6 May 2021

Covid vaccine patent waiver: That the US support a temporary patent waiver is welcome but not enough. Others must join in. And even if they do, it’ll take time to become effective. In Africa, only South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria could manufacture vaccines. So far only 1% of Africans have been vaccinated.
BBC Africa Live 06 May 2021. 16:52

Ethiopia: After a cabinet resolution on 1 May, the lower house of parliament has designated the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLF-Shene) as “terrorist organisations”.
BBC Africa Live 06 May 2021. 8:48

Nigeria: The remaining 27 students kidnapped from a Kaduna forestry college have been released yesterday 5 May (the others having been freed in April). Prominent Islamic cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi and former President Olusegun are said to have been involved in negotiations for the release of the students.
BBC Africa Live 06 May 2021. 6:13

5 May 2021

South Africa: The ANC has suspended its secretary general Ace Magashule. Tens of millions of dollars are thought to have disappeared around a tender to audit homes with asbestos roofs when ha was premier of Free State province. Magashule “denies charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering”.
BBC Africa Live 05 May 2021. 17:05

Zimbabwe: A contentious amendment to the constitution “gives the president powers to appoint judges and remove(s) the requirement of a running mate in presidential elections”. The women’s quota system is also extended “which provides for the appointment of 60 additional non-constituency female members of parliament” (no further details given). Under the amendment, 10 seats are provided for youths.
BBC Africa Live 05 May 2021. 16:07

Seychelles: In the country that is world champion in anti-Covid-vaccination (85% of the population, mostly with Sinopharm), there is a surge in Covid infections, so schools will close, sports and social events are forbidden, non-essential workers will work from home and a curfew is introduced.
BBC Africa Live 05 May 2021. 11:13

Chad: Military coups like the one in Chad that are intended to be transitional may instead turn out to be a risk for democracy in the longer term. There may be a short term need to maintain security. But the military may not be the best partner to build democratic governance. See Mali in August 2020. See Zimbabwe. See Sudan. See Egypt.

Zambia: According to the Varieties of Democracy Project, Zambia’s democracy is eroding fast. With elections coming up within four months, observers are not optimistic. Their concern starts with voters’ roll – the new roll looks like it is packed with ruling party voters. Concerns also turn to ethno-politics: the tradition of regional balancing in key government appointments has all but been given up and the government blatantly favours the north (Bemba-speakers) and the east (Nyanja-speakers), while forgetting about west (Lozi-speakers) and south (Tonga-speakers). Furthermore, the government has used COVID restrictions to curtail the opposition’s ability to campaign. Arrests for insulting/defaming the president have increased. The space for dissent and the space for media and non-governmental organisations has been substantially reduced. Fair elections seem to be totally out of reach.