04 July 2021

Nigeria: The arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Igbo separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), could be a deadly blow to his organisation which had been suffering many defections of late. It was the transition, in 2020, to armed struggle of Ipob (with its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network, “accused of killing at least 60 people in recent months, most of them police officers”) that got the Nigerian government determined to seriously intercede. But even if Ipob should collapse, Igbos’ feelings of discrimination and discontent continue and need to be addressed.

Ethiopia: The Tigray “rebels” have accepted a ceasefire “in principle”, but only after a long list of conditions are fulfilled. Addis must recognise them as the legitimate government of Tigray, amongst others, there has to be “an independent investigation into alleged war crimes, the delivery of humanitarian aid and restoration of basic services such as electricity”.

03 July 2021

China/Africa: Relations between Africa and China are usually framed as if China was just a new imperialist come to exploit the continent, with Africa falling victim to the Dragon. Yet there is a history to these relations that was very different: during the Cold War, there was cooperation (Afro-Asianism) against neo-colonialism, especially inside the nonaligned movement. Also, bilateral relations go further back than that – less in focus, because not across the Atlantic but across the Indian Ocean –, like a small Chinese community established in South Africa over a century ago.

Architecture/Kenya: On the banks of Lake Turkana, Kéré Architecture has built a polytechnic training campus which will provide education and job training for 200 young Kenyans. The design includes “three terracotta-coloured ventilation towers that took their inspiration from termite colonies”. Look at the article’s pictures.