10 July 2021

Angola: A single mark on a single ballot paper is how Angolans vote for their president, deputy president and members of parliament all in one go. In fact they vote for parties that have established lists and the person top of the list of the winning party becomes President, the person second on the same list becomes vice-president. This has several disadvantages, first of all that voters cannot split their votes for presidency and parliament. Also, since they vote for party lists and not individuals, there is a problem of personal accountability of members of parliament. According to the article’s author, the electoral system thus needs to be reformed.

Men & unpaid care work: The part taken of unpaid care work taken on by men clearly needs to increase. This is underlined by the recent report “State of the World’s Fathers 2021: Structural Solutions to Achieve Equality in Care Work”. The article lists the seven actions that can help increase fathers’ share in care work. One of them is providing “equal, job-protected, fully paid parental leave for all parents”. There is some good news from South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania – but a lot more needs to be done.

Development: Top-down development may be harmful seen from below. The article gives a couple of examples. Roads may fragment communal rangelands and turn these lands into contested resources for private use, harming pastoralists. Wildlife conservation often causes conflict with local communities. People’s voices ought to be heard and to be incorporated into planning and action.

Ecology: Knowledge production also needs decolonisation. Look, for example, at how many birds (plants, animals and towns) are named after European surnames: the further you get away from Europe, the more. To decolonise ecology, the article’s three authors suggest five shifts: “decolonising minds; understanding histories; improving access to knowledge; recognising expertise; and working in inclusive teams”.

09 July 2021

Nigeria: Women, young girls, children – especially those living in rural areas – are the worst affected by the country’s poor health services. Almost 20% of global maternal deaths occur in Nigeria. The article provides a long list of reasons for this. Part of the solution: “if all unmet needs for modern contraception were met, it would prevent 1.9 million unintended pregnancies, 685,000 unplanned births, 1.01 million unsafe abortions in Nigeria, 42,000 maternal deaths and 217,000 infant deaths per annum.”

Mozambique/Rwanda: In reinforcement of Mozambique and SADC forces, Rwanda has today Friday started deploying 1,000 troops to Cabo Delgado in Mozambique’s north to help against terrorists there.
BBC Africa Live 09 July 2021. 11:57

South Sudan: The country is celebrating its 10th anniversary. But, since independence, “not everything has gone quite according to plan”. A 12’ BBC radio broadcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09nvhjt
BBC Africa Live 09 July 2021. 11:20

South Africa: The suspension of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has been maintained by the country’s high court. The suspension was the result of allegations of involvement in corrupt activities.
BBC Africa Live 09 July 2021. 10:41

South Africa: Jacob Zuma will have to remain in jail, having lost his bid to block his arrest. Nevertheless, on Monday Zuma’s case is going to be back in the constitution court “when judges will consider whether to rescind or reduce the sentence.”
BBC Africa Live 09 July 2021. 10:08