27 July 2022

Sudan: Another protester has been killed on Tuesday in Khartoum, bringing the count to 116 since the October coup according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
BBC Africa Live 27 July 2022. 7:53

Angola: The government has hailed the find of the largest rough diamond in 300 years – the “Lulo Rose” in the Australian operated Lulo alluvial mine – as “showcase(ing) Angola as an important player on the world stage for diamond mining”.
BBC Africa Live 27 July 2022. 9:27

South Africa: When Thabo Mbeki recently criticized the ANC’s failure to address “the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality”, he warned that South Africa could be in for some sort of “Arab Spring”. An insurrection like the one of July 2021 could happen again. “What people (and most of all frustrated youths, G.) want to see is visible change in their daily lives, and more imagination on the part of their government in relieving their hardships” – and quick. Or the legitimacy & authority of the state will be eroded further.

South Africa: Donato Francesco Mattera – “poet, activist and humanitarian” who always sided with the poor and marginalized – died on 18 July aged 86. An homage by fellow poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers.

Nigeria: Is wearing the hijab to be allowed in school? The question is highly contentious in Nigeria. A hijab (also called khimar) “covers the head with the face open and extends to either the ankle, abdomen or knees.” The article gives an overview of why there is a problem. As a solution, instead of governments decreeing a solution, the author advocates “a dialogue through seminars, workshops and conferences between Muslims and non-Muslims” to further mutual understanding.

Russia-Africa: The article – its author has clearly chosen the anti-Russian camp – analyses the reasons for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s four-country tour in Africa (Egypt, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, Ethiopia) and calls on the concerned countries to be careful not to damage their reputation.

Somalia: Al-Shabaab’s suicide attack in Merca – capital of Lower Shabelle province, on the coast about 100 km south-west of Mogadishu – has killed at least 20 including the district commissioner. In Afgoye – some 20 km inland from the capital –, 6 people died in an explosion. In Mogadishu, 2 al-Shabaab members died when their explosives detonated before the planned attack.
BBC Africa Live 27 July 2022. 13:33

26 July 2022

Cryptocurrencies: They give “everyone with access to a mobile device and internet connectivity the opportunity to engage in activities similar to those conducted through financial institutions and intermediaries. That includes payments, sending remittances and making investments.” That is the reason for their success in Africa. 8.5% of the population in Kenya, 7.1% in South Africa and 6.3% in Nigeria’s are using them and bitcoin has been adopted as legal tender by the Central African Republic. There are risks associated with them, on the micro level, volatility is one of them, on the macro level, if many people use them, the state or its central bank loses some of its control over the money market plus capital flight becomes even more difficult to counteract. According to the article’s author, cryptocurrencies are here to stay in Africa and thought needs to be given to how to regulate them.

Renaissance Dam/Ethiopia/Egypt/Sudan: The article gives a very brief overview and provides the links to five articles on the controversial dam from the archives of The Conversation. The roots lie in colonial time treaties. Could the dam cause a “water war”?

South Africa: The country’s worst power cuts ever have prompted the president to announce “a raft of interventions aimed at solving South Africa’s energy crisis”, centring on getting the state-owned company Eskom on its feet again and adding other sources of electricity.
BBC Africa Live 26 July 2022. 5:49