15 October 2021

Malaria: Malaria (which kills over 400,000 every year, 94% of them in Africa) “prevails in areas with poor drainage, poor housing, lack of access to protective measures and weak health systems.” Instead of short term, repetitive interventions based on drugs and insecticides, it would make more sense to focus on long-term, sustainable solutions and invest in “building improved houses, environmental management by draining swamps where mosquitoes breed, separating humans and domestic animals and strengthening health systems” – the measures that have proven successful in eradicating malaria in Italy or the US.

South Africa: The veterans of the disbanded ANC military wing feel “betrayed” and left out in the cold and demand $280,000 per person for housing and medical insurance for their families. Negotiations with the minister in the presidency, the defence minister and her deputy yesterday (Thursday) night having broken down, the two ministers and the deputy were taken hostage by the veterans. They were later freed by the special task force. More than 50 were arrested.
BBC Africa Live 15 October 2021. 8:23

Abdulrazak Gurnah: Two The Conversation articles and part of a The Conversation podcast on this year’s Literature Nobel prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, originally from Zanzibar.

eSwatini: Fundile Maphanga and Christopher Vandome, two Chatham House scholars who believe that the king is on a collision course with his people (the June bloodbath has made this obvious to everyone), have in August (https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/08/eswatini-monarchy-must-address-demands-democratic-reform) suggested that Lesotho or Buthan could be examples for “reforms that would allow eSwatini to retain distinctive cultural institutions and practices, while the monarchy relinquishes executive powers within its political system.”

14 October 2021

Western Sahara: Staffan de Mistura has been appointed UN envoy for Western Sahara. He was the UN’s envoy to Syria before, so he has experience in difficult terrain. Pressure from the US, France and others will be needed to advance. According to the article’s author, to get the decade-old conflict between Morocco and Polisario to be resolved, the idea of autonomy (“autonomy is merely a form of integration – it’s not an alternative to it”) needs to be abandoned. Still middle ground, a compromise needs to be found between independent statehood and integration into Morocco. “Free association” (with Sahrawis delegating aspects of their sovereignty to Morocco) could do the trick. Both sides need to make concessions. Pressure on Rabat will be needed – Morocco is unlikely to renounce de facto rule over the Western Sahara without that.

Covid: WHO estimates that 6 out of 7 Covid cases go undetected in Africa – instead of the recorded 8m, there have really been 59m cases according to that estimate. For the most part, only people turning to health centres with symptoms and people wanting to fly out of the country get tested. With more unknown cases, there is less isolation and therefore more transmission…
BBC Africa Live 14 October 2021. 12:24

eSwatini: Transport workers joining students in their protests have called for an end of police brutality. Fundamentally, it is the king and the lack of democracy in the country that the protests go against.
BBC Africa Live 14 October 2021. 14:15