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Africans must form United States of Africa

The only solution to Africa problems is the formation of United States of Africa. You don’t need to be a genius to know that unity is strength. The more we are divided the more vulnerable we are to abuse and exploitation. The enemy of the African people had not changed. What has changed is the method and language used.

The real reason why the enemy of the African people will never change is that, Africa still has raw materials which the enemy wants, Africa still has cheap labour and Africa can still sell to the world at the price decided by the enemy. Cecil John Rhodes summarized this honestly when he said.

“In order to avoid civil war in England, you need to be imperialist. The moment Britain or the west will stop exploiting and oppressing Africa, there shall be revolution or what Mr. Rhodes call civil war in Britain or in the western world. In order to maintain the status quo, the Africans need to be controlled.

In the beginning, there was slavery, and then Colonialism now is neo-colonialism. The west will never accept that Africa is under neo-colonial control. The system they have is neo-liberalism or Free market economy. From the west point of view the problems Africa is facing are caused by corrupt African leaders. This school of thought is supported by some African intellectuals and Academics.

If we have closer look at all African leaders from Cape to Cairo, they are all creation of western Imperialism. In the south when Thabo Mbeki stated to be more African and spoke about African Renaissance, he was immediately replaced by someone who had never been to school! Someone who can be easily be controlled. Remember Mbeki is a highly intelligent person who did his economic studies in Britain and military training in Russia. Mbeki cannot be fooled, so a master plan was designed to remove him and it looked it was the A N C which was recalling him. 

Julius Malema who was used as a tool to remove Mbeki, lived to regret his deeds. This people are good at blaming the victim. We know who master minded his down fall and why, His crime was to connect poverty and HIV/AIDS and secondly to talk about Africa Renaissance or Africa Rebirth. In the western mind set, an Independent African is the most dangerous African on the planet. In the west world view, a good African is the one who deny his Africaness and embrace western way of life.

So the western countries will always make sure that every African leader is created in their own image not in the image of God as is supposed to be. Another case in point is Mugabe, who was created by western countries. In 1980 Britain made possible for Mugabe to win elections against Nkomo. Nkomo was regarded as pro-Moscow, and from the start Mugabe was the darling of the west. When Mugabe massacred twenty thousand Zimbabweans, western countries said nothing.

They did not mind about the death of the Africans as long Mugabe was allowing white Zimbabweans to export organic fruits and vegetables to her majesty the Queen for breakfast. Remember Mugabe was given one of the highest medals for good leadership by the Queen of England! The irony is that when you are praised by the western countries you should know that your people are suffering.

Zimbabwean workers were under paid and they formed MMD.  It is at this point that Mugabe realized that he will soon lose power and the west will not save him, he decided to take land from the white Zimbabweans and overnight he became an irresponsible leader, the rest is history as they say.

We can give so many examples to illustrate how the west always wants their puppet to rule us. Up north in Egypt, a democratically elected president was toppled in a coup and the American secretary of state John Kerry went on CNN and told the world that the army in Egypt saved democracy by staging a coup. President Morsi’s crime was just that he was a Muslim president. Muslims are known to be independent minded and are not easily controlled.

Back home we know how Khama was forced to leave the army in order to save the BDP from losing power. We are told DeBeers master minded the plan to hire a consultant who recommended that BDP must look for someone who will eject life into BDP otherwise the opposition BNF will win elections. Who is De Beers to decide for Batswana which party should rule them? This recommendation was supported by many BDP leaders. Remember De Beers was doing all these in the best interest of western powers.

They did all this because they couldn’t say no to anything from the west. Apart from this political control, there is also cultural control as Richard W. Gillett put it, the new era of globalism is its insinuation of western cultural values into worldwide commercial ventures; a global convergence whereby consumers worldwide are pushed to adopt North America and European mass consumption habits of fast food, fashion and footwear; toys; the latest entertainment trends in music, movies, and electronic games and other commodities.

Implicit in this new cultural homogenization is a crude but powerful western value system: Happiness lies in consumption of every kind. All this is continually reinforced by watching television, where the power and seduction of global advertising gains sophistication and penetration year by year.

All this is done in the name of globalization. However sometimes we fail to difference between globalism and globalization from globalism, which according to Ulrich Beck is the ideology of rule by world market or the ideology of neo-liberalism. There is nothing wrong with globalization but what is happening in Africa is globalism.

The nature of present-day globalization is capitalism. What is particularly distinctive about capitalism is its focus on profit seeking and accumulation of capital and private ownership of the means of production. Classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo believed that free trade, not controlled by state or tradition, leads to the most efficient use of land, labour and capital. Present day neo-classical economists ground their support of capitalist globalization in this view.

However Beverly Harrison argues this is not true because what is distinctive about capitalism is neither unrestricted markets nor the existence of private property per se. Rather its distinctive feature is the private control of the means of production, namely resource, machines, and other people’s labour. What it means is that the capitalists will never invest their money in the interest of the Africans but there are here to make profit. So the under capitalism called foreign investments, unemployment in Africa will always be high and wages will be very low.

For capitalism to survive it needs an ideology, and this is neo-liberalism.  According to economist Susan George neo liberalism came to ascendancy in the late 1970s through the work of a highly efficient ideological Cadre based on the work university of Chicago philosopher – economist Friedrich Von Hayek and students of his like Milton Friedman.

The central value of neo liberalism is competition, which is best expressed through “Free Market”. According to Pamela K. Brubaker, The ideas and policies in standard neo liberal tool kit have to do with the market, the state, Corporations, unions and citizens.

The market is to make major social and political decisions. The state should voluntarily reduce its role in the economy. Corporations are to have complete freedom. Unions are too restrained and citizens given much less rather than more social protection. One of the greatest achievements of neo liberalism’s proponents is that they have made neo liberalism seem as if it was the natural and normal conditions of humankind.

These seem as if there are no other options, which is not true. Some scholars and activists charge that this form of globalization is actually a re-colonization of the south by the north. Susan George contends that we should stop talking about privatization and use words that tells the truth: we are talking about alienation and surrender of the product of decade of work by thousands of people to a tiny ministry of large investors.

My argument is that Africa would not survive this western destruction unless and until Africa unite. We cannot afford to be turned into market societies in Africa. We have our African values, norms and tradition, which make us a people. We must never accept American hegemony on us. As Tom Mboya said, the colonial power may have retreated, but the inheritance of colonialism has still to be fought, in the shape of poverty, ignorance and disease.

The world is witnessing the accelerating domination of an all engulfing global capitalism whose sole ethic is the market. What has been called the commoditisation of all life.  In Kiswahili they say,” Mgeni Siku Mbili; Sikutatu mpe jembe”, meaning Treat your guest as a guest for two days; on the third day give him a hoe!

In Africa the belief that we are all sons and daughters of the soil, has always exercised tremendous influence on our social, economic and political relationships. From this belief springs the logic and practice of equality, and acceptance of communal ownership of the vital means of life, the land. The hoe! is to us the symbol of work. Every able bodied man and woman girl and boy, has always worked.

There has been equality of opportunity, for everyone had land or rather, the use of land and hoe at the start of life. The acquisitive instinct which is largely responsible for the vicious excesses and exploitation under the capitalist system was tempered by a sense of togetherness and a rejection of graft and meanness. There were a loyalty to the society, and society gave its members much in return, a sense of security and universal hospitability. These are the values for which in my view Africa should strive for and achieve. And Africa can only do that and achieve that when Africa Unite.

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Fuelling Change: The Evolving Dynamics of the Oil and Gas Industry

4th April 2023

The Oil and Gas industry has undergone several significant developments and changes over the last few years. Understanding these developments and trends is crucial towards better appreciating how to navigate the engagement in this space, whether directly in the energy space or in associated value chain roles such as financing.

Here, we explore some of the most notable global events and trends and the potential impact or bearing they have on the local and global market.

Governments and companies around the world have been increasingly focused on transitioning towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. This shift is motivated by concerns about climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Africa, including Botswana, is part of these discussions, as we work to collectively ensure a greener and more sustainable future. Indeed, this is now a greater priority the world over. It aligns closely with the increase in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing being observed. ESG investing has become increasingly popular, and many investors are now looking for companies that are focused on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. This trend could have significant implications for the oil and fuel industry, which is often viewed as environmentally unsustainable. Relatedly and equally key are the evolving government policies. Government policies and regulations related to the Oil and Gas industry are likely to continue evolving with discussions including incentives for renewable energy and potentially imposing stricter regulations on emissions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a strong role. Over the last two years, the pandemic had a profound impact on the Oil and Gas industry (and fuel generally), leading to a significant drop in demand as travel and economic activity slowed down. As a result, oil prices plummeted, with crude oil prices briefly turning negative in April 2020. Most economies have now vaccinated their populations and are in recovery mode, and with the recovery of the economies, there has been recovery of oil prices; however, the pace and sustainability of recovery continues to be dependent on factors such as emergence of new variants of the virus.

This period, which saw increased digital transformation on the whole, also saw accelerated and increased investment in technology. The Oil and Gas industry is expected to continue investing in new digital technologies to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This also means a necessary understanding and subsequent action to address the impacts from the rise of electric vehicles. The growing popularity of electric vehicles is expected to reduce demand for traditional gasoline-powered cars. This has, in turn, had an impact on the demand for oil.

Last but not least, geopolitical tensions have played a tremendous role. Geopolitical tensions between major oil-producing countries can and has impacted the supply of oil and fuel. Ongoing tensions in the Middle East and between the US and Russia could have an impact on global oil prices further, and we must be mindful of this.

On the home front in Botswana, all these discussions are relevant and the subject of discussion in many corporate and even public sector boardrooms. Stanbic Bank Botswana continues to take a lead in supporting the Oil and Gas industry in its current state and as it evolves and navigates these dynamics. This is through providing financing to support Oil and Gas companies’ operations, including investments in new technologies. The Bank offers risk management services to help oil and gas companies to manage risks associated with price fluctuations, supply chain disruptions and regulatory changes. This includes offering hedging products and providing advice on risk management strategies.

Advisory and support for sustainability initiatives that the industry undertakes is also key to ensuring that, as companies navigate complex market conditions, they are more empowered to make informed business decisions. It is important to work with Oil and Gas companies to develop and implement sustainability strategies, such as reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy. This is key to how partners such as Stanbic Bank work to support the sector.

Last but not least, Stanbic Bank stands firmly in support of Botswana’s drive in the development of the sector with the view to attain better fuel security and reduce dependence risk on imported fuel. This is crucial towards ensuring a stronger, stabler market, and a core aspect to how we can play a role in helping drive Botswana’s growth.  Continued understanding, learning, and sustainable action are what will help ensure the Oil and Gas sector is supported towards positive, sustainable and impactful growth in a manner that brings social, environmental and economic benefit.

Loago Tshomane is Manager, Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Stanbic Bank Botswana

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Brands are important

27th March 2023

So, the conclusion is brands are important. I start by concluding because one hopes this is a foregone conclusion given the furore that erupts over a botched brand. If a fast food chef bungles a food order, there’d be possibly some isolated complaint thrown. However, if the same company’s marketing expert or agency cooks up a tasteless brand there is a country-wide outcry. Why?  Perhaps this is because brands affect us more deeply than we care to understand or admit. The fact that the uproar might be equal parts of schadenfreude, black twitter-esque criticism and, disappointment does not take away from the decibel of concern raised.

A good place to start our understanding of a brand is naturally by defining what a brand is. Marty Neumier, the genius who authored The Brand Gap, offers this instructive definition – “A brand is a person’s gut feel about a product or service”. In other words, a brand is not what the company says it is. It is what the people feel it is. It is the sum total of what it means to them. Brands are perceptions. So, brands are defined by individuals not companies. But brands are owned by companies not individuals. Brands are crafted in privacy but consumed publicly. Brands are communal. Granted, you say. But that doesn’t still explain why everybody and their pet dog feel entitled to jump in feet first into a brand slug-fest armed with a hot opinion. True. But consider the following truism.


Brands are living. They act as milestones in our past. They are signposts of our identity. Beacons of our triumphs. Indexes of our consumption. Most importantly, they have invaded our very words and world view. Try going for just 24 hours without mentioning a single brand name. Quite difficult, right? Because they live among us they have become one of us. And we have therefore built ‘brand bonds’ with them. For example, iPhone owners gather here. You love your iPhone. It goes everywhere. You turn to it in moments of joy and when we need a quick mood boost. Notice how that ‘relationship’ started with desire as you longingly gazed upon it in a glossy brochure. That quickly progressed to asking other people what they thought about it. Followed by the zero moment of truth were you committed and voted your approval through a purchase. Does that sound like a romantic relationship timeline. You bet it does. Because it is. When we conduct brand workshops we run the Brand Loyalty ™ exercise wherein we test people’s loyalty to their favourite brand(s). The results are always quite intriguing. Most people are willing to pay a 40% premium over the standard price for ‘their’ brand. They simply won’t easily ‘breakup’ with it. Doing so can cause brand ‘heart ache’. There is strong brand elasticity for loved brands.


Now that we know brands are communal and endeared, then companies armed with this knowledge, must exercise caution and practise reverence when approaching the subject of rebranding. It’s fragile. The question marketers ought to ask themselves before gleefully jumping into the hot rebranding cauldron is – Do we go for an Evolution (partial rebrand) or a Revolution(full rebrand)? An evolution is incremental. It introduces small but significant changes or additions to the existing visual brand. Here, think of the subtle changes you’ve seen in financial or FMCG brands over the decades. Evolution allows you to redirect the brand without alienating its horde of faithful followers. As humans we love the familiar and certain. Change scares us. Especially if we’ve not been privy to the important but probably blinkered ‘strategy sessions’ ongoing behind the scenes. Revolutions are often messy. They are often hard reset about-turns aiming for a total new look and ‘feel’.



Hard rebranding is risky business. History is littered with the agony of brands large and small who felt the heat of public disfavour. In January 2009, PepsiCo rebranded the Tropicana. When the newly designed package hit the shelves, consumers were not having it. The New York Times reports that ‘some of the commenting described the new packaging as ‘ugly’ ‘stupid’. They wanted their old one back that showed a ripe orange with a straw in it. Sales dipped 20%. PepsiCo reverted to the old logo and packaging within a month. In 2006 Mastercard had to backtrack away from it’s new logo after public criticism, as did Leeds United, and the clothing brand Gap. AdAge magazine reports that critics most common sentiment about the Gap logo was that it looked like something a child had created using a clip-art gallery. Botswana is no different. University of Botswana had to retreat into the comfort of the known and accepted heritage strong brand.  Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital was badgered with complaints till it ‘adjusted’ its logo.



So if the landscape of rebranding is so treacherous then whey take the risk? Companies need to soberly assess they need for a rebrand. According to the fellows at Ignyte Branding a rebrand is ignited by the following admissions :

Our brand name no longer reflects our company’s vision.
We’re embarrassed to hand out our business cards.

Our competitive advantage is vague or poorly articulated.
Our brand has lost focus and become too complex to understand. Our business model or strategy has changed.
Our business has outgrown its current brand.
We’re undergoing or recently underwent a merger or acquisition. Our business has moved or expanded its geographic reach.
We need to disassociate our brand from a negative image.
We’re struggling to raise our prices and increase our profit margins. We want to expand our influence and connect to new audiences. We’re not attracting top talent for the positions we need to fill. All the above are good reasons to rebrand.

The downside to this debacle is that companies genuinely needing to rebrand might be hesitant or delay it altogether. The silver lining I guess is that marketing often mocked for its charlatans, is briefly transformed from being the Archilles heel into Thanos’ glove in an instant.

So what does a company need to do to safely navigate the rebranding terrain? Companies need to interrogate their brand purpose thoroughly. Not what they think they stand for but what they authentically represent when seen through the lens of their team members. In our Brand Workshop we use a number of tools to tease out the compelling brand truth. This section always draws amusing insights. Unfailingly, the top management (CEO & CFO)always has a vastly different picture of their brand to the rest of their ExCo and middle management, as do they to the customer-facing officer. We have only come across one company that had good internal alignment. Needless to say that brand is doing superbly well.

There is need a for brand strategies to guide the brand. One observes that most brands ‘make a plan’ as they go along. Little or no deliberate position on Brand audit, Customer research, Brand positioning and purpose, Architecture, Messaging, Naming, Tagline, Brand Training and may more. A brand strategy distils why your business exists beyond making money – its ‘why’. It defines what makes your brand what it is, what differentiates it from the competition and how you want your customers to perceive it. Lacking a brand strategy disadvantages the company in that it appears soul-less and lacking in personality. Naturally, people do not like to hang around humans with nothing to say. A brand strategy understands the value proposition. People don’t buy nails for the nails sake. They buy nails to hammer into the wall to hang pictures of their loved ones. People don’t buy make up because of its several hues and shades. Make up is self-expression. Understanding this arms a brand with an iron clad clad strategy on the brand battlefield.

But perhaps you’ve done the important research and strategy work. It’s still possible to bungle the final look and feel.  A few years ago one large brand had an extensive strategy done. Hopes were high for a top tier brand reveal. The eventual proposed brand was lack-lustre. I distinctly remember, being tasked as local agency to ‘land’ the brand and we outright refused. We could see this was a disaster of epic proportions begging to happen. The brand consultants were summoned to revise the logo. After a several tweaks and compromises the brand landed. It currently exists as one of the country’s largest brands. Getting the logo and visual look right is important. But how does one know if they are on the right path? Using the simile of a brand being a person – The answer is how do you know your outfit is right? It must serve a function, be the right fit and cut, it must be coordinated and lastly it must say something about you. So it is possible to bath in a luxurious bath gel, apply exotic lotion, be facebeat and still somehow wear a faux pas outfit. Avoid that.

Another suggestion is to do the obvious. Pre-test the logo and its look and feel on a cross section of your existing and prospective audience. There are tools to do this. Their feedback can save you money, time and pain. Additionally one must do another obvious check – use Google Image to verify the visual outcome and plain Google search to verify the name. These are so obvious they are hopefully for gone conclusions. But for the brands that have gone ahead without them, I hope you have not concluded your brand journeys as there is a world of opportunity waiting to be unlocked with the right brand strategy key.

Cliff Mada is Head of ArmourGetOn Brand Consultancy, based in Gaborone and Cape Town.

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The case for Botswana to ratify the ACDEG

6th March 2023

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is the most comprehensive dataset measuring African governance performance through a wide range of 81 indicators under the categories of Security & Rule of law, Participation, Rights & Inclusion, Foundations of Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. It employs scores, expressed out of 100, which quantify a country’s performance for each governance measure and ranks, out of 54, in relation to the 54 African countries.

The 2022 IIAG Overall Governance score is 68.1 and ranks Botswana at number 5 in Africa. In 2019 Botswana was ranked 2nd with an overall score of 73.3. That is a sharp decline. The best-performing countries are Mauritius, Seychelles, Tunisia, and Cabo Verde, in that order. A glance at the categories shows that Botswana is in third place in Africa on the Security and Rule of law; ninth in the Participation, Rights & Inclusion Category – indicating a shrinking participatory environment; eighth for Foundations of Economic Opportunity category; and fifth in the Human Development category.

The 2022 IIAG comes to a sweeping conclusion: Governments are less accountable and transparent in 2021 than at any time over the last ten years; Higher GDP does not necessarily indicate better governance; rule of law has weakened in the last five years; Democratic backsliding in Africa has accelerated since 2018; Major restrictions on freedom of association and assembly since 2012. Botswana is no exception to these conclusions. In fact, a look at the 10-year trend shows a major challenge. While Botswana remains in the top 5 of the best-performing countries in Africa, there are signs of decline, especially in the categories of Human Development and Security & Rule of law.

I start with this picture to show that Botswana is no longer the poster child for democracy, good governance, and commitment to the rule of law that it once was. In fact, to use the term used in the IIAG, Botswana is experiencing a “democratic backsliding.”

The 2021 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) had Botswana at 55/ 100, the lowest ever score recorded by Botswana dethroning Botswana as Africa’s least corrupt country to a distant third place, where it was in 2019 with a CPI of 61/100. (A score closer to zero denotes the worst corrupt and a score closer to 100 indicates the least corrupt country). The concern here is that while other African states are advancing in their transparency and accountability indexes, Botswana is backsliding.

The Transitional National Development Plan lists participatory democracy, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability, as key “deliverables,” if you may call those deliverables. If indeed Botswana is committed to these principles, she must ratify the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance is the African Union’s principal policy document for advancing democratic governance in African Union member states. The ACDEG embodies the continent’s commitment to a democratic agenda and set the standards upon which countries agreed to be held accountable. The Charter was adopted in 2007 and came into force a decade ago, in 2012.

Article 2 of the Charter details its objectives among others as to a) Promote adherence, by each State Party, to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights; b) Promote and protect the independence of the judiciary; c) Promote the establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairs; d) Promote gender balance and equality in the governance and development processes.

The Charter emphasizes certain principles through which member states must uphold: Citizen Participation, Accountable Institutions, Respect for Human Rights, Adherence to the principles of the Rule of Law, Respect for the supremacy of the constitution and constitutional order, Entrenchment of democratic Principles, Separation of Powers, Respect for the Judiciary, Independence and impartiality of electoral bodies, best practice in the management of elections. These are among the top issues that Batswana have been calling for, that they be entrenched in the new Constitution.

The ACDEG is a revolutionary document. Article 3 of the ACDEG, sets guidance on the principles that must guide the implementation of the Charter among them: Effective participation of citizens in democratic and development processes and in the governance of public affairs; Promotion of a system of government that is representative; Holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections; Separation of powers; Promotion of gender equality in public and private institutions and others.

Batswana have been calling for laws that make it mandatory for citizen participation in public affairs, more so, such calls have been amplified in the just-ended “consultative process” into the review of the Constitution of Botswana. Many scholars, academics, and Batswana, in general, have consistently made calls for a constitution that provides for clear separation of powers to prevent concentration of power in one branch, in Botswana’s case, the Executive, and provide for effective checks and balances. Other countries, like Kenya, have laws that promote gender equality in public and private institutions inscribed in their constitutions. The ACDEG could be a useful advocacy tool for the promotion of gender equality.

Perhaps more relevant to Botswana’s situation now is Article 10 of the Charter. Given how the constitutional review process unfolded, the numerous procedural mistakes and omissions, the lack of genuine consultations, the Charter principles could have provided a direction, if Botswana was party to the Charter. “State Parties shall ensure that the process of amendment or revision of their constitution reposes on national consensus, obtained, if need be, through referendum,” reads part of Article 10, giving clear clarity, that the Constitution belong to the people.

With the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance in hand, ratified, and also given the many shortfalls in the current constitution, Batswana can have a tool in hand, not only to hold the government accountable but also a tool for measuring aspirations and shortfalls of our governance institutional framework.

Botswana has not signed, nor has it acceded or ratified the ACDEG. The time to ratify the ACDEG is now. Our Movement, Motheo O Mosha Society, with support from the Democracy Works Foundation and The Charter Project Africa, will run a campaign to promote, popularise and advocate for the ratification of the Charter (#RatifytheCharter Campaign). The initiative is co-founded by the European Union. The Campaign is implemented with the support of our sister organizations: Global Shapers Community – Gaborone Hub, #FamilyMeetingBW, Botswana Center for Public Integrity, Black Roots Organization, Economic Development Forum, Molao-Matters, WoTech Foundation, University of Botswana Political Science Society, Young Minds Africa and Branding Akosua.

Ratifying the Charter would reaffirm Botswana’s commitment to upholding strong democratic values, and respect for constitutionalism, and promote the rule of law and political accountability. Join us in calling the Government of Botswana to #RatifyTheCharter.

*Morena MONGANJA is the Chairperson of Motheo O Mosha society; a grassroots movement advocating for a new Constitution for Botswana. Contact: or WhatsApp 77 469 362.

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