27 March 2023

Kenya: To help authorities against an unruly opposition, the Interior ministry has proposed a law that will make protests more difficult. Maximum number of protesters, obligation to seek prior consent from people affected by the protests, cleaning up to be paid by protesters, limitation of areas where protests can be held… Doesn’t this go against the constitutional right to assemble and demonstrate?
BBC Africa Live 27 March 2023. 6:35

Sudan: As part of the December agreement between the junta and parts of civil society – agreement to be formally signed in two weeks’ time – to transit to democratic rule, talks have started to bring Hemetti’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under army control.
BBC Africa Live 27 March 2023. 5:04

World Bank: Following protests and realising that WB-funded projects could be socially and environmentally harmful, the World Bank Inspection Panel was set up in 1993. The article argues that despite significant limitations, the Panel’s “impact on development and the international development financing institutions has been profound”. Other development banks and institutions have in the meantime established similar mechanisms. Furthermore, “the principle that international financial organisations must be accountable for their own actions to the communities whose lives are affected by the projects and policies they finance” has, says the author, been firmly established. But submitting cases to the panel is by no means easy and mostly requires the help of experts. Complainants often face retaliation from (powerful) project supporters inside their own countries. On top of all that, compensation for those harmed is by no means automatic, it seems to be rather an exception than the rule. Profound impact of the panel?

Women, climate change, water scarcity: Unsurprisingly, in Ilaje (Ondo state/south west of the country) like elsewhere, women are the first concerned by water scarcity – made worse by climate change. The article suggests truly far-reaching measures to be undertaken to improve this, from education and empowerment of girls and women and involving women in water management and decision-making to fighting violence against women.

GB/Refugees/Rwanda: Britain’s outsourcing of its “asylum policy directly mimics Australia’s so-called ‘Pacific Solution’,” where small Pacific Island states like Nauru are paid to process refugees for the big and rich neighbour. The article’s author shares her long experience of Nauru and its “toxic environment” which “sends people mad”. London’s contract with Rwanda is by no means unique – EU countries have concluded similar agreements in “eastern Europe, Turkey, north and East Africa, and Central Asia”. Israel from 2014 to 2017 had one with Rwanda – which quickly failed. “The US has experimented with several of what are termed extra-territorial asylum processing schemes”, e.g., in Guantanamo in the 1990s and elsewhere in Central America; and, of late, in Santa Elena in Guatemala, with the country “visibly promoting itself as an asylum destination”. Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama are also all “steadily developing the capacity to receive and support asylum claims”. But migrants aren’t interested, they want the US.

USA/Anti-Terrorism Funding: During her visit to Ghana, US vice president Kamala Harris has promised 100m USD for fighting jihadism. Besides Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo are to benefit.
BBC Africa Live 27 March 2023. 16:55

26 March 2023

USA/Africa: After the secretary of state, the treasury secretary and the first lady, it is now vice-president Kamala Harris’s turn to go on an Africa tour. But will, as the BBC article’s title asks, the “US charm offensive woo (the) continent from China?” Nine days in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia lie before her. Is there a new scramble for Africa?