14 March 2022

Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s suya wrap
(suya = meat skewer) BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 06:02. Our African proverb of the day. Ezeka Elvis Ihueze. Sent by to BBC News Pidgin.

Congo-Kinshasa: 75 died and 125 were injured when a freight train carrying hundreds of stowaways derailed because of “a sudden track cut” in Buyofwe village (south-east of the country).
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 8:18

Kenya: At the August 2022 elections, Kenyans will mark six crosses: for “the president (jointly with his (or her) deputy), the governor of their county, a senator, a woman representative, a member of parliament (MP) and a member of a county assembly (MCA).“ Only the elite are actively participating – the rest are spectators (and voters). Like in developed countries, this elite control power and wealth – despite all the noise about democracy. Being a politician is financially attractive. And you handle money. And it carries prestige. And you are in the public eye. And it provides excitement.

Kenya: A fire that started on Sunday has already destroyed 70 hectares of Menengai forest (160km west of Nairobi, known and much visited because of the Menengai crater it harbours). Dry, strong winds are fuelling the fire.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 10:49

Mali: The article states the obvious, that the withdrawal of Barkhane and Takuba implies a loss of military capacities (combat helicopters, field hospitals, etc.) which UN and African peacekeepers and European partners have relied on so far. But – with Russian mercenaries present and negotiations with terrorists likely if not already ongoing – will it worsen Mali’s capacities to deal with terrorism? Will it render “development” more difficult?

Tinder/Cape Town: What looks at first like a resounding success – the app has been downloaded more than 400 million times and has produced 55 billion matches – hides many a disappointment because of lack of “a meaningful connection”. The article’s author tells about the results of two years of ethnographic study of Tinder users in Cape Town.

Mozambique: 12 are known to have died because of cyclone Gombe. But that number is likely to rise substantially – so far, most severely affected districts remain inaccessible with communications cut. Heavy rains are continuing and rivers could overflow.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 11:24

Sudan: The price of bread has increased by over 40% yesterday Sunday. With fuel prices also up, protest marches have been held across the country. They were met with tear gas and, in Damazin (south-east) with live bullets, if demonstrators are to be believed.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 17:08

Nigeria/Boko Haram: Another 559 ex-members of Boko Haram have “pledged their allegiance to the Nigerian authorities” at the graduation ceremony of their de-radicalisation programme in Gombe state, bringing the total number of graduates to 1,629. Vocational skills, religious reorientation and psychological support are part of that programme. Their re-integration into society are difficult because of wide-spread mistrust.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2022. 16:28

13 March 2022

Kenya: It has come without surprise: For the next presidential elections, President Kenyatta (who will have served the maximum of two terms) will not back his Vice-president but his former long-time enemy Raila Odinga.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 12 March 2022. 15:13 12 Mar

South Africa: In Alexandra township (one of the poorest areas of Johannesburg), support mainly of marginalised people is growing for Operation Dudula and the Alexandra Dudula Movement, two movement that campaign against undocumented foreigners. “Dudula” in Zulu means “push back” – foreigners are accused of stealing South Africans’ jobs. More outbreaks of xenophobic violence could be in the offing. It had happened in 2008, 2015 and 2019… Some may be tempted “to make political capital out of the issue”, e.g. the new Patriotic Alliance (PA) of ex-prisoner Gayton McKenzie or even the Economic Freedom Fighters.