Hello, How did the first week of September go for you? Hopefully eventful.

We have some in-house news to share, We’ve decided to take some time off to do a bit of housekeeping. We’d be away for two weeks to return on Saturday the 28th of September. 

We miss you already and wish we didn’t have to go 😭 

Let’s dive into the news 😊

Nigeria


Tensions between Nigeria and South Africa

The Story

Earlier this week, people started mass rioting in places throughout South Africa, including Johannesburg and Pretoria. In what people are calling xenophobic (The fear or hatred of something perceived to be foreign or strange) attacks, many foreign-owned shops were looted. 

Reason: The unemployment rate in South Africa is high – 29% – and rioters there are accusing immigrants of taking their jobs. 


The major victims?

At least 10 people have been killed, two of whom are foreigners. Although many of the businesses that were targeted are Nigerian-owned and Nigerians think they are the major victims of the attacks, the nationality of victims is yet to be known.

Who is paying for this mess?

South African businesses that operate across Africa have been attacked in reprisals for xenophobic violence in the country. The riots are causing particularly severe tensions in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy. Over 420 arrests have been made following the attacks, MTN has shut down all operations across Nigeria. 

Who is unhappy about this? 

  • Madagascar calls off friendly with South Africa
  • Air Tanzania suspends flights to South Africa
  • Anti-South Africa protests in DRC
  • Zambia shuts three South African malls
  • Zambia football body cancels match with SA
  • Nigerian celebrities, Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage cancel expected performance in South Africa.

On the brighter side

Local airline, Air Peace, offers free evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa to return to their country.  Also, the violence seems to have been exaggerated & aggravated by false images – it’s not as bad as people portray it to be online. Please check, double-check before you share!

@RMAjayi

Bottom line: As per Skimm, This isn’t the first time there’ve been xenophobic attacks in South Africa. But the rise in violence is pointing to how major economic strains there can increase social tensions – and lead to deadly consequences.

How Nigeria’s Economy performed from April to July 2019

The Story

The National Bureau of Statistics in it’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report for the second quarter of 2019 reported Nigeria’s economy grew by 1.94%. When compared to 2.10 % (revised from 2.01% due to oil output revisions) recorded in the first quarter of 2019 however, the Q2 2019 real growth rate indicates a decline of 16%.

While when compared to the second quarter of 2018 which recorded a growth of 1.50%, the growth observed in the second quarter of 2019 indicates an increase of 44 %.

What is GDP?

It is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy, It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period, often referred to as the size of the economy.

What this means

Compared to the year 2018, Nigeria is in a better spot economically but compared to the first quarter of 2019, things slowed down.

Possible causes

Nigeria’s economy is still reliant on Oil.  In Q2 2019, Nigeria recorded average daily oil production of 1.98million barrels per day (mbpd), or 7.6 per cent higher than the daily average production of 1.84mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2018 but slightly less than output recorded in Q1 2019 (1.99mbpd -revised from 1.96 mbpd).

Nigeria received $5.82 billion capital inflows in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, compared to $8.48 billion in the first quarter (Q1). Less Foreign capital came into Nigeria.

Bottom line: While momentum improved in the economy in Q1 with 2.10% GDP growth, major sectors’ contracted and this may partly be due to the uncertainty the surrounded the political atmosphere in the country. The new Ministers were recently announced, so we expected major decisions to be made and investors’ confidence to increase.

Africa

Mugabe goes home

Former Zimbabwean President Rober Mugabe died this week at the age of 95.

Meet the man

Born February 21, 1924, in what was then Rhodesia, a British Colony, Robert Mugabe was a courageous politician, who stood at the centre of his country’s fight for independence, imprisoned (for over a decade without trial) for daring to defy the white-minority rule and eventually became Zimbabwean first Prime Minister in 1980.

What went wrong?

In 2000, in what appeared to be a desperate act to remain in power or maybe not, he encouraged Zimbabweans to take over their lost land by seizing them from white minorities, and in 2008, when agitations from citizens started rising and oppositions came up, he used violent militias to silence his political opponents during an election.

Why did he refuse to leave governance?

He felt he was the best man for the Job and even publicly declared that “it is only God who put him in power could remove him from office”. Well God certainly did that in 2017.

Mixed reactions on his death

To some, he was a monster and to some, he was a hero. 

Hero: What stood out for Mugabe was his interest in salvaging the health sector of his country, his gift of oratory and love for education. For his fight against colonialism. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called Mr Mugabe a “champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism, who inspired our own struggle against apartheid”.

Monster: Meanwhile, George Walden, one of the British negotiators at the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979 which ended white-minority rule, said Mr Mugabe was a “true monster”. Mr Mugabe later became “a grossly corrupt, vicious dictator”, he said. 

Bottom line:  Mugabe left a mixed legacy, one that might ultimately be overshadowed by the corruption scandals and death trolls that transpired during his reign.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Let us sell our Ivory in peace

The Story

Southern African nations including Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are threatening to quit the global wildlife trade regulator if they are not granted the right to sell ivory acquired through natural deaths, confiscations and culling.

What does it mean?

The sales of certain wildlife animals is guided by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Countries that deal in these types of trade meet periodically to agree on what can be sold and how many, in order to keep control over how many wildlife animals are left.

Case in Point: The number of Elephant has dropped from several million to just less than 400,000 in the last 30 years.

Will they really Quit?

While these countries are threatening to quit, No member has permanently quit the Convention since it was adopted in 1963. The United Arab Emirates withdrew in 1988 but rejoined in 1990. There’s clearly some value in being a part of this convention.

But…

These largely aid-dependent southern African countries the lion’s share of Africa’s wildlife. The Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has frowned at the decision not to relax ivory laws saying the money, estimated to have a combined value of $600 million (540.7 million euros), could fund conservation projects.

In his words, “They bar us from killing our animals for selling ivory, but they want us to protect them from being poached,”

Big Picture: Different animals play important roles in the ecosystem, while it might be profitable to sell them/parts of them; if care isn’t taken, they might go extinct costing the ecosystem more.

International

Hurricane Dorian 🌊 💔

The Story

The Island of Bahamas, home to about 395,361 people recently experienced a Hurricane, which caused about 70,000 people to lose their homes and left 30 people dead. 

The Effect: About $7 billion worth of property lost with many more people who will be out of jobs and home for months.

What’s everyone doing about this?

Nations, companies and World Aid agencies such as the Red Cross are rising up to help the people of Bahamas. Normal citizens aren’t left out too as they’re contributing their bit to the quota, For example, at the Leonard M. Thompson airport, located in Abaco Island, Bahamas. Rashad Reckley, a 30-year-old saxophonist, played songs over a long period of time for people who had lost their homes.

In his words “I want to lift up everybody’s spirits after all the tragedy that happened…They want me to play more. But I can’t think of songs to play.” 

Also, Popular Filmmaker Tyler Perry used his private jet to move water, hygiene items, sleeping bags and other necessities to the Bahamas. On the way back to the US, he also brought back several passengers, including a pregnant woman who needed medical attention.

Looking forward

  • Because the Bahamas is surrounded by the ocean this might not be the last hurricane it would face.
  • Hurricane Dorian is projected to move further away from the US coast, moving toward Canada.
  • Every year there’s a hurricane in one part of the world, many are blaming this on Climate change. A gentle reminder to go Green.

WeWork is making some changes to woo investors

The Story

After WeWork, the coworking space/tech company announced it would be filing for its Initial Public Offering in order to raise about $3.5 billion critics raised some red flags: a business model that’s vulnerable to economic downturns, an SEC filing with murky financial metrics and billions of dollars in losses. 

In the bid to ensure the IPO comes through as planned, Wework is making some adjustments to ensure it raises the required amount it needs when it goes public.

What are the adjustments?

Cutting Valuation: It’s reducing the company’s valuation from $47 billion as at its last fundraising around $20 – $30 billion. It’s Basically saying, we might have overestimated how valuable we are as a company, making it easier for investors to own more of the company for less.

Adding the first woman to its board: After facing criticism from both activist & potential investors for having an all-male board of directors, WeWork is adding the first woman to the board – Harvard Business School professor and We Co. consultant Frances Frei. This just seems like an add on and not something rooted in the culture of the company, would she be removed as soon the company raises the money it’s expecting to?

Reversing shady deals: WeWork’s founder Neumann will return the controversial $5.9 million worth of stock he got as compensation for trademarks used in the company’s rebrand to The We Co. We are very happy to hear this, but what’s the guarantee he won’t get the money again through another shady deal.


Bottom line: After many IPOs have failed to live up to expectations this year, investors are now wary of putting their money anywhere. Could these changes be good enough to convince investors that Wework is worth investing?


Worth reading 📚

The Hard Part of Ending Inequality Is Paying for It

The epic, decades-long battle between Ford and a small-time inventor

The Joys of Being a Late Tech Adopter: Still thinking of getting the latest device?


Is One of the World’s Biggest Lawsuits Built on a Sham?: A dying Irishman went for one last big score in Nigeria.




And that’s all for this week! 😎 See you on the 28th of September 2019.

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