20 February 2022

Looted art/Nigeria/Britain: Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor has been invited by St Paul's Cathedral to contribute to reflecting on the British looting of art from ancient Benin (in present-day Nigeria). He has created “Still Standing”, a 3.7 meter-tall rosary-bead tapestry of Oba Ovonramwen, “the Benin monarch who was exiled by the British in 1897”. Dominating the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, “the radiance of the piece commands attention, challenging the viewer to take another look at a historical episode, and consider the continuing impact of the destruction of the ancient Benin Kingdom.”

19 February 2022

Informal economy/Formal employment: 2 billion or more than 60% of the world’s working population work in the informal economy. “In theory, formal employment provides a more stable income, social protection and employment-related benefits.” But in fact, formal sector jobs are getting more and more precarious (i.e. insecure, badly paid and without paid sick leave or medical insurance) so that “formal work is (no longer) a guaranteed path to greater social equality.” It is estimated that the work of 4 out of 10 formal sector workers can be classified as precarious in South Africa. Labour broking is a case in point.

Burkina Faso/USA: The State Department says it will freeze almost 160m USD in foreign aid to Burkina Faso because of the coup d’état end of January. “(A)ny release of funds to Burkina Faso will now be conditional on verified steps towards a return to civilian rule.”
BBC Africa Latest Updates 19 February 2022. 9:38