10 May 2023

Guinea: Opposition parties, trade unions and CSOs had called for peaceful demonstrations today Wednesday to demand a quick return to civilian rule. Demonstrations were held in Conakry, Labe and Nzerekore. In Conakry, youths erected barricades, burned tyres and threw stones at the security forces who responded with tear gas – at least ten people are reported to have been wounded.
BBC Africa Live 10 May 2023. 17:38

Air pollution: It is getting worse and worse – and it is killing more and more. The article gives advice of what to do to improve air quality on the individual/household, the community and the policy level.

Cleopatra: She “was an accomplished ruler and skilful politician”, “intelligent, shrewd and strategic”, she “managed to preserve Egyptian independence through her astute diplomacy” “at a time when other states in the eastern Mediterranean were being assimilated by the growing power of Rome”. That made her Egyptian – her skin colour or ethnicity did not interest anyone in her times – says historian and Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson from Cambridge University.

Kenya/Cult deaths: After more than 100 followers of pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie starved themselves to death (others were killed and some organs are reported to be missing), the team commissioned to investigate the deaths also “has the broader mandate of developing a legal framework for scrutiny and self-regulation of religious institutions” and how to deal with religious extremism of this new kind.

Tanzania: In the capital Dodoma, a bone marrow transplant centre has been opened which will focus on treatment for sickle cell patients – leukaemia or blood cancer can also be treated in that way. Tanzania reputedly has the fourth-highest rate of sickle cell patients in the world – “around 11,000 children (are) born with the disease each year”.
BBC Africa Live 10 May 2023. 17:00

09 May 2023

South African Agriculture: Power cuts affect irrigation – a third of farming income (one half for wheat) directly depends on irrigation. The USD’s strength is a further negative factor for the country’s farmers, making imported inputs more expensive. Despite this, important inputs have become cheaper in comparison with last year’s highs (“essential agrochemicals such as glyphosate, acetochlor, and atrazine were down in rand terms by 32%, 18%, and 2%”). Overall, the article’s author expects “some moderation in consumer food price inflation in the second half of the year”.

Nigeria: Fatima Aliyu, 20 years old, is suing her father “for forcing her to marry a stranger” while, according to her lawyer, “she already had someone she loves”. The judge of the Sharia court said that forced marriage was not encouraged even if “the father has the right to choose a husband for his daughter” and advised the father to give her daughter’s chosen man a chance and accept him if he was “pleased with his religion and character”.
BBC Africa Live 09 May 2023. 9:25

Sudan: Once more, this The Conversation article gives a far-away view of the possible effects of the war in Sudan on neighbouring countries, providing little new information. It points to South Sudan’s dependence on Port Sudan for its oil exports. It enumerates Sudan’s most important exports, which are – in this order – gold, groundnuts, crude oil, and sheep and goats. Also, Sudan is the world’s leading exporter of gum Arabic. The “main imports are raw sugar, refined petroleum, wheat, packaged medicines and cars”.

Zimbabwe: According to Australian firm Invictus Energy, “light oil” and “very rich gas” have been found in Cabora Bassa region (north of the country). Deeper drilling is to provide more details.
BBC Africa Live 09 May 2023. 12:04