09 August 2022

Kenya: The more than 22 million who registered will vote for 1 president, 47 senators, 47 governors, 337 members of the national assembly (of which 290 male or female and 47 women representatives) and 1,450 members of county assembies.
BBC Africa Live 09 August 2022. 7:21

Ma-Ngoyi/South Africa: At her funeral, “Desmond Tutu said that when the true history of South Africa was written Ngoyi’s name would be in ‘letters of gold’.” But despite her important role in fighting apartheid, Lilian Ngoyi’s has largely been eclipsed by others – that is what the article sets out to correct. She was nobody’s wife, was working-class, lived her later life as a banned person, died in 1980 in poverty. But she had been one of the leaders of the famous Women’s March on 9th of August 1956. And she was an exceptional orator – Winnie Mandela said about her that “(s)he spoke the language of the worker, and she was herself an ordinary factory worker. When she said what she stood for, she evoked emotions no other person could evoke.” In a Drum article Ezekiel Mphahlele wrote about her: “She can toss an audience on her little finger, get men grunting with shame and a feeling of smallness.”

Cameroon: The environmental footprint of the Anglophone crisis is enormous, the environment in northwest and southwest regions being a collateral victim of the conflict. Consequences “range from failures in environmental governance to increases in deforestation, unmet measures in Cameroon’s climate action plan, poor municipal waste management, the effects of scorched earth tactics and the impact of improvised explosive devices.” The author provides some examples for each of these points. Environmental legacies of the conflict threaten to haunt the region well beyond an end to the crisis.

08 August 2022

Kenya: Raila Odinga has chosen a woman as his running mate for the presidential elections: Martha Karua – “a fervent democracy and integrity campaigner, as well as representing the important Kikuyu voting bloc in Kenyan politics”. The lawyer and former minister of justice and constitutional affairs has been chosen to appeal to women and gender balance has figured highly on Raila Odinga’s agenda. Martha Karua has, of course, been exposed to sexist attacks since. Though “(r)esearch has shown that political representation doesn’t automatically translate into substantive progress on gender issues”, there is hope that Odinga-Karua’s winning would help Kenyan women progress.

South Africa/USA: Sounds like Blinken was wholly unsuccessful concerning the main issue of his visit: the war in Ukraine. After meeting him, minister of international relations Naledi Pandor said more efforts were needed to resolve the war through dialogue. Furthermore, she said that what is being done to the Palestinians in Gaza merits as much attention as in Ukraine.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 18:05

Mapungubwe/South Africa: The world heritage site and national park Mapungubwe on the border of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe is located where there was once – from about 1000 to the 1300s – a powerful state. The University of Pretoria’s Mapungubwe Archive shows how knowledge about and research into that long-gone past suffered neglect especially in Apartheid times. The Archive “has evolved into not just a repository or depository, but a site of contestation, a space and place of memory” and a recently published book speaks of that.

Mozambique: No relenting: in Cabo Delgado province in the country’s extreme north, villages in the Muidumbe and Mocímboa da Praia districts have been raided and torched over the weekend by jihadists despite heavy presence of the army in the region, supported by Rwandan and SADC troops.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 13:52

Ethiopia: Police says it has arrested the deputy head of the southern command of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA/banned for being a “terrorist organization”) in Moyale in the extreme south, on the border with Kenya.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 19:14