01 October 2021

Food price hikes in Africa: “(T)he global spike in food prices of 2007/8 (…) triggered upheavals in over 30 countries, including 14 in Africa”. Since the onset of the pandemic, the situation more and more resembles that of 2007/08, with the FAO’s Food Price Index rising from 95.8 to 127.4 between August 2020 and August 2021. Are we in for another wave of unrest?

A whole day’s The Conversation articles on Nigeria: https://theconversationafrica.cmail19.com/t/ViewEmail/r/B04BC794A4D71F1D2540EF23F30FEDED/084D13362212457838A555EB6E97B45B

Covid & the informal sector: The authors’ research (done on Facebook) in Burkina, Mali and Senegal shows that workers of the informal sector suffered more from the pandemic. Amongst informal workers, 48% lost their job in Burkina Faso (only 4% in the formal sector), 34% in Mali (against 8% in the formal sector) and 42% in Senegal (against 8% in the formal sector). A decreased in earnings also concerned informal workers much more: 65% reported such decreases in Burkina Faso, 76% in Mali, and 73% in Senegal.

Western Sahara: Enormous quantities of sand are being illegally exported from the Western Sahara to cater for the Canary Island tourist industry: at least 750 000 tonnes between 2012 and 2017 and 191 000 tonnes from October 2019 to December 2020. The benefits of this trade accrue mainly to Moroccan authorities and companies. While the Canarian tourist industry benefits from the low prices.

30 September 2021

HIV-AIDS/Covid: The Covid pandemic is threatening/has reversed already achieved progress against HIV-AIDS and is worsening inequality. According to UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, “(b)oth COVID-19 and HIV are feeding off inequalities: women whose rights are not respected; women who do not have economic security or access to the most basic health or education services. These are the people that pay the heaviest price of our inaction on inequality. They pay the price in insecurity, in poverty, in sickness, and too often in death.” Amongst adolescents, more than 80% newly acquiring HIV are girls – because they do not have the power to define the circumstances of having sex. And while the risk of acquiring HIV is reduced by half for girls completing secondary education (and even more by a complementary package in rights and services), it is sectors like education and girls’ empowerment which are suffering budget cuts because of the financial consequences of the COVID pandemic.