14 November 2021

South Africa/Literature: Best-selling author Wilbur Smith has died yesterday Saturday at his home in Cape Town aged 88. Born in Northern Rhodesia (today’s Zambia), his 1964 debut novel “When the Lion Feeds” was a success. He was a big game hunter, scuba diver and a licensed pilot and his novels reflect his own experiences. Other bestsellers of his include “The River God” and “The Triumph of the Sun” and his autobiography “On Leopard Rock” published in 2018. Overall, he sold over 140 million of his books.

Nigeria: An army general and three more soldiers have been killed by West African branch of Islamic State (Iswap) militants in Borno state. They had been on their way “to reinforce troops engaged in a fierce battle with the insurgents”.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 14 November 2021. 17:53

Ethiopia: Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa says that for the time being the two sides are miles apart, “that dialogue cannot deliver peace (…) while the war continues to intensify” – but Obasanjo remains optimistic.
BBC Africa Latest Updates 14 November 2021. 18:00

13 November 2021

South Africa: De Klerk was important in the dismantling of the apartheid state, but he was also the “head of an illegitimate, discredited minority regime…incapable of upholding moral standards”, as Mandela had once put it. De Klerk was a staunch conservative and he was committed to apartheid; in his “statement before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in the late 1990s he protested the international assignation of apartheid as a crime against humanity”. Though he was not a securocrat himself, “(d)uring his presidency, political violence escalated to unseen levels.” De Klerk “ was driven by pragmatism, not idealism”.

South Africa: An article written in January 2020 that explains why, 30 years before, de Klerk made the speech that unbanned the ANC, PAC, SACP, etc. and ended the state of emergency. Little analysis, but lots of information about what led up to that momentous speech.

South Africa: An article written in July 2020, excellent to re-read: what Mandela did well & what he got wrong.

Nigeria: Despite an electricity crisis and lack of widespread access to the internet, Nigeria’s central bank recently joined those of the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean region in launching a digital version of cash (not to be confused with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin). The article discusses advantages and possible problems with this.

Sudan: According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, four anti-putsch demonstrators today died from gunshot wounds and one from choking on tear gas and lots were hurt. Tens of thousands have participated in the demonstrations.

Egypt: In Aswan, a violent hail and thunder storm in the area near the Nile on Friday forced scorpions into streets and houses. About 450 people have been stung – three of them died.