11 December 2021

Malaria: After quite some progress against malaria, Covid plus humanitarian crises have made malaria come back in force – 14 million more cases in 2020 than in 2019 and a marked rise in deaths from malaria, especially small children. “Malaria parasites resistant to the artemisinin component of the WHO-recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies have now been confirmed in Uganda and Rwanda.” Also, “genetic changes (…) make (the malaria parasites) invisible to the rapid diagnostic tests most widely used in sub-Saharan Africa.” Pregnant women continue to be a worry – malaria in them results in low birth weight, a major factor in early child death. Most important in fighting malaria are insecticide treated nets and indoor residual spraying. Choice of insecticides is important as resistances to some insecticides have developed. But new, more effective insecticides have been developed. And the new malaria vaccine RTS,S promises success in fighting malaria.

10 December 2021

South Africa: Offshore seismic surveys are fairly common along the South African coast, but plans to do them off the Wild Coast have raised an unprecedented public outcry. Seismic surveys are less ‘brutal’ and much less costly than drilling (which will follow if a seismic survey proves conclusive), but that does not mean that they don’t have negative effects on the environment – the article lists them. There is a lot science does not yet know about these harmful effects on the environment, so it would be best to act on a precautionary principle and not do the seismic surveys in the valuable Wild Coast ecosystem.

South Africa: A highly speculative article about two recent (mid-November) cases of sabotage at Eskom facilities (Lethabo facility and Matimba power station). Were they hybrid threats or hybrid attacks? And who could be behind them?

Tanzania: Despite some improvements (Covid recognised, pregnant girls allowed in schools), autocratic rule has not stopped with the death of Magufuli but continues under Samia Suluhu Hassan. In the article’s author’s view, polarisation along party lines threatens peace and stability.

School fees: In Africa, 39% of expenditure for education comes from families (only 12% in Europe and North America) – education is by no means free. In Kenya and Uganda, 1 family in 3 needs to borrow to be able to pay their children’s school fees. In Ghana, 13% of total household expenditure goes into education.
BBC Africa Live 10 December 2021. 10:07

Angola, Liberia, South Sudan/USA: Africa’s “richest woman” Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former Angolan president, Angolan former government officials Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento and Manuel Helder Vieira Dias Juniorare, Liberian senator Prince Yormie Johnson and South Sudanes businessman Benjamin Bol Mel are on a US government list of “people from across the globe accused of corruption who are facing US sanctions”.
BBC Africa Live 10 December 2021. 11:32

Angola: Today Friday is the fifth day of a national strike of doctors demanding higher salaries and better working conditions. Almost all doctors in public hospitals have joined the strike.
BBC Africa Live 10 December 2021. 16:02

Cameroon/Chad: Clashes between farmers, fishermen and herders in the Cameroonian border town Ouloumsa and neighbouring villages have pushed more than 30,000 to flee to Chad, two thirds of them women and children.
BBC Africa Live 10 December 2021. 14:33

Nigeria: With insecurity worsening, protesters have taken to the streets in northern Nigeria and in Abuja “demanding action by the authorities” – “Save the North”!
BBC Africa Live 10 December 2021. 17:06