13 February 2021

Kenya: A 27km highway, some of it elevated, expected to cost $550m, is being built in Nairobi. It will connect Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the east to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway in the west. The construction of the four- and six-lane dual carriageway is presently worsening traffic jams in the city, though it is meant to alleviate them when finished. But not everyone will be able to afford to use it, far from it – it will cost between $2 and $3. So the expressway “could divide Nairobi in more ways than one”.

Garbage in everyday discourse: “Rubbish is the most public of all objects. Media narratives can invite us to respond to it with hope or it can lead us towards being paralysed by dismay. Media discourses and communicative forms have the potential to contribute positively to new shared ideas (and perhaps behaviours) about rubbish.”



12 February 2021

Nigeria/Sexual and Reproductive Health: Nigerian states with customary and religious laws have significantly worse sexual and reproductive health outcomes compared to states without such laws. This holds for getting antenatal care, use of contraception for married women, births delivered in a health facility, total fertility rate, and median age at first birth.
Plural legal systems (modern + traditional “laws” derived from customs or religion) place women and girls at risk. Nigeria’s obligations from international treaties and its national laws may be undermined where states refuse to adopt national legislation – as it has for example happened with the Child Rights Act that establishes a minimum age for marriage of 18 years – 11 states have failed to domesticate this Child Rights Act.

West and Central Africa/Antenatal Care: About 3 in 4 maternal deaths could be prevented if women had adequate access to quality care before, during and after pregnancy. A study looked into this for the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo. Not receiving antenatal care and low-quality care are the major factors and they correlate with poverty and low education levels.

Sahara/Electric Power: Transforming the Sahara into a giant solar farm would produce enough electricity for several worlds (4 times present consumption). But what looks like an ideal solution at first glance would have negative secondary effects on the global climate, increasing global temperature and changing global rainfall patterns, e.g. creating droughts for the tropical forests.

Nigeria/Shell’s pollution: “The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that more than 50,000 Nigerians living in polluted areas can sue Royal Dutch Shell in the English courts. It says there is a good arguable case that the oil giant is legally responsible for the systemic pollution of the Ogale and Bille communities.”
BBC Africa Live 12 February 2021. 11:51
Also see the BBC article on https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56041189

Central African Republic: With a little help from its Russian and Rwandan allies, the army has recaptured the western border town Beloko, thus opening up the supply route to Cameroon that had been blocked since December.
BBC Africa Live 12 February 2021. 7:14

BBC Africa’s proverb of the day – a Lango proverb from Uganda sent by Martin Okello in the UK:
A roaring fire bears cold ashes
BBC Africa Live 12 February 2021

Sudan: A state of emergency has been declared in four states. Authorities blame supporters of al-Bashir for the unrest After weeks of protest against rising food prices and fuel shortages, police has arrested 200 armed young men in Nyala, South Darfur, whom they accuse of wanting to loot a market. A further 100 have been arrested in the state of North Kordofan.
BBC Africa Live 12 February 2021. 16:43