07 May 2022

Nigeria: In protest against increases in the cost of jet fuel (by 4 times since the beginning of 2022 according to Airline Operators of Nigeria/AON), Nigerian airlines will stop domestic flights from Monday. International flights will not be concerned.

06 May 2022

Antjie Krog/South Africa: A recognised poet and a listened-to voice of dissent against Apartheid since she published a poem at age 17, in 1970, Antjie Krog, who this year turns 70, is to this day a poet with an important role to play in public life by means of journalism, nonfiction writing and in academia. It was her non-fiction book Country of My Skull about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that got her known internationally in the 1990s.

Political Extremism/Sahel: The various “terrorist” groups of the Sahel vary widely, what they have in common is that they try “to unsettle and obliterate existing state structures, not necessarily to take over the state”. Despite numerous counterterrorism interventions, security continues to worsen. The author’s analysis of research on terrorism made him identify four enablers of terrorism, namely 1) socio-economic and political grievances like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, lack of adequate healthcare; 2) a supportive network (a “community of people willing to do more than just remain silent victims”); 3) a legitimising ideology, e.g. the global jihadist ideology; 4) a conducive local and global political environment (repressive political action can, for example, tip the balance.).

Sleep: “(B)oth insufficient and excessive sleep contribute(…) to impaired cognitive performance of a middle-aged to old population”. “Our key finding was that seven hours of sleep per night was optimal, with more or less than that bringing fewer benefits for cognition and mental health.”

Covid measures and Agriculture in low-income countries: Covid measures have “negatively affected food purchase, income generation and access to inputs” for smallholder farmers in the countries studied (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia). Unlike in rich countries, there was no financial support and mostly no savings to fall back on. The more stringent the measures, the more severe the effects.

South Africa: 6.5 million South Africans (about 11%) go hungry and are food insecure (“do not have enough money to buy food and cannot make their own”). The article’s two authors research into nine municipalities in the Gauteng City-Region (South Africa's richest) provided the results that were to be expected – that the following factors reduce the risk of food insecurity: gender (being male), race (being white), employment, good physical health status, availability of food support, higher levels of education, age (being young), small household size, availability of grant support, availability of indigence rebates, higher levels of income. The recommended action to improve food security are banal: improve education, augment income, provide more support…

South Sudan: Juba is reported to have sold its crude oil up until 2027 in order to be able to pay the salaries of civil servants not paid since September of last year. Economics professor Ahmed Morgan Yanga criticizes the absence of economic management this reveals and says it is tantamount to economic death for the country’s future.
BBC Africa Live 06 May 2022. 15:50