23 July 2021

Brain drain: “A higher salary, access to education, stable political conditions, improved standards of living, increased perceived quality of life, and greater personal safety” cause doctors to leave home and work elsewhere – often in the country that had once colonized theirs. The article’s author and colleagues estimate that deaths that would not have happened if it were not for brain drain cost source countries between US$3.5bn and US$38bn a year – brain drain functions like a tax on poor countries. India, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa are the most concerned because they export the biggest numbers of doctors. With the Covid pandemic, doctor-brain drain has intensified.

South Africa: The country’s democratic system “survived the assault (of the recent riots). Whether this test strengthens it depends on whether the issues which caused the violence are addressed.” The assault came from the elites, it was by no means a popular uprising of the frustrated poor. The article’s author has some ideas about who was behind the assault. Not only the State has arms. And besides these people under arms, there are local networks that are deep-rooted and have no interest in others fighting corruption. “The violence wreaked its damage because South Africa’s journey to democracy remains incomplete.”

Sierra Leone: The country’s parliament has abolished the capital punishment. Though 39 death sentences were handed down in Sierra Leone in 2020, no-one had been executed since 1998. By end 2020, despite many death sentences having been commuted, 94 people were still on death row. Sierra Leone is the 23rd African country to have abolished capital punishment.
BBC Africa Live 23 July 2021. 16:45

Ghana: Ghanaian MPs have submitted a draft bill to the speaker of parliament “which, among other things, proposes a 10-year jail term for people who promote LGBT+ activities through mainstream or social media” and “individuals who engage in non-heterosexual sex could face a fine or a prison term of up to three years.” The bill is likely to be adopted, maybe with amendments.
BBC Africa Live 23 July 2021. 15:42

Congo-Kinshasa: 16 – including 6 women and 1 child – have been killed in Oicha, Nord-Kivu, most probably by members of the Allied Democratic Forces, one of the militias operating there. “The group is accused of having killed hundreds of civilians since the Congolese army launched an operation against them last year.”
BBC Africa Live 23 July 2021. 8:50

Mozambique: Rwandan soldiers recently arrived in Mozambique are reported to have killed at least 30 terrorists at a forest near Palma.
BBC Africa Live 23 July 2021. 6:15

22 July 2021

South Africa: Zuma in prison is a huge victory. Looting out of pity for the victimised former president? No, “hungry people do not become violent looters on behalf of better-known looters who are in jail. They may well be available for mobilisation (looting, violence, marching) behind the organisers – but it is the organisers that need to be brought to book, and who must also face the rule of law.”

South Africa: The number of dead has risen to 337 today Thursday, up from 276 yesterday, with people dying from their injuries. According to the Minister in the Presidency, 213 murder cases are being investigated in connection with the riots.
BBC Africa Live 22 July 2021. 15:41

Mozambique: Secrecy surrounds the deployment of Rwandan troops in Mozambican as it did for mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group and the South African-based Dyck Advisory Group in the past. Parliament, for one, was not informed. Neither SADC (the regional body that is yet to send its troops) nor the Renamo opposition are happy with the Rwandan deployment. The government has always been reluctant to let SADC intervene. Not sure that locals will support the Rwandan soldiers…

Cameroon: In the Far North region (the country’s poorest and most remote), since Shekau’s death, security forces instead of civilians have been targeted by terrorist attacks – this could reflect ISWAP’s consolidating its power and presence; it corresponds to “ISWAP’s approach of targeting military bases and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) coalition troops rather than civilians” because “(a)llowing civilians to pursue their livelihood activities and then taxing these activities is a pillar of the Islamic State’s strategy”. Yaounde should do something fast or the State risks being “replaced” by ISWAP.

Cameroon: 50 Boko Haram fighters surrendering to Cameroonian authorities bring the number of surrenders to 183 over the last two months in the Far North province, i.e. since the death of Abubakar Shekau.
BBC Africa Live 22 July 2021. 16:46

Angola: Millions are close to starvation in the south of the country which is in its third year of drought.
BBC Africa Live 22 July 2021. 10:10

Ethiopia: According to a “senior rebel commander – I suppose of the Tigrayan “rebels” –, Tigrayan forces have won “a major victory” in Afar region. No independent confirmation is available. “An Afar official said more than 50,000 people had been displaced by rebel attacks.”
BBC Africa Live 22 July 2021. 17:02