08 February 2022

Horn of Africa: According to the World Food Programme (WFP), because of continued drought – the rainy season having failed three times in a row –, 13 million face severe hunger and a humanitarian crisis is imminent.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 7:42

Chagos/Mauritius/GB: Under the “pretext” of scientific research (to map reefs in the waters around the islands), Mauritius is sending a boat to the Chagos Islands which rightfully belongs to Mauritius but has never been handed over by Great Britain – one of the islands, Diego Garcia, was instead rented out to the USA for a military base. Several Chagossians “forced by Britain to leave their homes on Chagos half a century ago” will also be on the boat. The trip is political, highly provocative – the British foreign office has been informed in advance.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 4:36

Climate variability/Climate change: “Southern Africa’s current above-average rainfall is a climate variability signal”, resulting from a weak La Niña event since December 2021, La Niña being one of the three phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with El Niño and Neutral phases being the other two. On the other hand, “the outlook under human-induced climate change suggests that southern Africa’s summer wet-seasons will likely become drier and shorter, but individual rainfall events may intensify.”

Nigeria: Where police cannot cope, neighbourhood crime control by vigilantes is an alternative or possible add-on. In the past and not only in Nigeria, “many excesses have been reported. Some have brutally punished or killed crime suspects. Aside from human rights abuses, vigilantes may be unreliable, poorly skilled, and lacking both transparency and accountability.” Regulation is needed. “Procedural justice” needs to be attained: fair processes, transparency, impartiality. In the country’s economic capital, the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency since 2016 regulates and controls vigilante activities. It provides “an overarching framework of policing standards to guide performance, procedures, jurisdictions, interventions and other regular activities.” The article’s author’s survey found that about 42% of residents were very satisfied and 46% said the vigilantes were effective.

Tunisia: All courts will suspend work tomorrow Wednesday and the day after if the Judges Association is to have its way. This will be in protest against the President’s dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 14:36

Burkina Faso: At the Thomas Sankara murder trial, prosecutors are asking the court to find Blaise Compaoré, the main sponsor behind the killing, “guilty in absentia of an ‘attack on state security’, ‘concealment of a corpse’ and ‘complicity in a murder’”. They are asking for a 30-year prison term for Blaise Compaoré, 30 years for Hyacinth Kafando and 20 years for Gilbert Diendéré.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 13:29

Ghana: Maxam Corp, the Spanish company whose lorry exploded transporting explosives and killing 13, injuring more than a hundred and destroying the village of Apiatse has been fined 6m USD.
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 17:32

Mozambique: An acre of mangrove forest absorbs nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide as an acre of Amazon rainforest. Under a deal with reforestation specialist Blue, close to 100 million trees are to be planted in the Sofala delta, which straddles the Sofala and Zambezia provinces on the coast. Also, “(m)angroves are an important protection against climate change, mitigating against the effects of cyclones and floods.”
BBC Africa Live 08 February 2022. 17:20

07 February 2022

Uganda: After a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m ban of close to two years because of Covid, boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) – the most common means of transport in the country – are allowed to operate at night again.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 8:11

Burkina Faso: The article follows mainstream and social media before, during and after the recent coup in Ouagadougou to show how important they were.

eSwatini: Of the country’s 1.2 million inhabitants, 58.9% live below the nationally defined poverty line. 71% of children were – in 2016 – classified as vulnerable i.e., orphaned, living in a child-headed household or coming from a poor family background. Although the country in 2005 committed to providing free education for vulnerable children, 51% of them still do not make it into secondary school. The author’s PhD looked into vulnerable children’s experiencing of school, which, she found, are “framed by and based on poverty and vulnerability. They’re also constrained by the complex dynamics of the two”. Gender, of course, plays a determining role in these children’s experiencing of school.

Tunisia: One day after the president’s “illegal” dissolving of the Supreme Judicial Council, police have locked the doors of judges’ offices and have stopped them from entering the building. This seems well to be a further step in the president’s consolidation of power – though he claims it is “to rid the country of corruption and reset the 2011 revolution”.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 10:19

Kenya: A fire has destroyed 600 ha of the Aberdares National Park (north of Nairobi, in central Kenya). The fire started on Saturday for reasons not yet known and is now almost entirely under control.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 15:26

Guinea-Bissau: In the country’s capital, unknown gunmen have for an unknown reason attacked Capital Radio, a private radio station and affiliate of Voice of America. The radio’s transmitter, mixing console and computers were destroyed. Capital Radio had already been targeted by an attack in July 2020.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 13:59

Zambia: Pilato, one of the country’s most popular musicians and also a civil rights activist, is taking up the issue of the open pit-mine that is to be opened in the Lower Zambezi National Park. To sensitize people, he has yesterday (Sunday) released a song called “Zambezi”.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 16:45

Nigeria: University lecturers are preparing an indefinite strike. The last one had lasted 9 months in 2020 and had meant the loss of nearly a whole academic session for the students. Lecturers accuse the government of not coming true on the agreements reached end 2020. The final decision whether to strike or not is to be taken next week.
BBC Africa Live 07 February 2022. 17:23