15 December 2021

Books: While 2021 has seen “Africa” win the Nobel Prize in literature, the Man Booker Prize and Prix Goncourt, the article’s author recommends five books: Wole Soyinka’s Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Afterlives, Khadija Abdalla Bajaber’s The House of Rust, Zuhura Yunus’ Biubwa Amour Zahor: Mwanamke Mwanamapinduzi (Biubwa Amour Zahor: The Revolutionary Woman) and Charles Onyango-Obbo’s Pioneers, Rebels and a Few Villains: 150 years of Journalism in Eastern Africa.

Tanzania: The article presents a review of Zuhura Yunus, Biubwa Amour Zahor: Mwanamke Mwanamapinduzi., Dar-es-Salaam (E & D Vision Publishing) 2021. The book is written in Swahili, its title translates to “Biubwa Amour Zahor: The Revolutionary Woman”. It is a biography of feminist Biubwa Amour Zahor who was “at the centre of 1964 revolution in Zanzibar”. Unfortunately, the article tells us hardly anything about her life, except that she has also been active internationally, that she dated a white man, married a black man (not something done in those days for an Arab woman) and had eight children who did not stop her from engaging in politics.

South Africa: “(G)overnment shortcomings in providing or facilitating enough housing, water, electricity and jobs to millions of people is a huge source of frustration” and “violent service delivery protests and other unrest has increased markedly” while violent incidents of xenophobia have also become more frequent. Political risk has increased over the last two decades.

South Africa: A Pretoria court has ruled that Jacob Zuma’s medical parole was unlawful and he should be returned to prison – the time he now spent out of prison is not to be counted towards the 15 months of his sentence. While Zuma is expected to appeal the ruling, the article gives a list of Zuma’s past “legal woes”.

Sudan: Sudan has deployed more troops in disputed border area Al-Fashaga, the army saying that it is in total control. This follows “reports that 21 Sudanese soldiers had been killed and 30 others wounded in clashes with Ethiopian forces in Birkat Nourain in the disputed area four days earlier.”
BBC Africa Live 15 December 2021. 5:30

Uganda: The health ministry’s ordering all striking intern doctors to vacate their bases at public health facilities within a week and threatening interns that they would not get their licences if they did not complete their rotation has escalated things: senior and intern doctors’ strike for better pay and working conditions has been joined by pharmacists, nurses and other trainee medical workers and the “in-coming group of interns have also announced that they will not start their training unless their senior colleagues' demands are met.”
BBC Africa Live 15 December 2021. 15:38

14 December 2021

Malaria: It is treatments for severe malaria in Africa that are most threatened by emerging resistance to malaria drugs. For the time being “front-line drugs remain largely effective, but the likelihood of widespread failure is growing fast”. So far, “resistance to artemisinins has not spread widely in Africa” but we need to be prepared when it does and surveillance is needed. Overall, a holistic approach in fighting malaria is needed, not only medicines, insecticides and nets.

South Africa: An homage to Lindiwe Mabuza, 13th of August 1938 to 6th of December 2021, poetess, artist, feminist, activist, ambassadress. “You recite a poem. It’s better than a three-hour speech.”

Uganda: “(A)head of planned campaigns for a by-election in Kayunga district”, Bobi Wine’s house has been surrounded by police and military. Would they be trying to stop him from going to Kayunga – formerly a stronghold of the ruling party, then conquered by the opposition?
BBC Africa Live 14 December 2021. 6:47

Nigeria: Police seem to prefer dealing with protesters to dealing with insecurity – they have dispersed those who in Katsina state’s capital Katsina to demand of authorities to do more against insecurity.
BBC Africa Live 14 December 2021. 15:28

Covid: As Omicron spreads inside Britain, travel bans no longer make sense, so the UK has removed all 11 African countries (Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe) from its red list.
BBC Africa Live 14 December 2021. 14:49