29 July 2021

Ghana: “Bui wouldn’t have materialised without China’s help.” The 400-MW Bui dam on the Black Volta was completed by China’s Sinohydro Corporation in 2013. It was part of the Volta River Project whose Akosombo and Kpong dams (1965 resp. 1982) had been financed by the US and World Bank, but neither WB nor EIB would finance Bui dam “due to environmental sustainability fears”. China’s financing has had consequences far beyond the project itself, with the number of Chinese projects and investments in Ghana increasing further. China now being the country’s biggest foreign direct investor and the principal trading partner and infrastructure financier and, on the other hand, Ghana today being the African country with the most students in China.

Zimbabwe: The economy seems to be stabilizing, with growth forecast at 7.8% this year (rains have been good and commodity prices have risen globally) and inflation down to double digits, “but most Zimbabweans have not seen an improvement in their living standards” so far.
BBC Africa Live 29 July 2021. 19:02

28 July 2021

Equatorial Guinea: Finally an end to Teodorin Obiang’s impunity? “The top appeals court in France is due to rule on a conviction handed to the son of Equatorial Guinea's president for using public money to fund his lavish lifestyle.” If all goes well, the assets of the President’s son (who is also vice-president of Equatorial Guinea) could be redistributed to people living in his country. Unrelatedly to this, Great Britain last week imposed sanctions on Teodorin Obiang for corruption.
BBC Africa Live 28 July 2021. 7:38

South Sudan: Having documented “(s)poradic clashes (…) in different parts of the country pitting government forces and different opposition armed groups” including skirmishes between government forces and the National Salvation Front (NAS) in Central Equatoria and violent attacks in different centres in Upper Nile State and Central Equatoria on camps where forces are being trained for the formation of a unified national army, ceasefire observers think that the implementation of the revitalised agreement and especially the ceasefire is in danger. “In April, the UN Security Council warned of a risk of a return to a large-scale conflict in South Sudan, due to the slow implementation of the peace agreement” signed by President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, now First Vice-President, in September 2018.
BBC Africa Live 28 July 2021. 8:08

Kenya: Several NGOs have put in place “catch-up” centres for out-of-school girls aged 10 to 19 in several counties of Kenya. Thus “(t)housands of girls in rural Kenya who have dropped out of school are getting a second chance at education”. Mothers can come to school with their babies, the centres being equipped with creches and childminders. “Girls can be reintegrated back into formal education, take apprenticeships or do some certified courses once they graduate. They can also write business proposals and (…) starter kits (are provided) for them”.
BBC Africa Live 28 July 2021. 17:09

Kenya: Great Britain is “stepping up its counter-terrorism and military support” for Kenya including “efforts to prevent extremism in coastal areas which are vital for Kenya’s tourism industry” (and are a prime destination for British tourists). “Thousands of British troops train each year in Kenya in preparation for deployment to arid conflict zones.”
BBC Africa Live 28 July 2021. 16:02

Nigeria: Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the (Shia) Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), and his wife, arrested in 2015 after deadly clashes between IMN followers and security forces, and detained ever since have been acquitted by a high court in northern Nigeria which dismissed the charges brought by the Kaduna state government. They have been released.
BBC Africa Live 28 July 2021. 18:50