28 January 2022

No matter how small the fire is, you can’t put it in your pocket
BBC Africa Live 28 January 2022. Proverb of the day. Sent by Raymond Chuks to BBC Pidgin service in Nigeria

Born in Blackness: This review of Howard W. French’s book of that title tells how it traces “the crafting of the modern world through the oppression and subjugation of Black persons” from the early Portuguese “discoveries” to the 2nd World War. According to French, the discoverers’ “real rationale” and aim was not Asia, it “was Europe’s earnest desire to establish economic ties with Africa, and in particular West Africa with its resource-rich civilisations and resource-based economies”. And the USA would never have become great were it not for the slaves from Africa.

Gambia/Women: The Constitution Promulgation Bill of 2020 was never passed by parliament – it would have furthered gender equality, foresaw, for example, a minimum of 14 (of 58) seats in parliament for women – presently there are only 6 (only 3 of whom are elected). Seen that “existing laws are grossly inadequate given the socio-cultural barriers that are well entrenched in society against women”, the article’s author proposes a private member bill to introduce a gender quota – a vast majority of Gambians are apparently in favour of such a measure. In more concrete terms, the Ugandan model could be copied: there, each district votes for one woman representative.

Lake Chad Basin/Boko Haram: The article gives a rather pessimistic, disillusioning overview of the many difficulties in fighting terrorism in the area, with the situation continually evolving.

Kenya: As the government’s medical scheme no longer fully covers costs for dialysis treatment, private hospitals will turn away such patients from Monday onwards – unless they pay the rest themselves.
BBC Africa Live 28 January 2022. 11:58

Somalia: In the country’s long delayed indirect parliamentary elections, 73 of the 275 MPs have now been chosen. The election is to be completed by 25th of February at the latest.
BBC Africa Live 28 January 2022. 9:18

Morocco: The country’s airspace, which had been closed since November 2021 to stop Omicron spreading, will be reopened on 7th of February.
BBC Africa Live 28 January 2022. 6:22

Sudan: Over the last week, Masalit vs. Arab violence has forced 15,000 to flee their homes over the last week near the town of El Geneina, Darfur. 4,000 fled across the border, to Chad. “More than two million people still live in camps as a result of the Darfur conflict in the early 2000s.”
BBC Africa Live 28 January 2022. 5:32

27 January 2022

Eritrea/Egypt: According to Human Rights Watch, Egypt has last month deported 24 Eritrean asylum seekers to Eritrea, “putting them at risk of detention and torture”. Overall, over 20,000 Eritreans have registered with UNHCR in Egypt. HRW has accused Cairo “of carrying out arbitrary arrests and detention of asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants as well as denying some detainees access to” UNHCR.
BBC Africa Live 27 January 2022. 15:18

Nigeria/Lassa fever: 26 deaths amid 115 infections of the “acute viral haemorrhagic illness” have been confirmed over the last three weeks. An emergency response centre has been set up to deal with the outbreak of the illness which is endemic in West Africa where it causes “up to 5,000 deaths each year”.
BBC Africa Live 27 January 2022. 5:51

Zambia: President Hichilema has come under opposition attack for his frequent travels abroad – something he had criticised in his predecessor. The President reacted by defending the latest trip to South Africa in a series of Facebook posts giving the reasons for the trip.
BBC Africa Live 27 January 2022. 7:56

Kenya/GB: Tea pickers have been allowed to take legal group action against Finlay, one of the world's biggest tea producers registered in Aberdeen, Scotland. The current and former employees of Finlay claim that working conditions (12 hours without pause per day, 6 days a week for tea pickers) damaged their health and are suing for damages.
BBC Africa Live 27 January 2022. 10:53