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Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

 

Solennité et tension au Congrès pour la mise en accusation de Donald Trump

Publié le 19.12.2019 à 00h51 par AFP

Les quelque 400 élus de la Chambre des représentants américaine se sont réunis mercredi dans un climat tendu et solennel, certains admettant volontiers leur « nervosité » à l’heure du vote historique sur la mise en accusation de Donald Trump.

« J’étais nerveuse, bien sûr », confie la parlementaire démocrate Diana DeGette qui préside, maillet à la main, la séance chargée de déterminer si le 45e président américain a commis un abus de pouvoir et fait entrave aux travail du Congrès.

« C’est une grande responsabilité, c’est très sérieux et je crois que les parlementaires pensent la même chose », dit-elle à l’AFP.

La journée est historique. Donald Trump va devenir le troisième président mis en accusation au Congrès.

Avec Mme DeGette, c’est la première fois que le débat est présidé par les démocrates. Les représentants du peuple américain exercent le plus haut pouvoir que leur octroie la Constitution, outre celui d’envoyer des soldats à la guerre.

Les élus républicains, minoritaires, ont bien essayé de retarder l’ouverture de la séance, en levant sans succès plusieurs objections. Le vote était prévu dans la soirée, au terme d’une journée emplie de solennité et d’une tension palpable.

L’avant-débat montre pourtant des signes de normalité et de cordialité entre les deux camps. Le démocrate Al Green, qui a le premier demandé la mise en accusation de M. Trump en 2017, se tient aux côtés des élus républicains lors de la prestation de serment.

Le républicain Dan Crenshaw, un ancien militaire blessé en Afghanistan, se fait un point d’honneur à serrer la mains de ses collègues démocrates.

Le révérend Patrick Conroy, qui conduit la prière, demande à Dieu de donner aux élus « sagesse et discernement » pour remplir leur devoir.

– Silences et éclats de voix –

Les parlementaires se succèdent au pupitre pour un commentaire d’une à deux minutes et les déclarations deviennent plus agressives, rythmées par les rappels à l’ordre de Mme DeGette.

Un silence pesant se fait quand un huissier récite la résolution 755 qui « détermine que Donald John Trump, président des Etats-Unis, est mis en accusation pour crimes et délits majeurs ».

Nancy Pelosi, la dirigeante démocrate au Congrès qui a lancé fin septembre l’enquête parlementaire en vue de la destitution du président, assure que le milliardaire républicain est « une menace constante » pour « la sécurité nationale ».

« Les actes irresponsables du président ont rendu sa mise en accusation nécessaire, il ne nous a pas donné d’autre choix », dit-elle, vêtue d’un sobre ensemble noir.

Mais les esprits s’échauffent. « Il n’y a aucune preuve, aucune », lance Debbie Lesko. D’autres républicains dénoncent, comme ils le font depuis trois mois, « de la pure politique partisane », une procédure « bidon » qui fait honte à l’Assemblée.

Barry Loudermilk évoque Ponce Pilate qui a « accordé plus de droits à Jésus que les démocrates au président ».

Au fond de l’hémicycle, Justin Amash entame une discussion avec Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, qui incarne l’aile gauche du parti démocrate. Seul élu indépendant de la Chambre, il a quitté le parti républicain après avoir appelé à la destitution de Donald Trump.

Malgré les éclats de voix, le démocrate Gerry Connelly assure que les parlementaires « comprennent la solennité du moment ». Il regrette pourtant que ses collègues républicains n’aient « rien vu, rien entendu quand il s’agit de ce président ».


Côte d’Ivoire: GIME et Flexi Firelight remportent le Prix innovation énergie et hydrocarbures


Alassane Ouattara a inauguré à Yamoussoukro le siège du Sénat ivoirien

Publié le 19.12.2019 à 00h18 par APA

Le chef de l’Etat ivoirien Alassane Ouattara a procédé mercredi à Yamoussoukro, la capitale politique du pays, à l’inauguration du siège du Sénat, la deuxième Chambre du Parlement, lors d’une cérémonie.Cet édifice, bâti sur une superficie de 8 000 m2 dont 3 000 m2 de superficie utile, comprend 55 bureaux répartis sur deux niveaux. Le Sénat, installé en avril 2019, tenait la majeure partie de ses réunions à la Fondation Félix Houphouët-Boigny. 

Le président de la République, Alassane Ouattara, s’est félicité de la réalisation du siège de cette institution, tout en réitérant sa détermination à œuvrer au « transfert effectif » de la capitale à Yamoussoukro, ville nationale d’Houphouët-Boigny.  

Ce Sénat, le premier de l’histoire de la Côte d’Ivoire, comprend 99 membres. Soixante-six (66) membres ont été élus par un collège de grands électeurs (deux par région). Le tiers, estimé à 33 sénateurs, est nommé par le chef de l’Etat.

Le président du Sénat de Côte d’Ivoire, Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, lui, a été élu en avril 2018. Issu du Parti démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire (Pdci, opposition), il a rejoint le Parti unifié Rhdp (Rassemblement des Houphouétistes pour la démocratie et la paix), la coalition au pouvoir.  


Le Maroc brille par sa politique migratoire et s’impose comme référence en Afrique

Publié le 19.12.2019 à 00h18 par APA

La politique migratoire marocaine et ses initiatives prometteuses en faveur des migrants et réfugiés, a permis au Royaume de franchir un palier avancé dans sa gestion de question de la migration, de déconstruire les préjugés et les stéréotypes qui ignorent les besoins légitimes des migrants et partant de s’imposer comme une référence en la matière au niveau africain.Saluée et mise en exergue par des instances internationales comme l’ONU pour sa pertinence et son caractère inclusif et intégré, cette stratégie migratoire marocaine, adoptée en septembre 2013, s’érige en modèle régional de gestion de la problématique migratoire à la fois responsable et solidaire.

Une vision qui puise ses origines dans la mutation fondamentale qu’a connue le Maroc ces dernières années passant ainsi d’une terre d’émigration ou de transit à un territoire d’accueil d’immigrés provenant essentiellement de l’Afrique subsaharienne et dans une moindre mesure du Moyen-Orient, de l’Asie et de l’Europe.

Tenant compte de cette dynamique migratoire, le Maroc a tracé sa propre feuille de route qui s’articule autour d’une approche humaniste, cohérente et globale. La Stratégie marocaine d’immigration et d’asile se caractérise par sa singularité, notamment à travers l’implication des acteurs de la société civile dans sa conception et la mise en œuvre de ses actions phares.

Inscrite en faveur d’une gouvernance mondiale de la migration, la politique migratoire marocaine s’illustre également par une bonne conduite de l’opération exceptionnelle de régularisation de la situation des milliers de migrants irréguliers en vue de leur assurer une meilleure intégration et par conséquent une meilleure gestion des flux migratoires.

Dans la foulée, une grande opération de régularisation d’immigrés illégaux au Maroc a profité, dans une première phase, à 25.000 personnes suivie ultérieurement par une autre opération du même genre et du même nombre. A ce jour, pas moins de 50.000 personnes ont bénéficié de la régularisation avec toutes les implications positives pour les bénéficiaires au niveau de l’accès aux services publics de l’enseignement, de la santé et même de la couverture sociale, sans compter les opportunités d’emplois et d’entreprises dans le secteur privé.

L’un des points forts de la stratégie nationale d’immigration et d’asile est l’ouverture de l’accès des migrants et réfugiés aux services de base, notamment l’éducation, la santé, le logement, la formation professionnelle et l’emploi. Pour consolider le droit d’accès à ces services, des efforts sont à consolider particulièrement en matière d’information, de communication et de mise en place de dispositif d’orientation et de référencement de migrants et des réfugiés vers les structures concernées.

La territorialisation de la stratégie figure parmi les priorités sur lesquelles se penche le Maroc, l’objectif étant de garantir l’opérationnalité de ce dispositif et de maîtriser son impact sur les bénéficiaires.

Sur le plan africain, lors de son 28ème Sommet, tenu en janvier 2017, l’Union Africaine (UA) a confié au Roi Mohammed VI le leadership de la réflexion sur la gestion de la crise migratoire en Afrique et dès le Sommet suivant, tenu au mois de juillet à Addis-Abeba, le Souverain a présenté les premiers jalons de la vision africaine commune sur l’immigration.

Lors du 30ème Sommet de l’UA, le Souverain a proposé la création d’un Observatoire Africain de la Migration et d’un Poste d’Envoyé spécial de l’UA chargé de la migration. Ces deux propositions du Royaume ont été validées par l’organisation panafricaine au terme de son 31ème sommet à Nouakchott.

Sur le plan mondial, l’Agenda africain peut instruire le processus d’élaboration du pacte mondial pour des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières et ce, lors d’une conférence qui aura lieu à Marrakech fin 2018. Cet élan stratégique a eu pour effet de doter le Royaume d’une réelle force de proposition et de lui allouer ainsi un rôle proéminent et actif sur la scène régionale et internationale en termes de gestion de la problématique globale de la migration, s’est félicité le diplomate marocain.

Figurant parmi les rares pays à avoir élaboré une stratégie nationale pour traiter la question migratoire, le Maroc est considéré à juste titre comme un modèle à suivre en matière de la gestion de la chose migratoire, un phénomène dont pâtit le continent africain, qui compte une population de plus de 36 millions de migrants.


Why you should invest in a villa

BETT KINYATTIBy BETT KINYATTI
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If you are looking to invest in property that will give you wholesome return on your investment, look no further than a villa.

Villas are usually developed in gated communities with a limited number of units; most are capped at 10 units. The handful of units give a nod to the exclusivity of the villa lifestyle — luxury, intimacy and comfort. This traditional set-up embraces modernity with security features such as 24-hour CCTV surveillance and convenient commercial spaces.

Here are reasons you should consider investing in one.

Better value on your investment

A villa on the outskirts of Nairobi is a better investment than an apartment, bungalow or maisonette in the heart of the metropolis. Think about it — you are away from the never-ending bustle of the city, you have your fresh air filling in your exhausted lungs, you are still part of a community and you have the freedom of stretching your legs in the privacy of your home, and little chance of running into your neighbours.

The distance from the business district is not a deal breaker because there is a growing and reliable road network that will connect you in under an hour.

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With the recent popularity of Airbnb — where you let out your home at a daily rate to local and international tourists — you will get an additional income stream. Villas attract more guests than other stand-alone properties do. If you are not comfortable letting out your home, you can let out unused space such as the servant’s quarters or the guest house.

The cherry on top of this cake is that you can comfortably retire to your villa.

Return on investment

Villas have a high cost of initial investment than other residential properties, but they have better resale value.

Lydia Obare, a property manager from EnkaVilla Properties, says: “We have property for sale on the outskirts of Nairobi, in Kitengela and Isinya. For the ones in Kitengela, we sell an eighth of an acre at Sh3 million. We also construct for our clients. Constructing a four-bedroom mansion costs, at most, Sh10 million. The total cost of the land plus constructing comes to Sh13 million.”

She adds: “The mansions are high in demand. We sell a unit starting from Sh19 million upwards. If a homeowner wishes to rent it out, he will get per month between Sh90,000 and Sh120,000.”

A canvas to create

Villas are built with luxurious living in mind. Anyone who walks into a waiting-to-be-occupied villa will immediately say ‘wow’. The grandeur of the space demands nothing less. What with the high ceilings, hardwood floors, wrought iron faucets, bathtubs, grand fireplace, granite kitchen tops … Any element in a villa is luxurious.

With this basic structure in place, you as the homeowner can explore your creativity in home decor and styling. A taste of your personal touch will elevate that villa to the very definition of homeliness.

Farm to fork

Villas are built on large swathes of land, at least on a quarter acre. That is, 52 by 104 feet. You get your little palace of a villa, parking for your cars, a veranda to unwind, and a landscaped front and back lawn.

You will find yourself trying your hand at home gardening, and growing your own kitchen garden — you can grow herbs such as rosemary, mint, parsley and baby spinach. You will be watching little buds sprout as you stand over the kitchen sink drinking a glass of water. Imagine the little joy of plucking those herbs and chopping them up for a meal.

Live, work and play

Villas developed in the past 10 years are embracing modern trends of urban living. The traditional palatial living in a villa is complemented by convenient amenities that allow the homeowners to work and play where they live.

This ultimately saves you time and money in daily commute. If you are self-employed, it saves you money you would have paid in rent elsewhere.

Modern villas are embracing the modern concept of working remotely. To homeowners, these villas offer shared work spaces fitted with open-plan offices, reliable internet connectivity, kitchenettes, washrooms and private conference rooms for private meetings. Their modern designs also facilitate innovation and creativity.

For play, the villas have shared recreational facilities such as gyms, water parks and heated swimming pools.

The gyms are going a step further by offering personalised packages for residents in personal fitness, yoga and zumba. There are also other exclusive sporting facilities for soccer, rugby, biking and distance running.


How to grow a garden vertically

You love gardening but you are limited by space, most probably because you live in an apartment. The small balcony has already been taken up by a few potted plants but you still want more flora around.

Perhaps you have the space for gardening but you would love some life in your house. Vertical gardening would be your best option. It is all about finding planting space off the ground. This could be on the fence, on your walls or even on the front desk area of an office. You could use improvised pots and use hydroponic method, which is basically to plant without soil but use only water and nutrients. Still, you could use soil.

Plants bring life

Plants bring life and make great centrepieces to your surroundings. You do not need to have ground for this kind of gardening and, there are many ways of going about it. You could use ordinary pots, shelves or old crates pinned to the wall. Be creative when choosing your improvised pot. Even an old shoe pinned on the wall would make a great pot.

Succulents are the best plants to work with, especially in the house, although you can use other types. They are easy to manage, and do not need regular watering. They can last up to two weeks without watering, as long as there is sufficient light coming through a window.

The only thing they will need is weekly watering using a water spray to hydrate the plant and moisten the soil. Use of a water spray is preferred to avoid excess water dripping to your floor.

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Deep watering

However, when deep watering — preferably fortnightly — remove your plant from the wall and place it outside the house, both for the much needed sunlight and for the soil to absorb the water. Take it back after a day. Avoid over-watering as the pot will become heavy when hanging and might fall if the hold is not strong enough. Such an eventuality will only leave your living area dirty.

When planting on boxes pinned to the wall, secure the soil in the container you’ve chosen with a mesh, like chicken mesh to avoid spillage when it’s hanged vertically on the wall. Through the mesh, make a hole in the soil and plant. Space them a little to give room for growth. Plant different colours to make it beautiful and interesting.

Leave the pot on a flat surface for a month to give the soil time to hold firmly. You can choose to paint your pot as well to give it a colour that would contrast the plants. Then, sit back and watch your efforts pay off!


Affrontements violents en marge du Clasico à Barcelone, une cinquantaine de blessés


Bright Simons: Rethinking the concept of disruption in new decade

FAUSTINE NGILABy FAUSTINE NGILA
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Bright Simons is the president of mPedigree, a multinational technology and social innovation enterprise operating in several countries in Africa and Asia, known for its anti-counterfeiting, digital supply chain, and agritech platforms and services. He is also affiliated with IMANI, a think tank, and has served as an Advisor to Microsoft, the World Bank, Care International and others.

Recently, his technical paper published by the Centre for Global Development (CGD), A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World, drew global attention as it aims to question common narratives such as ‘data is the new oil’ and ‘Big Data is everything’ in a period of rapid technological change.

He spoke to the Nation about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.

1.Why do you think the world needs a reality check regarding the use of data?

There has been a substantial growth in awareness about the potential use of data to confer power on those who can hoard it. Like all forms of power, data concentration is subject to abuse. Globally, new public institutions are being created to enforce emerging regulations against the abuse of data. That’s all well and good. But there is another dimension I focus in the power on about how data acquires the potency that makes it convertible to power- heterogeneity. It is no longer useful to just amass data. You need intersectional and multilateral data, often held by very different entities in highly diverse repositories. This bring considerable tension and friction, among values, policies, systems and levels of capacity.

The ability to harness data to serve broader public interest, economically valuable, and socially transformative purposes is hampered by this diffuse conflict. In e-health, it has practically halted progress in Africa. The big platforms, like Facebook and Google, are working very hard to navigate these tensions as their artificial intelligence – based world domination plans are now threatened by the conflict. The amount of resources they need to spend on manual reassembly, sifting and pruning of data limits the speed at which they can roll out new AI-based services.

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The automation of these functions are constrained by the current fragmentation. Still, they have far more resources to throw at the problem than local start-ups, government agencies and non-profits. Unless new alliances are created to back civic and non-corporatist responses to this problem, start-up and leapfrogging style innovation in the developing world will be greatly dampened.

2.You mention Christensen’s model as the most practical and useful way to link disruption to the many important areas of socioeconomic development touched by technology. Why do you think it has become obsolete?

Actually, my point is that the mechanism Christensen describes as the way disruption and disruptive innovation happens, despite the harsh criticisms of his theory, is still the most plausible among the competing versions. In rough terms, his theory says that it is not sloppiness that make incumbents (or dominant players in an industry or domain) lose out, rather, somewhat counter-intuitively, it is getting too good at the things that made them become dominant in the first place.

They become so engrossed in maintaining their dominance by refining their initial advantages that they do not pay attention to changing needs of customers. They keep packing features into their products that add little value, thus reducing the cost-to-utility ratio for their customers, whilst neglecting many potential customers for whom the existing value proposition is too complex, unclear, unaffordable or plain confusing. Upstarts come in with simpler and compact alternatives that expand the market by attracting these neglected customers. In time, the upstarts start to win over even the longtime loyal customers of the incumbent/dominant market leader.

Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies used similar strategies to break the hold of the big enterprise software vendors like IBM and Oracle. With some modifications here and there, one can even explain the rise of China, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia in many technical industries at the expense of European and American incumbents as having followed a simple paradigm. One of my key arguments is that whilst the Christensen model explains disruption better than most of its competitors, it is rapidly becoming obsolete.

This is due to the fact that products and services are so intertwined in how they deliver value to customers that upstarts can often not simplify and “compactify” their offerings for differentiated segments of the market in the way they used to be able to do in the earlier days of the technical innovation boom that is now slowing. This spells potentially disastrous news for startups everywhere, but particularly for innovative companies in the developing world with global, or even regional, ambitions.

3. Your paper states that it aims to be a disruptor of comfortable narratives. Which narratives are these?

Several of the current narratives that dominate the headlines of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation (essentially, the entire “new economy”) coverage are mismatched with the evolving reality. One of these is that it is becoming easier to consolidate data. Another is that this data consolidation when harnessed by incredibly powerful algorithms, especially of the machine and learning components of AI, can only make platforms bigger and more dominant over all aspects of our life.

Mega-platforms will take over our education, health, transport, defence, logistics, and media. I argue that a few legacy platforms like Facebook, Google, Windows and Amazon will hold out for a bit longer in those areas where they have established serious control over the networks that bind many smaller companies. In mass communications, internet search, basic ecommerce and digital advertising, their lead shall be unassailable for a while. But the real reason is less about the power of their algorithms and the quantity of data they have amassed, and more because the super nodes they have become in webs of integration that now defines how nearly all companies collaborate, intertwine, and interlink to deliver value to customers.

They enjoy “lattice power” in these hyper-lattices. I call this phenomenon, hyper-integration. Apart from these few legacy platforms and except in the few industries they have sunk their fangs into, most platforms are actually in trouble. Major travel booking sites, entertainment aggregators, and logistics platforms are actually struggling to accrete value and therefore operate profitably because of the nature of this hyper-integration trend, which is making it harder to manoeuvre within value production and delivery networks. When it comes to the most important sectors of the economy and domains of society, such as health, education, agriculture and the likes, penetration by mega-platforms will be even more patchy and halting because the heterogeneity of the integrations required compound an already difficult prospect.

Thus, it is “integrations” – their maintenance costs, their rigidity, their complexity, their compounding of risk and fraud issues – that is really the dominant factor here, not data or algorithms. In this new world of hyper-integration, disruption is not the primary motif of ascendency for the vast majority of players, it is “strategic alignment”. I also dispel some popular notions such as the view that blockchain is the dominant way of connecting platforms in the future. It is not. It requires a degree of homogeneity that actually goes against current trends.

4. You advocate for techno-legal integration. What does it mean and why do you think it is the right path forward in the next decade?

Companies need to understand that their “integrations”, the tools and processes binding them to collaborators and co-innovators with whom they must interface consistently to create and deliver value, are now some of their most critical “assets”. Companies are stuck in a zone where they think of relationships as primarily “channels”. I argue that integrations should be seen in “asset portfolio” terms. A company’s integrations certainly include all the APIs (application programming interfaces) that connect its systems to other systems.

But APIs are a very small subset of the full portfolio. The range spans all other critical conjunctions in production processes where consensus is required to activate a unit of value. I provide tools in the paper for rating these integrations and managing them properly. I point out however that for startups and most companies in poor countries, the situation is going to be increasingly dire because amassing the right integrations and maintaining them cost money and require skills.

Countries that want to see their startups and local companies keen to participate in the new economy thrive should actively consider the “pre-fabrication” of certain key integrations across major social infrastructure as “public resources” to enable startups and local companies plug into value creation networks at lower cost and with less friction. Innovation will be stifled in the absence of this “scaffolding”, which I call “hyper-integration operating systems”, or “honeycombs”.

5. You are unimpressed by monocentric integrations and how in the past they have led to unchallenged data consolidation. What are they and how unfavourable are they for African startups?

Mono-integrations are exemplified by the gateways and connection models controlled by the mega-platforms (Facebook, Google, Twitter and the likes) in the digital advertising industry, for instance. They are homogenous; typically dominated by a central rule giver’ setup on the basis of highly unbalanced contracts; and designed for higher levels of automation and agile manoeuvring. These mono-integrations enabled the data-consolidation that made the current clique of mega-platforms so rich and powerful. They are increasingly unviable as the ongoing “technologisation” of all industries and social domains now expands into areas such as health, agriculture, education, transport, defence, real estate etc. Another integration model, the polycentric, is becoming the only viable approach. These types of integration among platforms, systems and value chains are heterogeneous; designed to work with compromise; accommodate diverging values; enable players with very different economic models and jurisdictional constraints to work with each other. Many incoterms built for global trade often need such integrations to actually function (think of the global freight forwarding industry and how it interconnects). It is harder to consolidate data and use super-algorithms to take over whole industries, as we saw happen in the digital advertising industry, in a polycentric context, such as in much of the healthcare or educational system. Whilst this trend slows down the rise and ubiquity of the mega-platforms, they also make it even much harder for startups to replace or displace the mega-platforms. Because Africa is already such a laggard, it is coming late to a party where the rules have changed to frustrate the big boys and girls but without making things any easier for the underdog.

6. What do you think will be the drivers of hyper-integration in 2020?

In the paper, I mention several, but I will share three here: fraud, risk and the search for topline growth (hetero-convergence). Digitalization exacerbates all three. Digital business models are incredibly prone and susceptible to fraud. I give many examples, including the widespread use of GPS spoofing to game location-based services. I also mentioned the massive use of bots and other techniques to boost digital advertising, with the result that maybe 70 percent of that space is now contaminated with fraud and mistrust. Other types of risks, including abuse, are also magnified by digitalization, such as the now widely discussed issues of cybersecurity.

The space having superior data-intelligence or super-algorithms such as anti-viruses are no longer enough to fight fraud and risk. Platforms need to integrate their threat signature databases to be effective. Whether it is fighting spam or malware, standalone systems heavily underperform. Regarding “top-line” growth, the problem right now is that all the low-hanging fruits for digital have now been plugged: media, telecom, entertainment, search and social graphing. All the big future profits are in areas like health, education, agriculture, finance and transport.

7. The sum effect of these drivers is the growing convergence across industries, and the rapid dissolution of boundaries. What does this mean for the world?

For digitalization to continue to ramp up productivity, some of the underlying economics of industries must converge (hetero-convergence). This requires intense integration of processes to remove some of the efficiency and productivity gaps. These are some of the forces intensifying hyper-integration. The interesting thing is that they reinforce each other. Hetero-convergence deepens risks and the opportunities for fraud, whilst the need to address both accelerate hyper-integration.

8. You mention Lattice Power several times in your paper. What is it and why does it matter?

One of the most fundamental ways in which hyper-integration changes how the new economy game is played and won is how it forces leaders and managers, often without even realizing, to spend time, energy, resources and bandwidth, improving their positioning in the hyper-integrated ecosystem, or as I call such ecosystems, “hyper-lattices”. Becoming a super-node in such a lattice gives you “lattice power”. It makes it possible to grow off rents rather than profits, strictly speaking. This can reduce the focus on delighting customers to grow market share and improve pricing power through loyalty. There is now evidence that some of the mega-platforms, like Uber, for instance, may even be penalising loyal customers because they can discern who can pay more. Many airlines are spending time integrating with credit card networks, whilst cutting down on perks in their loyalty programs. They are looking to position themselves within hyper-integrated ecosystems in ways that maximize their ability to extract rent.

9. So, what does all this mean for technology-entrepreneurship-innovation (TEI)- powered economic development in Africa in 2020?

As innovation becomes more expensive and more time-consuming due to the constraints of network politics in the new economy, African innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs cannot seek to grow their enterprises through the harnessing of new ideas and speed to market anymore. They must get adept at network politics. Unfortunately, this requires skills and resources not readily available. The long lead-time to profitability implied by the need to amass valuable integrations and to spend time configuring them properly can easily kill off many startups, social enterprises and other new economy aspirants and players in Africa before they get anywhere close to their prime.

Africa needs a deliberate effort to build clever “shared utility” hyper-nodes that innovators can plug into at lower cost, with minimal friction and faster. These hyper-nodes, or honeycombs, are critical if African new economy players and aspirants are going to take on big challenges in highly polycentric domains and sectors such as health, education, energy, agriculture and transport. Fintech is booming because the financial services sector can import whole frameworks for digitalisation much easier.

E-commerce has been failing because it interfaces with a larger swathe of polycentric nodes in transport, legal, logistics, consumer education and agent training. More entrepreneurs and innovators must be incentivised to focus on helping build out these middleware integrations that can’t make money directly from end-customers but will be critical for integrated ecosystems to function effectively and reduce the cost, time, and friction of innovation. None of this can begin without a mindset shift and new modes of advocacy, hence my decision to write the paper as part of the CGD series on “technology and development prospects”.  


Reforms will help us get sanctity of exams

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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The improved performance in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination is a demonstration that the tough regulations instituted to restore sanity in the national exams four years ago are beginning to pay dividends. After a dip in the past four years as the exam system was being shaken and cheating cartels dismantled, things are settling down and candidates are getting their bearing. There is an equilibrium and the normal curve is taking shape.

We have turned the corner and schools and candidates can now concentrate on doing the right thing – teaching and learning. What we had in the past was a horrifying experience, where schools drilled candidates and went ahead to play monkey tricks to obtain exceptionally good grades but which were fake. It was a bubble that was bound to burst and, true, it did.

Among the highlights of the results is the increased number of A students – 627 compared to 315 last year. Similarly, those who scored grades C+ and above and, therefore, qualified for university education rose dramatically to 125,746 from 90,377.

An education system requires progressive growth in enrolment and transition. When the numbers of university qualifiers fell drastically in recent years, there was hue and cry as that signalled regression in higher education. Since all the qualifiers were admitted to public universities, parallel degree programmes died. The most affected were private institutions, which could not find a pool to pick from. Now there is hope for them and, importantly, the growth is incremental and, hence, manageable.

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It is not lost on anyone though that the exams continue to exhibit disparities in terms of regional performance. For example, schools from the coastal and northeastern regions did not record as many As to earn a place in the list of top performers. Further, national school candidates dominated the A grades, producing 495 of the 627. Private schools had 67 As, extra-county schools 61 and sub-county four. County schools did not produce an A.

Although at the top level girls schools did very well with Kenya High taking the top honours with 76 straight As, it is notable that, in the overall scheme of things, boys still outperformed girls. In particular, girls did well in the languages and social sciences whereas boys ran away with the sciences.

For an economy that strives to attain industrialised status in the next few years, premium is placed in mathematics, sciences and technology. Those who excel in those areas are, therefore, assured of better opportunities at the workplace and in society. Campaigns to encourage girls to pursue and excel in the sciences and technology must be intensified to create an equitable society.

INEQUALITY

Notably, the exams have demonstrated that inequality persists in the school system with those well-endowed – naturally, the national schools – offering better opportunities for success and, ultimately, higher progression in society.

And with exam results out, the next question is progression. Some 125,746 high school leavers will proceed to university. But the question is: what about the rest, constituting about three-quarters of the cohort? And this is particularly in a society where there is an obsession with degrees and higher academic qualifications.

Nonetheless, for those not qualified for university, there are various options. In recent years, the government has expanded the tertiary sector, particularly technical and vocational education and training (TVET). There at least 11 national polytechnics and a host of technical and vocational training institutions that offer competitive courses. For good measure, not only are they properly equipped but the government offers bursaries and scholarships, which make them vital avenues for acquisition of higher education and skills for professional growth.

We, therefore, we encourage school leavers to seriously consider taking that path, which promises equally good economic and social rewards as degrees. Pertinent to this, parents ought to change their perception and accept the reality that there are options outside the realm of university education.

The past four years have shown that reforms are achievable. It is gratifying that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who was at the centre of the reforms as chair of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), has pledged to keep his foot on the pedal. The onus is on the education managers to stay the course and even extend the reforms to all sectors.

The sanctity of national exams must be maintained. Never again should we allow charlatans to invade the education sector and use exams as a means for profiteering and personal aggrandisement.


L’ONU salue le Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, malgré les dissensions

Publié le 18.12.2019 à 22h50 par AFP

Places de réinstallations, milliards de dollars promis… et dissensions. L’ONU a salué mercredi les résultats du premier Forum mondial sur les réfugiés à Genève, qui porte les « ingrédients du succès » malgré les déchirures entre pays riches et émergents portées notamment par le président turc.

Lors de cet événement qui s’est ouvert mardi, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés entendait donner un nouveau souffle au partage des responsabilités concernant la prise en charge des 71 millions de déplacés, dont 26 millions de réfugiés.

« Le soutien public pour l’asile a faibli ces dernières années. Et dans de nombreux cas, les communautés qui accueillent les réfugiés (à 80% répartis dans des pays pauvres ou en développement, ndlr) se sont senties submergées ou oubliées », a affirmé mercredi soir le Haut-commissaire aux réfugiés, Filippo Grandi.

« Mais les situations des réfugiés ne sont des +crises+ que quand on les laisse le devenir », a-t-il poursuivi. « Dans ce Forum, nous avons vu un virage décisif vers la vision à long terme ».

Au total, plus de 770 « promesses » dans divers domaines ont été adressées lors de ce Forum qui a été l’occasion pour le secrétaire général de l’ONU d’appeler la communauté internationale à « assumer collectivement » le poids du flux de réfugiés.

Plus de 7 milliards de dollars ont été promis, a souligné le HCR, dont 4,7 milliards pour la seule Banque mondiale.

Le secteur privé a surtout émis des annonces qui doivent permettre de donner accès à « au moins 15.000 emplois » aux réfugiés.

Les gouvernements se sont engagés dans les domaines de l’énergie, de l’infrastructure ou encore de l’éducation, à la faveur de changements de législation par exemple pour faciliter l’accès à l’école pour les enfants.

« Ce Forum a les ingrédients du succès » et il faudra « en mesurer l’impact », a déclaré Filippo Grandi devant les journalistes après la clôture de l’événement, qui se tenait un an exactement après la conclusion à New York d’un Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés, censé apporter une réponse collective aux mouvements massifs de déplacés.

– « L’asile doit rester une réalité » –

Le HCR s’est également félicité des annonces en matière de réinstallations, un programme consistant à installer dans des pays tiers des personnes déjà déplacées.

« Plus de 30.000 places de réinstallations pour 2020 » ont été promises en Europe, a annoncé la Commission européenne mercredi, promettant pour sa part un « soutien financier » aux États concernés.

La France, de son côté, a annoncé le renouvellement de son engagement d’accueillir 10.000 réinstallés lors des deux prochaines années, après avoir affirmé que l’objectif similaire d’ici fin 2019 serait « atteint ».

« La France peut aujourd’hui s’honorer d’être devenue l’un des principaux pays de réinstallation dans le monde et le premier en Europe », a souligné le ministère de l’Intérieur.

Le HCR estime à 1,44 million le nombre de réfugiés en besoin de réinstallation dans le monde.

Signe que les réserves émises par les pays pauvres et émergents ont laissé des traces, le Haut-Commissaire Grandi a affirmé mercredi soir que « l’asile doit rester une réalité dans toutes les parties du monde, même dans les pays riches, et encore plus dans les pays riches ».

Cela aurait pu être les mots du président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan, qui a fustigé la veille ces mêmes pays riches qui « ont fixé des quotas pour accueillir un très petit nombre » de personnes, et tancé une communauté internationale qui ne lui avait pas fourni « les aides » financières promises.

C’est ainsi que l’homme fort d’Ankara, dont le pays est celui qui accueille le plus de réfugiés au monde, a affirmé que le manque de soutien financier avait « obligé » son pays à intervenir militairement en Syrie.

De son côté, le Premier ministre pakistanais Imran Khan a fait planer le spectre d’une nouvelle « crise des réfugiés sans précédent » et un potentiel « conflit entre deux Etats nucléaires », en dénonçant les agissements du voisin indien, accusé de vouloir modifier « la démographie du Cachemire » en encerclant quelque 7 millions de musulmans.

La prochaine édition du Forum aura lieu dans 4 ans.