged 5.2 percent in 2019 and
stood at 6.4 percent in February 2020, mainly driven by food prices.
Food inflation has remained elevated (averaging 8.4 percent between
April 2019 and February 2020) but is expected to decline with
normalizing weather. The external current account deficit narrowed
further to 4.6 percent of GDP from 5.0 percent in 2018, mainly due to
lower imports of capital goods and petroleum products, which more than
offset a decline in goods exports (e.g., in tea and coffee).
Remittances remained strong. External buffers are healthy, with
foreign exchange reserves increasing to US$9.1 billion (5.4 months of
imports) at end-2019.
“The banking sector remains well-capitalized and liquid. The system’s
core and total regulatory capital to risk-weighted assets stood at
16.8 and 18.8 percent, respectively, as of December 2019. Liquidity
risk has eased with improved distribution of liquidity across all
banks. Lending to the private sector started to gain momentum in 2019,
reaching 7.3 percent year-on-year in January 2020. Credit is expected
to rise further following the removal of interest rate controls in
November 2019. The ratio of nonperforming loans has declined from its
peak of 12.9 percent in April 2019 to 12.0 percent in December and
should continue to fall with the recent repayment of pending bills,
recovery efforts by banks, and higher credit growth. The banking
system has been gradually consolidating, with two significant mergers
and acquisitions transactions finalized in 2019.
“The fiscal deficit rose slightly in FY2018/19 to 7.7 percent of GDP
and nominal public debt reached 62.1 percent of GDP. The authorities
target a reduction of the budget deficit to 6.3 percent of GDP in
FY2019/20, with revenue boosted by dividend transfers from state-owned
enterprises and expenditure curtailed by a reduction in inefficient
spending. Important progress was made on reducing the stock of pending
bills from previous years.
“Discussions focused on the policies needed to support the
authorities’ ambitious reform agenda, which aims to further bolster
Kenya’s strong and inclusive growth. The discussions covered revenue
and expenditure policies needed to reduce the deficit this fiscal year
and achieve further fiscal consolidation over the next three years to
reduce debt vulnerabilities while preserving high-priority,
growth-enhancing public investment and social spending; public
financial management reforms to increase the efficiency,
effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of public spending;
transformation of the banking system through the Banking Sector
Charter to further strengthen financial stability and increase access
to financing, including for small businesses; modernization of the
monetary policy framework; steps to improve governance and strengthen
the anti-corruption framework; and reforms to boost growth and improve
“Significant progress was made during the visit, and discussions will
continue in the coming period. There is broad agreement on the main
principles of a plan for growth-enhancing fiscal consolidation that
would cut waste and boost revenues to enable priority spending while
reducing the deficit to below 4 percent of GDP by FY2022/23 as
targeted in the authorities’ draft Budget Policy Statement. Technical
work will continue to firm up underpinnings of the plan, which could
be supported by a Fund arrangement.”
The team thanks the authorities for their hospitality and constructive
The team met with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary for the
National Treasury, Mr. Ukur Yatani; Governor of the Central Bank of
Kenya (CBK), Dr. Patrick Njoroge; Head of the Public Service, Mr.
Joseph Kinyua; the Principal Secretary for the National Treasury, Dr.
Julius Muia; Deputy Governor of the CBK, Ms. Sheila M’Mbijjewe; and
senior government and CBK officials. Staff also had productive
discussions with representatives of the private sector, civil society
organizations, and development partners.