11 March 2022

Mozambique: Gombe has been upgraded from the tropical storm it was when crossing Madagascar to cyclone as it is expected to make landfall shortly. Nampula, Zambézia and also Sofala provinces will be most touched. For about three days, winds of 200 km/h or more and rain of 200 mm or more plus thunderstorms are to be expected.
BBC Africa Live 11 March 2022. 7:12

South Africa: Raymond Zondo who – the chairman of the state capture commission of inquiry that recently submitted its three reports – has been appointed as the country’s new chief justice.
BBC Africa Live 11 March 2022. 10:25

ISWAP & Child Soldiers: Like the other Boko Haram faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is using child soldiers. There are said to be about 50 child soldier training camps on the Lake Chad islands – where conditions are reportedly “dire”.

Coastal West Africa & Terrorism: A “narrow interpretation of the spillover” of terrorism into coastal West African states sees it “as simply a southward spread of attacks”. But beyond or underneath that, there is a “covert network that ensures (… and) jihadists’ activities within and through coastal states are enabling them to fund, staff and run the logistics they need to thrive.” So terrorism is by no means (only) an external threat, recruitment is taking place locally and the direction of movement is not only north-south – motorcycles, for example, are trafficked from Nigeria through Benin and Togo to the Sahel. A response solely focussing the military aspects – with Barkhane and Takuba about to be partly redeployed southward – will clearly not be enough.

Tanzania: Ngorongoro obtained Unesco’s Global Geopark status in 2018. While 8,000 people lived in the area in 1959, they are now 110,000 – and they and their cattle are putting increasing pressure on wildlife. The government is now putting pressure on the Masai to relocate, especially by talking to elders. “More than 450 people from 86 households have expressed their intention to move.” The short article does not say whether they have been offered alternatives nor where they are going to live.
BBC Africa Live 11 March 2022. 16:22

Guinea: According to the authorities, clarification is needed “on how Guinea's interests will be preserved” before work at Simandou iron ore deposit (thought to be the world’s biggest) can continue. “The development of the mine has stalled many times, largely over rights disputes.” So here we go again – Rio Tinto and a “Chinese-backed consortium” are the present owners of the site.
BBC Africa Live 11 March 2022. 13:27

10 March 2022

Nigeria/Women: A colouring book featuring prominent Nigerian women has been published. A biography about every woman featured is included, focussing on the impact that each woman has had in her respective sector. “A colouring book was a way to make it more accessible to so many different people”.
BBC Africa Live 10 March 2022. 7:32

South Africa: The constitution recognizes customary law (indigenous law) “on an equal footing with common law”. So the recent Zulu kingship dispute could and should have been resolved by the AmaZulu Royal Council and its dispute resolution mechanisms – but it was referred to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. The article reflects on (individualistic) modern versus (communal) traditional law. “If state laws continue to regulate indigenous conduct and disputes in this manner, indigenous laws will eventually be eradicated.” State laws tend to compel indigenous laws to become like them.

Ethiopia: In 2018, Dawud Ibsa and his Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) returned home from exile in Eritrea having signed a peace agreement with the government. But after a rift in the movement, they were accused “of having links with a splinter armed group behind attacks in the Oromia region”. With some of its key officials in jail and some of its offices shut down, the OLF boycotted last year’s elections. It has now been confirmed that Dawud Ibsa has been under house arrest since May 2021, plainclothes security personnel prevent all visits.
BBC Africa Live 10 March 2022. 5:26

Mali: Thousands of ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu have been digitised under a project called “Mali magic” which saw Google partnering with traditional leaders. The project will be unveiled today. “Up to 40,000 pages of the documents will be available online.” On top of that, there are “online interactive tours of some of Mali’s most significant historic sites using Google Street View”
BBC Africa Live 10 March 2022. 6:56

Aid being reduced/Burkina Faso/Somalia: Donors are cutting aid to Africa and reorienting their financing towards the Ukraine. The Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxford have reported 70% less financing for Burkina Faso (where terrorism have caused more than 8% of the population to become IDPs). In Somalia, funding problems have increased for the third of the population affected by a most severe drought.
BBC Africa Live 10 March 2022. 15:19

Kenya/Britain: “British soldiers (have been) accused of starting a wildfire during a training exercise that damaged a wildlife conservancy” in March 2021. A Kenyan court has ordered the matter to be “handled by an inter-governmental liaison committee, according to the terms of a Defence Cooperation Agreement signed by the two countries in 2015.” If British troops are found liable for the claims against them, then the British authorities will have to pay compensation for the 12,000 acres of land destroyed.
BBC Africa Live 10 March 2022. 9:53