03 July 2021

China/Africa: Relations between Africa and China are usually framed as if China was just a new imperialist come to exploit the continent, with Africa falling victim to the Dragon. Yet there is a history to these relations that was very different: during the Cold War, there was cooperation (Afro-Asianism) against neo-colonialism, especially inside the nonaligned movement. Also, bilateral relations go further back than that – less in focus, because not across the Atlantic but across the Indian Ocean –, like a small Chinese community established in South Africa over a century ago.

Architecture/Kenya: On the banks of Lake Turkana, Kéré Architecture has built a polytechnic training campus which will provide education and job training for 200 young Kenyans. The design includes “three terracotta-coloured ventilation towers that took their inspiration from termite colonies”. Look at the article’s pictures.

01 July 2021

Central African Republic: This article was written just before the visit of a field mission of the AU’s Peace and Security Council which was meant to look into the situation since the armed Coalition Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC), now led by former president Bozizé, tried to seize power in Bangui in January 2021. The 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR (APPR) is seen by the government and its multilateral partners as the only possible framework for progress, but the APPR needs to be revitalized. Civilians will need to be “protected and not targeted by the warring parties, including the CAR government and its allies. An inclusive and constructive dialogue” will also be necessary. With all this, the Russia-France conflict is making things yet more difficult.

South Africa: Zuma has no cause. He just tried to evade the law. The Constitutional Court has now caught up with him. The article explains how & why.

Morocco: Omar “Radi, who has written about corruption among senior civil servants and police violation of human rights, is accused by the Moroccan authorities of espionage and rape.” Now his Belgian lawyer has been detained upon arrival at Casablanca airport and flown back to Belgium without having being able to see his client. According to the authorities, the lawyer was expelled “because of his ‘hostility’ towards Morocco and his ‘biased’ reports ‘aimed at damaging the reputation of the country’.” According to human rights organisations, Radi’s case is politically motivated, they call for the immediate release of the detainee who “has been on hunger strike for 83 days to protest his innocence”.
BBC Africa Live 01 July 2021. 15:08

Apology for slave trade: About 500,000 enslaved Africans are estimated to have been transported by Dutch traders to the Americas between the 16th and the 19th centuries. An independent panel set up by the Dutch government in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder in the USA said that “the Netherlands should apologise for its role in the transatlantic slave trade and recognise it as a crime against humanity.” Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister, had beforehand stated he would not apologise “because it was not his place to pass judgement on Dutch history”.
BBC Africa Live 01 July 2021. 15:05