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Anti-CFA activist Kemi Seba is 2017 Africanews Personality of the Year.

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He lit the flame of a currency protest across much of Francophone region in West Africa. He burnt a 5000 CFA note in Senegal and was arrested and charged with destroying property belonging to the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

A Dakar court will go on to rule days later that Kemi Seba full name Stellio Giles Robert Capochichi be released on a technicality. That the laws punished a person who destroys bank notes not a bank note.

Young people in parts of West Africa (especially his native Benin) will burn notes in support of Kemi Seba – who if for nothing at all, had thrust the debate about a colonial currency used across West and Central Africa into the spotlight.

The 35-year-old is Africanews’ 2017 Personality of the year garnering an overwhelming 63% in a Twitter poll beating off three other competitors. West Africa political bloc, ECOWAS; Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga and Ethiopian human rights advocate Yetnebersh Nigussie who ended with 20%, 8% and 9% respectively.

The CFA, abbreviation for Communauté Financière Africaine (African financial community) or the Coopération Financière en Afrique (financial cooperation in Africa) – is a currency used across fourteen West and Central African countries. It was introduced by France to its then colonies in 1945.

As a legal tender, it has backing from the French treasury and was previously pegged to the French franc but now to the euro. It comes in two variations, the type used across West Africa and the Central Africa type.

Persons who back Seba in calling for its scrapping consider it a colonial relic that ties African countries to France after decades of independence. Financial analysts say countries using the CFA have to refer to France on specific economic decisions.

Those advocating that it remains say it is a powerful instrument of economic convergence between countries that use it. They add that it accounts for low interest rates in the region and also a stable peg to the euro and eases trading with the euro zone.

The current French president Emmanuel Macron is on record to have said that the decision to abandon or maintain it is one that rests with African leaders. Despite Seba’s activism, no government across the 14 countries has officially stated a position on the currency Of the total of 14 African countries that use the currency eight are in West Africa (Mali, Benin, Togo, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Niger and Ivory Coast.) The six Central African nations that use it are Congo Republic, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Cameroon.

He is the second winner of our end of year news personality of the year. He joins the dDmocratic Republic of Congo’s rape surgeon Dr. Denis Mukwege who won the maiden edition in 2016.

The other nominees for this year included CJ David Maraga (Kenya), ECOWAS for Gambian mediation and visually impaired lawyer Yetnerbersh Nigussie (Ethiopia).

The flame of Seba’s activism has seen him speak in different cities across the world garnering support for his belief that the currency be scrapped.

Kemi Seba is Africanews’ Personality of the year given his activism which got the better part of Francophone Africa talking this year. Young people across French Africa have responded to protest calls by Seba to protest.

 

Business

Aliexpress Unite Deals With Kenyans.

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Kenya’s mobile operating firm Safaricom, has secured a deal with China’s largest e-commerce company.



The deal will enable Kenyan shoppers to buy goods on the Aliexpress.com site, run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, using Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile payment service for online shopping.

“This obviously then opens up a lot more opportunity because today customers on this platforms are limited by, you must have a credit card to be able to pay.

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M-Pesa was launched in 2007 to offer Kenyans without bank accounts a network to transfer cash via mobile phones. It now offers a range of payment services, loans and savings to more than 21 million people in the country.

Now we will actually be able to, you will now be actually able to pay for the product or service that you are buying using M-Pesa, and you pay for it in Kenya shillings currency,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer.

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Business

Nigeria lost $16bn to production sharing contracts —NEITI.

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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative said that Nigeria lost at least $16 billion in ten years due to non-review of the 1993 Production Sharing Contracts with oil companies.

This was one of the highlights of the latest report by NEITI released in Abuja Sunday. It was tagged “The Steep Cost of Inaction”

It said that the losses were recorded between 2008 and 2017.



The study done in conjunction with Open Oil, a Berlin-based extractive sector transparency group, found that the losses could be up to $28 billion if, after the review, the federation were allowed to share profit from two additional licenses.

NEITI, therefore, called for an urgent review of the PSCs to stem the huge revenue losses to the federation.

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It added that the review was particularly important for Nigeria because oil production from PSCs had surpassed production from Joint Ventures with PSCs now contributing the largest share to federation revenue.

“Between 1998 and 2005, total production by PSC companies was below 100 million barrels per year while JV companies produced over 650 million barrels per year.

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“By 2017, total production by PSC companies was 305.800 million barrels, which was 44.32 per cent of total production.

“Total production by JV companies was 212.850 million barrels, representing 30.84 per cent of total production.” It said.

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