03 September 2021

South Africa/Covid: In South Africa, men are slower to get vaccinated against Covid-19 than women. Only 40% of those vaccinated are men. Since men also tend to get tested less for HIV and less likely to access treatment, maybe research in matters of HIV can be used for Covid-vaccination reluctance also. Reasons there “range from ideas about masculinity and health, ideas about the health system as a place for women, and ability to avoid the risk of infection.” These three reasons look like they could well apply to men’s Covid-vaccination reluctance.

Ethiopia: In a war, only negotiations lead back to peace. But such negotiations become feasible only once “one side has more-or-less won or when both are stalemated. Then the conflict becomes ripe for solving.” The Tigray conflict seems far away from negotiations for the time being, as “(d)omestic and geopolitical factors mean that this conflict has enough fuel to burn for some time, and there are no easy extinguishers at hand.” Look at other African civil wars, from Biafra to Mozambique to Angola and Sudan. And don’t forget that for really ending the war “the blood and tears of a long-drawn conflict must be propitiated through justice and reparations” – see Sierra Leone’s Special Court or South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission or Rwanda’s gacaca courts, all “bringing justice closer to the communities of both survivors and perpetrators”.

Nigeria: Almost 60,000 people have been infected and 2,000 people have died from cholera in 2021 in at least 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Cholera is endemic in the country. According to Unicef, “only about a quarter of Nigeria’s population use improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities”.
BBC Africa Live 03 September 2021. 14:41

Nigeria: While Cameroon has said that hundreds of Boko Haram fighters have surrendered recently, there were 6,000 Boko Haram fighters who have surrendered in the past fortnight in Nigeria according to the army. The death of Abubakar Shekau and the recent military offensive of Nigeria’s army could be reasons for the surrenders. The challenge now is to reintegrate these former fighters into society.
BBC Africa Live 03 September 2021. 12:07

Zambia: Lusaka lawyer Nelly Mutti has been elected speaker of the country’s National Assembly – she will be the first woman to occupy the post.
BBC Africa Live 03 September 2021. 1511:15

02 September 2021

South Africa/Portuguese slave trade 500 years ago: The author, curator at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, takes us on a journey into the past around a few kilogrammes of money cowries found at the bottom of the sea – they sank with the Portuguese ship that had left Cochin (south-western India) in February 1554 with goods destined for Europe and West Africa and ran into trouble off the eastern coast of what’s today South Africa. Two thirds of the vessel’s passengers were slaves. And the cowries found centuries later were almost certainly destined to buy more slaves.

Congo-Kinshasa: Lifting the moratorium on new industrial logging permits that has been in place for 19 years (like the government has said it wants to do) could cause “a climate and biodiversity catastrophe” according to environmental groups.
BBC Africa Live 02 September 2021. 18:52

Côte d’Ivoire: A 12-month suspended prison sentence and a 3,600 USD fine have been handed to Yves de M'Bella for hosting a show with a convicted ex-rapist demonstrating on a mannequin how he assaulted women. “De M'Bella (had) laughed and joked as he helped the man lay the dummy on the floor and pretend to rape it.”
BBC Africa Live 02 September 2021. 7:22