10 August 2022

Mali/Russia: Upon receiving 5 military jets and 1 combat helicopter, Sadio Camara, the defence minister, “paid tribute to what he called Mali's win-win partnership with Russia”.
BBC Africa Live 10 August 2022. 7:50

Angola: A ten-year drought in the southwest of the country came to a head in 2019. Despite substantial national and international responses, the crisis is not yet over. Several factors – the article lists them – are responsible for this. Assistance was irregular and unsystematic. More importantly, local authorities and local communities were not implicated enough, they were sometimes not even informed. Three years later, Lourenço’s promises in his election campaign that “efforts to manage the effects of the drought would be his priority in the next cabinet” come incredibly late.

Mozambique/Unions: While trade unions are the largest mass-based organisation in Mozambique (larger than the National Union of Peasants) and a union density of around 30% of the formal private sector is not bad for the region, their political weight is insignificant. Part of the reason is their “perceived acquiescence to political power and (their) inability to adequately represent the interests of Mozambique’s working classes”.

South Africa/Racism: Transcending race, non-racialism remains an illusion. “Apart from the workplace and in schools, ordinary blacks and whites continue to live racially segregated lives.” According to the author, doing something against the persistent racialised wealth inequalities would require transcending non-racialism.

Rwanda/Congo-Kinshasa: Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide and beyond the two Congo Wars with their millions of dead, the two countries are suspicious of each other and accuse each other of working towards bringing down each other’s government. Though another major war is unlikely, tensions are likely to persist or to resurface.

Congo-Kinshasa/UN Peacekeepers: Around a third of allegations worldwide against UN peacekeeper-perpetrated sexual exploitation and abuse have been made in eastern Congo-Kinshasa. According to the article’s author’s research, about half of those who were left pregnant were under 18 years of age, with the youngest “impregnated by a UN peacekeeper was just ten years old”. Very little has been done about it so far – although “(t)he UN’s zero-tolerance policy bans almost all sexual relations between peacekeepers and local civilians, deeming them exploitative or abuse due to the context (conflict, poverty, displacement) in which they occur”. The article gives room to what victims and especially also their children – conceived by foreigners, thus carrying stigma – have to say. This – very long and extremely shocking – article also provides a good basis for evaluating recent outrage against UN peacekeeping troops in eastern Congo.

Nigeria: The article discusses the chances of Atiku Abubakar of becoming president. He has been trying to get there since 1992 and is again candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, the country’s main opposition party. One thing in his disfavour is “that he only appears during electoral seasons to contest for the presidential election and withdraws to his base in Dubai after losing (which) does not convince the public that he holds the nation’s interests at heart.” But he is rich. And has lots of political experience…

Sierra Leone: Protests against the rising cost of living, corruption and police brutality in Freetown and several northern towns have led to clashes with the police in the capital and several people have reportedly been killed, police among them. A nationwide curfew has been declared and there is a near-total internet shutdown.
BBC Africa Live 10 August 2022. 18:13

09 August 2022

Kenya: The more than 22 million who registered will vote for 1 president, 47 senators, 47 governors, 337 members of the national assembly (of which 290 male or female and 47 women representatives) and 1,450 members of county assembies.
BBC Africa Live 09 August 2022. 7:21

Ma-Ngoyi/South Africa: At her funeral, “Desmond Tutu said that when the true history of South Africa was written Ngoyi’s name would be in ‘letters of gold’.” But despite her important role in fighting apartheid, Lilian Ngoyi’s has largely been eclipsed by others – that is what the article sets out to correct. She was nobody’s wife, was working-class, lived her later life as a banned person, died in 1980 in poverty. But she had been one of the leaders of the famous Women’s March on 9th of August 1956. And she was an exceptional orator – Winnie Mandela said about her that “(s)he spoke the language of the worker, and she was herself an ordinary factory worker. When she said what she stood for, she evoked emotions no other person could evoke.” In a Drum article Ezekiel Mphahlele wrote about her: “She can toss an audience on her little finger, get men grunting with shame and a feeling of smallness.”

Cameroon: The environmental footprint of the Anglophone crisis is enormous, the environment in northwest and southwest regions being a collateral victim of the conflict. Consequences “range from failures in environmental governance to increases in deforestation, unmet measures in Cameroon’s climate action plan, poor municipal waste management, the effects of scorched earth tactics and the impact of improvised explosive devices.” The author provides some examples for each of these points. Environmental legacies of the conflict threaten to haunt the region well beyond an end to the crisis.