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Hello <<First Name>>,

 

It’s been quite a hectic first week of February for residents of Lagos, as moving around hasn’t been this difficult and expensive in a long while. Hopefully, the weekend offers some consolation before another week starts.

Also, Congratulations to Kenya's David Barmasai who won the Lagos Marathon City in a record time of 2:10:23. 
 

Now, The Stories for the Week.

Foreign Policy

 

You can’t come in Again

 

 

America has decided to expand its travel ban which now insists that immigrants from Nigeria and five other countries, including Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Tanzania and Sudan, are no longer eligible for visas that will have them stay in America permanently. 

 

How did we get here

There are two sides to this story.

It has been deduced by some of the affected nations that the ban affects countries with a sizable Muslim population considering that Trump, during his election campaign in 2015, called for a total shutdown of Muslim immigration into the US for the fear of terrorist attacks. But this time, according to the Information contained in the letter released by the White House, Trump says this development is to minimize threats posed by these foreign nationals on the security of the United States.

 

You don’t say, do we smell Xenophobia? 

Yes, if we are to go by what the US speaker for the House of Rep, Nancy Pelosi said. She says it is a xenophobic act that threatens the security, values and the rule of law in America.  
 

What’s the Nigerian government doing about this?

To be fair, a better question should have been, why hadn’t the Nigerian government done anything about this since, because the ban was due to the fact that “Nigeria does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics” 

The government had been told ahead of time to comply with this basic requirement but as usual, seemed to have left it unattended to. But on the bright side, the presidency has set up a committee ( It’s always a committee) that is expected to study what the US government wants as regards security criteria and compliance by foreign nations. Also that the committee will work with the US government to ensure the new criteria is implemented.  

 

How soon would this be sorted out? 

We’d have to wait and see.

Meanwhile,  Nigerians make up a larger number of migrants from Africa. This is tied to economic and political hardship, where most of them run for better livelihood, just to be in a system that works.  Nigerians in the US are highly skilled. Factually, they are better educated and they even earn more than the average US citizen, if America is looking for high-quality immigrants, Nigeria should be top of their list.  
 

Zoom out: While the Visa ban does not affect people travelling for short trips like business, medicals, tourism and vacations, it is basically telling those that want to run and not return to sit their butts down and have a rethink. 

M & A

Farmcrowdy + Best Foods

Farmcrowdy, an Agric tech platform that gives users the ability to sponsor a farming cycle has acquired Best Foods L&P Limited, one of Nigeria’s largest meat processors. Best Foods is one of the largest meat processors in Lagos with a capacity to process up to 200 bulls daily. 

 

The plan

  • Farmcrowdy plans to increase livestock production and processing solution in a huge market where 360,000 tonnes of meat consumed each year.

  •  Allow consumers to order meat via the startup’s platform that they can then pick up at one of the company’s retail hubs, which it intends to roll out.

 

Go Daddy + Over

In related news Go Daddy, a platform that offers Internet domain registration, web hosting, website building and e-commerce solution for businesses has acquired Over, a South African startup that provides an app that lets you create designs with customisable layouts and templates on a mobile phone for social media, email marketing campaigns and websites. A case of vertical Integration, a competitive strategy by which a company takes complete control over one or more stages in the production or distribution of its product.

 

Why this matters

While M and A deals in Africa in the past have been marred by political uncertainty and bad governance. When successful it is beneficial for investors and companies. 

For Investors: There are few exits -- the method by which a venture capitalist or business owner intends to get out of an investment that he or she has made --  happening in Africa, hence, M & A prove an opportunity for investors to get a return on their investment.

For Companies: M & A provides the opportunity of gaining market share, diversifying products and cutting costs. 

A Ray of Hope



 

@BeautifulNews

 

Here's a ray of hope. The sunbeams down enough energy to supply the entire world’s electricity needs more than six times over. Why not go straight to the source?

Business
 

How Apple and Facebook performed in the last Quarter of 2019

 

Apple: Revenue of $91.8 billion increase of 9% from a year ago, and net income of $22.2 billion.
It exceeded Hardware sales target (thanks to the iPhone 11) but missed services  (iCloud, apple music, Apple Tv...) revenue target. While it is a contrasting result. It might still be a positive step as Apple embarks on its journey to becoming a services company. 

 

Apple which has been known for being predominantly a hardware company is on the journey to being a services company, what this means is, as per Stratechery, is that Services (horizontal) and hardware (vertical) companies have very different strategic priorities: the former ought to maximize their addressable market (by, say, making a cheaper iPhone), while the latter ought to maximize their differentiation. 

 

Big Picture: By selling more devices, Apple is increasing the potential reach of its services, hopefully, if it’s selling new devices to new customers and not existing Apple devices users who simply want an upgrade, it is still in line.
 

Facebook: Facebook reached 2.5 billion monthly users, $21.08 billion in revenue, and its net income was just $7.3 billion up 7% from a year ago.

In simple terms: Costs are growing faster than revenue. Why so? Facebook has decided to focus more on Security for obvious reasons.

The last three years have been brutal for Facebook, which has been a poster child for almost everything that could go wrong with company: multiple lawsuits and fines for slack control policies, notably that led to foreign interference in the 2016 US Elections. While some of the criticisms are unfair, many are earned.

 

Big Picture: This experience has spurred Mark Zuckerberg to shift FB to focus more on protecting its community over maximizing profits. FB's move also is in line with advice from one of Bill Gate's memos to Microsoft, which states “...So now, when we face a choice between adding features and resolving security issues, we need to choose security.”

Most likely this is the right step if this is being done well.

China

Corona Virus: The Journey so far 


 

 

The 2019 novel coronavirus (the temporary official name by WHO) which was first detected in Wuhan, China is spreading and affecting other industries, but it’s yet to reach Africa.

 

How bad is it? 

It has so far killed almost 600 people and infected more than 28,000.

The official number of cases of the 2019 coronavirus has surpassed the total number of SARS cases. The WHO has declared a global emergency, with airlines and many countries are cutting travel links to China.

 

What else is affected 

Oil prices: Nearly 10,000 flights were cancelled between the outbreak of the virus and Jan. 31, according to Cirium, with about 38 countries banning Travel to and from China.

 

With less travelling happening there’s less demand for Oil, which in turn causes a  reduction in Oil prices. The price of oil has fallen almost 20% since the coronavirus outbreak began, and OPEC is scrambling to contain the fallout. It’s not only China’s economy that’s going to be affected by this but that of Oil producing/dependent countries.

 

Logistics & Supply:  China is a major manufacturing hub; many companies rely on China for the supply of its raw materials and production of their products.

 

Big Picture: The 2019 Coronavirus outbreak is often compared to SARS outbreak of 2004, however, they are two different incidents because the world is a more dynamic place than it was in 2004 and what is more peculiar about the 2019 Coronavirus is that there are reports that this outbreak could have been curbed earlier -- first cases were detected as early as Dec 8th but the world only came to know by the end of December -- if the Chinese communist party had put openness and a real plan of action over its need to control the narrative.

 

The way forward: As the world strives to curb the spread of this disease, Africa is one of only two continents with no confirmed cases of coronavirus, however, given China is Africa’s biggest trade partner and there are around 10,000 Chinese firms currently operating throughout the continent.  It may not be long before the first case is confirmed. 
 

Dig Deeper: Read The WHO’s Page on 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Worth Reading 📚

 

Quote 💭

“Little by little, one travels far.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien (an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic)

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Written by Daniel Adeyemi, Bright Azuh and Damilola Amusan.

 

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