25 March 2022

Kenya: The article’s author expects the August presidential elections to be a tight race. “For almost six decades, political and economic power has been confined within a group around Kenya’s first two presidents – Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi.” William Ruto, presently Vice-President, is “of humble upbringing”. Though he’s also rich by now, he has “rebrand(ed) himself as the antithesis of the status quo and personification of the hopes of the poor”. The latest polls show him ahead of Raila Odinga (who is being supported by reigning President Uhuru Kenyatta). Should he win – not sure whether he’ll (be able or willing to) change Kenya’s dynastic political system.

Kenya/Wildfire: Wildfires on Mount Kenya have been burning for two weeks and the authorities say they have been contained to the moorlands but are asking for help to make sure they do not spread to forested areas and to put them out entirely. For the time being, neither the causes nor the exact extent of the damage are know.
BBC Africa Live 25 March 2022. 17:06

South Africa: Fire & Ecosystems: Fire has shaped ecosystems over thousands of years – it is not only harmful. Proactive burning may be necessary to manage the risk of wildfires that can turn catastrophic. Media should work to improve the public image of or sentiment towards fires and stress proactive instead of reactive fire management.

Cameroon: In the south-west, more than 300 cholera cases have killed 29 in one week, bringing the total number of cholera dead over the last six months to over 60.
BBC Africa Live 25 March 2022. 11:56

Nigeria/Police personnel living conditions: Junior police officers are about to start “a strike in protest against poor welfare”. Since the 2002 strike, nothing has improved – despite government promises to the contrary. For one thing, salaries are too low. But there are other complaints: for example, conditions in police barracks or at the Nigeria Police Training School are known to be appalling. Resulting low morale means low motivation…

Congo-Kinshasa/East African Community: Congo-Kinshasa is set to join Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda in the East African Community. The bloc is constructed around four axes: customs union, the common market, monetary union, and political federation. The first two are being worked on and trade and investment have seen progress over the last 15 years. Furthermore, a common currency was to be introduced by 2023 – a deadline that will certainly be missed. Internationally, the bloc will gain in weight, with Congo-Kinshasa part of it, it will have a population of 177 million and an economy of almost US$200bn.

Liberia: Works to improve electricity supply at Roberts International Airport outside Monrovia will mean that no flights will be able to land between 00:00 and 06:00 from April onward and for up to ten months. Unconnected to this, Air France had announced it will stop flying to Monrovia from April, thus handing Brussel Airlines a monopoly for the destination as far as airlines from the Global North are concerned.
BBC Africa Live 25 March 2022. 18:54

24 March 2022

Mozambique: According to the UNHCR, 29,000 have fled Islamist attacks in Cabo Delgado province since the beginning of the year and counting.
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2022. 15:29

Mali/UEMOA: The UEMOA court has ordered the suspension of UEMOA sanctions against Mali pending a more detailed court ruling. The decision does not have any effect on ECOWAS sanctions against Mali.
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2022. 16:24

Climate change & informal settlements: According to UN estimates, over 1 billion or a quarter of city dwellers “live in precarious conditions, without access to basic services or adequate housing”. They “are excluded from health, education, and livelihood opportunities” and they are the ones most exposed to climate change, their houses not offering protection against flooding or high temperatures.

African Women dominate in Christianity: 27% of the world’s Christians are presently African – they’ll be 39% by 2050. Amongst those, the majority is women. And they are not only more, they are also more active, more fervent.