20 May 2022

Senegal: The decolonisation of relations between Senegal and its former colonial master France is an unfinished, but ongoing project. Senegal is reclaiming its heritage. Monuments and museums play a role in this. The Museum of Black Civilisations was opened shortly after the Macron-commissioned report that demanded restitution of stolen art kept in French museums – the Museum of Black Civilisations signals that Senegal “has the museum infrastructure to store and preserve the art looted under colonial rule, and owned by French museums." In the article’s author’s opinion, decolonisation of heritage should follow Senghor’s universalist approach – reclaiming the country’s “Blackness” (négritude) and a heritage dismissed by racial science and colonial rule yet in doing so, it should also acknowledge the achievements of French civilisation.

Nigeria/Restrictive Abortion Laws: Induced abortion is common in Nigeria but illegal. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the incidence of abortion in the country in 2015 amounted to 50.6 per 1000 women of reproductive age – one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Using dangerous substances or turning to untrained professionals and quacks with no clinical training to end pregnancies “makes abortion extremely dangerous and fraught with complications.” The law valid to this day was put in place by the British in the 19th century. “It is based substantially on Section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861 of England” – abortion is legal only if necessary to save the life of the mother & heavy penalties threaten offenders (patients and performers). But we know – from Nigeria as well as the world over – that restrictive laws by no means prevent women with unwanted pregnancy from resorting to abortion – they only make the abortion dangerous and unsafe. So it is high time to change the law.

19 May 2022

Internally Displaced People/IDPs: According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)’s annual report, there were a record 59 million IDPs at end 2021 world-wide, plus 4 million in comparison to end 2020. Ethiopia holds the world record with 5 million. Congo-Kinshasa, Afghanistan and Myanmar had never seen IDP numbers as high as in 2021.

251m USD in US food aid: The US has promised Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe 215m USD in emergency aid to fight food insecurity.
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2022. 14:42

South Sudan: The country now has a 560-metre long permanent bridge over the River Nile, just outside of the capital Juba. With Japanese funds, construction had started in 2013 but was interrupted several times because of civil war. The “Freedom bridge” was inaugurated today Thursday by President Salva Kiir.
BBC Africa Live 19 May 2022. 16:49

Mozambique: Uganda has proposed support for Cabo Delgado’s anti-terrorism efforts by supporting a local militia (força local) of the Makonde – “veterans of Mozambique’s liberation struggle who trained Museveni and members of his rebel Front for National Salvation in Cabo Delgado in the 1970s”. But this approach might backfire – there is an ethnic side to Cabo Delgado’s Al-Shabaab conflict. The islamist uprising can be interpreted as a rebellion of the coast-dwelling Muslim Kimwani against the inland-dwelling Christian Makonde – who are well represented in the country’s military, economic and political (FRELIMO) elite. In any case, Ugandan support should pass through Mozambiquan government channels and not go directly to the Makonde militia.