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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 15th of November 2021
 
Morning
Africa

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Most people actually do know what's coming, more or less. Just not when it's coming. Like at all. @coloradotravis
World Of Finance


And then the latter leads to a lot of confusion about the former and we get all mixed up about things.

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[AND A REGIME CHANGE IS UNDERWAY] There is no training – 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. @ptj_official
World Of Finance

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.

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23-AUG-2021 :: ZigZag Ultras (#UB_F) 50%
World Of Finance


But this will only happen at the denouement  

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Black swan, golden sunrise @Astrid_Tontson
World Of Finance

For the denouement to happen we need to return to March 2020

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Kilwa, Tanzania @rhaplord
Africa

The largest Swahili city, it flourished from the gold trade from great Zimbabwe. Its architectural monuments date from the 11th, 14th and 18th centuries corresponding with peaks in prosperity

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The Gereza Fort is one of the last in a series of great forts and palaces built on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani, at one point the most powerful city-state in the whole of East Africa. @nomadmagafrica
Africa


The Gereza Fort was erected after the Portuguese seized control of the Swahili coastal trade routes and is one of the last in a series of great forts and palaces built on the island of Kilwa Kisiwani, at one point the most powerful city-state in the whole of East Africa.

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M.G Vassanji's The Magic of Saida
Africa

M. G. Vassanji: I would describe it as a love story that in its development and description tells other stories. It is set in Kilwa, the ancient town on the east coast of Africa, which is associated historically with slavery, international (Indian Ocean) trade, and twentieth-century colonialism, as well as Swahili culture and poetry.
This history is manifest in various forms in the lives of the people. The story of Kilwa is therefore also the story of the two childhood sweethearts in the book. Thus, the boy Kamal is mesmerized by the history narrated by the old poet of the town.
Vassanji: Sometimes, it's hard to remember. I think I had the town of Kilwa in mind, having read about it. It has a certain romance to it, being ancient. It's one of the oldest urban settlements in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Arab traveler Ibn Batuta mentions it in the fourteenth century; the English poet John Milton mentions it. It's older than Delhi. Its descriptions in old Portuguese texts are fantastic.
Then there was the mystique of magic--which is very strong in Tanzania. I got fascinated by Swahili culture.

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Belarusian soldiers tried to destroy a Polish border fence near Czeremcha (115km south of Kuznica). Some of them were blinding Polish soldiers with stroboscopes and lasers while the others were ripping out fence posts @TadeuszGiczan
Law & Politics

Last night Belarusian soldiers tried to destroy a Polish border fence near Czeremcha (115km south of Kuznica). Some of them were blinding Polish soldiers with stroboscopes and lasers while the others were ripping out fence posts and tearing down concertina wire using a vehicle.

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China's President Xi Jinping is helmsman of Chinese rejuvenation, a Communist Party official told a news conference on Friday. @Reuters. https://j.mp/3c9tx5G
Law & Politics


The party passed a "historical resolution" on Thursday that highlighted its achievements under Xi's leadership, which had the effect of consolidating his authority.

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Australia’s defence minister has said it was inconceivable that his nation would not support the US in a campaign to defend Taiwan from China @FT .
Law & Politics


Australia’s defence minister has said it was “inconceivable” that his nation would not support the US in a campaign to defend Taiwan from China, amid rising concerns about Beijing’s increasingly assertive military activity.
In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Peter Dutton said that Chinese leaders had been “very clear about their intent to go into Taiwan” and that Canberra had to improve its ability to deter Beijing and be ready to join the US military if it took action.
“It would be inconceivable that we wouldn’t support the US in an action if the US chose to take that action,” Dutton said.
His comments came two months after the US, Australia and UK launched a trilateral security partnership that will help Canberra obtain nuclear-powered submarines, an effort viewed as designed to counter China.
“Australia’s rapid strategic realignment on China has been stunning,” said Eric Sayers, a security expert at the American Enterprise Institute. 

“We are now seeing a level of shared tactical clarity emerge in Washington, Canberra and Tokyo on the criticality of stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
Dutton’s comments also came days after Paul Keating, the former Australian prime minister, said Taiwan was “not a vital Australian interest” and that Canberra should not be drawn into a conflict with Beijing over the island.
Last month, President Joe Biden vowed to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack. 

The White House rolled back the comments, which appeared to upend “strategic ambiguity”, a longstanding US policy under which Washington does not say explicitly whether it would intervene in a military conflict over Taiwan.
The policy is intended to prevent Taiwan from taking action that would trigger a Chinese attack while deterring Beijing from military action against the country, over which it claims sovereignty. 

Biden’s comments marked the second time this year that he suggested Washington would defend Taipei.
The issue of Taiwan is expected to loom over a virtual meeting on Monday between Biden and China’s president Xi Jinping to address challenges in the relationship between their countries.
In a phone call on Saturday ahead of the leaders’ meeting, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi warned Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, against supporting Taiwan’s independence, according to Chinese state media.
The US has been strengthening alliances in Europe and Asia in an effort to present a united front against Beijing. 

Biden has reinvigorated the “Quad”, a security group that includes Australia, Japan and India.
In July, Taro Aso, then Japan’s deputy prime minister, said a conflict over Taiwan would pose an existential threat that would require Japan and the US to “defend Taiwan together”.
Gerald Brown, an Asia security expert, welcomed Dutton’s statement, saying one of the most important factors in deterring Chinese military action against Taiwan was “creating a multilateral front”.
“Australia’s willingness to assist in the event of an unprovoked attack against Taiwan substantially raises the costs for the [People’s Republic of China] to engage in hostilities,” Brown said. 

“A multilateral front of multiple states willing to step in and support continues to raise these costs and is a prudent move towards deterring PRC aggression.”
The US said on Friday that Blinken had stressed in a call with Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s new foreign minister, that Washington was committed to “working closely with Japan and other allies and partners to advance our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

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@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 9 November 2021
Misc.


During the week 1 to 7 November 2021, a slight upward trend (1% increase) in new weekly cases was observed, with over 3.1 million new cases reported. 

Over 48 000 new deaths were reported, a 4% decrease from the previous week. 

Conclusions

a 3 week Up swing after a sequence of 9 week decline 

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Nations w/ fastest COVID19 avg growth rate (daily/total) @jmlukens
Misc.


New Zealand: 2.22%

Laos: 2.11%
Barbados: 1.41%
Singapore: 1.26%
Austria: 1.15%
Slovakia: 1.10%
Croatia: 1.04%
Iceland: 1.04%
Slovenia: 0.87%
Ireland: 0.86%

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COVID-19 infections are still rising in 50 countries. @ReutersGraphics
Misc.

15 countries are still near the peak of their infection curve

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Nations w/ fast COVID avg death/day increase past 2wks @jmlukens
Misc.

Czechia: 248%
Hungary: 188%
Slovakia: 128%
Croatia: 107%
Austria: 107%
Netherlands: 105%
Poland: 96%
Germany: 82%
Georgia: 73%
South Africa: 71%

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1457
Dollar Index 94.96
Japan Yen 113.85
Swiss Franc 0.9198
Pound 1.3437
Aussie 0.7343
India Rupee 74.36
South Korea Won 1179.41
Brazil Real 5.4590
Egypt Pound 15.7147
South Africa Rand 15.31

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Major breakout on agricultural commodities. @TaviCosta
Commodities


Food prices are poised to rise significantly from here.

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Global food markets are but the perturbation of a butterflyss wing away from a serious tipping point. @csmonitor By Aly-Khan Satchu, September 6, 2010
Commodities

Given the fragility of the food markets, Maputo might well be a shot across the bows of many regimes, who have yet to secure access to sufficient food at sufficiently low prices for their people. 
Failure to execute on this front, surely imperils many.

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WHO regional overviews Epidemiological week 1-7 November 2021 African Region
Africa



After a decreasing trend since July 2021, case incidence rates in the African Region have begun to plateau, with over 20 000 new cases reported this week. 

Over 500 new deaths were reported, a 27% decrease as compared to the previous week. 

However, substantial increases (>15%) in new cases were reported in a third of the countries in the region (15/49; 31%). 


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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Seven Charts that Show Sub-Saharan Africa at a Crucial Point @IMFAfrica By @aselassie & Habtamu Fuje @IMFNews
Africa


After an unparalleled contraction in 2020, sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow by 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022. 

The recovery is supported by rising commodity prices, improving global trade and financial conditions. 

But this welcomed rebound is relatively modest by global standards, leading to a widening income disparity with developed economies.

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The vaccine rollout in sub-Saharan Africa has been the slowest in the world, The region has fully vaccinated only 3 percent of its population @IMFAfrica @IMFNews
Africa

The vaccine rollout in sub-Saharan Africa has been the slowest in the world, leaving the region vulnerable to repeated waves of COVID-19. The region has fully vaccinated only 3 percent of its population, well below the level needed to reach herd immunity. 

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The pandemic has also worsened the pre-existing divergence across sub-Saharan African countries and within individual countries. @IMFAfrica By @aselassie & Habtamu Fuje @IMFNews
Africa


Even before the pandemic, non-resource-intensive countries that have a diversified economic structure had been growing faster than resource-rich countries. 

But this gap has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has highlighted key disparities in resilience.
Similarly, the pandemic has elevated divergence within individual countries, along lines of employment, gender, geographic residence, socioeconomic status, and formal/informal workers. 

Rising food prices, combined with reduced incomes, also mean that households must reduce food consumption, threatening past gains in poverty reduction, nutrition, and food security.

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Sub-Saharan African countries are facing a difficult fiscal policy trilemma— @IMFAfrica By @aselassie & Habtamu Fuje @IMFNews
Africa


Sub-Saharan African countries are facing a difficult fiscal policy trilemma—balancing tradeoffs between pressing development-spending needs, containing public debt, and mounting resistance to tax revenue mobilization. 

Meeting these goals has never been easy, but the pandemic has made it even more difficult. 

The spending needs of sub-Saharan Africa are growing and becoming pressing as the pandemic takes a toll on health, employment, education, infrastructure investment, and poverty reduction efforts. Climate change adds to the burden.

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Climate Shocks @IMFAfrica @IMFNews
Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s smallest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions—less than 5 percent of global emissions—but nonetheless the region is perhaps the most vulnerable to climate shocks.

 One-third of the world’s droughts already take place in sub-Saharan Africa, and its dependence on rain-fed agriculture makes it particularly vulnerable. 

Climate change can also act as a multiplier for conflict and fragility, worsening pre-existing tensions, weak governance, and other socio-economic concerns. 

Adapting to climate change, and assisting in worldwide mitigation efforts, will require new and robust climate-finance mechanisms.

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Special Drawing Rights (SDR) @IMFAfrica @IMFNews
Africa


International cooperation remains vital. Without external financial and technical assistance, the divergent recovery paths of sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world may harden into permanent fault lines, jeopardizing decades of hard-won progress. 

So far, international organizations and donors have mobilized swiftly to support the region. 

Looking ahead, the voluntary channeling of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from countries with strong external positions to those most in need can further magnify the impact of the new SDR allocation. 

Used wisely, these resources could shape the region’s post-pandemic recovery path.

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Over the next three decades, the global population is set to increase by about 2 billion. Half of that growth will take place in sub-Sahara Africa, @IMFAfrica @IMFNews
Africa


Despite the difficult years ahead, the region’s potential as a source of global demand remains undiminished. 

Over the next three decades, the global population is set to increase by about 2 billion. 

Half of that growth will take place in sub-Sahara Africa, as the region’s population is projected to double from about 1 billion to 2 billion. 

This makes the region potentially one of the world’s most dynamic economies, and one of its most important markets.

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

As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.
And now we have two visions of the Future. One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children.
The other vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw.
Hugh Masekela said ‘’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’’ Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment.

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20 JAN 20 :: The Intrusion of Middle Powers
Africa

In fact, from the Maghreb to the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, we are witnessing a surge in asymmetric warfare and the intrusion of Middle Powers.

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ESWATINI Endgame of throne? @Africa_Conf
Africa


Africa's last absolute monarchy teeters as activists step up protests and demand action from South Africa
What started as a student protest against police brutality has morphed into a full-scale crisis with King Mswati III's army killing between 80-100 civilians in clashes with demonstrators. 

Angered by the monarch's obduracy, a coalition of activists – in political parties, churches, human rights and pro-democracy groups – is demanding reform and an end to King Mswati III's 35-year reign.

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In too many places, in too many ways, the regions foundations are sinking into the sand, said Secretary Hillary Clinton. January 15, 2011 Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution @csmonitor
Africa

“Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while, but not forever, If leaders don’t offer a positive vision and give young people meaningful ways to contribute, others will fill the vacuum.”

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The U.S. is very concerned about the potential for Ethiopia to implode @SecBlinken @business
Africa



“One path forward is out-and-out conflict which could lead to the implosion of Ethiopia and spill over into other countries in the region,” Blinken told reporters during a news conference in Washington with Qatar’s foreign minister. 

“The other path is to halt all of the military actions that are currently underway, to sit down, to negotiate a real cease-fire.” 

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


“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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While Ethiopias Tigrayan rebels may be within 200 miles of Addis Ababa, a storming of the capital and a reprise of their 1991 overthrow of the Derg regime looks unlikely. @Business Next Africa
Africa


Instead, Africa’s second most populous country may be heading toward an impasse that could see more lives lost, trade routes disrupted and further economic damage inflicted on what was one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies.
“They are in my opinion very unlikely to approach the capital,” said Adem Abebe, a program officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. “There is a realization that this is a stalemate.”

If the war continues, “it’s going to be very protracted and very very bloody,” said Edward Hobey-Hamsher, a senior Africa analyst at U.K. risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. “Whatever emerges from that will be very short lived.”

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How @Facebook is fanning the flames in Ethiopia @thecontinent_
Africa


Nearly half the world is on Facebook or one of its apps. The social media platform has revolutionised the way that humans communicate – but only now are we beginning to understand the consequences of this revolution. 

Fake news, conspiracy theories, hate speech, incitements to violence: these all thrive on Facebook, thanks to an algorithm that has been trained to prioritise shares and likes over our safety

Ethiopia is a case study in how Facebook can inflame tensions and fuel real-world violence. 

But unless Facebook – and the other social media giants – change the way they operate, it may also be a sign of things to come everywhere else.

On August 30, nine months into Ethiopia’s brutal civil war, a Facebook user who goes by the name Northern Patriot Tewodros Kebede Ayo posted a clear incitement to violence on his page.
He accused the Qimant, an ethnic minority in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, of supporting the opposition forces. 

He called them “snitches”, and singled out the Qimant residents of Aykel, a small town in Amhara.
Writing in Amharic, he said: “The punishment has been imposed ... the clean-up continues.”
Two days later, between September 1 and 2, more than a dozen Qimant in Aykel were dragged from their homes and butchered on the street, allegedly by members of the feared Fano militia – an Amhara nationalist paramilitary group that has been implicated in multiple atrocities. 

This was reported at the time by Al Jazeera, and two sources have independently confirmed this account to The Continent.
On September 1, users on another Facebook account – a page called “The Fano Patriotic People’s Radical System Change” – joined in the online lynch mob: “No mercy for the Qimant,” one post said, even as the killings in Aykel were happening

Another user on the page had previously, in May 2020, laid out a 14-page road map on how to organise the Fano militia, with both violent and non- violent options.
There is no evidence that there is a direct causal link between these Facebook posts and the massacre in Aykel. 

What we do know, however, is that Facebook staff already knew about both of these accounts, and were worried about their potential to incite violence.
Months earlier, in a leaked internal document seen by The Continent, a team within Facebook had found that these accounts were key nodes in a major online disinformation network aligned to the Fano militia, codenamed Disarming Lucy.
According to Facebook’s own data, this network was co-ordinating “calls for violence and other armed conflict in Ethiopia”; and “promoting armed conflict, co-ordinated doxxing, recruiting and fund-raising for the militia”.
The Facebook team that had discovered Disarming Lucy recommended that all the accounts associated with it be taken down. This was in March 2021. 

But as of today, The Continent can reveal that every single one of those accounts is still active – and many are still spreading hate speech and inciting violence.

The Continent reached out to Facebook for comment on this and other issues raised in this article, but received no response prior to publication.
The algorithm is the problem
Between Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, more than 3.6-billion people regularly use one of Facebook’s apps (the company has recently rebranded and is now known as Meta). 

Ironically, for a company that is built on the sharing of personal information, Facebook’s inner workings have always been relatively opaque.
Until now.
In May 2021, a data scientist named Frances Haugen resigned from her job with Facebook’s civic integrity unit. 

That’s the unit, based in Facebook’s San Francisco headquarters, that was supposed to monitor – and, crucially, mitigate – all the ways in which Facebook causes harm, including the spread of hate speech and disinformation on the platform. 

It was disbanded in the wake of the American election last year.
Haugen had grown increasingly disillusioned with Facebook, coming to believe that it was putting profit ahead of providing users with meaningful protection.
Before she left the company for good, Haugen took more than 10,000 documents with her. 

She copied them by taking photos of her computer screen – in some of the documents, her silhouette is even visible in the reflection.
She shared these documents first with the United States Congress, and then with the Wall Street Journal.
Now she’s shared them with a small consortium of journalists from around the world, including The Continent, which is the only African newspaper represented.
The documents are drawn largely from the civic integrity unit and Facebook’s internal workplace forum.
They paint a damning picture of a company that understands exactly how dangerous its platform can be – but which has repeatedly failed to take actions to make it safer, especially outside of the US.
Haugen describes herself as “an algorithm person”. She is an expert in the intricacies of Facebook’s back-end, rather than the political complexities of individual countries, which gives her an insider’s perspective on how hate speech spreads so wildly on the platform.
The key point, confirmed in a number of internal experiments, is that content that is inflammatory and extreme is more likely to go viral, generating what Facebook calls Meaningful Social Interaction (MSI) – a metric that measures reach and impact on Facebook (and which is central to how Facebook makes money).
Most of Facebook’s features are designed to maximise MSI, which means that the algorithm has a tendency to promote extreme content.
Or, in Facebook-speak, according to one leaked internal memo: “Analyses consistently document that harmful content and low quality Producers disproportionately garner distribution from unconnected reach compared to benign content and high quality

Producers.”
And, from another leaked document:
“It’s no secret Facebook’s growth-first approach to product development leads us to ship risky features.”
In other words: it appears that the prevalence of hate speech and disinformation on Facebook is not a bug. It’s a feature.
An unprofitable trade-off
There are, broadly, two ways in which Facebook can tackle this problem. 

The first is by tweaking the way Facebook works, to make it harder for people to share problematic content. These changes can be subtle, but have an enormous impact nonetheless.
One change favoured by Haugen is to make it more difficult for Facebook users to reshare content from people who are not in their friends list.
Currently, it’s as easy as pressing the share button, which requires little effort or thought. Internal experiments have shown that disabling the share button in these contexts leads to an instant, dramatic reduction in the spread of fake news and hate speech. 

Users are still free to reshare the content, but they have to copy and paste it to do so – and even this minimum level of effort makes most people think twice.
Technical solutions like this work across different countries and languages. It’s a quick, comprehensive fix.
The only problem, as far as Facebook is concerned, is that it also has a strongly negative impact on MSI: people share things less, they like things less, they engage less. 

In a briefing with the civic integrity team, the notes of which are among the leaked documents, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes his position clear, directing the team not to go ahead with any changes “if there was a material trade-off with MSI impact”.
This left the civic integrity team with an impossible task, according to another document. “...integrity teams spend months searching for win/wins – pro- safety features that are also pro-growth. But there’s the thing: these solutions- without-downside almost never exist.”
Or, as Haugen put it in a briefing with journalists on Thursday: “Facebook knows how to make these harms better. But they also know that no one can catch them. So they keep falling on the side of profits.”
Underfunded and understaffed
The second option available to Facebook is to tackle hate speech and disinformation on a case-by-case basis, using a combination of human moderators and machine learning to analyse individual posts. 

This approach requires enormous financial and human resources, which Facebook appears to be reluctant to commit outside of the United States.

For Ethiopia, for example, two sources told The Continent that there are fewer than 100 people working on content moderation across the four Ethiopian languages that are supported by Facebook (Amharic, Oromo, Somali and Tigrinya). 

With some 6.4-million Ethiopians on Facebook, this works out to less than one moderator per 64,000 people.
To compound the problem, the vast majority of Facebook’s spending is directed towards the US. 

According to financial records, in 2020 just 13% of the company’s budget to combat misinformation went to countries outside of the US – even though these countries account for 90% of Facebook’s user base.
Nor is machine learning an effective solution. 

Not at the moment, anyway. Timnit Gebru, a computer scientist who studies algorithmic bias, told The Continent that major errors can happen when computers are responsible for translating and assessing content for languages they do not prioritise.
“You have to have people who are following, investigating and understanding the context very clearly, like journalists. However, the social media platforms working on this don’t seem to have that.”
“Facebook needs to do better as far as content moderation on the continent goes,” said Eric Mugendi, Africa programme manager at Meedan, a tech non-profit that aims to improve the quality of online discourse. 

“Additionally, the platform needs to allocate more resources to local languages that are spoken widely in the continent and used on the platform, but are not properly monitored for potential harm. They need to acknowledge the real world harm that their inaction has led to, and much more needs to be done.”
Violating community standards
In Ethiopia, a country engulfed in a civil war that has been characterised by multiple accounts of massacres and atrocities, that real-world harm is all too visible.
Earlier this month, Facebook deleted a post by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that called on citizens to “bury the terrorist TPLF”

The post violated its community standards against inciting violence, the company said.
(If anyone understands the power of Facebook, it is Abiy: he was swept into power on the back of the grassroots, youth-led Qeerroo movement, which was itself enabled and then supercharged through Facebook).
But even more explicit posts by other prominent figures remained online. 

Berhan Taye, a digital rights researcher and activist, personally reported one post by media personality Mesay Mekonnen, which called for all Tigrayans to be placed in concentration camps. 

Multiple media reports confirm that Tigrayans in Addis Ababa are currently being rounded up and held in detention facilities around the capital.

Taye was told by Facebook that the post was reviewed, but “doesn’t go against one of our specific community standards”. 

Only after she escalated her complaint, using her own connections within Facebook, was the post removed.
The problems Ethiopia is experiencing are mirrored elsewhere in the developing world, Taye told The Continent.

 “[Facebook claims] less than 10% of Ethiopians use Facebook, implying investing in a place like that doesn’t make sense. But when you look at markets like India, Philippines or Brazil where Facebook has over 500-million users, Facebook has equally failed. Either they don’t care, or don’t know the impact the platforms have and are figuring out things after they have transpired.”
‘We are still blind’
“People across Africa should be concerned about Facebook’s poor handling of the Ethiopa crisis because it is indicative of the quality of the response we are likely to see in other African countries,” said Rosemary Ajayi of the Digital Africa Research Lab.
Facebook – or rather Meta, now – insists it is taking its responsibilities in Ethiopia seriously. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the company said that “for more than two years, we’ve been implementing a comprehensive strategy to keep people safe on our platform given the severe, long-standing risks of conflict”.
But the leaked documents tell a different story. 

As of December 2020, Ethiopia was categorised as having the weakest level of protection among the countries the civic integrity team had identified as at risk. 

In an attached rubric, this level is described as: “We are still blind to the extent of the problem”.
And basic safety features that are available to US and western audiences are not available to many Ethiopian users, the same document shows; despite the clear risks, 

Ethiopian users are without protection against misinformation, civic harassment, civic spam and fake accounts.
This leaves them vulnerable to the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that accompanied the massacre in Aykel, and has been a consistent, hate-filled soundtrack to Ethiopia’s civil war. 

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17-SEP-2012 Information warfare will not be couched in rationale of geopolitics, the author suggests, but will be spawned - like any Hollywood drama - out of raw emotions
Africa


“Hatred, jealousy, and greed - emotions, rather than strategy - will set the terms of [information warfare] struggles”.


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj

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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Clearly, the Horn of Africa is a prime example of the new information ecosystem of war, @thecontinent_ Nanjala Nyabola
Africa

We are witnessing one of the most sophisticated efforts at controlling the narrative of a crisis online short of a complete internet shutdown: the fog of war in the digital age, with social media as part of the terrain.

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26 MAR 18 :: @Facebook
Africa


“We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable, untraceable.”
“It’s no use fighting elections on the facts; it’s all about emotions.”
“So the candidate is the puppet?” the undercover reporter asked. “Always,” replied Nix.

Traditional media has been disrupted and the insurgents can broadcast live and over the top from feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable and noteworthy.

In an extraordinary boomerang, The US’ adversaries have turned social media on its head and used it as a ‘’Trojan Horse’’ via psychographic profiling and micro-targeting at a mass scale.
The fundamental challenge for Facebook is this: It has represented itself as an ‘’Infomediary’’ 

An infomediary works as a personal agent on behalf of consumers to help them take control over information gathered about them. 

The concept of the infomediary was first suggested by John Hagel III in the book Net Worth.
However, Facebook has been hawking this information as if it were an intermediary. 

This is its ‘’trust gap’’. That gap is set to widen further. Facebook is facing an existentialist crisis.

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The ANC – from ‘Viva’ to vamoose @thecontinent_
Africa

The party of Nelson Mandela got just 46% of the vote in South Africa’s recent municipal elections – its worst result since coming to power in 1994

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Africa is home to 42 out of the 66 minerals essential for the green energy transition, according to a UN report. @thecontinent_
Africa


The switch will see demand soar for copper, zinc, iron, nickel, lead, and molybdenum – all minerals required for solar panels. 

The World Bank estimates that by 2050 supply requirements will have risen by as much as 300%.
Demand for other minerals like cobalt, lithium, and rare earth minerals will also grow to an extraordinary extent. 

These are crucial for batteries, smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines. 

Steel is also essential for the new age of digitisation.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia hold 75% of the global cobalt reserves. 

South Africa has 70% of the world’s platinum – essential in developing fuel cell products needed to support mini-grid electricity access in rural areas. A third of the world’s bauxite reserves, a fifth of its uranium resources, and two fifths of its manganese reserves are on the continent.
These bountiful resources could lead to a boom on the continent. But they may well lead to war and exploitation instead. 

Most of these minerals are concentrated in fragile hotspots troubled by conflict and violence, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
Africa is home to 42 out of the 66 minerals essential for the green energy transition, according to a UN report.

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