12 April 2021

Eritrea: A 2002 law forbids all churches except the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran denominations and people have been jailed, many for years on the basis of that law. In September 2020, Eritrea started to release prisoners arrested for their faith. 22 have been release at end March, another 35 today. Pentecostal and Evangelical Christians are suspected of being instruments of foreign governments.
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 7:14

Somalia: Poor weather (extreme weather, below average rainfall) and locusts make the nutritional situation of millions of Somalis even worse. “Save the Children says crop and vegetable production is expected to drop by up to 80% this season. Income from livestock sales, a mainstay of the Somali economy, is projected to fall by up to 55%.”
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 5:41

South Africa/GBV at school: A study in an urban high school in underprivileged surroundings in South Africa interviewed 15 to 17 year old students. The article gives an overview of the findings, first of all of the concrete forms of violence that girls experience and reactions to them, then about more general findings, amongst others: “Often intervention strategies in South African schools rely on psychological interventions as if something is inherently wrong with the child. They don’t see violence as rooted in both individual and broader social and economic conditions in which children are located.” Finally the article makes recommendations how to end or reduce gender-based violence (GBV) at school.

The Age of Happiness: “If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Despite youth being idealised, the most popular answer was 36 – at least amongst middle-class Americans, many of them white. Despite the challenges and all the stress, the rewards of “established adulthood” make this many interviewees’ favourite period in life.

Somalia: Sadaq Omar Hassan aka Sadaq John, the Mogadishu police commander stopped parliament from holding a session on elections that have been delayed for several months. Immediately afterwards, he was sacked by the country’s police chief General Abdi Hijar.
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 12:04

Somalia: The Lower House of Parliament have extended Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s presidency by two years. The Upper House now also has to approve it. The opposition and some regional state leaders have rejected the bill.
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 17:41

Nigeria: South-eastern Nigeria’s State governors will put in place a joint force “Ebube Agu” (“Incredible Tigers” in Igbo) to fight more effectively against insecurity. This looks like a reaction to the attack on a prison in Owerri in Imo State and the resulting jailbreak of nearly 2.000 inmates plus the death of more than 16 policemen a week ago, an attach thought to be the work of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob). On top of that, “(i)n recent weeks, unidentified gunmen have targeted police stations, killing policemen and carting away arms and ammunitions.”
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 15:03

Ghana/Africa’s Twitter HQ: Twitter has announced on Twitter that its Africa headquarters will be in Ghana. According to Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey, “Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area ‘aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.’” So geographics matter in the world of virtuality?
BBC Africa Live 12 April 2021. 16:42

11 April 2021

Ghana/Cocoa: The industry is worth 107bn USD, but only 2bn USD of that accrue to the cocoa producers. According to the country’s president, “there can be no future prosperity for the Ghanaian people” if that’s how things will continue to be. Exporting less of the harvest in the form of beans, processing them instead, producing chocolate would be the idea. But there are many pitfalls along that road…