samedi 25 mars 2017

Switzerland, that little poor …and rich country!

 
A rough economic paradox!

         The economy of the Swiss Confederation lives a rough paradox. On the one hand, its health is striking: thanks to the competitiveness of its pharmaceutical industry, watchmaking, commodity trading and financial services, the Swiss National Bank's (B.N.S.) foreign exchange reserves are equivalent to The gross domestic product of Switzerland. Who says better ?
        
On the other hand, the Swiss franc is too strong and penalizes other sectors. The end of banking secrecy inexorably reduces the attractiveness of local banking institutions and forces them to squeeze their numbers and freeze wages. The announced growth rate for 2017 could reach 1.5%. As in 2016. It is not really the frank recovery that would erase the years of crisis and stagnation lived since 2009.

Immigrants and domestic consumption.

         In Switzerland, immigrants account for a quarter of the growth in consumption. Another threat: Switzerland does not have enough immigrants, which goes against the Swiss common sense. Credit Suisse Bank experts have developed five immigration scenarios, and in all cases labor force growth will be stalled in 2020 because immigrant arrivals are falling. These contribute to a quarter of the growth in consumption, and the growth of the country will be affected.

What about major international organizations?

         Add to these dark clouds the fact that the protectionism expected of the "America First" of Donald Trump and Theresa May's Brexit does not announce anything good for the world economy. Very hostile to multilateralism, does the U.S. president risk jeopardizing one of the pillars of globalization based in Geneva, the World Trade Organization (W.T.O.)?
        
Not to mention the United Nations, which has an office on the ground, and the plethora of international organizations which have flourished on the shores of Lake Geneva and which could suffer from the return of each nationalist for itself: International Labor Organization, World Health Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, etc..
        
The populist outbreaks of the National Front in France, of the A.f.D. in Germany or the Freedom Party in the Netherlands confirm the renewed identity reflexes on the Old Continent too, which does not bode well for a nation devoted to commercial and financial free trade.

Focus on Africa?

         What to do in the short term? Looking to lower the franc? The United States, which has already placed Switzerland on its list of countries suspected of manipulating their currency, could take retaliatory action at the instigation of their fiery president. Reforming corporate taxation, as requested by the international community? The Swiss have just said "no" by referendum. Back on the anti-migratory measures adopted in 2014? Random.
        
Perhaps salvation would consist in putting more vigorously on Africa. For a long time, this continent, far from international trade, in which it weighs only 3% or 4%, is returning to the world game, not only because of its raw materials. It offers tremendous opportunities both in terms of health, finance, tourism, trading, agri-food industries and business services, where Switzerland excels.

Poor little Switzerland, rich and anxious!

         While awaiting this new impetus, the Confederation is condemned to take the back burner. At the very most, it can be argued today that the Brexit will have limited effects ... In 2017, its franc will remain strong, its wages will hardly increase, its inflation rate will return positive and its exports will continue to prosper.
___________________________

*Article by Alain Faujas, specialist in global macroeconomics, published in Jeune Afrique on 23 March 2017.

dimanche 5 mars 2017

Mozambique: The fabulous story of Rosita, the girl born in the tree!

 
Born by chance anywhere ...!

         The Frenchman Maxime Forestier sings "that one is born somewhere, that one does not choose his place of birth, Are the people born equal in law, in the place. To be born somewhere for the one who is born is always a chance ... ".

The mystery of our birth!

         There are children who are born in unusual places, such as in the sky at ten thousand meters or in the open sea, in a field of potatoes under a volcano or on a pebble or in the middle of a desert in a miserable camp of refugees. The essential thing is to survive this extraordinary birth.

The Folivora or the Lazy and her acrobatic childbirth!

         Among the mammals that give birth as our mothers is an animal whose delivery is spectacular and original: the Lazy or Folivora. Its body is original as it has only two long grids on each leg and its mouth has only 18 teeth. Its lower metabolism than other mammals gives it a temperature varying between 23 and 32 ° C. He lives, hanging in his tree sometimes upside down. He moves so cautiously that he is rightly called "Lazy."
         It is therefore normal that his childbirth is so spectacular that observing it one says that God has afflicted him of the evils that to avoid to humans. Aside from the pains of childbirth, she gives birth hung on her branch of tree and must be very careful to recover her baby with the free arm with this slowness characteristic of all her gestures.
         When one witnesses this birth, one is seized with terror by imagining that an unfortunate sound of wind or the break of its branch can be worth a deadly fall to its baby. Such acrobatics for a mother exhausted by pain is a true miracle of nature!
For the chameleon mother climbs to the top of a shrub to give birth. When its baby falls to the ground, her exhausted mother falls dead again a moment later! There is no miracle for her.

The seasonal deluge of Mozambique.

         This year 2017, Mozambique's extreme southern Malawi are as every astral summer, drowned under water. This year tropical cyclone Dineo has caused more than 55 wounded and more than 650,000 victims on the southern coast of Mozambique. More than 20,000 houses were destroyed by strong winds and precipitation. The flooding of rivers is on a scale that young Mozambicans have never seen. Floods in Mozambique are so sudden that people do not have time to escape the flood. They are obliged to cling to and perch on the trees.

An image erases apartheid from my head on March 1, 2000.

        
This day, I quietly watch the African news at Télévision Suisse Romande. It shows images of the floods in Mozambique. A parturient had taken refuge with 14 members of her family to escape the rising waters that submerged southern Mozambique. The poor woman stuck in a branch of a small tree, gives birth acrobatically. The swirling waters of muddy waters prevent rescue workers from helping her from the ground. She has just given birth as a "lazy" mum, the animal that I speaks to you at the beginning of this article. Unheard of in my life. I am seized with terror and swim amidst wonder and admiration of the courage for this mother! How can God let this produce such an accident? If he wished to give a lesson of his power to man, it was successful! Meanwhile, white South African rescuers come by helicopter take the baby wrapped in an old loincloth and take it out of danger. I turn off the television, I was afraid to see the sequel. A miracle had just happened in the eyes of all mankind. South African apartheid has just been erased from my head. These whites in uniform who usually shoot without a soul at the Mozambican immigrants in South Africa had just boldly saved a little black girl!
         They were all of a sudden, to show a humanity, exemplary "African Ubuntu"! For me, these two rescuers had just erased racial discrimination forever in southern Africa. The whites of southern Africa were members of an African tribe like the Zulu, the Xhosas,  the Khoisans or the Khoi-Khoi. Moreover, this birth and rescue trigger an unprecedented humanitarian aid campaign for thousands of victims of the disaster.

Rosina Manguingo "The girl born in the tree".

         After clinging to the branches for three days, the mother, Carolina Chirindza, known at the time as Sofia Pedro, felt the first contractions. Her mother-in-law had then collected the baby in a "capulana", a loincloth, to prevent it from falling into muddy waters and crocodile infested. South African rescuers arrived by helicopter just after the baby was expelled. She is known only as "the girl born in the tree"
. Rosita Mabuiango was born 17 years ago, perched on a branch above the flood waters of the Limpopo, infested with crocodiles, during the deadliest floods of the astral 2000.Today, the young woman born on the 1st March 2000 is reluctant to evoke this celebrity.
         "I'm normal,"
she told the AFP reporter who had been watching her helicopter from an aircraft of the South African armed forces. "I'm just born in a somewhat original way," she smiled shyly.
"I think it was God who decided to give me birth like that,"
she said timidly, sitting in the cream sofa of her godmother's salon in a neighborhood of the capital Maputo.
         The miracle is named Rosita, as her mother-in-law and improvised midwife. "I was not prepared for this, but that's what God wanted,"
says Carolina Chirindza, the pious mother in front of her house in Chibuto, about 300 kilometers northeast of Maputo. "Yes, it changed my life, because today I have a home and I have work," she continues.
Soon 40, she lives in a house offered to her family by the municipality of Chibuto, who also hired her as a housekeeper.
         A fair return of things, she suggests, both her acrobatic childbirth has mediated the distress of the victims of the floods - which have caused nearly 800 deaths. Mozambique's international donors raised some $ 450 million in international aid at a donors' conference in Rome in May 2000.
         The mother had even been received with her four-month-old daughter at the Congress in Washington to plead the cause of the refugees.
"Rosita is our local glory, her birth brought us a national and international celebrity. We have visitors who come here to see her, "
explains Joao Adriano, who lives in the nearby village of Chimundo. "Even the bus stop near his house was renamed his name", he adds with a smile.
         Seventeen years later, Rosita is relieved that she is no longer the center of attention. Only a small plate screwed into the trunk of the mahogany where she was born, about ten kilometers from Chibuto, comes to remind the curious that it was the setting for an extraordinary birth.

A fabulous destiny?

         This sudden celebrity and the many gifts that accompanied it have caused friction within the family.
Especially with the father of Rosita, Salvador Mabuiango, separated from the mother after a dark history of resale of land. He had also sold some of the furniture to buy alcohol. Justice has since deprived him of his parental rights.
         Far from all that, the young woman now wants to concentrate on her studies. She wants to be a petrochemical engineer, a probably wise choice after the recent discovery of large off-shore gas reserves along the coast of Mozambique.
         When she does not repeat her lessons, Rosita Mabuiango plays football on the team of her Catholic school. A passion she says of her brother Benedito, who spent four days in the tree where she was born, tied to her mother's back.

An alcoholic father, an aunt chosen by the minister ...

         During the school year, Rosita lives in Maputo with her godmother. She, Ruth Valera, has earned a reputation as a fashion model and fashion designer, but this 49-year-old woman is not actually part of the Rosita's family: it was a minister who asked her to take the "daughter of the tree"
under her protection, three weeks after her birth.
"It was amazing, I did not even know if it was a boy or a girl,"
recalls Mrs. Valera. "It was a choice of God, surely."
         The improbable godmother took her role very seriously and watched gradually the education and life of her goddaughter. "When you have to lecture her or tell her to spend less time on her cell phone," she says, "I do it."

mardi 21 février 2017

United States: "Calexit" or The Nation of California in Gestation



Donald Trump, the greatest common divisor!

         We are not finished being surprised by the Americans. The election of Donald Trump foiled all predictions and went against many polls and political analyzes. Donald Trump's untimely blow-out decisions, which raise hostile crowds, suggest a general civil disobedience. The biggest fear to face this policy is the balkanization of the United States.

Does the Secession threaten the United States?

        
The State of California, the richest of 50 states that form the United States has just crossed the Rubicon by authorizing the organization of a referendum on independence. The state of California was founded on September 9, 1850. It was spread over an area of ​​423,970 km2 and was populated by 38.8 million inhabitants in 2014. This population is made up of non-Hispanic whites (44.2%). Hispanics (37.62%), Asians (13.05%), Blacks (6.17), Native Americans (0.44), Others (3.16), His capital is Sacramento.

End if the California Nation became reality?

         California Secretary of State Alex Padilla gave the go-ahead for activists from a "California Nation", nicknamed "Calexit," in reference to the British "Brexit". The harvest in 180 days, 585,407 signatures is necessary for the measure to be put to the vote in November 2018. You must not be wizard to know that this harvest is fruitful knowing that many Hollywood celebrities are opposed to the personality and The policy of the 45th President of the United States. If California were a country, it alone would have the sixth world economy. The state has a very strong Democratic majority.

A 230-year old American constitution!

         If the initiative were actually put to the vote, a "Yes" would lead to a modification of the Constitution of the State, according to which "California is an inseparable part of the United States" and "The Constitution of the United States is the The supreme law of the country, "according to a statement from Mr. Padilla's office. The voters would then have to decide in a referendum in 2019 whether

California should become an independent state.

         Mr. Padilla acknowledged that this highly unlikely event would have serious repercussions on the State, and that many legal obstacles would remain.
         "If California really becomes an independent nation, the state and its local governments would face major but unknown fiscal impacts,"
he warned. The measure would also cost tens of millions of dollars for election organizations.
Supporters of Calexit, whose campaign is called "Yes California," are pushing for independence from their state because they feel it is not in tune with the rest of the United States and think that California could thrive on its own.

An inevitable domino effect.

         The secession of California will undoubtedly lead to that of other states, especially those who consider themselves rich and viable like Texas or even New York the fourth most populous of the United States. The other states would be torn between themselves to share the wealth and the communities would collide with each other. Indians who have been dispossessed of their lands will want to form alliances with those of Canada and other countries of Central and Latin America. Blacks will serve as mercenaries to survive in all these states. The unity of Canada would itself be in danger. The foreigners of all origins combined would put oil on the fire to raise new fire pits. It will be over with our beautiful nation, symbol of freedom in the World.The European Union, already in difficulty and long turned to the United States, would disappear and the war in the Middle East would affect it profoundly. What roles will play Russia, India and China ?
To each one to give his prognosis on this. The New World Order so much desired by some people, will be uncertain and especially painful!

lundi 9 janvier 2017

Open Letter to His Excellence Mr. Yoweri Museveni Kaguta, president of Uganda.

 


Your Excellency,

        
It is fear in the belly that I have respectfully addressed you this open letter, since I have just learned that Uganda has decided to engage in Nuclear.
        
According to a report by the Ministry of Energy, the regions where the precious mineral is located cover 18,000 km2 in the Buganda-Toro region, 12,000 km2 in the Karagwe-Ankole area, 900 km2 between Lake Albert and the Lake Kyoga, 5,000 km2 around Lake Edward, and 900 km2 on the high plateau of Buhwezu.
        
According to the Minister of Energy, it was only in a small part of these regions that mineral concessions were granted to local and foreign companies. New geological surveys are underway, which could lead to the discovery of other uranium deposits.
        
It appears that Uganda has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia, on the construction of several nuclear power plants to be fed by national uranium resources. Sarah Nafuna, director of the Nuclear Energy Unit (N.E.U.), the Uganda Nuclear Regulatory Authority, said that your government has identified Lamwo (11,300 Acholis), northern Mubende (21,699 inhabitants), The west of the country, Buyende (191,300 inhabitants), in the east, and Nakasongola (163,600 inhabitants), in the Center, as potential receiving areas for reactors and nuclear power plants.

Your Excellency,

        
When Rwanda was invited to sign the agreement of A.E.L.E. to adopt nuclear power, I was among the first to protest and demonstrate how absurd and extremely dangerous this step was for a young man who must manage his territorial space sparingly and rigorously. Today Rwanda is acclaimed in the world for its commitment to the exploitation and use of renewable energies (methane gas, solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric power, thermal energy, etc.). Why would my country of origin Uganda not follow the example of Rwanda when it has more space, more resources and more financial resources?

It is as Ugandan that I write these lines to you!

        
Indeed before arbitrarily fixing the international borders between Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, my great grandfather Rubanzangabo was the representative of the Mwami Musinga Yuhi V (1944) in the Bufumbira region. It is always with pride that I sit under his ficus under the volcano Muhabura.
        
In addition my mother was born in the vicinity of Kisoro, where she came at the age of three to move to Jomba with her mother after the death of her father who had just died from exhaustion and malaria on a British colonial railway yard in Uganda. Jomba, the part of this area where there was less forced labor, returned to the Belgians in 1923. But my family remained attached to Uganda.
        
So, as they say in Africa, I listen to you as a big brother and I am proud of your decisions when it comes to resolving issues in the Kigezi district. So I do not have any complexity, when I speak to you because I am sure you will kindly take my advice on a project that is highly dangerous for the future of Uganda. I trust in the wisdom of your intelligence and experience.

Excellency, Mr. Chairman,

        
On November 11, 2016, I voted "No" to the untimely exit of the nuclear pat the Switzerland, proposed by the ecological party. My vote does not express my refusal to see my country of adoption Switzerland give up definitively Nuclear, but because the definitive dismantling of a nuclear power plant costs more than the installation of a new plant. The dismantling of a single plant costs more than US $ 300 million per nuclear reactor, which needs to be updated and integrated into the operating accounts at a rate of 5% per year! And this dismantling spreads over at least 20 years. In addition it involves the dismantling of sites, the decontamination of sites and entire areas (at least 30 km2), the treatment and burial of highly radioactive waste for centuries.
         More than one million people must be evacuated. In addition, nuclear power must be replaced by clean and renewable sources of energy (solar, hydro, wind, etc.), which even a rich country like Switzerland can not afford in record time. Switzerland is therefore obliged to wait until the year 2050 to finally abandon nuclear power if it does not want to import from abroad the electricity required for its daily consumption and to make its citizens pay the cost of dismantling of its power plants.

Is Uganda really ready to exploit pitchblende or uranite (uranium dioxide)?

         The pitchblende means "mineral of misfortune" in German "pech (bearer of bad luck) and blende (" ore ").
Do I remind you that the Polish woman Marie Curie born Sklodowska (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911), who discovered radium and Polonium in 1898, died of cancer in the end his life only by manipulating the rock containing the " Uranium (UO2) "extracted from the Jachymov (or Joachmsthal) deposit in the Czech Republic.
         It is from this deposit of Saint Joachimsthal that was extracted until 1982, 6,000 tons of metal used for the Soviet nuclear program. The political prisoners of the Communist regime subjected to forced labor perished by mass on the site. Why did not the Russians continue to extract the Pechblende from Jachymov?
         Closer to Uganda, why do not the Westerners (Belgians, Americans, French ...) exploit the pitchblende of the Shikolobwe mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo from which was extracted the 500 tons (by L ' Union Minière du Haut Katanga) that were used for the Manhattan atomic bomb project launched on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945? In return, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has maintained, since 1945, an obsolete and visibly dangerous nuclear installation at Mount Amba on the heights of Kinshasa. A nuclear bomb capable of erasing Kinshasa and Brazzaville from the earth's surface in a few hours, if one is careful.

Your Excellency,

         In a few words, I have just demonstrated to you the danger of the extraction of the Pitchblende "ore of misfortune." I could have continued by telling you about the dangers of radioactivity surrounding the exploitation of uranium.
         You know very well that the site of Arlit 375 Km2 in full desert is located 250 Km from Agadès! The Uranium mines of Husab (Rossing) and Trekkopje (Areva) are located in the desert of Namib respectively at 70 km from the town of Aramis and Trekkopje, the mine closed since October 12, 2012, due to the collapse of the world price of uranium fell after the Fukushima nuclear disaster is located 300 km south of Windhoek.

Excellency, Mr. Chairman,


         Uganda needs neither to exploit the Pitchblende, nor to sell it, let alone use Uranium to produce electricity on its territory. It has a diversity of energy sources not yet exploited.
         At the time of writing this letter, I was pleasantly surprised by the inauguration in December 2016 of the first solar power plant in Uganda at Soroti. With a capacity of 10 MW, which will power low-carbon electricity to 40,000 homes. It is apparently the largest solar power plant in East Africa. Can not ask the French companies Eren and Dubaïrote Access Power to build another ten or more?
         Do you know what makes me happy, when I observe the installation of the Soroti power plant? It is to see these Ugandan workers who install the 32,000 solar panels with bare hands without special combination and masks, as for the installation of a nuclear power plant! This technological jewel of renewable and clean energy cost only US $ 19 million. A trifle compared to a nuclear power plant!
         This program, launched by the German development bank KfW in partnership with the Uganda Electricity Regulatory Agency (E.R.A.), is partly financed by the European Union, the Norwegian, German and British Governments and F.M.O., The development bank of the Netherlands.
         To provide you with another example of abundant clean energy that would suit Uganda. I am thinking especially of the tourist region of Kabale-Kigezi under the volcanoes.
Benin is building a 400-megawatt thermal power plant in Maria-Gléta, a suburb of Cotonou. The first phase of the 120-megawatt project costing US $ 172 million was inaugurated in December 2016. Why would Uganda not send engineers to Cotonou to learn the plant's installation technology In the Country?
         In the framework of renewable energies, I dreamed that Uganda participated in the degassing of Lake Kivu in the framework of the Democratic Republic of Congo-Rwanda-Uganda regional cooperation, that it carried its share of liquefied gas through a Pipeline to Kampala for use in the production of electric current. In return, Uganda would supply the same low-cost petrol and fuel oil pipeline to the provinces of Kivu and Ituri! Will my dream come true one day? Technology exists, only the political will is lacking. You may think of it in reading this letter. The regional integration of our countries is an imperative if we are to get out of underdevelopment.

Your Excellency,

         If you want the 37 million Ugandans to access electricity, it would be necessary to diversify the sources of energy without jeopardizing the future of our grandchildren and descendants.
         Above all, one should not rush, like this frog of Kampala who dreamed of his birth to cross at all costs the highway to reach the pond on the other side.While his cousin hesitated, the daredevil male caught his swing and made a jump in the middle of the highway. His less courageous cousin asked him in his slender voice:
"Uwange, Usuzu utsa
?" She said, seeing him motionless in the middle of the highway!
- "I mutuka elinyé mbale mbale, urubito lwa bika wansi wansi !!
".
In fact, the pretentious male frog never got up and was crushed by the next car.
Her cousin watched helplessly at the horrible spectacle and decided never to cross the highway.
         The lessons of Chernobyl in Ukraine and Fukushima in Japan are enough not to dare exploit the Pitchblende in Uganda and to use Uranium especially in our region of the African Graben, located on tectonic faults, subjected to frequent seismic shocks and To regular volcanic eruptions.
         As dean of the heads of state of the Great Lakes Region, it is up to you to use your wisdom to avoid mortgaging the future of our beautiful region, one of the most beautiful in the world.

Mheshimiwa Rais wa Jamuhuri, Ndugu Mkuu Mpenzi,

Nakutakia, wewe na familia yako, mwaka mupya 2017, wa afya njema na furaha.
Mungu akubariki, abariki Uganda na Afrika ya Mashariki!