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23-09-2018

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
September 23, 2018
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Polaris” - a star, a submarine type, and Skye Bank's new management.
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GRAND OPENING, GRAND CLOSING

This newsletter features insight from Mez Belo-Osagie and Olaolu Ogunmodede.
Pop Quiz
Remember Nigeria Air, the snazzy the snazzy new national carrier that the government announced back in July? 
 
What happened now?
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
 
The Story
Nigeria Air will not be cleared for takeoff anytime soon.

No way!
Yes... way . In fact, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, kept it short and sweet in his statement on Twitter likely because there are currently no plans to re-unveil(sp?) the airline in the near future.

What about all the efizzy, the investments? 
Truth be told, the numbers never added up.The Federal Government said it would own no more than 5% of the airline while investors would pony up the remaining 95%, to allay fears of another Nigeria Airways scenario. But even that was a head-scratcher.
  
Explain…
For one, the fact that they could not find a single investor even before unveiling in July was very telling. Frankly, as of that point, it was 100% government-owned.

Because 95% x 0 = 0 
Exactly. The government struggled to find credible investors and technical partners, perhaps for good reason. The few who bid were apparently struggling firms barely posting any profits. Even large, multinational firms in developed economies continue to struggle to weather the costs of international aviation.

What to Watch
There are still unsettled liabilities from the now-defunct Nigeria Airways, but there's also the very real question of whether it makes sense to spend $300 million on a new national carrier, when that money could be used to do other more urgent things in the aviation sector or to service the country's rapidly growing debt profile.
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VIEWS FROM THE BOOT

The Story
This guy is responsible for the significant reduction of migrant flows to Italy from the Mediterranean since 2016
 
Context™
His name is Marco Minniti and he is (was?) sort of known as the “minister of fear” around some parts, and “the Lord of the Spies” in others, once telling tribal chiefs in Libya during a discussion that he was “from Calabria, a region (in southern Italy) where deals and alliances are sealed in blood”. A security services veteran, he has been widely viewed as one of the most influential and powerful men in recent center-left governments in Italy. He was the Interior Minister from December 2016 to June 2018, where he earned significant praise for stemming the tide of illegal migration to Italy from North Africa.

How did he do it, then?
That’s the messy part. He calls it “desert diplomacy”. Meaning, he struck a secret deal with North African militias to break up links with trafficking groups in return for financial rewards from the Italian government, and the promise of more help from the European Union.

The old money card!
Cha-ching. Since that time, the number of migrants reaching the shores of Italy from North Africa has fallen by nearly 90%.
 
So why the controversy?
It depends on your perspective. Some of the guys Minniti deals with in Libya are downright bad. Remember the slave auctions? That’s just a tip of the iceberg. The death rate along the Mediterranean route has risen considerably, and many intercepted migrants are placed in inhumane conditions, tortured and even killed in some cases. Plus, Minniti approved a law that critics allege violates the country’s constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights by not ensuring the right to a fair trial.

Scary stuff
You can say that again.  

What We Think
For what it’s worth, it is not about to get better. In June, Mr Minitti (and the government he served under) was swept out of power in an avalanche of nativist populism. His replacement as Minister of Interior is a guy who is a big fan of Donald Trump and has drawn comparisons to Steve Bannon. He is also kiiiind of super racist, but you probably already figured that out.
 
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#StayWoke

What to say when you're asked if you've been skipping leg day… 
Do you even lift? On Friday, Kenya's High Court temporarily lifted the ban on the film, RafikiRafiki, meaning friend in Swahili, centres on a love story between two politician's daughters in Nairobi. Its director, Wanuri Kahiu, became the first Kenyan filmmaker to ever premiere a film at Cannes. Though the suspension of the ban will only last a week, the recent ruling makes the film eligible for submission to the Oscar category of Best Foreign Film. More broadly, it provides an early test for how African nations that have sought to push back against growing LGBT movement can reconcile that impulse with free speech rights. Not satisfied? Read this on how artistic regulation in Kenya is a legacy of colonization. 
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What to say when someone brings up your ex… 
There are more important things. Zimbabwe is currently dealing with a cholera outbreak that has killed 30 people and rendered up to 7,000 people sick. The crisis, which broke out previously in 2008 and lead to 4,000 deaths, is said to be the result of a greater infrastructure crisis, which has led to sewage flowing openly across public streets. 
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What you need to know...
Nigeria's Human Development Index value has risen by a whole 2 points
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What Slack group admins are asking...
Will you share this newslet What was Jacob Zuma doing in Doha?
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Know something we should be watching?
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