29 June 2021

Kenya: A railway line connecting Mombasa (on the Indian Ocean) with Malaba (on the border with Uganda) is one of Kenya’s biggest infrastructure investments ever. The author(et al.)’s study of the two finished parts of that line (the third is still under construction) found that “the construction and operation of the railways has degraded, fragmented and destroyed key ecosystems. It increased soil erosion, land degradation, flooding and habitat destruction. It also affected water bodies and wildlife movement.“ The article gives many concrete examples.

Fossil fuels: Fossil fuels still look like the cheap way to obtain development. Globally, “contraction and convergence” may be the only way to mitigate both climate change and poverty: The rich are to reduce emissions while poor countries can at first continue increasing their emissions. Once out of poverty, the no longer poor nations would have to reduce emissions also. Besides a world map with per capita CO2 emission, the article contains a chart showing cumulative CO2 emissions by world region from 1750 to the present day.

Eswatini: Protesters defying the government ban on all demonstrations have been demanding major constitutional reforms over the weekend, clashing with the police. “There were unconfirmed reports that King Mswati may have fled the country as the protests intensified.”
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2021. 4:34

South Africa: The constitutional court has sentenced Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison. It “didn’t simply find him in contempt, but spelled out the many ways in which South Africa’s former president had lied, sought to mislead the public, and ultimately tried to ‘destroy the rule of law’.”
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2021. 9:09 and also BBC Africa Live 29 June 2021. 11:31

Ghana: When Ibrahim Muhammed, a popular social media activist critical of the government, attacked on Saturday by a mob (because of being critical?) and deceased on Monday, was to be buried, protesters gathered. Clashes with security forces left two youths dead in Ejura (Ashanti region).
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2021. 17:06

Nigeria: On Sunday, Nnadmdi Kanu, the leader of separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) was arrested by Interpol and “repatriated” to Nigeria. He had “fled the country in 2017 and is facing charges of treasonable felony”.
BBC Africa Live 29 June 2021. 14:00

28 June 2021

Nigeria: Islamic State of West Africa Province (Iswap) and Boko Haram are reported to have merged. A video has shown fighters from the two organisations pledging their loyalty to a new commander.
BBC Africa Live 28 June 2021. 11:54

Nigeria: This TheConversation article gives a brief overview over Yoruba history. It is also a summary by the author of his book Akinwumi Ogundiran, The Yoruba: A New History, Indiana University Press 2020, 562 pages. From 300 before our era to the present day.

Nigeria: The country’s poverty situation “is grim and embarrassing” seen its endowment with resources. To fight poverty, the focus should be more on promoting structural transformation than on cash transfers. The article also discusses different concepts of poverty. Nothing really new.

Zambia: According to Amnesty International, there has been “an increasingly brutal crackdown on human rights, characterised by brazen attacks on any form of dissent” over the past five years. Unlawful and lethal force is part of intimidation against all those who dare to criticize Edgar Lungu’s regime. Amnesty International has appealed to the authorities “to respect human rights ahead and after the August elections”.
BBC Africa Live 28 June 2021. 13:20