23 August 2022

Sudan: The Blue Nile is rising – the infrastructure minister has issued a warning for Sinja city and told inhabitants to take precautions, though for the time being, the situation is under control. The Blue Nile is the one where the filling of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has Egypt and Sudan worried that they’ll get too little water, being downstream. Overall in Sudan, floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least 79 since the beginning of August.
BBC Africa Live 23 August 2022. 7:12

Mozambique: The World Bank is granting 300m USD to the country – a first since the hidden debt scandal of 2016 where much of 2.7bn USD of undisclosed state debts went into corrupt officials’ pockets. The 300m USD are to improve infrastructure for the economy and people’s living conditions.
BBC Africa Live 23 August 2022. 6:43

Modern slavery: An estimated 40 million are enslaved around the world nowadays – this includes child soldiers, sex and human trafficking, forced marriage, forced labour. Besides reasons like poverty, corruption and inequality, “contemporary slavery is a regular feature of armed conflict” and this is what the article looks into. While modern slavery exists everywhere, also in rich countries, armed conflict-related contemporary slavery concerns the Global South most of all. The authors analysed 1,113 armed conflicts and found that 87% of them used child soldiers (less than 16 year olds), “34% included sexual exploitation and forced marriage, about 24% included forced labour and almost 17% included human trafficking.”

Congo-Kinshasa: A new Ebola case in Beni (North Kivu) has had Kinshasa declare a resurgence of Ebola not long after the last outbreak was declared over – it is the 14th outbreak in the country since 1976. “Scientists say it is unrealistic to think Ebola will ever be eradicated, but it is now easier to prevent a crisis.”
BBC Africa Live 23 August 2022. 15:15

Kenya/UK: The British government having shown them and their complaints “the cold shoulder”, the lawyers of the Kipsigi and Talai maltreated and forcibly evicted from the Rift valley by colonial authorities at the beginning of the 20th century to make way for tea plantations say there was no choice but to file a case at the European Court of Human Rights.
BBC Africa Live 23 August 2022. 13:35

Zambia: Independence in no way abolished the colour bar in the country’s mining industry. The contrary happened: it was reinforced. The creation of the “expatriate” category – explicitly racial – made it impossible for black – “local” – workers to aspire to higher wages. The article explains how this was done and how it was made acceptable to the government of the newly independent country.

22 August 2022

She drops what she holds under her arm when trying to reach for what is on the roof
BBC Africa Live 22 August 2022. 6:53 Proverb of the day. An Amharic proverb sent by Liku in the US.

Uganda: What’s commonly known as Idi Amin’s expulsion of Uganda’s expulsion of its Asian residents, was really something broader, called “War of Economic Independence” first, later renamed “Economic War”. On the one hand, 5,655 farms, ranches, estates had been vacated by departed Asians by the end of 1972. The Departed Asians Property Custodial Board then allocated houses and business premises to Africans, with rules and procedures “created to superintend the conduct of black-run business”. Those who were found to be “in breach of various written or unwritten government regulations” saw their businesses closed and allocated to new owners. Then, in early 1975, the Economic Crimes Tribunal was created, a military court for punishing profiteers, hoarders and others who contravened the economic interests of the state. “The penalty was death by firing squad or 10 years in prison.” The targets were petty traders, market women, etc.

Somalia/Ethiopia: For several reasons, the relationship between the two neighbours has soured since Hassan Sheikh Mohamud became Somali president. Most importantly, the nomination of Mukhtar Roobow Mansuur, a former Al-Shabaab commander, as Somali minister for religious affairs, has prompted the Ethiopian government to engage directly with regional Somali governments, bypassing the federal government. “This is likely to further weaken the prospects to restore a functioning Somali state.”

Nigeria: To fight ubiquitous violence and insecurity, “the federal government is mulling the idea of banning motorcycles across the country”. But in the article’s author’s view, this will not work. Most important of all, motorcycles are essential for many poor people, especially in the informal sector. Banning the bikes would impact such people badly and make them yet more vulnerable – an important factor determining their willingness to join criminal or Islamist groups. Rather than banning bikes, Nigeria should employ “a coordinated policy response” and the state should “intensify its offensive military campaigns”.

Nigeria/Inflation: Consumer price inflation stood at 19.64% in July 2022 year-on-year. With “inflation (being) perhaps the biggest poverty accelerator in the economy”, there is reason for serious worry. According to World Bank estimates, 1 million more Nigerians could be pushed into poverty before 2022 will be over.

Congo-Kinshasa: Greenpeace Africa and seven other environmental NGOs based in the country “say they are facing threats because of their campaign against the auctioning of oil and gas blocks” – even death threats. 9 of the oil blocks up for auction threaten the ecology of the rainforest and peatlands region in the west of the country.
BBC Africa Live 22 August 2022. 11:59

Algeria: The death toll of the wildfires has risen to 43 – it could rise further. Despite over 30 fires having been put out over the weekend, others are still burning. “More than 1,000 families have been evacuated from the worst affected areas, which includes the El Tarf region near the border with Tunisia.” 13 suspected of starting fires have been arrested.
BBC Africa Live 22 August 2022. 13:48

Kenya: Scotland-registered James Finlay Kenya Ltd (JFKL), sued for damages by over 1,000 former and current employees claiming to have “suffered musculoskeletal injuries working on JFKL's tea farms in Kenya”, has been told by Scotland’s supreme civil court (the Court of Session) to stop its legal action in Kenya where JFKL had obtained a temporary injunction in July stopping workers from pursuing the case. That means that the case can go ahead in Scotland.

South Africa: That Thursday afternoon, ten years ago, fully aware that there was a possibility of major bloodshed, the police launched its operation against the Marikana strikers – and killed 34 of them, seriously injured many others. “Considering the massive potential for loss of life, the decision to proceed was reckless and grossly irresponsible.” Yet nobody has been held accountable for this decision so far.

Angola: The MPLA still controls state and society, things have not improved much under Lourenço in comparison to dos Santos, so the upcoming elections won’t be free or fair. It is likely that the MPLA will win, manipulating. However, “(t)his may cause a popular uprising that could lead to post-election violence.” There is the less probable possibility that UNITA will win – that “could lead to some conservative groups in the MPLA refusing to transfer power” and again, violence could result.