18 August 2022

Nigeria: Adding to persisting problems of the national grid, a strike of workers of the electricity sector – to force “the government to honour an agreement from 2019” – had the strikers shut down the national grid and thus cause a nationwide blackout. The strike was later suspended and power was to be back yesterday (Wednesday) evening or today (Thursday) in the morning.
BBC Africa Live 18 August 2022. 6:36

Angola: The ruling MPLA’s share of votes has been declining since elections in 2008 and was down to 60% in 2017. An added difficulty now is that the boom is over and with the country in recession for some years, even the middle classes are economically threatened. At the same time, the appeal of the liberation movement that finally brought peace to the country has waned. And the arch-enemy and main opposition party Unita has broadened its base. Still, the article’s author thinks that “MPLA is sure to win”, though his arguments for this (an electoral commission dominated by government/MPLA appointees, state media campaign coverage heavily skewed in favour of MPLA, the latter’s hold over the civil service and judiciary) do not seem very strong.

Senegal: Macky Sall has no longer a super-majority in parliament. With the rallying of Pape Diop, he has a razor-thin one vote-majority. This not only means that a constitutional amendment for a third term for Macky Sall is unlikely (though he may try to cheat on the counting because of a constitutional change in 2016), but also that the style of government will have to change substantially – although the political system of course remains presidential.

Kenya/Conservation: The article follows the changing politics that have determined the conservation (or destruction) of Mau Forest in Kenya’s Rift Valley, the largest montane tropical forest in East Africa, from the eviction of the Wadorobo (now known as the Ogiek) in colonial times in favour of the settlers of the “White Highlands” to the settlement of the Ogiek or the Kalenjin under president Moi to Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto later mobilising against evictions…

Somaliland: The renowned Somali poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame Hadraawi, “master (or father) of speech”, “Shakespeare of Somalia”, has died in Hargeisa aged 79. For his poems critical of authorities in the 1970s, he was put into prison for five years. Afterwards, he went into exile in Djibouti. After the collapse of state authority in Somalia in 1991, he led a peace caravan “to promote understanding and reconciliation across the Somali regions and the diaspora”.
BBC Africa Live 18 August 2022. 14:43

17 August 2022

South Africa: Key events of recent history are little known in the country. The 16th of August 2012 Marikana massacre when 34 striking miners were killed by police serves as an example in this article based on a representative survey, last year’s South African Social Attitudes Survey. Only 40% of close to 3,000 respondents “reported knowing enough about Marikana to be able to explain it to a friend”. The article looks more closely at the survey’s results – and also finds similar patterns of “shallow” memory concerning other historical events: the #FeesMustFall movement (2015/16), the Soweto Uprising (1976), the Sharpeville massacre (1960).

Tanzania: The close to 50,000 hikers that go up Mt Kilimanjaro each year will have telephone and internet connection up to the 5,895 meter high summit from October onward. This is part of a national broadband project launched by the Information Minister yesterday Tuesday.
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 9:47

Freetown/Sierra Leone/5th mudslide anniversary: In 2017, a mudslide in the southern part of the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown left more than 1,000 dead. Fitting the occasion, the commemorative event of the mudslide happened as torrential rains battered Freetown, “leaving many homes submerged in water and cars stuck on the road.”
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 17:36

Sudan: According to the authorities, the number of dead caused by flash floods in different parts of the country has risen to 77. The situation is worst in River Nile and al-Jazirah states. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, thousands of square kilometers of land are under water. Tents and food have been provided – remains the danger of water-borne diseases.
BBC Africa Live 17 August 2022. 17:55