06 July 2021

Agriculture: In colonial times, farmers were forced to grow export commodities and had no choice but to neglect food crops. Before, agricultural systems adapted to local conditions had managed the “biophysical challenges”. “These systems were initially responsive to external influences brought by the Europeans” and could, for example, accommodate demand for cotton, groundnuts and palm oil nuts from the Europeans. But this changed when the system was entirely reoriented towards the outsiders’ needs. With “self-organisation, based on local feedback mechanisms”, durably eliminated, and export-orientation maintained post-independence, the colonial legacy still weighs heavily on agriculture (and its productivity) today.

Egypt/Ethiopia: Egypt says it has been notified by Ethiopia of the latter’s filling the Renaissance dam for a second year. Egypt rejects the “unilateral” move and has written to the UN Security Council which is due to discuss the matter on Thursday.
BBC Africa Live 06 July 2021. 4:33

Ethiopia: The Tigray “rebels” are reported to be mobilising for fighting the Amhara militias that had supported the federal army in the conflict.
BBC Africa Live 06 July 2021. 8:45

South Africa: In Gauteng province, jacarandas (invasive aliens introduced to Pretoria and Johannesburg in the early 1800s) used to flower in mid-November in the 1920s and 1930s. Then it became October and now they flower in September. This is due to climate change and it is called a “phenological shift” in biometeorology. But this shift cannot go on forever and eventually, the trees may succumb to heat stress.

Eswatini: Even though calm has returned, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says it is deeply concerned, having “received allegations of disproportionate and unnecessary use of force, harassment and intimidation by security forces in suppressing last week's protests, including the use of live ammunition by police”. It calls for an investigation and for “long-term dialogue” to address people’s concerns.
BBC Africa Live 06 July 2021. 10:55

Ghana: Thousands, many of them members of the opposition National Democratic Congress, have taken to the streets in Accra to protest against the government’s lack of action about recent killings. Vigilante forces on the side of the ruling party are amongst the accused.
BBC Africa Live 06 July 2021. 13:40

05 July 2021

Nigeria: The toxic constituents of electronic wastes, when set ablaze, release toxic fumes into the atmosphere and contaminate underground drinking water. This is a serious health problem. “(S)pontaneous abortion and cancer were reported by women working in and living close to the two largest electronic markets in Lagos”. There is no official recycling activity nor effective management policy. That needs to change.

Nigeria: No end in sight to the kidnappings. Another 140 schoolchildren are reported to have been kidnapped near Kaduna City today Monday from Bethel Baptist School. This comes after Sunday morning’s kidnapping of at least 8 people (a 12-month-old child and two nurses amongst them) from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre in Zaria, also in Kaduna State.

South Sudan: One and a half years late, the council of states (the upper house of parliament) has been reconstituted in an enlarged form. But what is it for? Is it only about getting people into well-paid government positions?
BBC Africa Live 05 July 2021. 11:19

Ethiopia: Reading this little article, it looks like the federal government or the Prime minister is refusing to face reality in Tigray – if you believe Abiy Ahmed, the ceasefire and withdrawal had been prepared for a month, weapons taken from the northern command had been seized back and Tigray’s junta had been brought before the law. Nothing about defeat against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
BBC Africa Live 05 July 2021. 10:40

Eswatini: Life seems to be slowly returning to normal after pro-democracy protests with “dozens of people (…) killed by government forces” according to civil society groups.
BBC Africa Live 05 July 2021. 13:24