27 October 2022

Burkina Faso: While there have been calls for dropping France and turning to Russia amongst supporters of the end-September coup d’état, Ibrahim Traoré (the junta head who reborn president last Friday) “has assured US diplomats he will not recruit Russian mercenaries” – “only Burkinabe will defend their country”.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 10:29

Mali: Human Rights Watch is demanding more protection for inhabitants of the country’s north-east after close to 1,000 had been killed in Islamist attacks and “tens of thousands of people have been displaced over the last eight months in the Ménaka and Gao regions”. A pattern seems discernible “of heavily armed men on motorbikes and in other vehicles surrounding villages, shooting indiscriminately and summarily executing men”, with the Islamic State mainly targeting Tuareg whom they consider “loyal to former rebel groups now allied to the Malian government.”
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 11:47

Zambia: A 270m USD loan from the World Bank is to help the country recover from Covid, the Ukraine war effects and its debt crisis. This follows an August 1.3bn USD loan from the IMF to help Zambia restructure its external debt. In late 2020, Zambia had defaulted on its external debt.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 4:39

Sex Work/South Africa: Fearing an upsurge in sex work, the government has hesitated to decriminalise sex work for two decades. Yet the advantages are evident: access to labour rights for sex workers, reduction of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and more protection from violence for the country’s estimated 167,000 sex workers (forced underground, because illegal, they are more vulnerable). The government’s fears are unwarranted: sex work is by no means a popular choice. “In the main, people are forced into sex work by socio-economic circumstances, including poverty, and a lack of alternatives.” Another fear is an increase of child prostitution if sex work is decriminalised – but the necessary laws against child prostitution are in place, the question is only their enforcement.

Uganda: Museveni junior (Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba) is at it again – and on Twitter (his father had tried to keep him from saying anything about public affairs on Twitter): he announced that he will one day be president: “To the Ugandan opposition, after my father, I will defeat you badly in any election. Ugandans love me more than they'll ever love you.”
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 12:24

Namibia/Germany: The two countries last year reached an agreement settling the question of the genocide (between 1904 and 1908, more than 80% of Ovaherero and around 50% of Nama were killed) and its reparation. The agreement was truly shameful and the Namibian government came under heavy criticism for it. Now it wants to renegotiate with Berlin.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 14:44

Kenya/5G: It is extremely expensive, but for whoever can afford it, Safaricom has made 5G available in Nairobi and four other Kenyan cities. So far, in Africa 5G had been available in South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe etc.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 15:28

Tanzania: Starting from today Thursday, water is being rationed in Dar es Salaam. With River Ruvu’s water level dangerously low (the daily deficit is 166 million litres), inhabitants “will be without piped water for 24 hours on alternate days”.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 17:32

Congo-Kinshasa/Rwanda/USA: There has been fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 near Goma (the capital of North Kivu region). Yesterday Wednesday, Washington has “called on the Rwandan army to stop supporting the rebels”.
BBC Africa Live 27 October 2022. 17:02

26 October 2022

Never use another person’s watch to navigate the affairs of your life
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2022. 4:32 Proverb of the day. A Yoruba proverb from Nigeria sent by Abayomi Daniel in London, the UK.

Nigeria: Only two weeks ago, Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu was discharged by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on terrorism charges. Now a federal high court in Abia state (south-east of the country) has ordered him to be returned to the country (Kenya) “where he was arrested and extradited” illegally, in “violation of his fundamental rights”. The same court has furthermore awarded Nnamdi Kanu 500m naira (1.2m USD) in damages.
BBC Africa Live 26 October 2022. 13:12

Kenya: The Standard Gauge Railway connecting Mombasa to Nairobi and eventually meant to interconnect East Africa (Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia) is a matter of Kenyan national pride. But the poor have been left out of the picture. For them, the mega-project has meant evictions, displacement and the interruption of livelihoods. The article’s author set out to research how they cope and in the article, he shows how, instead of development, the railway has brought problems and suffering. With mega-projects, it is essential “to rigorously assess the social and environment impacts before, during and after project construction” – as in many other cases, with the Standard Gauge Railway, this was never done.

South Africa/Orlando & Black resistance: “Orlando was one of the first municipal locations – called townships under apartheid – established in 1932 for Africans under the 1923 Native Urban Areas Act.” It is one of the oldest parts of what became Soweto after the amalgamation of several townships. The article provides an outline of how Orlando developed and attempts to show how it soon became a site of radical African politics, “a mecca of black urban culture and liberation politics”.

Ghana/Economics: Inflation is booming, government finances and the Cedi are lying low. How did the country get into this economic crisis? This short article points to four The Conversation articles all focusing on the balance of payments side of the economic woes. External debt in 2006, after benefitting from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, was down to 780m USD. But it has since risen by 7000%. Then there is the IMF – Ghana is once again turning to the International Monetary Fund for emergency aid. But will or can the Bretton Woods institution save the country? And Theophilus Acheampong’s view is that the government recurrently fails “to build the economy to withstand internal and external shocks”.