01 February 2022

Guinea-Bissau: It was indeed a coup attempt. It failed. But it left “many” dead – according to the president. Early in the afternoon, heavily armed gunmen had attacked the government palace where President Embaló was holding an extraordinary Council of ministers. The members of the government were freed towards the end of the afternoon. The President said that the attackers were “related to people involved in drug trafficking” and that the attack was well-prepared and organised.
BBC Africa Live 01 February 2022. 15:09

Coffee: Climate change will render coffee more scarce, thus more expensive. “Coffee requires a tricky mix of climate, land and soil conditions”. Brazil, the largest producer world-wide, “will see its most suitable coffee-growing land decline by 79%” and Colombia by two thirds. The article, based on a recent study into climate change effects on coffee, avocados and cashews presents maps of present-day and future suitability for coffee production. Some regions (in Argentina and China, for example) will benefit, but far fewer than the ones losing out.

Snow in the Sahara: It is not as uncommon as it sounds. Snow needs cold plus moisture. At the edges of the Sahara, these two conditions may be united in winter, especially in the Atlas Mountains which are close to the sea and cold because of higher altitudes. For example, “(t)he Algerian town of Aïn Séfra received snow in the northern hemisphere winters of 1979, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022.” But it may become rarer in future, as it is “predicted that the landward side of the mountains will become drier and the centre of the Sahara will remain dry and become even hotter.”

Coups in West Africa: A brief analysis of the reasons for the recent wave of coups in West Africa is followed by recommendations to the international community and especially the US how to react better. But it seems a bad moment to be calling for re-instating presidents forcefully removed: who would want Roch Kaboré, IBK or Alpha Condé back again? And Idriss Déby Itno is dead.

Mozambique: Out of 12 million school-aged children, 2.4 million do not attend school, with girls and children with special needs especially affected. Now tropical storm Ana has damaged 778 schools in five provinces.
BBC Africa Live 01 February 2022. 12:20

31 January 2022

Eritrea: The country has somewhat broken out of international isolation with peace concluded with Ethiopia. It then clearly sided with Addis to fight its arch-enemy, Tigray’s TPLF. To better its own position, “Asmara’s best-case scenario is a prolonged, unresolved conflict in Ethiopia in which the presence of Eritrean forces and political support are still required by Addis Ababa.” But if Addis and Tigray do negotiate and reach an agreement, Asmara could find itself out in the cold once again.

Zambia: The very controversial Kangaluwi open-pit mine project in the Lower Zambezi National Park is to go ahead despite opposition by NGOs and ecologists. According to the Minister of the environment, “after exhausting legal processes and the courts dismissing an appeal to stop” the project, Zambia had “no option but to monitor the situation and ensure the developer operates within strict conditions.”
BBC Africa Live 31 January 2022. 17:37

Congo-Kinshasa: Dubai Port World will construct the country’s first deep-water port, the port of Banana on “a narrow strip of land with the Atlantic Ocean, on one side and the Congo River on the other”. The port is a 1bn USD project, according to the plan, the first phase will be completed in three years. So far, the country is relying on its neighbours “for the docking of sea-liners and container ships”. Hope is that imports will get cheaper.
BBC Africa Live 31 January 2022. 17:50