06 August 2021

South Africa: The country’s communist party in 2021 celebrates its centenary. The article is a short summary of the author’s book “Red Road to Freedom: A History of the South African Communist Party 1921-2021” and gives an overview of what the party has achieved and how it was important in the past (it had, for example, a pioneering role in bringing women into leadership) – and till the present day, where we find it “in a tripartite governing alliance with the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the labour federation”, though the party has not been able to do much against the neo-liberal leanings of successive governments.

Nigeria: “Teaching of history should be compulsory from primary to tertiary education levels”. In 2009, the government removed history from the school curriculum. Over a decade later, it has reversed the decision: from the 2020/21 academic year onward, history is to be taught as a standalone subject. The article gives some reasons why historical knowledge is important.

Sudan: Six members of paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been sentenced to death for the killing of six protesters (including four schoolchildren) against fuel and food shortages in 2019 – they had “used unnecessary and excessive force”.
BBC Africa Live 06 August 2021. 12:40

Burkina Faso: In the country’s north, 30 people have been killed in Islamist militants’ attacks on villages close to the border with Niger.
BBC Africa Live 06 August 2021. 11:44

05 August 2021

South Africa: How could the country move forward? The dominant discourse, pro-growth on the surface, is too pro-business and too little inclusive – tolerance for inequality seems to be lessening (it was high at first after 1994), so equilibrating redistribution, reform seems necessary. Right now, about half of the population is chronically poor while the affluent elite at the top comprises a bit more than 3% of the population, and there are 20% in an economic middle class. There are also “a ‘vulnerable 15%’ that hover on the edge of the middle class, plus a ‘transient’ 12% that move in and out of poverty.” With trade unions nowadays representing white-collar public sector employees, thus the middle classes (and no longer blue-collar workers), barriers to upward mobility are strong – what is urgently needed is better opportunities for upward mobility by the vulnerable/transient” groups, as “(t)his would also bring hope of a better life to the populace more broadly”. The article’s author goes on to give recommendations for the public sector and, on the other hand, for civil society.

Mozambique: “(C)ertain types of terrorism”, he says, have been ended by negotiations; Joaquim Chissano, the country’s president from 1986 to 2005, calls for dialogue with the Cabo Delgado terrorists. “The current president, Filipe Nyusi, has expressed willingness to negotiate with the armed groups but has complained that the insurgents do not appear to have a leadership to talk to.”
BBC Africa Live 05 August 2021. 8:33

Nigeria: The customs department has seized 18 tonnes of pangolin scales, almost 1 tonne of elephant tusks and other “wild animal parts” worth USD 54m in Lekki area of Lagos. Most probably, the ware had come from the Central African Republic and was destined for South-east Asia.
BBC Africa Live 05 August 2021. 7:56

Mozambique: Largest opposition party Renamo requests parliament to urgently legalise the entry of foreign troops in Cabo Delgado. “The party argues that the introduction of foreign troops into the country did not follow the constitution and thus it should be ‘normalised and legalised as soon as possible’.”
BBC Africa Live 05 August 2021. 3916:39

Nigeria: According to Amnesty International, dozens of people have been killed by security forces in their crackdown against separatist groups in the country’s south-east. Amnesty calls for an impartial enquiry into the “ruthless excessive force by the Nigerian police and army” and for fair trials for all those accused of violence.
BBC Africa Live 05 August 2021. 15:39