Good morning

It’s the first day of the new month, and there are many reasons you should be happy—specifically those who invested in bitcoin which grew over 60% in May, and team Cloout whose family growth reached 50 subscribers. Thank you for being part of this journey. Keep reading and sharing 😊

Nigeria

May 29th

The story.

While many people were confused about whether the handover would hold, or indifferent about what was happening, on May 29th President Buhari and 29 governors were sworn in.

Zoom out:
Out of the over 90 political parties that took part in Nigeria’s 2019 general election, only APC (14) and PDP(15) produced governors.

How did the inauguration go?

President Buhari gave no speech at his inauguration and he left the country the next day for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

What did people say about the president’s silence?
“He’d give his speech on June 12th”.
“He doesn’t rate us…he doesn’t have plans for us and he doesn’t want to lie”

It stays at 13.5% for now

What’s this about?

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) opted to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5%.

What does this mean?

The Monetary Price Rate is the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks. Yes, even your bank borrows too.

The rate at which banks borrow from the central bank and other factors influence how much interest rate the commercial banks give out loans to businesses and individuals. Higher interest rates mean it’s costlier to get a loan and lower interest rate means it’s cheaper to get a loan.

What does it matter?

For two years, the MPR was at 14% but it was reduced to 13.5% in March 2019 to stimulate the economy. Keeping it at this rate would ensure the momentum of growth continues.

Africa

 Three words that describe Africa this week are Trade, Elections and Coup d’état.  

Free Trade Begins without Nigeria

What’s happening?

The African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) agreement came into effect on 30th of May, without Nigeria.

Remind me about this.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a trade agreement between 49 African Union member states, with the goal of creating a single market. This is also followed by free movement and a single-currency union.  This means African businesses, traders and consumers will no longer pay tariffs on about 90% of goods that they trade between African countries. Sounds cool right?

Why’s Nigeria not a part of this?

It’s risky. Nigeria doesn’t think this agreement would favour her as it could lead to the loss of sources of income, unemployment and the shutting down of small firms. It could also lead to the theft of intellectual property.

One more term

The Story.

This week in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for the next 4 years. In Malawi, Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was sworn in as Malawi President for a five-year second term.

What are people saying:

South Africa:
While some people are happy that they get ruled by white people, a larger portion of the population has lost faith in the country’s leaders.

Malawi:
There are fears that Malawi might return to a one-party state like when it was ruled by Hastings Banda from 1964 – 1994.

We are on Strike

What’s happening?

A while ago in April, the Sudan army took over from ruling president Bashir after months of protests against his autocratic rule.

Now the people are tired of the military and say it’s time for the army to leave, which has amounted to a two-day national strike to put pressure on the military to hand power to a civilian administration.

What people are saying:
“We see the military council as part of the former regime. We don’t see it upholding any rights and building a just state”.

What’s next?

The military would install a transitional civilian government, which in turn would prepare for fresh elections which would happen after three years.

A looming civil war in Libya

Vice

The story.

Libya currently has two parallel governments — the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord in the capital, Tripoli, and a second government in the east, propped up by the powerful military warlord, Khalifa Haftar.

Since early April 2019, fighting between the two sides has killed more than 300, wounded 1,600, and displaced approximately 40,000 Libyans. 😢

Vice

Why is a civil war brewing?

Earlier in April, a renegade military commander Khalifa Hafar who commands forces loyal to a government based in the country’s east launched a major campaign to capture Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.

The BackStory.

In 2011, after the long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, who had been in power for about four decades was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising.  Libya has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: the one in eastern Libya, which Hafar is affiliated with, and the Tripoli-based GNA that UN recognises.

What’s the rest of the world doing about this?

The US seems to be staying on the sidelines, while Russia and France are seeking their own interest.

Libya has the largest proven crude oil reserves in Africa at 48.4 billion barrels. When Gaddafi was in power, Libya produced some 1.6 million barrels per day, exported mostly to Italy and France.

Russia lost about $4billion in oil and military contracts when Gaddafi was killed, Haftar could recover triple of what was lost.

International

Bibi Says Bye-Bye for now

Getty Images

What’s happening

Barely 2 months after Israel’s elections, fresh elections are to happen in September as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to form a new government.

Care to explain more?

Sure! Out of 120 seats in parliament, he could only secure 60 seats but he needed 61 seats to form a new government.


Why didn’t he get at least one more seat?

When Netanyahu needed some more seats to form a coalition, he was asked to pass a law that would mandate the Ultra-Orthodox to serve in Military in exchange for support.
I’m gonna need a history lesson here.

In Israel, once you’re 18 years old, you’re to be drafted into the Military. Usually, men serve for 3 years while women serve for 2 years. But there’s an exception for one set of people, the Ultra-Orthodox. They haven’t had to serve since 1948 when Israel gained independence but recently the Israeli government decided to bring in the Ultra-Orthodox to serve in the military for administrative reasons.

This new movement was met with resistance from the Ultra-Orthodox political party (Political party made up of Ultra-Orthodox people) who fought back saying they don’t need to be in the military because they already protect Israel by praying and studying the holy books. 😏

Who will this affect?

Bibi: This New election will prevent PM Netanyahu from being able to pass laws giving himself immunity from three pending indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

US: The new elections in Israel will also further complicate the Trump administration’s plans to launch its long-awaited Middle East peace plan. The US hoped to have a new Israeli government in place before rolling out the first phase of the plan next month.

Facebook to launch digital currency in 2020

Most people know Facebook as a social platform that connects people together. But now it wants to replace your money with its own crypto-currency known as “Global Coin.”

What is a cryptocurrency?

Crypto-currency is virtual money which can be used to pay for things in the real world, maybe for food, to book a hotel room or a flight. They run on blockchain technology and the digital tokens are held in online wallets which can be shared between users anonymously.

How would Global Coin Work?

With Global coin, users can make payments across channels regardless of whether they have bank accounts or not. Facebook hopes to partner with banks and brokers to enable a feature that will allow people to change dollars and other international currencies into its digital coins.

What are the concerns about Global Coin?

The US Senate is worried about how the currency will run. What consumer protection will be provided, and how data would be secured considering Facebook’s previous data privacy issues. In all, the bigger question is, would people trust it enough to change their cash to a digital coin?

Uber’s first quarter in the Public

The Story.

Now that Uber is a public company it is mandated like all other public companies to share its quarterly financial performance with the public. Here’s a look at how Uber performed in the first quarter.

What do I need to know.

  • Revenue made was about $2.76 billion, an increase of 14% from the previous quarter beating analysts estimates of $2.75.
  • Uber made a loss of $1.01 billion, Uber’s loss in a single quarter was larger than that of North American rival Lyft Inc. in all of last year.

What’s the way forward?

Despite concerns about its profitability, Uber remains confident that it is on the right track. “We will not hesitate to invest and defend our market position globally,” CFO Nelson Chai said. In other words, It’s better to be deeply unprofitable than be in the last place.

What we enjoyed reading

What is wrong with Kerosene lamps?

The costs of Nigerian fraud

The technology behind Game of Thrones.


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