09 October 2021

Uganda: Between 2012 and 2015, police has removed villagers in Kijayo region (western Uganda) from their homes by police “at the behest of the company Hoima Sugar Ltd.” – the company says “it bought the land for use as a plantation and (…) paid 142 families between £6 ($8) and £3,900”. In 2013, “398 families began legal proceedings against the firm” to fight their eviction. Since 2017, a UK project provided legal support and trained women for them to have new sources of income. But this aid will end at the end of 2021 and with the case in court not advancing (“(a) legal judgement deciding who owns the land is yet to be made as the judge allocated to the case keeps changing”), the women are afraid of not being strong enough to go on fighting on their own.
BBC Africa 09 October 2021. Latest Updates. 8:07

Somalia/Literature: A portrait of Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her novel the Fortune Men. She was born in Italy to an Italian mother and a Somali father, grew up in Mogadishu, fled from increasing violence in 1991 at the age of 18, to Italy first and now lives in Belgium. She writes most of all about and for women. Preoccupied by the question, how one roots oneself again when everything you know has gone, she rooted herself by writing – untypically. Literature is traditionally reserved to men in Somali society.

08 October 2021

Cameroon: As information collection in Anglophone Cameroon is difficult under civil war conditions, the article’s authors examined tweets “to understand how the conflict was affecting the key determinants of health” including poverty. As for the findings: the “disparities that have resulted from, or have been exacerbated by, the consequences of the conflict” have been classed into eight categories: people feel neglected by government related to health; there is a failure of the education system, with most schools having been closed for years; there have been job losses (with businesses closing), others went for several months without pay or received salary cuts; while poverty was increasing, the government has been discouraging humanitarian support; thousands lost their homes and were displaced (several villages were burned down or seized by the military or non-state armed groups; hundreds of thousands were internally displaced or fled); “(p)eople experienced social exclusion and oppression” (lack of human rights, no freedom of expression); women and girls were especially vulnerable, with sexual violence and rape increasing; health services became more difficult to access (with some hospitals and clinics destroyed; NGOs could not entire replace them).

Sahel: According to the UN secretary general, NATO is studying options of support for G5 Sahel troops.
BBC Africa Live 08 October 2021. 5:35

Sierra Leone: The death penalty has been abolished after President Bio signed a law decided by Parliament in July. Though 39 death sentences were handed down in 2020 alone, no-one has been executed since 1998.
BBC Africa Live 08 October 2021. 15:05

Zambia: According to President Hichilema, the country owes Chinese lenders over 6bn USD. This had not been disclosed by the government of former President Lungu. Total external debt stands at 14.5bn USD. In 2020, Zambia had defaulted on a debt repayment.
In a 10’54’’ BBC interview, President Hichilema said the hole he and his government found upon taking over was a lot bigger than previously assumed. Corruption was at horrifying levels. But frivolous expenditure would from now on be controlled. Concerning IMF support, he’s not afraid of IMF conditionality, his government’s own conditionalities are tougher than the IMF’s. That the finance minister was the first appointment (the government’s composition is not known yet) was meant as a message: that the economy and investment come first. To improve the derelict state of the economy, peace and stability is needed – that’s why the security sector saw new appointments (the interviewer had called it a “purge” of the defence forces). Government spending is to be decentralised.
The new President’s first budget is only 25 days away.
BBC Africa Live 08 October 2021. 14:29