28 April 2023

Namibia/Finland: Missionaries from Finland had stolen fragments of the “Ondonga Power Stone” from the Ovambo kingdom Ondonga (now northern Namibia) in colonial times – they have now been returned to Namibian authorities. They are for the time being to be kept at the National Museum before eventually being returned to the Ondonga community.
BBC Africa Live 28 April 2023. 7:42

Ethiopia: Girma Yeshitla, Amhara region’s head of Prosperity Party (in power) and vice president of the region, plus his body guard were shot dead yesterday. “The killing came weeks after the federal government announced the dissolution of a paramilitary force which had triggered widespread protests and violence in Amhara” – Girma Yeshitla was seen as a driving force behind that dissolution.
BBC Africa Live 28 April 2023. 4:40

Sudan: Millions have been “trapped by the fighting” and are short of water, food, medicine, fuel. On top of that, there is “very little phone or data coverage”. In the capital, 60% of all health facilities are reported as “currently not operating”
BBC Africa Live 28 April 2023. 9:01

Slavery & Marriage: Slavery, though now illegal, still exists and in many different forms. There are many ways how slavery and marriage overlap and interact – both in the past and in the present. That is this article’s topic.

History of Jazz in South Africa: Calum MacNaughton of As-Shams record label (the first Black-owned in the country) has engaged on the ambitious project of restoring South Africa’s hidden musical history. “As-Shams Archive Vol. 1: South African Jazz, Funk & Soul 1975-1982 contains 10 tracks, 10 original compositions and 10 ensembles.”

South African national honours for Ruth Weiss: South Africa was a central focus throughout holocaust survivor, anti-racism militant, journalist and writer Ruth Weiss’s career, but she is little known in the country, because most of her work was oriented towards international media and she often wrote in her native German. She was born in 1924, moved to South Africa with her family in 1936, after 1966 lived in Rhodesia, Great Britain, Zambia, Germany, Great Britain, Zimbabwe, Denmark. Today Friday, Ramaphosa bestowed “an Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo on Weiss ‘for her contribution to the liberation struggle’ and shining ‘the light on injustices in South Africa’.”

Congo-Kinshasa: Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan have deployed troops to Congo’s east as part of the regional force of the East Africa Community that is to oversee the withdrawal of M23 mostly thought to be supported by Rwanda (which denies). Will they be able to help? Looking at Congo’s history and neighbours’ involvement throws doubt.

Zimbabwe: The leader of a small opposition party will appeal his sentence to four years in prison for “inciting the public to commit violence” – three years ago, he had called for protests against corruption and the economic situation worsening. During those protests, world-known author Tsitsi Dangarembga and others were arrested “for holding up protest placards on the roadside in her neighbourhood” – earlier in 2023, she too was found guilty of “inciting violence”, but was given the option of paying a fine.
BBC Africa Live 28 April 2023. 17:15

27 April 2023

Global North interests & African seas: The protection of Africa’s oceans mostly does not serve African interests but big corporates’ interests. That is also visible with the focus on the fight against piracy, where interests of the Global North orient activities. For African countries, protecting fish stocks and the environment are the priority. “(O)il pollution and illegal fishing (…) are often perpetrated by foreign entities”, with illegal and overfishing posing “a significant threat to the food and economic security of millions of Africans.”

Sudan: Sudan’s Armed Forces/ El-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces/Hemedti “have been violently competing for control of the political economy”. Al-Bashir had managed to keep his military-Islamist regime together on the basis of oil money. When Khartoum lost a big part of its oil because of South Sudan’s secession in 2011, the economy started a downward path that finally led to the “revolution” of 2018/19. The coup d’état in 2021 happened largely, because the Hamdock “civil” government tried to reduce the army’s and RSF’s control of economic activities. The two are unlikely to let go…

Ghana: 6.1 million Sim cards not registered with the communication regulator have been deactivated. 25 million Sim cards have properly been registered. But another 11 million risk being deactivated after the 31st of May deadline.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 27 April 2023. 6:06

Ethiopia/Sudan/Egypt: The moment does not seem well chosen, with Sudan at war with itself, but Ethiopia’s foreign minister said that Addis is ready to restart tripartite negotiations about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Also, having created facts, is there still a lot to negotiate?
BBC Africa Latest Updates 27 April 2023. 7:01