25 February 2023

Ghana: Banning imports of used vehicles may not yield desired results (safer traffic, less pollution), it encourages people to use old vehicles longer or pushes used vehicle imports underground. It may be necessary to work on demand for vehicles in such a bad state, to reform spatial planning, land use systems and transport investments. Suggestions for improvement include “spatial planning that reduces the need to travel”, “making public transport, walking and cycling safer, efficient and attractive” and “tax relief and financial support for new safer, low emission public transport vehicles”.

24 February 2023

An animal is caught by its paw; man is caught by his mouth
BBC Africa Live 24 February 2023. 4:33 Proverb of the day. A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Paul Etoga in Tokyo, Japan

Sierra Leone/Vulnerability to Heat: People living in low-income and informal areas are more in danger of heat than richer ones, so African cities tend to be especially vulnerable to climate change-induced extreme heat. Freetown has appointed a “chief heat officer” to raise public awareness about extreme heat, improve responses to heat waves, and collect, analyse and visualise heat impact data for the Sierra Leonian capital. The article’s author would like to see her include in her agenda: vertical greening (as space is becoming scarce, change from the horizontal to another dimension); focus on improved access to health services, e.g., by community health initiatives; early warning systems where alerts are triggered when certain thresholds are reaches; learn from others (other cities) and share knowledge with them; bottom-up is best: prioritise local, indigenous knowledge wherever possible.

Africa/UN Vote Against Russia: Today Friday marks exactly one year since Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The UN General Assembly yesterday Thursday voted a resolution condemning the invasion: 141 backed it, 32 abstained, 7 voted against. The 2 African countries voting against were Eritrea and Mali; the 15 abstainers were Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, eSwatini, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal did not take part in the vote.
BBC Africa Live 24 February 2023. 5:04

Nigeria: Vote buying should be criminalised. But it hasn’t been so far. And as there are willing sellers and willing buyers, it has thrived in Nigeria since the country returned to democracy in 1999, a “prebendal democracy” where “institutions and processes of civil rule have been hijacked by elites who are inclined to appropriate the state as their private fiefdom.” Beyond criminalisation, the article’s author has other suggestions of what to do to stop it.

Nigeria: Chinyere Igwe, member of the House of Representatives for PDP (opposition) for a part of Port Harcout, was caught with 498,100 USD in cash in his car and was arrested for alleged money laundering.