01 December 2021

Burkina Faso: An article about some of the difficulties surrounding free healthcare for all children under five and reproductive care (deliveries, pre-/post-natal consultations, caesarean sections).

Nigeria/South Africa: There is collaboration, but also fierce competition between the two African heavyweights. On the occasion of Ramaphosa’s visit to Nigeria, the article reflects about the problems between the two. Also about xenophobia in South Africa which concerns, amongst others, Nigerians.

Gambia: Despite heavy criticism, incumbent president Adama Barrow is likely to win at the upcoming elections. The article discusses other candidates and their chances.

South Africa: With commercial agriculture still mainly white and subsistence farming still mainly black, “slow implementation of land reform, poor policy implementation, inefficient programmes and bureaucratic delays and poor coordination within government” have kept the contribution of black farmers to national agricultural output at very low levels. The authors analyse why this is so and make very concrete suggestions how it could be changed. This would also greatly contribute to reducing poverty, because “(g)rowth in agriculture is in general two to three times more effective at reducing poverty than an equivalent amount of growth generated outside agriculture.”

Libya: A court in Zawiya in western Libya “has ordered the electoral commission to drop Gen Khalifa Haftar's name from the list of presidential candidates.” Haftar had been sentenced to death in absentia in Misrata for bombing a military college in 2019 and he is also wanted in the US. He can appeal the court’s decision.
BBC Africa Live 01 December 2021. 17:06

Ethiopia: Addis has sent a formal complaint to Twitter which it accuses of pro-rebel bias.
BBC Africa Live 01 December 2021. 15:25

30 November 2021

Distant cotton trees have no thorns
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 4:43. African proverb of the day. A Krio proverb sent by Sahid A Jah in Sierra Leone

Mozambique: After the 1992 peace deal, Frelimo and Renamo continued to consider each other enemies and the climate was one of mutual distrust. It was simply not enough for the external mediators to get the “warring parties to quickly agree to end hostilities, instead of supporting deep peace-building processes”. With Frelimo de facto assured victory in all elections, by whatever unfair means (especially in the 1999 elections), Renamo’s only path to power seemed to take up arms again, which they did in the years 2010. And so, “the country remains in a state of war – in the centre of the country because of military activity by Renamo, and in the North, by radical Islamist insurgents, starting in 2017.”

South Sudan: The country is yet to draft a constitution – it started doing so in 2012, but conflict in 2013 and again in 2016 interrupted this. To get this done in a meaningful i.e. participatory way, the article makes three recommendations: prioritising grassroots reconciliation; facilitating the return and resettlement of IDPs and refugees (4.3 million displaced of whom 2 million abroad); allowing freedom of expression. “(E)ffective people’s participation in building their democratic future” could in this way be assured. It all sounds a bit naïve though true.

Wetland protection/Nigeria: The article’s author found a variety of damselflies (small dragonflies) that counts amongst the threatened species in Ekor Waterfalls in Cross River state. To maintain the “high ecological integrity” of this “freshwater system”, the author argues for its protection.

Western Sahara: Decolonisation never happened. Western Sahara is the only African representative remaining on the UN’s list of non-self-governing territories. In the occupied two thirds of the Western Sahara (its ‘southern provinces’), Morocco exploits renewable energy, it has built 3 large wind farms (5 more are planned) and 2 solar farms (1 more is planned). By 2030, Rabat may get 50% of its wind and 30% of its solar energy from the occupied territories – this “energy dependence entrenches the occupation and undermines the UN peace process”.

South Africa: The ANC power base – which used to be both rural and urban – has become dominantly rural (Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West – in this order). Eventually, “this is likely to shift the orientation of the ANC, and further reduce its ability, and willingness, to engage with the intensity of metropolitan dynamics. Furthermore, policies may eventually change to reflect its more traditional and conservative base.”

Congo-Kinshasa/Uganda: In eastern Congo-Kinshasa, camps of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – allied to the IS and considered responsible for the twin bomb attacks in central Kampala a couple of weeks ago – have been targeted by air and artillery strikes of Uganda’s army.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 9:52

Covid: At the China-Africa summit in Dakar, China’s President has promised 1 billion Covid vaccine doses.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 6:23

Rwanda/Covid: All over 50 will get third vaccine doses. The younger only if they are health workers or “have an underlying condition”.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 4:44

Malawi: Protests against high prices and corruption have prompted the President to cancel all public engagements so as to “attend to emerging national and regional matters”.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 12:04

Democracy: Where in Africa is democracy progressing, where is it regressing? On the demand side, there does not seem much to worry about, people and youths even more “want better and more accountable governance and insist on democracy and development simultaneously, rather than one or the other.” It is the supply side that is often lagging, with third-termism, coups, internet shutdowns, etc.

Kenya: The conflicts between pastoralists and farmers in central Kenya have historical (colonial) roots and are worsened by climate change.

Sudan: There is another big protest against the military mingling in politics in Khartoum. Demonstrators chanting “No militia can rule a country” and “Burhan your barracks awaits” have partly been met by security forces firing tear gas.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 14:11

Nigeria: According to a report published by the NGO “Centre for Democracy and Development” today Tuesday, 13,000 civilians have been killed by security forces over the last ten years, with torture, extra-judicial killings and unlawful detention “common”.
BBC Africa Live 30 November 2021. 16:51