08 August 2022

Kenya: Raila Odinga has chosen a woman as his running mate for the presidential elections: Martha Karua – “a fervent democracy and integrity campaigner, as well as representing the important Kikuyu voting bloc in Kenyan politics”. The lawyer and former minister of justice and constitutional affairs has been chosen to appeal to women and gender balance has figured highly on Raila Odinga’s agenda. Martha Karua has, of course, been exposed to sexist attacks since. Though “(r)esearch has shown that political representation doesn’t automatically translate into substantive progress on gender issues”, there is hope that Odinga-Karua’s winning would help Kenyan women progress.

South Africa/USA: Sounds like Blinken was wholly unsuccessful concerning the main issue of his visit: the war in Ukraine. After meeting him, minister of international relations Naledi Pandor said more efforts were needed to resolve the war through dialogue. Furthermore, she said that what is being done to the Palestinians in Gaza merits as much attention as in Ukraine.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 18:05

Mapungubwe/South Africa: The world heritage site and national park Mapungubwe on the border of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe is located where there was once – from about 1000 to the 1300s – a powerful state. The University of Pretoria’s Mapungubwe Archive shows how knowledge about and research into that long-gone past suffered neglect especially in Apartheid times. The Archive “has evolved into not just a repository or depository, but a site of contestation, a space and place of memory” and a recently published book speaks of that.

Mozambique: No relenting: in Cabo Delgado province in the country’s extreme north, villages in the Muidumbe and Mocímboa da Praia districts have been raided and torched over the weekend by jihadists despite heavy presence of the army in the region, supported by Rwandan and SADC troops.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 13:52

Ethiopia: Police says it has arrested the deputy head of the southern command of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA/banned for being a “terrorist organization”) in Moyale in the extreme south, on the border with Kenya.
BBC Africa Live 08 August 2022. 19:14

07 August 2022

Uganda: The campaign group “Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug)” has been ordered to shut down immediately for allegedly not registering properly – part of a “witch hunt”, according to the concerned. Anti-gay and transphobic sentiment are ripe in the country, persecution common; “unnatural offences” can be punished by life imprisonment.

South Africa/USA/Congo-Kinshasa/Rwanda: Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has arrived in South Africa, first of three stops on an African tour that will also take him to Congo-Kinshasa and Rwanda. Countering Russia’s influence will figure high on his agenda.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 07 August 2022. 13:28

UK/Nigeria/Restitution of Art: 72 looted objects are to be transferred from the Horniman Museum in south-east London to the Nigerian government, including 12 Benin Bronzes, 1 brass cockerel and 1 key to the king's palace. A request to that effect had been made by Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in January.