22 June 2022

Somalia: 4 million or more of the 7.7 million Somalis presently in need of humanitarian support need urgent food assistance. With the country fulfilling “all the criteria for being a priority aid recipient”, Somalia may suffer less than others from other crises (like the Ukraine war) and donor humanitarian funds may not decrease. But such funds have never entirely covered needs and needs are growing. Also, though such foreign aid is essential, the country’s underlying and recurring problems cannot be solved by means of humanitarian aid.

Kenya: Candidates for senate seats are estimated to spend on average around 39m Kenya shillings (about 390,000 USD), about 12% more than in 2017. MP mandates are cheaper at 222,000 USD on average. A seat in a County Assembly costs around 31,000 USD. As a comparison: In Ghana, an MP seat cost 85,000 USD in 2016; in Uganda, MPs in 2016 spent between 43,000 and 143,000 USD in 2016. Big spenders are likely to beat smaller spenders. Once they are elected, they will find ways to make money – beyond their 10,000 USD a month salaries (incl. basic allowances).

South Africa: If South Africa today remains “a deeply violent society”, this is in large part in continuation of the violence meted out during colonial and apartheid times. With black lives considered expendable, “(e)xtralegal (unlawful) violence by the police, white farmers and vigilantes, among others, was also tolerated.” Where vigilantes are concerned, this is still the case today. The article’s author has done research into such extralegal vigilante violence in Khayelitsha and Nyanga townships of Cape Town.

South Africa: The case against the Gupta brothers seems strong. Will the National Prosecuting Authority do a good job so as to get them extradited? As the Guptas will no doubt raise many legal challenges, it will take time, in any case – years.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The 17 SDGs with their 169 more detailed targets and over 200 measures of progress agreed in 2015 are to be reached by 2030. But research of 62 social scientists from around the world has found that only discourses have changed, that SDGs have had hardly any tangible influence on actions and hardly any real transformation has happened to make sure we live up to the “wonderfully high-minded global ambitions”.

Kenya: Body-worn cameras are from now on to be used by staff of the Kenya Revenue Authority especially in the domestic tax department and customs and border control to deal with tax cheating and bribery.
BBC Africa Live 22 June 2022. 6:52

Burkina Faso: Junta head Damiba has yesterday Tuesday met Roch Kaboré, the president he pushed from the throne, as well as Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo, briefly president 1982-83, “to discuss security issues and to try to defuse the political situation”. As far as security is concerned, the reason given by Damiba for his 24th of January putsch was that Roch Kaboré had failed to stop jihadist attacks, so consulting him now seems somewhat absurd even if the security situation has further worsened since the putsch.
BBC Africa Live 22 June 2022. 5:12

Malawi: Vice-President Saulos Chilima allegedly involved in a 150m USD corruption scandal has been stripped by President Chakwera of all his delegated powers. This is the most that the President can do as the country’s laws do not allow him to sack or even suspend the vice-president because he has been elected.
BBC Africa Live 22 June 2022. 4:39

Sudan/AU/UN : Because they lack transparency and important political actors have been excluded, the African Union has suspended its participation in the intra-Sudanese dialogue process facilitated by the United Nations to end the Sudanese crisis. Started on 8th of June, the dialogue was postponed indefinitely only a few days later because the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) would not participate.
BBC Africa Live 22 June 2022. 7:52

21 June 2022

ECOWAS integration & migration: The EU’s interest in erecting barriers to migration and its cooperation with ECOWAS member countries in that respect may harm ECOWAS integration that had progressed well before. Freedom of mobility – instituted by the 1979 protocol on free movement of persons – is a cornerstone of regional integration. Building “hard borders” does not favour integration.

Intermediary cities & development: Smaller cities are closer to rural areas than big ones, their contribution to development and poverty reduction is thought to be more important. Intermediary cities are likely to grow fast in future, investment in infrastructure would best be made now. The article makes suggestions how this could be funded and financed.

Climate Change/Deforestation and Human Rights: Since Bolsonaro took over, deforestation in Brazil has accelerated tremendously. The rights of people who used to live in the forests are not respected. “Deforestation in Brazil offers a preview of the impact that climate change will have on human rights, both in Latin America and elsewhere in the world.” The submission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in 2015 already dealt with this topic (see “Understanding Human Rights and Climate Change” – https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Issues/ClimateChange/COP21.pdf)

Kenya: Faced with many people enquiring about or offering to sell their kidneys, the country’s top public hospital has had to clarify that organ sale is strictly prohibited – kidneys can only be donated, not sold.
BBC Africa Live 21 June 2022. 6:13

Ghana/Pan African Heritage Museum: According to plans, a six-storey-structure will be finished by August 2023 at Pomadze Hills in Winneba, about 60 km west of Accra. A digital version of the Pan African Heritage Museum was recently launched. It is to bring “all African heritage together under one roof” and will, amongst other things – in the words of the Ghanaian president – “provide a natural residence and resting place for all the looted cultural artefacts of our continent” to be returned to Africa.

Egypt/Saudi Arabia: The two countries have signed deals which are together worth almost 8bn USD, amongst them one worth 1.5bn USD for a wind power plant in Egypt.
BBC Africa Live 21 June 2022. 16:56