Monthly Archives: December 2015

2016 Predictions – AfricanPod Ep 9

“You cannot get out of the way of things you cannot see coming towards you” – the words of American Futurist, R. Buckminster Fuller. This means you can dodge a projectile coming in your direction – if you can see it coming.

So will you like to know what to expect in 2016?

Well, we are going to do something dangerous on AfricanPod in this episode. We are going to make predictions for 2016.

I am Phillip Nyakpo, this is AfricanPod, the good news and the bad news about Africa.

We are determined to do something dangerous on AfricanPod to start 2016.

We want to make predictions for the year.

The problem is, only fools try to predict the future with any level of certainty.

Events over the past year alone shows that most economists have been dead wrong on predictions.

So in 12 months from now, come back and listen to this episode once again and decide how accurate our prediction is, because there is very little good news, and a lot of bad news.

But let’s play it safe.

Instead of making predictions for 2016, let us say we are making some intelligent extrapolations for the year 2016:

Old Key New Lock
An old key cannot open a new lock

So here we go:

At the very least, the year 2016 is going to be the start of an unprecedented sharp global economic decline which will be felt across all six continents including Africa.

The economy of many countries will remain both fragile and volatile.

Selfish politicians will campaign vigorously to be elected to office and plunder the wealth of nations.

There will be squabbles over elections and election results, because elections are not going to be about the welfare of people – but about satisfying the greed of many people wrongly and tragically called leaders.

The unsuspecting masses will be given grandiose promises and urged to allow tricksters to get into office.

Governments will be stunned by slumping energy and commodity prices, resulting in deeper deficits particularly for African countries.

The evidence is already popping up around the world and countries that have not known the pain of deficits are experiencing the shock. An example is Saudi Arabia which recently announced that they spent more than 90 billion dollars that they didn’t have, and that everyone will have to pay extra for petroleum to address the unexpected shortfall.

For a country that has been the world’s leading exporter of petroleum for decades, it is as if the sky is about to fall.

Similar shocks will be felt in African countries with significant reliance on mining and energy, and they include Nigeria, Angola, Ghana and South Africa. In the case of South Africa, the signs are already in the open as its currency, the Rand, struggles to retain value.

As the sky seems to fall over Africa in 2016, the International Monetary Fund will order countries on the continent to cut back public expenditure and retrench workers across the continent.

Millions of people will be adversely affected by this, and they will feel the immediate effect in their household budget.

Multi-national companies across the world, especially in mining and manufacturing and energy will lay off hundreds of thousands of workers due to the deflationary pressures on commodity prices. This will be exacerbated by cheap automation made possible by smarter and relatively inexpensive  software.

Only a dozen robots will be required replace thousands of workers over a short period of time while the sky is falling.

Currencies around the world are going to be hammered, all currencies in fact. It will be a race to the bottom, and some will go down faster than others.

Purchasing power of paper currencies held by million will evaporate.

Or more accurately, purchasing power will be transferred from those with little to those who have more. Unchangeably, the rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer.

The financial system was designed to operate exactly this way. It is baked into everyday financial transactions through fractional reserve banking. So economic repression will continue and get worse.

Countries in Africa and around the world will compete fiercely to devalue their currency to promote export earnings.

In 2016, China will be revealed as an economic time bomb waiting to implode.

There are many reasons for this – some of which China has recognised. Chief among this is a skewed demography where increasingly, the incomes of fewer people are having to satisfy the needs of those who have grown past their working age. The recognition of this cause China to reverse its long-standing one-child policy i late 2015. But it is already too late to prevent a collapse.

Unfavourable demographic situation especially in many industrialised countries is remarkably worse in Japan, the third largest economy. Over there, diapers for older people are in higher demand than those for babies.

In Europe, Germany also has an imbalanced demographic challenge, and since it is responsible for Europe’s economic power, a weakening Germany in 2016 will cause headache for the Eurozone.

Europe is also the destination where millions of refugees, including many from Africa will go.

But Europe will become more and more hostile to economic refugees in 2016.

The power of technology will continue to be unleashed, and a few will make the most profitable use of it.

In the midst of the economic gloom, many will continue to cling to obsolete ideas – obsolete ideas such as getting more and more academic degrees only to find most employers have little admiration for such degrees.

There will be fewer and fewer high paying jobs for those who merely multiply their academic credentials.

Those who hold on to obsolete ideas will experience what it is like to attempt opening a door with an old key after the original locks have been changed.

The smartest people will be revealed to be those who create job opportunities, not those who stand in queues begging to be employed.

To paraphrase Canadian Author Robin Sharma, it is better to build your own economy than worry about the disrupted economy.

That the world is deep in the information age will become even clearer in 2016.

The combination of speed and efficiency from invisible computer software will increasingly expose academic qualifications as a relic of industrial age.

Ask Facebook Guru, Mark Zuckerberg. He never needed a job – he created so much of it with a Social Network, where many people now spend most of their time.

Many who will retire in 2016 on a politically-contrived pension schemes will feel like they are being mocked and cheated.

In short, 2016 will be more of same ups and downs of 2015 – it is just that it will be a little bit worse.

But for those who are prepared for the unexpected, ready to learn and willing to take responsibility, 2016 will not be a year in which the sky falls.

For more on the good news and bad news about Africa, subscribe to the AfricanPod on iTunes Podcast.  On YouTube, search for AfricanPod.

Follow us on Twitter, @AfricanPod

AfricanPod is available on Google’s Android Podcast. Also on Tune-In Radio, just search for AfricanPod and you can listen for free. Contact AfricanPod by going to our website, AfricanPod.com

AfricanPod is everywhere on the Internet, and you can’t miss it.

My name is Phillip Nyakpo, and thanks for listening.

Zimbabwe Goes to China – AfricanPod Ep 8

Zimbabwe takes sides with China, choosing the Chinese Yuan currency, and ditching the US dollar as its official currency. In the game of global dominance, Zimbabwe indeed goes to China – right here, on AfricanPod, the good news and the bad news about Africa, and I am your presenter, Phillip Nyakpo.

 

First, here is a quiz: how many Billionaires did Zimbabwe produce between the years 2000 and 2009?

The answer is coming up shortly, but here is the context: in the late 1990s to 2009, Zimbabwe was drowning in a deluge of hyper-inflation where the price of goods and services was rising by the hour.

The true value the Zimbabwean Dollar was a moving target, going down rapidly to zero. Within a one year period, the country printed Zimbabwean dollar denominations ranging from 10 to 100 billion.

As unreal as it sounds, the largest denomination of a Zimbabwean banknote was One Hundred Trillion Dollars.

That is “Trillion” with a T – “T” as in “Tango.”

The higher the denominations printed, the less the currency could buy. Purchasing power of the Zimbabwean currency practically disappeared, and it happened so fast that in 2009, the currency became completely useless. The Zimbabwean government actually devalued paper itself by printing on it.

This left more than 12 million people hanging onto 100 billion Zimbabwean Dollar notes. Zimbabweans subsequently came to be called the Hungry and poor Billionaires of Africa.

So back to the quiz: how many Billionaires did Zimbabwe produce between the year 2000 and 2009?

You got it.

one trillion
The worthless 100 Trillion Zimbabwean Dollar note

They produced more than 12 million Billionaires – the entire population of Zimbabwe, and their “billion dollars” could not buy even a loaf of bread.

Somehow, Zimbabwean found a kind of reset button.

When they pressed it, the result was that the Zimbabwean Dollar was abolished and swiftly replaced by the United States Dollar. Yes, the United States Dollar became the official currency of the Zimbabwe.

However other currencies are also in circulation, and these include the South African Rand, British Pounds Sterling, and the Australian Dollar.

It is a unique multi-currency system with the US Dollar right on top of the pile.

But now, Zimbabwe says it will embrace a completely new currency to replace the US Dollar.

That currency just happens to be the Chinese Yuan.

The Yuan itself made history on the last day of November 2015, when the IMF recognised it as a Global Reserve Currency, placing it in the same league as the US Dollar, along with a handful of other influential currencies.

The Yuan’s new status is expected to take some shine off the US Dollar, especially when the whole arrangement goes into full force in October 2016.

You can find details of story on AfricanPod, Episode 6.

So the announcement by Zimbabwe to replace the US Dollar with the Yuan as its official currency is not an accident. It is part of an on-going economic romance between China and Zimbabwe.

It is all about money, as usual.

Zimbabwe owes China about 40 million US Dollars.

Then just a few weeks ago, the Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped over in Zimbabwe to meet his 91 year old counterpart, Robert Mugabe. It was a rare visit by a world leader, following Zimbabwe’s isolation by Europe and America and other western nations in connection with Zimbabwe’s human rights record under Robert Mugabe.

Yuan
The Chinese Yuan will now rein in Zimbabwe instead of the US Dollar

During the stop-over, Xi Jinping whispered in Robert Mugabe’s ear that he is willing to write off Zimbabwe’s debt in exchange for a small favour.

It was not a bad deal, especially for China.

China will cancel a paltry $40 million dollars’ worth of Zimbabwe’s debt,  while Zimbabwe in return adopts the Yuan as its official currency.

It was like a match made in Beijing.

Sure enough, Xi Jinping’s plane hardly lifted off Harare’s Airport tarmac when Mugabe ordered the announcement that Zimbabwe will now adopt the Chinese Yuan.

Zimbabwe did not ask permission from the United States before using the US Dollar in place of its own dead currency.

For the same reason, Zimbabwe did not tell the US that they were getting rid of their world renowned currency.

But economically, it was in the interest of the US that Zimbabwe used its currency.

Being a relatively tiny economy though, policy makers in the United States will definitely not lose sleep over the development. The development is almost insignificant, but then, this is how an avalanche starts before chain-reacting into a major catastrophe.

In this case, the probable start of a major economic catastrophe for the US Dollar when it eventually loses its former strong influence around the globe.

For now, the two economic giants, the United States and China will be quietly counting who is on their side especially across the African continent.

But we know Zimbabwe’s choice. To say “Zimbabwe Goes to China” can be understood in two ways:

  1. that Zimbabwe has chosen to embrace China instead of the United States
  2. that in its relentless quest for global domination, Zimbabwe has become China’s latest acquisition

For more on the good news and bad news about Africa, subscribe to the AfricanPod on iTunes Podcast.  On YouTube, search for AfricanPod.

Follow us on Twitter, @AfricanPod

AfricanPod is available on Google’s Android Podcast. Also on Tune-In Radio, just search for AfricanPod and you can listen for free. You can contact AfricanPod by going to our website, AfricanPod.com
My name is Phillip Nyakpo, and thanks for listening.

Adinkra Symbols – Medical Doctor Reveals their hidden Meaning – AfricanPo Ep. 7

Dr_Korankye_Charles_
Dr Charles Korankye, MD

In this episode of AfricanPod, we take a look at one of the most powerful elements of communication known to the human race. My guest is a US-based African Doctor, and he has written a book about it.

All over the world and across every culture, symbols represent a powerful element in communication.

In the West African nation, Ghana, the Ashantis, (also called the Akans) developed a set of unique symbols called Adinkra, and as can be expected, they retain deep cultural meanings that words alone cannot convey.

From the United States, a Medical Doctor, who is originally from Ghana has just published a book about the Adinkra Symbols, explaining their hidden meaning at different levels.

More than just explaining the hidden meaning, Dr Charles Korankye has created a new Alphabet system, using only the Adinkra Symbols.

It is all so intriguing – so on the line to the US State of Wisconsin, I asked Dr Charles Korankye to tell me more about his new book, why he wrote it and the potential benefits.

consonants2
From the “Book Adinkra Alphabet – the Adinkra Symbols As Alphabets and their Hidden Meanings”

Doctor Charles Korankye’s new book about the hidden meaning of Adinkra Symbols from West Africa is fascinating, and more than that, he has invented a unique Alphabet system, using only the Adinkra symbols.

For more on the good news and bad news about Africa, subscribe to the AfricanPod on iTunes Podcast, on YouTube, search for AfricanPod, and also on our website, www.AfricanPod.com

Follow us on Twitter, @africanpod

AfricanPod is now available on Google’s Android Podcast.
My name is Phillip Nyakpo, and thanks for listening.

Hello Africa Here Comes China – AfricanPod Episode 6

Welcome to AfricanPod, and in this episode, we look at the relentless march of China towards global supremacy, this time with a newly-empowered arsenal – its currency, the Yuan, also called Renminbi.

It is a big topic because the International Monetary Fund has now recognised the Yuan as a Global Reserve Currency. Africa, on the other hand retains the top medal in mediocrity, at least when it comes to currency, finance and economics.

So its Hello Africa, here comes China! And the question is do African leaders even understand what has just happened? Find out, right here on the AfricanPod – the good news and the bad news about Africa.

On the last day of November 2015, the International Monetary Fund made an earth-shattering announcement: China’s currency, the Yuan has been approved to join the elite group of global reserve currencies.

This means, China will be in a position to activate the same leverage the United States and its paper currency, the Dollar has enjoyed for about four decades.

Other currencies that enjoy reserve status include the Swiss Francs, the Euro, British Pounds Sterling, the Japanese Yen, the Australian Dollar and the Canadian Dollar.

It is important to point that the United States Dollar takes the Lion’s share – the Leviathan’s share of the privilege that comes with being the source of global reserve currency, with more than 60% of World Trade settled in US Dollars.

So what privilege comes with being a global reserve currency?

It is not a question asked very often, and the answer is very rare. Even where you hear the it is often only as clear as mud, because it is presented in economic and financial jargons that barely one in a million people understand.

So let’s attempt to get some clarity:

A reserve currency is used in international transactions – or paying for goods and services around the globe. This means, the person or persons who print that currency have enormous financial advantage, because they can purchase goods and services cheaply. They can access funds cheaply. The cost of getting goods and services for the one who prints the currency is exactly what it costs to print the paper.

Since the world operates on exchange of goods and services – a situation described as trade, the one who gets the cheapest money on the scale of printing in exchange for goods and services is the one who laughs all the way to be bank.

If you had a choice which one will you choose – the ability to print money and exchange it for whatever you want or sweat all day long for what you need?

Don’t get this wrong – it is very complicated, but the above is the simplest way to put it in order to begin to understand the advanced circus that the global monetary system is.

The International Monetary Fund presides over the system and allows some to print paper in exchange for very valuable goods and services.

It also allows the same people to print what is called money, lend it and collect interest on it. Imagine collecting dividends on something that costs you almost nothing to print.

It is the sweetest deal on planet Earth, and it takes the smartest and the most powerful people to own the process the keeps it in the hands of the few.

Invariably, this means Africans are not among the smartest and the most powerful people as far as economics and finance is concerned.

Africans, in this sense are deeply ignorant of the mechanisms that result in the creation of currency – or what is erroneously called money.

It explains why no African currency forms part of the global reserve currency. Perhaps, at a basic level, it is the reason why the continent has no common currency like the Euro. Remember the Euro? Once invented, it quickly found its place on the global reserve currency.

China understood the game of currencies and worked very hard to be admitted into the elite group.

To put China’s effort into perspective, consider that the IMF meets only twice in a decade to consider whether a new currency qualifies to be given a privileged status in the International Cartel.

Guided by focussed determination expressed through widespread industrialisation and economic modernisation, China rose right to the top as the world’s leading exporter, raking in billions of Yuan, the sheer volume which cannot be quantified.

The country’s rise and influence could not be ignored any further, even if the IMF still found a way to deny China the reserve currency status five years ago.

With China reigning as the undisputed second biggest economy in the World after the United States, the IMF could no longer keep the door shut.

To be sure, China’s new currency reserve status will not come into effect until October 2016. But the country’s leaders will all be smiles as they look forward to taking a chunk of influence from the American Dollar.

Africa and its leaders on the other hand remain as spectators with no clue about what is going on. In fact, many of the leaders wouldn’t even understand what just happened.

There might always be great expectations for Africa, but the realisation seems to be constantly postposed.

Smart people make things happen. Those who are not watch things happen – and even worse, there are others who fail to understand what happened and how it affects them.

You see, Currency Wars is the new frontier in global competition and domination.

Its just that Africa has not been invited to be party. The continent doesn’t even know there is a party going on, otherwise, it might perhaps gate-crash.

Worse, there is also no evidence that Africa will consider organising its own party.

The continent finds it easier to beg and to blame others than to carve its own destiny.

The matter of currencies and their global reserves status taken up today on AfricanPod is among the biggest topic on planet Earth.

I cannot pretend I understand it all. So I will happily refer you to a few experts.

Here are two names:
1. James Rickards, author of two amazing books, Currency Wars and the Death of Money.
2. Mike Maloney, an expect of global monetary history and author of the book “Guide to investing in Gold and Silver” as well as the video series called Hidden Secrets of Money.

For more on the good news and band news of Africa, subscribe to the AfricanPod on iTunes Podcast, on Youtube, search for AfricanPod, and also on our website, www.AfricanPod.com as well as Twitter @africanpod

AfricanPod will also be available soon –  on  Google’s Android Podcast.
My name is Phillip Nyakpo, and thanks for listening.

How To Feed Ghana and Africa – the Justice Baidoo Way – AfricanPod Episode 5

On the AfricanPod today, a young man from Africa decides to stop talking and rather act and show how and why it is possible to feed Ghana and Africa with simple modern methods of Farming. 

My name is Phillip Nyakpo, and AfricanPod is about the good news and the bad news about Africa.

One of the enduring images of Africa around the world are those of malnourished, hungry and helpless children. Those images evoke a lot of passionate discussion, but not a lot of action

Of course, the images of hungry children from Africa do not exactly represent the overwhelming majority of children in Africa – but Africa does have a challenge in feeding itself.

So having heard all the endless talk about what needs to be done, Justice Baidoo, from Ghana decided to take action and set an example.

He built an artefact.

Justice Baidoo’s artefact is a multipurpose Farm in Ghana’s Western Region, and he calls it Bluefields Farms.

Before building Bluefields Farms, Justice spent some years in Journalism and later travelled to the United Kingdom to study advanced Journalism. He returned with a passion to use modern farming as a tool to uplift his community.

Justice Baidoo is the guest on this episode of AfricanPod, and he describes his mission to teach by example that it is possible for Ghanaians and Africans to feed themselves.

For more on the good news and bad news about Africa, subscribe to the AfricanPod on iTunes Podcast, on Youtube, search for AfricanPod, and also on our website, AfricanPod.com.

AfricanPod will also be available soon on Google’s Android Podcast.