09 March 2023

Tunisia: Scapegoating foreigners is a classic to divert from other problems (the economy in a bad state with certain goods in short supply). But it “is paradoxical because Tunisia is predominantly an emigration country” and “Tunisians are confronted with similar discriminatory and nationalist discourses abroad.”

Mauritania/Germany: An MoU worth 34bn USD has been signed for the production of 8 million tonnes of green hydrogen. While a German company is the final benefactor, Egyptian and Emirati firms are also involved in the deal.
BBC Africa Live 09 March 2023. 5:58

South Sudan: After the defence minister (wife of the first vice-president Riek Machar) last week, president Salva Kiir has now dismissed another member of government, the foreign minister, this time an ally of his, providing no reason for the dismissal. The defence minister’s sacking was feared to have serious repercussions on the peace process with the UN calling for “restraint” and collegiality to resolve sensitive national issues.
BBC Africa Live 09 March 2023. 5:10

Nigeria: The electoral commission has postponed state governor and local assembly elections from 11th to 18th of March. The opposition had demanded a check of electronic voting machines (which malfunctioned for presidential elections recently). Though their demand was rejected by court, the electoral commission now says that “the legal challenge had held up preparations and the machines would not be ready in time”.
BBC Africa Live 09 March 2023. 4:35

Tunisia: Kaïs Saïed has announced the dissolution of municipal councils and their replacement by ‘special delegationts’. These municipal councils, dominated by opposition parties to the president, “were seen as one of the democratic gains achieved” after the 2011 jasmine revolution.
BBC Africa Live 09 March 2023. 12:10

08 March 2023

The solution to a headache is not to cut off the head
BBC Africa Live 08 March 2023. Proverb of the day. A Yoruba proverb from Nigeria sent by Olatunde Oluwabumuyi in Chatham, the UK.

South Africans and Sex 100 Years ago: As Christians considered premarital sex, polygamy and ilobolo (bride price) as sinful, black South Africans could no longer “pursue trouble-free intimate lives” in the traditional sense. The article’s author gives some insights into the book she has published on changes that occurred in the early 20th century: Natasha Erlank, Convening Black Intimacy. Christianity, Gender, and Tradition in Early Twentieth-Century South Africa.

Sudan: In her new novel “River Spirit”, well-known Sudanese writer Leila Aboulela retells the story of Charles Gordon, the British general who was killed by the Mahdi’s troops in 1885, and she does so from a Sudanese instead of a British point of view. And she also includes women in the story.
BBC Africa Live 08 March 2023. 12:16

Somaliland: According to the UN, 100,000 or more have fled to Ethiopia from Somaliland over the past month because of fighting in Las Anod that left more than 200 dead and many more have been internally displaced. The Doolo region of Ethiopia where the fugitives went to is very difficult to reach for aid workers.
BBC Africa Live 08 March 2023. 6:24

Photography: The article shows a selection of stunning pictures from “African Studies”, Edward Burtynsky’s latest collection of photographs from Africa, most of them taken from above.