9 February 2021

Ask the crocodile to know more about the river you are in
An Nkoya proverb sent by Berry Mpukuta in Lusaka, Zambia
BBC Africa Live 09 February 2021. 4:37. Africa proverb of the day

Ghana/toward gender equality: As in the olden days, men are expected to procreate and to provide for, lead and protect their families while women are expected to do the housework and care for the children. But as women increasingly work outside the household, men increasingly participate in household chores and husband-wife relations are evolving towards partnership. Gloria Abena Ampim’s research shows that this not only holds for urban (Accra), but also for rural (Afram Plains) areas.

Ethiopia/democracy: The Democratic Front which took power in 1991, “conducted five sham general elections and ruled the country with an iron fist for 28 years”. But 2016-18 saw increased popular resistance against human rights violations and corruption and the coalition in power faced internal division between reformists wanting to open the political space and those in favour of the status quo. This led to prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn being replaced by Abiy Ahmed in 2018. Since then, according to Girmachew Alemu, Associate Professor of Law at Addis Ababa University, major progress has been made toward democratization (political parties, National Electoral Board, staffing of Federal Supreme Court and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, etc.). Challenges remain, the civil war in Tigray being one. Parliamentary elections are to be held in June 2021.

African Union/AU: The election, at the recent AU summit, of Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa as deputy chair, effectively the commission’s chief operating officer, signals major advances towards gender equality and institutional reform at the AU. Nsanzabaganwa, so far deputy governor of the Bank of Rwanda, will have to see to the implementation of the conclusions of the study on AU’s institutional reform conducted under the leadership of Rwandan president Paul Kagame. She will also have to counteract sex and gender-based discrimination that the commission is accused of. And she will have to improve the AU’s financial autonomy.

Uganda: “Museveni is a ruler whose primary source of power is the bullet – not the ballot”. His “military dictatorship has been draped in civilian garb for a long time. As a routine ritual, Museveni purports to seek legitimation every five years through elections.” Elections are neither free nor fair nor credible. And pressure from ‘Western’ powers might in fact hurt rather than help the struggle for liberation. Museveni can thus (try to) discredit Bobi Wine as nothing more than an agent of foreign interests.

Kenya: A brief overview of Kenyan history as mirrored in the life of Simeon Nyachae, a leading civil servant, minister, presidential candidate recently deceased (he died in early February at the age of 88).

Ethiopia: Because of their proximity to the Eritrean borders and harsh geographical conditions, Ethiopia plans to close two refugee camps - Shimbela and Hitsats – which housed more than 20,000 refugees before fighting broke out in November.
BBC Africa Live 09 February 2021. 13:06

8 February 2021

Congo-Kinshasa/Ebola: Another Ebola outbreak? It would be the country’s 12th. The 11th in the country’s west happened only a few months ago. According to the health ministry, a woman from Biena, near Butembo in eastern DRC, has died from Ebola.

Nigeria/Covid-19 vaccines: It will take more… Nigeria’s government recently released N10 billion (about US$26 million) in support of the local production of COVID-19 vaccines. But with no human vaccine produced at the Federal Vaccine Production Laboratory since 1991, Daniel Oladimeji Oluwayelu, professor of virology thinks that “the allocation of the funds to initiate local vaccine production is a step in the right direction, but I doubt that the amount will be sufficient. The reason is that Nigeria does not have a functional vaccine production facility in place. The only laboratory for human vaccine production is at Yaba, Lagos, but it has not been functional for many years now. It will need a lot of money to revamp it and increase its production capacity. It will also need to be staffed with people who have the requisite expertise and experience in modern technologies for production of safer and more efficacious vaccines such as recombinant DNA technology. So, in addition to the N10 billion, there is a lot more that government would have to do to get local vaccine production going.”

Africa/Football World Cup: “To date, only 13 African nations have qualified and participated in the World Cup Final tournament: Cameroon (7 times), Nigeria (6), Morocco (5), Tunisia (5), Algeria (4), Côte d'Ivoire (3), Egypt (3), Ghana (3), South Africa (3), Senegal (2), Zaire (1), Angola (1) and Togo (1). Egypt was first, in 1934, the rest followed from 1970 onward.”
None of them has ever progressed further than the quarter finals. Reasons for Africa’s poor showing being “indiscipline, poor game management, tactical naivety and lack of disciplined organisation”.
Wycliffe W. Njororai Simiyu, Professor, Health and Kinesiology, provides “10 defining and memorable moments” “that revealed, tested and shaped the perception and trajectory of the African and global game of football.”

South Africa/Covid-19 vaccine: AstraZeneca vaccinations have been halted after a small study found low effectiveness against the new variant.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2021. 5:56

Sudan: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday dissolved the cabinet and is expected to announce a new one shortly.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2021. 5:12

Nigeria: Irepodun and Orolu in Osun state (south-western Nigeria) have been put under a 24-hour curfew after violence between Ilobu and Erin-Osun communities over land on Saturday.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2021. 12:00

Algeria/France: General Bouzid Boufrioua of the Algerian army demands that France assume its historical responsibilities. The polluter pays – so France will have to decontaminate the sites where it conducted nuclear tests in the 1960s, four above ground in Reggane and thirteen underground in the region of Ekker, both in the country’s south. So far, France has even refused to provide the maps for the nuclear waste buried in the Algerian desert.

BBC Africa Live 08 February 2021. 14:55