17 October 2022

Tanzania: In the face of the high birth rate in the country, President Samia Hassan has “urged citizens to take up birth control measures”: “Let's reduce the speed and have a control on this”. This is the absolute contrary of what her predecessor John Magufuli advocated, accusing “those who use contraceptives (of being) lazy”.
BBC Africa Live 17 October 2022. 8:53

Social grants: Social protection is not the “effective and efficient instrument to reduce poverty and inequality” that it is reputed to be and social policy should not be reduced to cash transfers. Such an approach leaves “the structures of accumulation which dispossessed, exploited and excluded the working classes in the first place” unchecked. South Africa’s cash transfer systems have not kept the country from being the most unequal in the world. Social protection, instead of redistributing income and wealth, can rather ensure the system’s survival with hardly any change.

Tigray/Ethiopia: The article looks into the historical roots of the “Ethio-Tigray war” since the mid-19th century. “The Amhara elite dominated Ethiopia from 1889 to 1991. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front overthrew them in 1991” and ruled the country until 2018. Abiy – the Prime minister who was appointed in 2018 – and his Amhara collaborators have a centralised vision of Ethiopia, fighting Tigrayans, Oromos et al. “Their winning the war in Tigray and Oromia would allow the Abiy regime to continue a modified version of Ethiopia’s pre-1991 policy.” If the problems with Tigrayans and Oromo are not properly solved, even a collapse of the Ethiopian state is possible.

Egypt/USA: A drop in the ocean: 75m USD of US aid to Egypt have been blocked because of “the ‘deplorable’ situation facing (…) political prisoners” in Egypt. But aid being tied to conditions (here: reforms to be carried out) is rather the exception – not much of the 1.3bn USD in aid has conditions attached to it.
BBC Africa Live 17 October 2022. 12:40

Lesotho: Revolution for Prosperity, only formed six months ago, won the elections but is five seats short of an absolute majority. So a coalition has been formed and this coalition will likely suffer from similar problems that have beset coalitions in the past. After recounting Lesotho’s electoral history since the 1990s, the article discusses the challenges facing business magnate Sam Matekane’s government. Most urgent: reforming the political system (to make it more stable) and the economy.

16 October 2022

Tunisia: Two big anti-Kaïs Saïed-demonstrations have been held in Tunis yesterday Saturday, some of the participants calling for a “revolution against dictator Kaïs”. The two demonstrations were organised by the National Salvation Front (which includes moderate islamist Ennahda) and its “deep ideological rival, the secular Free Destourian Party”.

Namibia: The country, ranked 14th in the cricket world, beat Asian champion Sri Lanka on the opening day of the Men's T20 World Cup.

Tigray/Ethiopia: A massive offensive by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops is underway in Tigray and cities are being carpet bombed while there is a severe shortage of food and medication. 100,000 may have been “slaughtered” over the last few weeks. 1 million are thought to be under risk of starvation. There is a high risk of a “bloodbath”, of “carnage”.