30 June 2022

The 23 African Languages currently included in Google Translate: Afrikaans, Amharic, Bambara, Chichewa, Hausa, Igbo, Jeje, Krio, Lingala, Luganda, Malagasy, Oromo, Tigrinya, Sepedi, Sesotho, Shona, Somali, Swahili, Tsonga, Twi, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu

South Africa/Reconstructed sound from over 2,000 years ago: A rock painting in the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa’s Western Cape province depicts musical instruments known as !goin !goin, aerophones which produce sound by creating vibrations in the air when they are spun around their axes. Reconstructing the instruments depicted in the rock painting has made it possible to listen to the intriguing sounds from 2,000 years ago: https://cdn.theconversation.com/audio/2532/reconstructed-sounds.mp3. Sounds of honey bees that cause rain?

South Africa/Xenophobia: Xenophobie in South Africa is getting more organised, as shown for example by the Operation Dudula, the #PutSouthAfricaFirst Movement and the Alexandra Dudula Movement. The government and the ANC have rather “contribute(d) to the escalation of tensions and proliferation of support for these groups”. Something substantial needs to be done quickly – socio-economic concerns and frustrations underlying xenophobia need to be addressed – or the situation could get out of hands with resulting multiple disruptions.

South Africa & the right to die: On the occasion of the end of the three year-house arrest of the right to die activist Sean Davison, the article’s author sets out the arguments against and for the right to die. He believes that, on ethical grounds, assisted death should be legalised in South Africa.

Tchad: The information minister has revealed a 20m USD embezzlement affair at the state-owned Société des Hydrocarbures du Tchad whose head and deputy had been arrested and replaced two days before. On Tuesday, the WFP “warned that one in 10 Chadian children suffer from malnutrition”. The head of the junta had “declared a food emergency in the country” before that, in June.
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 7:52

Sudan: 1 more dead at yesterday Wednesday’s protests brings the count to 103 demonstrators killed by security forces since the October putsch.
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 6:17

Nigeria/UK: London is deporting 38 Nigerians or more on a Home Office charter flight for “immigration-related offences”, amongst them “members of LGBTQ+ communities (…), mothers, grandmothers and people who had lived in the UK for decades.” Protests were held in Durham County (north-eastern UK) on Wednesday against the deportations.
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 5:45

Sahel & War in Ukraine: An overview which pays special attention to the France-Russia rivalry. Nothing new.

Cheap Labour in Southern Africa: A forthcoming ISS report looks into the working conditions and labour practices of Chinese companies in Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The report is based on interviews – with workers first of all, and also with company and government representatives. Labour rights violations and precarious employment conditions have been noted. Wages (especially for the low-skilled) are low, at times even below the applicable minimum wages and sometimes, not all hours worked are paid. Especially but not only in mining, health and safety legislation is at times not complied with. Unfair dismissal and non-compliance with dismissal regulations are problem in all six countries studied. In this situation, trade union intervention is essential – but often, “relationships between employers, trade unions and governments are plagued by corruption and intimidation”.

African Union: The AU Agenda 2063’s “Silencing the Guns by 2020” has not been achieved and was extended to 2030. But – in the face of terrorism, coup d’états, resource-linked instability, conflicts in the Great Lakes Region, intra-state conflicts in South Sudan, Libya, Ethiopia and Cameroon – is that realistic? Especially as the sovereignty of its member states limits the AU’s agency? A “new M&E framework divides the issues to be addressed by the Silencing the Guns roadmap”, making AU’s objectives more realistic and also more manageable, as indicators have been attached to the objectives. Whether the AU will be seen as successful will also be a question of how it presents itself and its actions.

Mozambique: The north of the country has lost 95 health units to cyclones and a further 31 to jihadist attacks.
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 18:14

South Sudan: It does not really look like elections will be held by February 2023 as they should at the end of the transition period according to the 2018 peace deal. Can conditions be improved in the few remaining months?
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 17:46

Sudan: Six protesters have been shot dead and many have been injured today by security forces in Khartoum.
BBC Africa Live 30 June 2022. 15:21

29 June 2022

Zimbabwe: The country’s new parliament 18 km north-west of the capital Harare is ready for use. China-funded and -built, it is estimated to have cost 140m USD. Inside it are the national assembly (seats for 350 MPs in circular style) and the upper house (100 senators).

Ethiopia: Four bomb explosions have rocked the north-western regional capital of Bahir Dar (Amhara region). No information are available yet about casualties.
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2022. 8:42

Cameroon/Germany: Oh, how very generous! The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has promised to return the sacred statue of Ngonnso, a female figure, to the Nso community in Cameroon’s north-west. The statue had been stolen by a colonial officer at the very beginning of the 20th century (Cameroon was a German colony up to the 1st World War).
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2022. 5:09

Nigeria: Cross River state governor Ben Ayade had dethroned two traditional chiefs for “failing to rein in their subjects”. In their communities, there had – again – been violence over land disputes with “massive destruction of homes and farmland”. In Nigeria, political authorities “have the power to remove traditional rulers.”
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2022. 4:36