04 November 2021

South Africa: This year’s Booker Prize has been awarded to South African writer Damon Galgut for his novel “The Promise” – a “tour de force” about the decline and fall of a white South African family over 40 years, from Apartheid times to the present day.

South Africa: ANC’s share in votes at local elections dwindled to 46% (2016: 54%) countrywide with the Democratic Alliance scoring 22% and the Economic Freedom Fighters 10%.
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 17:20

South Africa: The book “Confessions of a StratCom Hitman” has just been published by Jacana, shortly after its author Erasmus died aged 65. The book reveals the working and the brutality of Apartheid’s Special Branch, the police unit that targeted anti-apartheid activists, and Stratcom, the strategic communications section of the National Security Management System. The author quit in 1993.

South Africa: The article tells the life of South African drummer, saxophonist, composer, activist, anthropologist Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse who has turned 70.

Kenya: “M” stands for “mobile”, and “pesa” means “money” in Swahili. M-Pesa was founded in 2007, originally for paying micro-credits. It went on to offer full banking services. “For poor customers, the arrival of M-Pesa offered a way to take control of their lives. Women in rural villages could bypass patriarchal control of family finances to pay school fees and support small businesses.” M-Pesa was founded and run by Vodafone (UK) until Vodacom (South Africa) together with Safaricom (Kenya) bought it in April 2020. The authors of the article – who did research into the benefits of M-Pesa for the poor – hope that the new owners will not transform it into a tool for more affluent users – an app for smartphones was launched in 2021, but only 25% of M-Pesa clients own a smartphone.

Kenya: Twitter influencers “have been paid to alter the debate around (…) the Pandora Papers”, the family of President Kenyatta having been found to secretly own offshore companies. Criticism was quickly superseded by “an alternative sentiment” in support of the president and his offshore activities. ”Some of the tweets promoting this alternative sentiment included outright lies. But other tweets were more nuanced: technically true, but clearly inauthentic and coordinated to feign public support.”
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 13:15

Congo-Kinshasa: The state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces has been extended for the 11th time.
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 7:08

Congo-Kinshasa: The World Health Organisation has confirmed a new outbreak – 8 cases, 6 of them fatal – of Ebola in North Kivu province. 573 contacts have been identified.
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 5:26

Sudan: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – considered supporters of the Sudanese military leaders – have joined the US on Wednesday in calling for a reversal of the Sudanese coup, the release of all detained, the end of the state of emergency and the reinstatement of the civilian-led government and institutions.
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 4:41

Nigeria: After 7 years of closure for security reasons, the Borno state Governor has reopened the Bama-Banki road that connects Borno to the Central African Republic via Cameroon.
BBC Africa Live 04 November 2021. 12:32

03 November 2021

eSwatini: With close to 30 people dead at recent protests and after meeting Cyril Ramaphosa, King Mswati has agreed to establishing a national dialogue forum.
BBC Africa Live 03 November 2021. 4:35

HIV-Aids: Reporting “a decrease in people receiving prevention, a decrease in people testing, and increasing numbers (of) people falling out of treatments”, UN Aids agency believes that HIV infections and Aids-related deaths could spike in Central and West Africa as a consequence of the Covid pandemic.
BBC Africa Live 03 November 2021. 13:27

Covid-19: Africa Data Hub had produced an interactive map for tracking the evolution and progress of COVID-19 across the continent, and in individual countries.

Ethiopia: A joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Human Rights Office has found extra-judicial executions, torture, rape, and attacks against refugees and displaced people – all sides in the Tigray conflict have violated international human rights, some may amount to crimes against humanity. The Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy said his government “was ‘heartened’ that the investigation did not establish the claim of genocide against Tigrayans and did not give any evidence that the government had wilfully denied humanitarian assistance to people in Tigray”.
In the meantime, the US embassy in Addis has advised US nationals to ‘consider making preparations to leave the country’ and warns them against travelling outside Addis.
BBC Africa Live 03 November 2021. 8h41
BBC Africa Live 03 November 2021. 10:59

Egypt: The President has instructed the government to start transferring to the New Administrative Capital 45km east of Cairo as a part of a 6-month trial. Eventually, the New Administrative Capital is to decongest Cairo and provide living space for 6 million people.
BBC Africa Live 03 November 2021. 15:39