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A Game of Thrones, Anti-Social Media and Second Order Effects

A Game of Thrones, Anti-Social Media and Second Order Effects
By TheBrief • Issue #48 • View online
Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa! This week we have a bumper edition with thanks to regular contributor Fola Pinheiro.
Quote of the Week:
After I’m dead, I’d rather people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
- Cato the Elder
Caminante no hay camino,’ / ‘Traveler, there is no path; as you walk, you make your own road.
- Antonio Machado

What's The Palava? (What's Going On In Nigeria?)
A Game of Thrones
Nigeria'a Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (fondly called SLS) was until this week the Emir of Kano, one of the oldest seats of royalty in Nigeria. Prior to holding this position, he was the Chairman of the Central Bank of Nigeria (the “CBN”). In both situations he was removed under strange circumstances.
At the CBN, he accused the NNPC of diverting billions of dollars while he was running Nigeria’s Central Bank. Intelligence officials seized his passports, and he was quickly kicked out.
After warring publicly with the Governor of Kano State for many months, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II was officially dethroned today with immediate effect, for disrespecting the office of the governor and other government agencies, and then put under house arrest before quickly gaining his freedom.
Signing off with the letter above, SLS quoted this scripture from the Quaran: Kuli alahuma malika-l-mulk tutihi mulka man tasha'a / Allah is the giver of power, and he gives it to whomsoever he pleases.
Read more here and here
This week, the Nigerian Senate considered a ban on the importation and use of generators in Nigeria. Yes, you read that right. But this isn’t targeted at all generators, only the “I-Pass-My-Neighbour” generators (see here). In a country without constant electricity supply, the government is seeking to ban what is ultimately a coping mechanism to many. The Bill which seeks to do this is called “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit/Ban the Importation of Generating Sets to Curb the Menace of Environmental (air) Pollution and to Facilitate the Development of the Power Sector.” So it seems that this is an attempt to make the country’s energy usage more green. While being a noble aim, the Senate does not seem to have provided a suitable and affordable alternative.
One reasonable alternative would be solar-powered inverters. Read here to find out more here.
Anti-Social Media
The Senate’s beloved Anti-Social Media Bill (which we spoke about here and here) took a blow this week as stakeholders at the public hearing rejected the bill. The stakeholders included Non-Governmental Organisations, Student Groups, the Media, Amnesty International, the Nigerian Communications Commission, and many others. Amongst other things, they argued that the bill would stifle the free of expression as citizens who would be too scared to speak up to hold the government accountable. We have to wait and see whether or how the Senate will respond to this unequivocal no to their Bill.
KYC - Know Your Citizens
Nigerian identity verification startup, Youverify has raised a $1.5 million seed round. The round was led by Orange Digital Ventures Africa (ODV), a $57 million investment vehicle that targets Africa and the Middle East.
Various Nigerian government agencies and parastatals have failed at getting an identity database together. Youverify is offering a solution wherein they have aggregated all the existing government IDs. From one source businesses can verify any government-issued ID quickly. Home-grown solutions to home-grown problems. We are fans.
What's Going On Across Africa?
Second Order Effects
The coronavirus (Covid-19 aka “the Rona”) which caused significant damage to the economy and loss of life has left Africa mostly untouched. However, the continent is especially vulnerable to the global economy as the various countries are export-dependent.
Additionally, the ongoing oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia is giving us a real life example of the proverb “when elephants fight it is the grass which gets trampled”. This has created the perfect storm.
Nigeria and Angola, Africa’s two biggest oil producers, have assumed prices of $57 and $55 a barrel in their budgets respectively. Brent crude is currently around $33.
Additionally, as a result of the ongoing economic malaise many Nigerians are selling Naira in exchange for Dollars, in order to avoid losing money. This has led to a dollar shortage in Nigeria, and a further drop in the value of the Naira.
For Nigeria, which depends on oil for 60% of fiscal revenue and 90% of foreign exchange, that’s a disaster. Angola is even more reliant on the fuel. Every time an oil crisis comes about, noise is made about the need to diversify African economies away from oil. It is always a shame to waste a good crisis.
A Sad Day

AFP news agency
Kenya's only female white giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers.

Their deaths leave just one remaining white giraffe alive in the world -- a lone male
East Coast Connection
East Coast Connection
Tanzania: the race for regional rail supremacy | The Africa
What in the world??
(our segment where we highlight the most outrageous story we have come across while scraping the web for news articles for you).
We have taken to using what we call the Ehn scale. The longer the Ehn the more incredulous. For example, President Buhari is not Nigeria’s most prolific travel blogger: Ehnnnnn? Got it?
Gbas Gbos / Give en Tek
The head of the Nigerian presidential digital communications team ‘
Gimba Kakanda
When Coronavirus stops you from traveling the world and you have to learn a new hobby:
Rating: What a lol!

Man in court for having sex with goat – Punch Newspapers
Where do we go from here?
Rating: EHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNNNNNN??????!???!??!??!??
Editor's Corner
A simple question to close off this week: What is your relationship with failure?
I recently started reading/listening to a book called Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed. It raises the question about our relationship with failure and whether we are learning from or hiding away our failures. Are we growing or shying away?

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