27 June 2022

Drought/Eastern Africa: The present drought is not unprecedented: in the 1820s and 1830s, the 1880s and around 1900, eastern Africa experienced droughts which were at least as bad as the present one. Lake Baringo in central Kenya dried up completely, there was prolonged famine of up to 20 years, with areas in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda most affected. “As with any semi-arid region, droughts are an integral part of the climate of eastern Africa and will continue to be so into the future.” In comparison to past centuries, the advantage now is that there are forecast systems, that resilience has been strengthened, that there are humanitarian interventions.

Africa/Homosexuality: The article’s author, a philosopher, postulates that many Africans “oppose homosexuality because they feel they have a culturally sanctioned moral commitment to have children” which is derived from “the ultimate goal of promoting community welfare”. But being gay and being African need not be seen as a contradiction. But sexuality and sexual orientation are central to people’s humanity. And the ultimate value of building and sustaining community can be achieved in many other ways than having children.

Nigeria: The governor of Zamfara state (north-west) wants people to arm themselves to be able to protect themselves against attacks of criminal gangs, saying “he would issue hundreds of guns to those without training and direct(ing) the commissioner of police to issue licences.” In three districts, markets have been ordered closed and motorcycles and sales of petroleum products have been banned.
BBC Africa Live 27 June 2022. 6:21

Nigeria: Other Supreme Court judges have made “allegations of nepotism, corruption, neglect of personnel welfare” against him – now Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad has resigned because of ill health.
BBC Africa Live 27 June 2022. 10:26

Nigeria: Lithium is in high demand – especially for high-performance batteries for mobile phones, computers, electronics, energy storage systems and electric vehicles. If high-grade lithium has been found in Nigeria, it is still a long way before – if ever – lithium will be mined and extracted.

Tunisia: In protest against the government’s economic policies, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) has called for a second general strike. So far, no date has been set for the strike.
BBC Africa Live 27 June 2022. 16:00

South Africa: Why did Ramaphosa conceal the theft of money from his farm in 2020 and not open a court case? Now a “former spy boss laid criminal charges – including money laundering and defeating the ends of justice – against him in early June 2022.” This may shatter his image of an anti-corruption warrior. Should he have to quit, this would be a heavy blow to the ANC, already in difficulty. There is no credible successor in view and the ANC’s chances of winning the absolute majority that it is used to at the next elections would diminish dramatically.

26 June 2022

Nigeria: In January 2017, a Belgian antique dealer offered a 700-year-old metal sculpture from Ife to an auctioneer in London. The latter realised that it was one of the objects stolen from Jos museum 30 years earlier. So he handed it over to the British police – who has been holding it ever since. The sculpture is worth about 17m USD. The Belgian antique dealer has bought it from the Belgian government in an auction – so he claims not to have done anything wrong and refuses to relinquish his claim – unless it is bought from him. In the meantime, Nigeria and the Jos museum wait for their property.