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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 09th of November 2021

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George Orwell's famous quote from "1984" puts it: "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

In the eyes of the party's leaders, losing control over these narratives can bring disastrous consequences. The collapse of the Soviet Union -- a stern cautionary tale cited time and again by Xi -- is in part attributed to "historical nihilism," or the ruling elite's rejection of Soviet heritage.

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Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World

"Men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities [and] in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond."

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Longing on a large scale makes history. wrote Don DeLillo

The President for Life was seeking to project a sense of inevitable forward motion and a fulfilment of the promise that Mao Zedong made on the founding of the People’s Re- public of China on October 1, 1949 that China would stand up.
They have “stood up.” 

Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.
Xi is relying on Chinese resilience “If there is a decoupling between the two econo- mies, so be it. The Chinese people can endure more pain than the spoiled and hubristic Americans''

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Europe 252,306 avg cases per day more than all other regions combined and up 20% past two weeks. @jmlukens

Global region COVID19 avg cases/day increase past 2wks
Europe: 20%
North America: -5%
Middle East: -5%
South America: -8%
Africa: -10%
Asia: -13%
Oceania: -31%

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#Germany Corona pandemic The 7d incidence has risen to highest level since beginning of pandemic. @Schuldensuehner

Number of Corona patients in intensive care units is currently not even half as high as at Coronavirus peak.

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COVID-19 infections are still rising in 55 countries. @ReutersGraphics

16 countries are still near the peak of their infection curve

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1599
Dollar Index 93.916
Japan Yen 112.83
Swiss Franc 0.9120
Pound 1.3568
Aussie 0.7418
India Rupee 73.9620
South Korea Won 1177.13
Brazil Real 5.5445
Egypt Pound 15.7096
South Africa Rand 14.9082

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African Region @WHO regional overviews Epidemiological week 25-31 October 2021

Declining trends observed in the Region since mid-July continued this week with over 19 000 new cases and over 700 new deaths reported, decreases of 9% and 13%, respectively, as compared to the previous week. 

Nevertheless, 17/49 countries (34%) reported increases of over 10% as compared with the previous week, with the largest increases observed in Rwanda (100%), Comoros (94%) and Eritrea (68%). 

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IMF Africa @IMFAfrica @ASelassie : Sub-Saharan Africa’s crisis reveals three stories for policymakers:

1. Widening divergence between and within countries
2. Difficult tradeoffs between policy goals
3. Need for vaccines and funding from the international community 

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A fraught recovery. Despite some encouraging signs, another difficult year @IMFNews @IMFAfrica

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow by 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022.
This rebound is most welcome and largely results from a sharp improvement in global trade and commodity prices.
Favorable harvests have also helped lift agricultural production
The outlook remains extremely uncertain, and risks are tilted to the downside.

In particular, the recovery depends on the path of the global pandemic and the regional vaccination effort, and is also vulnerable to disruptions in global activity and financial markets.
In this context, rising food price inflation, combined with reduced incomes, is threatening past gains in poverty reduction, health, and food security.
Over the next three decades, the global population is set to grow by about 2 billion people, with half of that increase in sub-Saharan Africa alone
Regionwide, social unrest and conflict increased significantly toward the middle of 2021, driven by legacies of armed conflicts; instability associated with political transitions; and high levels of unemployment, poverty, and inequality, all of which the pandemic has exacerbated further.
Conflict-related instability has taken an ongoing toll on the region, displacing populations, constraining policymaking, and eroding households’ ability to securely access key sources of food and income.
The number of internally displaced persons in sub-Saharan Africa has more than doubled over the past five years, reaching 16.5 million in 2020
Portfolio inflows have turned positive. Inflows to emerging and frontier markets in sub-Saharan Africa totaled $4.4 billion between January and August 2021
Although foreign direct investment declined by 12 percent to $30 billion in 2020 (faring better than in other regions), it is expected to grow only modestly in 2021 and gain greater momentum beyond 2022
Remittances are expected to grow by 2.6 percent in 2021.  The positive outlook comes on top of a better than-expected outcome in 2020. 

Remittance flows fell by only 13.4 percent in 2020, driven by a dramatic fall of 28 percent in Nigeria.
Excluding Nigeria, the region’s remittances increased by 1.6 percent in 2020.
So far in 2021, some countries have already experienced huge spikes in remittance flows (for example, The Gambia by 60 percent and Kenya by 20 percent in the first half of 2021)
Looking at the region’s largest economies:
• South Africa is expected to grow by 5.0 percent in 2021, reflecting a better-than-expected growth in the first half of the year
However, the outlook has been weighed down by the combined impacts of the third wave of COVID-19 and localized social unrest in July.
With the pace of structural reforms expected to remain limited and the faster-than-expected rebound in 2021,
South Africa will be constrained in its ability to sustain the 2021 growth pace, so growth is expected to slow to 2.2 percent in 2022.
• Nigeria’s economy will grow by 2.6 percent in 2021, driven by recovery in non-oil sectors and higher oil prices, even though oil production is expected to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels.
Growth will inch up slightly to 2.7 percent in 2022 and remain at this level over the medium term
, allowing GDP per capita to stabilize at current levels, notwithstanding long-standing structural problems and elevated uncertainties.
• Angola is expected to contract by −0.7 percent in 2021 and then grow by 2.4 percent in 2022, ending its six-year recession streak.
The 2021 growth has been revised downward significantly since April because of falling investments and recurring technical problems in the oil sector.
Non-oil growth will remain the main driver of economic growth, with commerce and agriculture having recovered strongly to above pre-pandemic levels.
• Ethiopia’s growth forecast for FY2021 remains unchanged at 2.0 percent, with growth in FY2022 facing headwinds from the slow pace of vaccination, a possible pickup in COVID-19 infections, and the Tigray conflict.
An improved external environment will support key exports and foreign direct investment and remittance inflows.
The ongoing conflict has increased the uncertainty around the country’s growth outlook.
Tourism-dependent countries (Cabo Verde, Comoros, The Gambia, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles) face a particularly challenging recovery.
The pandemic has underscored the vulnerability of these economies to global shocks to travel and tourism, which represents about 18 percent of GDP on average.
Although growth has returned to pre-pandemic levels, these countries face permanent income losses as large as 15 percent of GDP (Cabo Verde, Mauritius).
Some countries have fared better because of significant remittance inflows (Comoros, The Gambia), which have supported private consumption.
Global tourism remains subdued. Nonetheless, from a low base, tourist receipts have started to improve
For countries within the region, the income loss because of the crisis is expected to vary significantly, ranging from a permanent loss of real output of more than 20 percent for Cabo Verde to less than 3 percent for Togo and Zimbabwe
Increasing debt vulnerabilities are a concern.
Despite the spending needs associated with the pandemic, most countries will nonetheless need to undertake fiscal consolidation to contain rising debt vulnerabilities.
Overall public debt levels are expected to improve slightly in 2021 to 56.6 percent of GDP, but this ratio remains elevated compared with a pre-pandemic level of 50.4 percent, and debt is still a concern in a significant number of countries.
In 2021, half of the region’s low-income developing economies (accounting for 25 percent of the region’s GDP and 28 percent of the region’s debt stock) are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress
; five countries—Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa—account for 60 percent of China’s outstanding loans to the region.

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As rebels advance, Ethiopia braces for all-out war @CNBC

Abiy called on Ethiopians to use “any type of weapons to block the destructive [TDF advance], to overturn it and bury it” and added that “dying for Ethiopia is a duty for all of us.” Facebook removed one of his posts on Thursday for “inciting violence.”
“This kind of language paints a grim picture and suggests that the TDF is capable of striking at both the administrative and geographic heart of Ethiopia,” said Louw Nel, senior political analyst at Oxford Economics Africa.
However, Nel suggested that although an offensive on the capital looks more likely than a few weeks ago, it may not be possible or desirable at this point.
“The TPLF may look to consolidate advances and possibly shift its focus to capturing transportation links between Addis Ababa (Ethiopia is landlocked) and Djibouti,” he said in a note last week.
“This will significantly strengthen its negotiating position with a view on a genuine ceasefire and its greater demands, which may include secession.”

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Let no youth go to the front lines to fight, let the elders go holding the fresh grass and ask for reconciliation the famous singer Tariku told the crowd, before his microphone was switched off.

"Let no youth go to the front lines to fight, let the elders go holding the fresh grass and ask for reconciliation," Tariku told the crowd, before his microphone was switched off, it was unclear by whom. Fresh grass is a symbol of peace in Ethiopia.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

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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February 1st 2021 ‘The genie out of the bottle’ @AfricanBizMag

“Everybody else is going to start wanting more freedom within the constitution. It’s impossible for the state to manage a guerrilla war up there and at the same time manage to control the rest of the country. If he put more resources into Tigray he’s going to lose more control of the other regions.''

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A year ago, the Ethiopian government called it a mere law enforcement operation that would be finished within weeks. Now it is "an existential war." @geoffreyyork

November 8, 2020 .@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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Gardens of Eden: the church forests of Ethiopia – a photo essay @guardian

At the heart of each circle of forest, hunkered down under the ancient canopy and wrapped in lush vegetation, are saucer-shaped churches – otherworldly structures that almost seem to emit a life force. And in a sense they do.
Preserved as an act of faith for centuries, these forests are proof of the power of spiritual ideas to create sustainable landscapes.

The Church Forests of Ethiopia, by Kieran Dodds, is available from 15 November.

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

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