14 July 2022

Climate Justice? Climate change is racist – simplifying a bit, you could say that rich whites make non-whites suffer by their “atmospheric colonisation”. And there is no sign of this changing. Nor of any compensation or reparation. For the future, the rich will be able to pay their way out of climate change-induced hardship while “tens of millions of people will be impoverished, displaced and hungry”.

Poverty in Africa: In 2019, ten African countries had extreme poverty rates (less than 1.90 USD per person per day) of more than 50%. In terms of regions, Central Africa was the most concerned with 54.8%, Southern Africa had 45.1%, Western Africa 36.8% and Eastern Africa 33.8%. The worst-hit countries were South Sudan with more than 80% and Burundi, Madagascar, Central African Republic and Congo-Kinshasa more than 70%. To successfully fight poverty, what is needed is an “integrated approach (…) that tackles the demographic transition, corruption, bad governance, infrastructure shortage, lack of regional trade integration and poor quality of education”.

Sahel: After discussing the different terms used for conflicts between herders and farmers and knowing that such conflicts are not single-issue matters, but much more complex, the authors of the article suggest eco-violence as the most appropriate term. They define it “as conflicts in which competition for water and agricultural resources occurs within or between social groups or state actors. Such conflicts are made worse by state failure to address resource redistribution challenges, institutional failures, and environmental and social injustice.”

Ghana: Inflation stood at 29.8% year-on-year in June – a level not reached since December 2003.
BBC Africa Live 14 July 2022. 5:04

Personhood: An anthropologist reflects on the huge differences between the “Western”/Christian concept of being a person and African religions which treat personhood in different, more nuanced ways, where rituals often mark the development of personhood and an individual may not reach full personhood until after death, when she or he becomes an ancestor.

Whiteness: A review of “Routledge Handbook in Critical Whiteness” edited by Shona Hunter and Christi van der Westhuizen. A book all the more important seen the recent “rise of the Alt-Right, neo-fascism and various forms of nationalism” and the “backlash against feminism”.

South Africa/Zondo Report: The Zondo commission has looked into the State Security Agency (SSA), had spies testifying publicly and in detail and came to the conclusion that the SSA was “integral” to Zuma’s and the Guptas’ state capture. The article’s author, an expert on the SSA, thinks that “the Zondo report is a globally significant example of radical transparency around intelligence abuses. But it lacks the detailed findings and recommendations to enable speedy prosecutions. It also fails to address the broader threats to democracy posed by unaccountable intelligence.” Also, the commission’s findings and recommendations tend to be “vague and general”. Finally, the Zondo report does not deal at all with SSA’s infiltration and surveillance of civil society and the threat to democracy that this may entail.

13 July 2022

Gender Gap: This year’s edition of the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report ranks Chad and Congo-Kinshasa worst for differences between men and women in Africa. “The report says the cost of living crisis is impacting women disproportionately with a widening gender gap in the labour force.” Covid is thought to have set back parity between the sexes a lot.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 15:53
Download: https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2022

Uganda: Increases in prices of food and petrol (from 3,900 to 7,500 shillings over the last few months in parts of the country) have prompted people to demonstrate in Jinja district on Monday, demanding subsidies. Police has proceeded to arrest 25 in connection with the demonstrations.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 6:39

South Sudan: Following cattle raids in one village, clashes between two rival communities in Kapoeta North county in Eastern Equatorial state have killed more than 230 people. This not being the only case of inter-communal fighting, the UN has warned of the risk of a return to civil war in the country.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 7:19

Congo-Kinshasa: A 40 year-old grandson of Mobutu’s has been elected governor of Northern Ubangi province. The province’s capital Gbadolite is the ancestral home of the Mobutus. The grandson is reported to say about himself that “he embodies a new vision for his home province”.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 12:45

Mozambique: Chitolo village in Cabo Delgado has been attacked by jihadists. People have had to flee again – they had only returned recently, after “the area (had been) cleared of insurgents by a joint force of Mozambican and Rwandan troops”. No details are known neither about the attack nor about the number of people who had to flee.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 9:16

Cameroon/France/Colonial Medicine/Literature: The novel “The Blunder” which Mutt-Lon recently published is based on facts: during a French medical campaign in colonial times (1931), doubling and tripling tryparsamide (a type of arsenic) doses in Bafia region led to 700 people losing their eyesight. The scandal was hushed up and the victims never got compensated. Mutt-Lon thinks that this memory could contribute to people nowadays being reluctant to get vaccinated, for example against Covid.
BBC Africa Live 13 July 2022. 17:55