26 August 2022

Fistula/Ethiopia: In low-income countries, as much as 100,000 women are estimated to be affected by obstetric fistula each year and 2 million are estimated to live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, improvements in maternal and child health, maternal care as well as availability and accessibility of emergency obstetric care have brought down numbers considerably (from 25,000 at the start of the millennium to 3,000 now) and the country seemed set to achieve its proclaimed objective of eliminating fistula by 2025. But with the Tigray war, the problem is back in force. Add rape as a cause for fistula…

Nigeria/Germany: Wasn’t it high time? Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) has signed an agreement with the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage (SPK) to transfer ownership of 512 Benin bronzes stolen in colonial times. “Around a third of the objects transferred will remain in Berlin on loan for an initial period of ten years and will be exhibited in the Humboldt Forum.”
BBC Africa Live 26 August 2022. 6:36

Nigeria: Human trafficking – one of the forms of modern slavery – employs force and other methods of coercion to exploit vulnerable people, e.g., “through prostitution or sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriage, indentured servitude, and the removal and sale of human organs.” Core components of Abuja’s anti-trafficking policies are rehabilitation and reintegration of the trafficked. But according to a study by the authors of the article, it doesn’t work, at least not well. Part of the reason is that the trafficked are mostly treated as “vulnerable victims without agency”.

Chad: The just launched national inclusive dialogue is to draft a new constitution and guide the country back to democracy. But the two most important politico-military movements (FACT and CCMSR) have not signed the peace agreement that came out of the pre-dialogue after five months of negotiations in Doha. What is more: “Civil society and political opposition published a calculation on 8 August 2022 showing that 90% of the more than 1,400 delegates are close to the” junta – which prompted the political and civil opposition (Les Transformateurs and Wakit Tama prominently among them) to boycott the national inclusive dialogue. The circles that have ruled and continue to rule the country do not seem ready to relinquish power. And Paris-led international community supports the junta.

FranceAfrica: Macron was in Benin, Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau last month and is in Algeria now: “Macron’s visits tell a story in which France is doing penance for its colonial crimes while simultaneously trying to maintain the influence it gained through colonialism.” To counteract Russian and Chinese influence in Africa, the French president joins in calls “for the more fundamental decolonisation of African societies”, but in reality, he uses this only “as a cover to exercise continued influence on the continent.” And despite more emphasis on France’s cultural diplomacy, the focus remains military – in substitution for being thrown out of Mali.

Women refugees in South Africa: 35% of an estimated 250,000 refugees and asylum seekers are thought to be women. The article’s authors’ research found that, among them, the “(m)any women who flee violence in the hope of finding safety and protection in South Africa instead find themselves still vulnerable and at risk.” Women refugees and women asylum seekers thus face a “continuum of violence” with different forms of violence intersecting along their way/their biography.

25 August 2022

ECOWAS: The organisation’s “free movement protocols have never been fully implemented”. Cross-border long-term residence and establishing of a business are difficult, there is harassment when trying to cross a border and there may be lack of identification documents. Sporadically, there is expulsion (from Ghana in 1954 and 1969; from Côte d’Ivoire 1958) and deportation (200 Nigerien “beggars” from Senegal and Ghana in 2022). At the same time – informally – “people continue to move relatively freely in the region”.

Somaliland: Since 2017, Berbera port – the country’s “lifeline” – is being managed by Dubai Ports World (DP World),” a leading global port operator and logistics giant”. Modernisation undertaken since is to make the port a logistical hub on the Gulf of Aden, in competition with Mogadishu, Mombasa Djibouti. To make this happen, land-locked Ethiopia needs yet to come on board. For Somaliland, both economic development and international recognition are at stake.

Kenya: The recent elections have increased the number of women amongst the country’s 45 governors from 3 to 7. Nakuru, Kwale, Meru, Homa Bay, Embu, Machakos and Kirinyaga Counties will from now on have women governors.
BBC Africa Live 25 August 2022. 11:29

Sudan/USA: Two years after the removal of Sudan from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, US ambassador John Godfrey arrived in Khartoum yesterday Wednesday – the first US ambassador in 25 years. The timing seems somewhat unfortunate, seen that the country is ruled by a military junta, even if the US ambassador tweeted that he had come to support Sudan’s transition to democracy.
BBC Africa Live 25 August 2022. 7:09