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Kenya: W.E.C. Lines Internal Memo – “Re: SGR” (03.03.2018)

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Is the UAE using DP World Ports Deals to get diplomatic leverage now?

The Dubai based port and container company, that has catched a lot of flack within this week. Both with their devious deal, that the Federal Republic of Somalia dismissed, after Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World went into a co-venture over the Berbera Port. If that isn’t enough internal and diplomatic squabble, nothing is. As the United Arab Emirates are even trying influence more politicians over deal on the Horn of Africa. As they have already had the power to get a 30 year deal in Somaliland.

However, that deal has been under fire and people have wondered if the Mogadishu government has accepted it or done so with a favor. Since, this is still a government facility and important hub. That other nations like Ethiopia would like to have their stake in. Secondly, DP World has already another agreement on the horn in the port of Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT). That deal was done in 2006 and got binned by the government of Djibouti late February. So, the 30 year deal in Djibouti has already gone south and if the UAE government business want to interfere on the horn, they still have leverage in Somaliland. Where similar deal was made and the same concession of the port. Therefore, in the similar time-span and leadership, you can wonder if the Somaliland leadership signed similar agreement as the Djibouti counterparts, who has now canceled it there.

As that is happening, there is news of building and operating a Banana Port in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the agreements and the plans between Kabila’s government and DP World is appearing. Where the state will generate development and roads into the interior from the port, so the state can ensure the port that gets the containers and exports into the DRC. This is a big deal with amazing amount of funds going both to the Kabila cronies and the spending from DP World to upgrade the port there.

Since the writings notes of the 21st February 2018 Council of Ministers said about it:

The 5 texts on the Construction of the Banana Deep Water Port (the Proclamation of Harmonization of Views on the Contract Clauses of the Collaboration Agreement and the Shareholders’ Pact) and the Collective Agreement on Delegation of Service Public: the draft decree approving the Banana Deep Water Port Construction Agreement, the Muanda-Banana Estate Industrial Estate Decree and the Shareholder Corporation’s Shareholder Agreement. Banana Deep Water Port), the Council decided to visualize the project at its next meeting prior to any final decision on it” (COMPTE RENDU DE LA 8 ème REUNION ORDINAIRE DU CONSEIL DES MINISTRES, 21.02.2018).

Therefore, the DRC Government is planning to finalize an agreement with DP World, who has already had questionable agreements in Somaliland and Djibouti. This is not also to extend the arm of the company, but also give the UAE more involvement on the continent. As they have already ports agreement in Senegal and Somaliland, as they lost the one in Djibouti. Therefore, this would be possible now in the DRC.

We can now, see the diplomatic arm and business goes hand in hand, this through the port and UAE are using means of giant sums of infrastructure building, to get the government happy and ready to sign over their port control to the company, who happens to be state-run. This gives Dubai more power and also more control over the container business and handling of goods in these countries. As well, as the questionable dealings, are gaining the political elites, but not giving back to the community as a whole.

We can just wonder if this is a useful tool for Dubai and UAE to gain more political leverage in and around on the African continent, clearly it is working and getting reactions. We have to see if the Federal Government of Somalia, will do more than just canceling and dismissing the tripart agreement between Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World. Just have to see how this can affect the relationship between FSG, Somaliland and DP World. Also, if the DP World really making itself ready to takeover the Banana Port. They are clearly, making influences and throwing money around to gain important infrastructures, like the ports. So, they can have leverage when concerning political games like in the Qatar Crisis. Peace.

Somalia: Ministry of Ports and Marine Transports declares the Agreement between Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World Berbera Port as “Null and Void” (02.03.2018)

DP World: Ethiopia Acquires 19% Stake in DP World Berbera Port (01.03.2018)

Kenya: Infrastructure Projects (SGR and a Truck Road) will destroy parts of Nairobi National Park!

The value of Nairobi National Park as a tourism site is dwindling and with amp-speed, the government are preparing all sorts of activity, to take away the natural environment and make sure for what they seems as progress. Like always with this KANU government, sorry Jubilee, the Court Orders are not followed. This time being a Chinese Contractor building the Standard Gauge Railroad (SGR). However, leaked documents proves that the government plans more activity in the NNP. They are not caring about the environment and want to make quick bucks on the area.

Seemingly on the 23rd February 2018 the construction of the Standard Gauge Railroad (SGR) as reported by Kenyans United Against Poaching (KUAPO) wrote:

We have just received an alert that work on SGR Phase 2A has started within the boundaries of Nairobi National Park. Reports are coming in that about 40 workers with heavy machinery have started work near the embankment close to east gate and a construction camp that was set up last week. The area is heavily guarded by KWS rangers who are now not allowing anyone to get close. If these works are related to SGR Phase 2A, they are in contravention of the STOP ORDER currently in place as well as ongoing contempt of court proceedings. Either way, these works are in violation of EMCA and the WCMA and must be stopped immediately” (KUAPO, 23.02.2018).

The Environmental Management Consultancy (EMC) has invited stakeholders to a meeting on the 2nd March at the KWS Safari Walk Hall. This because the EMC are planning to build and operate certain projects in the NNP. They are planning construction a road from the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi Nairobi to access road line A which is a 3.8 kilometers road along the NNP, so this road are linking the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) and the Southern Bypass road for eases for the trucks. This is on orders by the Kenya Railways.

So it is not enough that the SGR are built true the NNP, but they need are road to pass there. So now rails and trucks can be brought true. EMC and Kenya Railways. Both actions are proving that the government doesn’t care about how they will impact the environment. We can wonder if there is more Chinese investors behind the road-development, as it took some Chinese contractors to build the SGR through the park.

If the Jubilee cares about how tourists and tourism pages wrote recently about NNP, this is taken from the Traveller, which claims to be this: “Traveller is the essential resource for Australians who love to travel. We are dedicated to providing the best travel advice by offering the perfect mix of inspirational content and comprehensive destination guides with things to do and places to stay” (Traveller, About Us).

So when the Australians read this about NNP: “One minute outside one of the biggest airports in Africa and there’s a herd of zebras wandering through some empty bushland just off the main road into the city. Two minutes later, there are three giraffes turning their heads this way and that, looking for all the world as if they’re preparing a traffic report for their mates back in the jungle. And within just 15 minutes of clearing customs at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport in the capital Nairobi, I’m sitting watching three lions stalk another dazzle of zebra and buffalo having a mud bath in arguably the world’s most astonishing wonderland – a massive wildlife conservancy on the very fringes of the fifth biggest city on the continent” (…) “It’s extraordinary in being 117 square kilometres of wilderness on the doorstep of a massively growing metropolis. We’re now the only capital city in the world with over 600 species of animals and birds, and more than 500 species of plants. It’s amazing that it’s so close to the city, but so far in terms of its atmosphere” (Sue Williams – ‘Nairobi National Park, Kenya: The world’s most astonishing wonderland’ 19.02.2018 link: http://www.traveller.com.au/nairobi-national-park-kenya-astonishing-wonderland-h0wbrz).

So when Australians reading this, they might be interested in visiting the place, even other foreigners, as they will bring good foreign exchange and secure employment for many through the tourism industry. However, that doesn’t seem important and such. As the state are now displaying plans for development, where they could take care of the environment and also earn funds on foreign tourist. It could been easy, instead they are building infrastructure in the midst of a National Park, because that is genius idea.

It is brilliant to cut of the park on different positions, one with the rails, the other with the road. So they can develop the areas that are cut-off instead of taking care of the NNP. That can clearly be seen as the vision, as the railroad will not slice parts of it off and then the road coming and might do more. It is just so fitting, they coincide. It is ignorant to think otherwise and wonder if the Chinese or the government has plans with the part where the railroad will drive around. Peace.

Opinion: Politics and Policies of our day is like poisons wells, as the politicians cannot even provide the basic services to the citizens!

Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road”Dag Hammarskjöld

Someone has to say it and seems like it has to be me. But there are something wrong with out time and day. When it is made easier to get funds to analyze the waters on Mars and the moon. Than, actually making sure the citizens of so many nations is struggling to provide proper water sources to their citizens. It isn’t like it is the people of Miami’s fault, neither the people of Tokyo, that there is no water in regions of Sudan or in Somalia. That isn’t the fault directly of these people. Neither of mine. But we have to ask. Why is it so? When did this become acceptable?

Not that we made this over day, not that the society was built in a day. It moved to this, we let certain people run our nations, we let certain companies take advantage and also multi-national organization serve certain beneficiaries every single day. We let that happen and it is continuing. We are letting the marginalized being hurt on the daily without any consideration. This is continuing without anyone stopping, while the leaders are driving in expensive SUVs and having palaces for homes. While the ones they represent struggles to pay for enough rice on their plate. We are letting this happen. We are letting them get away with murder, daylight robbery and we are letting them take away the wealth of the nations.

This is not how it is supposed to be. The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Multi-National Companies, State Institutions and State Owned Companies are supposed to all work together to provide and secure delivery of services and products that we all need. If it work in perfect harmony, than the public and companies should prosper together. If it is correct, the NGOs should overlook society and the state, to make sure they follow the rights of every individual and make sure the politicians doesn’t take advantage of their powers. However, sometimes and to often the security and the state of affairs isn’t made this way.

The companies has secret deals with the politicians, the NGOs are afraid of doing their questioning and reporting, out of fear of addressing the matters and the wrong-doings. The nature, the people and the society are hurt for short-term profits. The companies are more directly involved in the elite politicians and sometimes founded by them. They are making sure the state are covering the debts created in these companies and making sure the family members are hired too. All in a circle of vicious eating of the state funds, without concern on how it affect the economy or the unemployed community. This is happening, while the Wall Street Companies and the big corporations let them. Since they are affiliated and getting fortunes on the funds getting through this process.

We should worry about this, we should pound about it. Not accept it, the acknowledgment that something is wrong, that something isn’t right. That we are taken for granted, other people are eating of our resources and taken everything. Not supporting or adjusting to make sure they actually serve the public. They are not hiring or making sure to respect the provisions of the state even. As they are making deals inside the State House or with family members of the Executive. This is happening on daily basis. The ignorance and indifference. The malicious takings and unacceptable use of public resources. This is just insane and we let it happen again and again. When they know they can, they don’t have to deliver water in the taps, make sure the school is decent and has books, police officers being paid, the soldiers being fed on operations and the roads well-kept. They don’t have to, because they walk in the National Bank, empty the accounts and flee the scene without no Oceans 11. Just walk in suits and tie, smile and grin and go out like they ordered a pizza at the Hut. No issue, no nothing.

That is why there is no water, why there is well, why there are no services. Because we have accepted to be taken for granted, we have accepted to fooled and stolen from, that the powers can silence us and take it all, without any question or any honor. While speaking to us and belittling us. They are using all measures and all the provisions to hold us down. But should we let them? Is that right?

I don’t think so, neither should you. It isn’t just about water, but when you cannot provide what is needed and everything needs to live. You know that society is out of whack. You know that the government doesn’t give a rats ass about you or your kin. Then its time to question them and show them you matter. Not just compliance, but defiance. Not silence, neither violence, but demonstrations that hurt the system and give them a mental beating. Hurt their pockets and their will. That is the only way to stop this, neither companies, NGOs or ruling elite, will give a damn until the people start to stop their bread and circus. When they don’t have fancy bread and has the circus. They will run away and stop being loyal to the paradigm. Until, that happen, they will be ignorance and not care, until their nearest surroundings are breaking and in for the taking.

Just think about that…. Just think about that… Not let that go, the society who cannot even deliver the basics has to be shaken, has to stirred, not with violence, but as long as it silence its weakest and poorest. They are the ones who has to be on the barricades and break the kingpins on top. No-one else will give way. It will cost to do this peacefully. But it has to stop. That there is no water in the tap, there is no well for miles, there is no jobs for 80% of the youth and educated get to emigrate to get a job. Then you know the state of affairs is wrong.

You shouldn’t accept it and neither should I. Not because I do something magnificent, but I don’t. I will just not let my writing and my thoughts be altered into ignorance, when I know to many people on this earth. Get taken for granted, get used as pawns and used tools, when they need aid funds and when they need development funds. However, some of that always get taken. That is why they stay poor and act poor, easy funds to tap into. They can just eat of the IMF, World Bank and Development Banks as long as they write fine plans and proceedings. Someone will take it and buy into it.

That is why the well isn’t built, the water isn’t in the tap. There is no deep concern. There is no concern that yields are dwindling, the sources are not there, the storage of rain-water isn’t there either. Nothing is taken care off. That while the politicians ride by in expensive cars, nice watches, big entourages with security guards and affiliates, give away few pieces of bread and a grand speech. But when the ordinary day passes by, nothing is done, the pothole still there and the liquidated funds are non-existent, the plans was just on paper and things remain the same.

Still, the people and elites expect silence. They don’t expect an uprising, they don’t expect people to say enough, to say, we deserve water, we deserve a state who cares and secure the future of our kids. We deserve to make a society where all people can get a livelihood. Not just the ones closets to the elite. There should be more possibilities. There should be, but there isn’t.

It got to stop, we got to drill and build. We got too, but first we got destroy, to be able to rebuild. We have to dismantle, piece by piece. Because if we continue, the elites and the powers to be will not let go. It is easy money and your not eating. Its a simple trade and one is the loser. While the other party takes it all. Peace.

Uganda: Museveni letter to UNRA – “Amicable Solution with Dott Services LTD, To Complete Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale Road” (08.01.2018)

The 10th Parliament today adds more debt to the state, near 2 trillion shillings more actually!

Today, the Ugandan Parliament has added more debt to the state since they cannot get grants or donors to fund their projects like in the past. National Resistance Movement (NRM) have the majority of the Parliament, therefore the adjustment and the possible questioning of the bills today. Would be squashed briefly, as the new amount of debt will arise and the state has to get more sufficient funds to repay the loans and the rising interests. That the three projects might bring profits in the future and could be seen as positive development, might be true, but it is a high risk. When the levels of debt already has grown as much as it is.

The first loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport Project. That loan is up to $ 14,4 Million USD or 52,409 billion Uganda Shillings.

The second loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the upgrade the road Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale Road. These was two loans in one. Which is one $ 38,349,313.28 or 139,705 billion Uganda Shillings, this was borrowed from African Development Bank (ADB). The other was $ 56,129,597.12 or 204,437 billion Uganda Shillings from the African Development Fund (ADF).

The third loan was in Euros, first part from UK Export Finance (UKEF), which was EUROS 270,266,042.15, converted to US Dollars is $ 321,199,210.23 or in Uganda Shilling the total: 1,170,081,708,10 Uganda Shillings or in word One Trillion One Hundred Seventy billion Uganda Shilling. The second loan are in EUROS 37,110,585 from Standard Chartered Bank, converted to US Dollars is $ 44,112,060.75 or in Uganda Shillings 160,670,761,044.55 or in words One Hundred Sixty Billion, six hundred seventy million, seven hundred sixty-one thousand, forty-four and fifty-five hundredths Uganda Shillings.

So collectively today, the NRM has accepted loans which totals $ 474,190,180 US Dollars. In Uganda shilling it means 1,727,264,129,950.40 Uganda Shillings. In words it is one trillion, seven hundred twenty-seven billion, two hundred sixty-four million, one hundred twenty-nine thousand Uganda Shillings.

The budget of 2017-2018 was in total 29 Trillion Shillings. Therefore, they are now seeking to borrowing close to 2 Trillion Shillings, which is of last years budget close to 2,9 %. So the NRM MPs and State has had no trouble borrowing close to 3 percentage of previous budget on three infrastructure projects. It is evident and should be worrying with the knowledge that the state is already using 33 % of the budget to repay loans of old and their interests. No matter how positive these projects are and what they can accumulate in the future. Still, the basis of loaning this amounts while having growing debts already. Is really tasking future generations to pay for the loans of the previous ones.

So it seems like the NRM are planning to opening the gates and making sure the state owns more to even more banking and international money lenders. As if the petroleum dollars will safe the deficit in the future. As the interests and the downgrading of the state might appear. Unless, the state gets higher oil prices and some luck. Since, the NRM have really forked itself and hoping someone will bail it out. Peace.

China-Uganda relationship benefits the Chinese, BoU Paper states!

This should not surprise you, that the Chinese government and their subsidiary businesses are making sure they are gets the best deal with the Ugandan counterparts. The Bank of Uganda policy paper are spelling out the advantages for the Chinese in the bilateral and the state-to-state offerings given to the Ugandans. They are clearly getting infrastructure loans and plyaing minor rolse in GVCs, therefore, the Ugandans are people loaning for infrastructure and then repaying, while the Chinese contractors and Chinese labor are working on the indebted projects. Just take a look, it is not a positive read!

It should be emphasised, however, that for Uganda to leverage the shifting growth dynamics in China (such as a shrinking labour force, rising wages and an appreciated Renminbi), it must create a conducive investment climate. Low wages and a competitive exchange rate alone will not make much difference without reliable power and transport links, or in the face of suffocating bureaucracy and corruption” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

With the migration of labour-intensive manufacturing shifting from China and an improvement in investment climate, Uganda also stands to expand its involvement in global trade, including Global Value Chains (GVCs). Historically, countries like Uganda have played a relatively minor role in GVCs. Figure 5 below, which illustrates a useful measure of Uganda’s integration in GVCs, relative to other sub-Saharan countries, indicates that Uganda is below the average value-chain position for developing countries” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

It must be pointed out that while China has emerged as a significant financer of infrastructure projects in Africa, it still lags behind both private investment and the more traditional sources of funding. Recent research actually reveals that, over the past few years, China has contributed about only one-sixth of the US$30 billion Africa receives annually as external finance for infrastructure” (…) “Moreover, most of this financing to the transport and energy sector takes the form of state-to-state, non-concessional deals and comes from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank). Examples of the major state-to-state deals signed with China Exim Bank in Uganda include: US$1.4 billion and US$483 million for Karuma and Isimba hydropower dams as well as US$350 million for the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe express highway” (Bank of Uganda, P: 7-8, 2017).

For Uganda, which has so far committed up to US$ 2.3 billion in contracts with China Exim bank and is soon to take on more debt for projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, debt sustainability is a growing issue of concern; underscored by the fact that the country faces a low tax-to-GDP ratio relative to its regional peers and significant public investment challenges. Uganda’s debt as a percentage of revenues has risen by 54% since 2012 and is expected to exceed 250% by 2018, raising calls for caution and improved public investment management from various policy circles including the IMF, World Bank and Moody’s, which downgraded Uganda’s long-term bond rating in 2016 citing deteriorating debt affordability” (Bank of Uganda, P: 10, 2017).

This here report shows both the possible troubles with the debt, that already are problem with current budget, but will become bigger. Secondly, that the relationship and bilateral business agreements with China, will only benefit China and not Uganda. As they might get the infrastructure projects, but they have to repay the debt and also use funds on labor from the Chinese contractors and businesses. They are not hiring and educating locals to work these sorts, because Chinese are getting their own hired.

This here is not bringing positive results, but instead are being a nice debt collector for China and will be indebted to them. While the Ugandans gets scarps from the Chinese, as the infrastructure projects like the Dam they have bought on debt, has been said is “shoddy” work. That proves the Chinese gets easy money, get expat workers and later returns on every single Yen. Peace.

Reference:

Dollar, David; Mugyenyi, Akura & Ntungire, Nicole – ‘How can Uganda benefit from China’s economic rise?’ (August 2017) – International Growth Centre Uganda & Bank of Uganda

Uganda: “Re: Media coverage of the achievements of Karuma Project”

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