14 April 2021

Nigeria: On the evening of the first day of Ramadan, Boko Haram has attacked Damasak – “a humanitarian hub” – in the very north of Borno state in north-east Nigeria. Police headquarters, schools, shops and homes were ransacked. No information yet on casualties.
BBC Africa Live 14 April 2021. 16:37

Cameroon: According to Human Rights Watch, there has been a wave of arbitrary arrests – 24 since February – of people for being LGTB+.
BBC Africa Live 14 April 2021. 13:14

Rwanda: A rare weather phenomenon called a “watersprout” has been seen in Rwanda: a whirlwind sucking up water from Lake Ruhondo See https://twitter.com/MeteoRwanda/status/1381968791920279557 for four pictures.
BBC Africa Live 14 April 2021. 11:02

13 April 2021

Congo-Kinshasa: Based on their research in South Kivu province in the country’s east – where artisanal mining is the second most important source of livelihood after agriculture –, the authors demonstrate how small-scale mining is handicapped by the government policy’s prioritisation of large miners/foreign direct investment. “Roughly one quarter of the global gold, tin and tantalum supply is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners. In 2019, there were an estimated 10 million people working in the sector across sub-Saharan Africa.” Yet the most valuable and strategically important deposits are left to the transnational companies, so that only the more marginal and less productive areas are left to the artisanal miners. Still, hundreds of thousands of small miners in South Kivu manage to extract an estimated 4,800 kg of gold every year – worth about USD265 million in 2020. This represents more than 10% of the entire country’s annual gold production estimated at USD2bn.

Somalia/Climate change/Conflict: There are “multiple pathways through which climate-related change interacts with political, social and environmental stresses to worsen existing vulnerabilities and tensions.” Resulting conflicts can be between herders and agriculturalists or between different Somali communities. Al-Shabaab has often capitalised on resulting insecurity.
The most recent report by the Somali government on climate change is from 2013. The report estimated that temperatures would increase by between 3.2°C and 4.3°C by the end of the 21st century. “In 2019, 53,000 people were forced from their homes due to crop failure and reduced livestock profitability due to drought. They joined an estimated 2.6 million Somalis already displaced by other factors like conflict.” Something thus needs to be done about adapting to climate change…

Burundi: Lake Tanganyika’s waters have risen to unprecedented levels. A main road in Bujumbura had to be closed and waterfront business has suffered heavily. Apparently – according to a local expert –, the lake’s water level “rises every 50 years or so. The last time it did was in 1964. The expert said the rise was partly down to heavy rains and climate change.”
BBC Africa Live 13 April 2021. 12:01