25 June 2022

UK/Rwanda: 231 migrants reached Britain yesterday Friday across the Channel, bringing the week’s total to 837 and 2,595 for June so far, a total of 12,159 for 2022 up to yesterday – “more than double what it was during the same period last year”. The plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda does not seem effective so far in deterring potential migrants. But according to the Home Office, determent is a question of numbers and it is not yet clear how many “would need to be sent away before the disincentive kicks in”.

Nigeria: The number of sex workers was estimated to be slightly above 100,000 in 2017. Not only are they “60 to 100 times more likely to be killed than the average woman”. On top of that, “(t)hey suffer crass human rights and sexual abuses (… and) suffer marginalisation and social exclusion”. The article’s authors’ research looked at news media’s contributions to the Nigerian discourse about sex workers and found them “to be obsessed with framing female sex workers in negative ways”, constructing them as dangers to society – while sex workers’ “patrons” were not negatively depicted at all. Once again, men can violate social norms, women absolutely must not. No wonder that government policies neglect sex workers’ needs.

24 June 2022

Rwanda: The mother tongue of 99% of Rwandans is Kinyarwanda, but there are three other official languages: French, English, Swahili. The turn from French to English came with the French role in the genocide. Nowadays, “kinyafranglais” is becoming more and more common, the mixing of the three languages. And the importance of Swahili is increasing as Rwanda is getting more and more involved with the East African Community.

Rwanda: The country is one of the five member states of the Commonwealth which had not been part of the British Empire. Rwanda joined in 2009. Despite some NGOs raising questions about the human rights situation in the country, the summit in Kigali brings mostly positive publicity and “gives President Paul Kagame prestige and soft power”.

Nigeria/Decolonising African Studies: African perspectives have been neglected; they need to be bolstered and new narratives created. African languages play an important role in this. An interview with “Nigerian intellectual and historian Toyin Falola” who has just written a book on the topic.

Africa in a world which is reshoring production: Covid and the war in Ukraine have prompted the rich countries to move their manufacturing or supply chain networks closer to home so as to reduce vulnerability to shocks. As a consequence, “Africa must look inward and perhaps consider how to establish its own internal and national value chains”, for example within the framework of the Africa Free Trade Agreement. This will, however, present major challenges, as, for example, the appropriate transportation and road infrastructure is in many places lacking. This will greatly benefit African economies as, according to the World Bank, a 1% increase in value chain participation implies a more than 1% increase in per capita income. So maybe, the current phase of deglobalisation could prompt a move away from just being primary commodity producers?

Rwanda: Thought Rwanda is one of the few African countries to have signed several international and continental conventions that assert rights of LGTB people, “domestic policy on LGBT rights is a grey area” and discrimination against LGTB people is rife and there is no legal mechanisms to protect LGBT people who are victims of injustice or persecution.

Kenya: In 2017, the African Court on Human and People’s Rights decided that the Ogiek community was “entitled to live on their ancestral land in the Mau Forest”. Now it ordered the Kenyan government to pay 1.3m USD in compensation “for material and moral damages”. Besides a community fund for health, education, food security, natural resource management projects, the Kenyan government was also ordered “to recognise the Ogiek as an indigenous people of Kenya and take measures to mark out their ancestral lands and give them community titles over the land”. This court decision now needs to be put into practice.
BBC Africa Live 24 June 2022. 11:50

South Africa: Eskom workers protest over wages so power cuts have increased – Stage 2-rotational power cuts have been expanded to Stage 4 and the power utility has appealed to the strikers to put “the people of South Africa first” while it “was exploring for possible solutions”.
BBC Africa Live 24 June 2022. 14:45