A Spin Through Happenings In Africa
As I write this, It's still not clear who will assume The presidency in Egypt. Many of us, might be experiencing a sense of deja vu. The Egyptian Pound is at a 7 year low. The EGX30 is +11.2% in 2012. The index has corrected 26.06% since March 7th, when it closed at 5452.00 and was the best performing index in the World at +50.4%. The path to equilibrium in Egypt remains unclear and SCAF is like a Sumo rrestlerin a Kindergarden.
Further south, The news wires were full of news of protests in Khartoum. The frequency and the number of locations of these protests increased through the week. Reuters reported that demonstrators moved through side streets, blocked roads, burned tyres and chanted "freedom, freedom", and "the people want to overthrow the regime".
Khartoum is trying to put in place an austerity package post the divorce with Juba and this moment might be the most dangerous yet for the NCP. I think both President Bashir and President Kiir had calculated that the other would blink first. Lets see who does because both are 'Frontier' laboratory experiments, now.
Turning our gaze West, You will note that the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sacked his defence minister and national security adviser on Friday. The Boko Haram have waged a virulent insurgency against the central government. The Nigeria All Share is +3.2% in 2012 and 1,296 points off its 2012 high. The Presidency does not give me the confidence that it has any strategy for getting out ahead of the Boko.
The oil price has moved dramatically lower in the last few weeks. This might well have been by design, so as to more effectively pressure Iran. However, the collateral damage is that the likes of Nigeria and Angola [the big oil producers] are set to find the waters a lot choppier. Of course, there has been a lot of informed chatter about how Somalia is a c21st Kuwait. And my barometer for Somalia is the beach in Mogadishu. It's become totemic and as long as folks are taking the ocean waters, then there is some reason for cheer.
Of course, the Al-Shabaab is surely at its most dangerous and asymettric when it faces a conventional military defeat. And the US embassy issued an Alert regarding Mombasa. Here in Kenya, the Shilling is back above 84.00. Versus The Euro the Shilling is at 105.55. That looks like a very High hurdle, given that we export so much to Europe. The benchmark Index the NSE20 is + 15.569% in 2012 and less than 0.2% away from an 11 month high. The World Bank confirmed that the EAC was the 2nd fastest growing region in the World. And of course, we sit slap bang in the middle of it.