17 August 2022

South Africa: Key events of recent history are little known in the country. The 16th of August 2012 Marikana massacre when 34 striking miners were killed by police serves as an example in this article based on a representative survey, last year’s South African Social Attitudes Survey. Only 40% of close to 3,000 respondents “reported knowing enough about Marikana to be able to explain it to a friend”. The article looks more closely at the survey’s results – and also finds similar patterns of “shallow” memory concerning other historical events: the #FeesMustFall movement (2015/16), the Soweto Uprising (1976), the Sharpeville massacre (1960).

Tanzania: The close to 50,000 hikers that go up Mt Kilimanjaro each year will have telephone and internet connection up to the 5,895 meter high summit from October onward. This is part of a national broadband project launched by the Information Minister yesterday Tuesday.
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 9:47

Freetown/Sierra Leone/5th mudslide anniversary: In 2017, a mudslide in the southern part of the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown left more than 1,000 dead. Fitting the occasion, the commemorative event of the mudslide happened as torrential rains battered Freetown, “leaving many homes submerged in water and cars stuck on the road.”
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 17:36

Sudan: According to the authorities, the number of dead caused by flash floods in different parts of the country has risen to 77. The situation is worst in River Nile and al-Jazirah states. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, thousands of square kilometers of land are under water. Tents and food have been provided – remains the danger of water-borne diseases.
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 17:55

16 August 2022

Kenya: With the outcome very close, more than half of the members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission not endorsing the results and claims to victory having been made by Odinga’s side, William Ruto – officially declared president yesterday Monday – “will almost certainly have to defend his win in court”. Results have been annulled once before (in 2017), so the courts have proven that they can do it. If Ruto wins in court, he’ll have to set out to come true on his promises. Simultaneously with the presidential elections, 47 governors were also elected – amongst them several female governors – “important strides in women’s political representation”.

Kenya: William Ruto – who has just been declared the winner of the presidential elections – was up against the “embodiments of dynastic politics and entitlement”, Raila Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first vice- president, having been supported by Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the country’s first president – “elbowed out by the establishment (…) he has somersaulted back by appealing directly to the masses, his original constituency”. His “hustler nation” movement was successful because of “mass unemployment, poverty, inequalities and state excesses such as extrajudicial executions and runaway corruption”. Despite all that, Ruto is a pure product of Kenya’s political system – which is “notorious for a lack of scruples (…) and disdainful of the poor”. So let us see what will change under his presidency.

Nigeria: The increase in attacks against churches needs to be seen before the background of a generally worsening security situation. The author thinks that the three main drivers are “the rise of jihadism, long standing pastoral conflicts and related criminality”. After a short analysis of these three factors, he makes recommendations how to improve security, ranging from encouraging church goers to be vigilant, vulnerability/threat assessments by church authorities, installation of surveillance infrastructure, improving policing to broader socio-economic measures like tackling “poverty, social inequality, and gross failure of governance”.

Ethiopia/Wheat/Ukraine: A UN ship – the MV Brave Commander – has left the Black Sea port Pivdennyi with 23,000 tonnes of wheat for Ethiopia. WFP, the USAID and private donors have financed the wheat.
BBC Africa Live 16 August 2022. 13:18

Sierra Leone: Prominent opposition figure and government critic Hassan Dumbuya (aka Evangelist Samson), member of the All People’s Congress was killed when police “exchanged gunfire with a neighbourhood group” “in the hideout of alleged suspects behind last week’s violent protests.” This police version of Dumbuya’s death has been contested. It all comes a few days after President Bio stated that “the protests were an attempt to overthrow his government”. Are authorities overreacting? Was this an extrajudicial killing?
BBC Africa Live 16 August 2022. 18:55