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Kenya Pushes Ahead, A Mess of Your Own Making and Avoid M.E.N

Kenya Pushes Ahead, A Mess of Your Own Making and Avoid M.E.N
By TheBrief • Issue #51 • View online
Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa!
Quote of the Week:
Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
― Mark Twain

What's the Palava? (What's going on in Nigeria?)
A Mess of Your Own Making
In a blistering article, the international news agency, Bloomberg highlights several of the shortcomings of the Nigerian elite which exacerbated the current crisis. Primarily, the Nigerian elite have for the past few decades been able to avoid the poor healthcare in the country by flying abroad for treatment. Now due to the Coronavirus the country is in lockdown and those who have power/wealth who would otherwise fly abroad for treatment must use the very systems they have chronically underinvested in.
Among Nigeria’s registered health professionals are 75,000 doctors, 180,709 nurses and 25,000 pharmacists, according to the health ministry. With 0.5% hospital beds per 1,000 people and a population of roughly 200 million, that’s far below thresholds set by the World Health Organization. Only five laboratories are able to test for the virus.
Trapped by Coronavirus, Nigeria’s Elite Faces Squalid Hospitals - Bloomberg
Four Policy Solutions
The ever brilliant folks at Stears Business have outlined four policy recommendations for the Nigerian government to take advantage of the current crisis.
  1. A new social welfare contract
  2. Boost local production
  3. Scrap petrol subsidy forever
  4. Data-driven policymaking
Read the recommendations in detail here!
Regulating Crowdfunding
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed rules on how it intends to regulate crowdfunding in Nigeria. The rules are intended to create a secure regulatory framework to allow private companies to raise money through crowdfunding platforms and to protect investors. Amongst other things, the proposed rules state that online crowdfunding portals must be registered with SEC and have at least N100m. Failure to comply could lead to a minimum fine of N1m. There are also maximum amounts that can be raised by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): (i) N50m for a Micro enterprise; (ii) 70m for a Small enterprise; and (iii) N100m for a Medium enterprise.
Arguably, these rules are a step in the right direction as they could encourage more investment into Nigeria’s MSMEs. But, if passed, they will disrupt many crowdfunding companies who will be unable to meet the N100m capital requirement.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has postponed its increase in electricity prices until July. Following a review at the end of last year, the NERC agreed to increase prices on April 1st 2020. However, as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak (and the severe criticism they faced), the NERC decided to postpone the increase.
What's Going On Across Africa?
Trouble Down South
South Africa lost its last investment-grade rating when Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s debt to junk. That should mean higher borrowing costs and an exodus of several billions of dollars as the country falls out of a key bond index. 
The Coming Storm
The United Nations warned the region may be two to three weeks away from the worst of the pandemic storm. The UN’s Economic Commission for Africa said the countries need $100 billion in emergency stimulus to battle the virus and to support fragile healthcare systems.
Yello/Bye-bye Nigeria!
MTN, Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, is going ahead with its plan to reduce its 79% stake in Nigeria subsidiary, MTN Nigeria, even though the current economic situation may require it be done in smaller transactions than anticipated.
Kenya Pushes Ahead
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kenyan Judiciary has embraced technology to solve many operational problems. For instance, they have announced that: (i) judgments can now be delivered via Skype or sent to the parties via email; and (ii) lawyers can send information via email to registrars to obtain updates on their cases. From these expedient processes, nearly 5,000 inmates (mainly petty offenders) have been freed, allowing prisons to be decongested to prevent overcrowding and a rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The Judiciary Kenya
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.
Wa Gba Kondo (Come Get This Cane)
Kenya’s battle against Covid-19 has gotten violent.
The country’s law enforcement is imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew that began last Friday and is meant to remain in place for security reasons, but Kenya’s cities are perhaps unique in the fact that police brutality has led to more deaths than the pandemic itself. Read more here.
Avoid Men
Wale Lawal
“Avoid MEN: Mouth, Eyes and Nose. And overcrowded places like your boyfriend’s heart.”

Kenya, pls.
Alright Kenya, talk to us…What’s really going on?
Rating: Ehnnnnnnnnnnn???
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