22 March 2023

Ghana: Five members of prohibited Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) have been sentenced to 5 years in prison and hard labour. In 2020, they had attacked a police station, freed inmates, and blocked roads into the eastern Volta Region which they want to secede from Ghana.
BBC Africa Live 22 March 2023. 6:57

Aquifers: There is lots of water in Africa stored in underground earth formations – aquifers. “Groundwater is part of the solution to water scarcity, but not the entire solution.” Challenges in using it include distance from where it is needed, quality, not all water being good for drinking, overpumping, which may exhaust underground water reserves. So, even though useful, “aquifers aren’t a silver bullet”.

Kenya: In drylands, drought is part of normal life. Climate change and population pressure are making things harder. While top-down projects trying to improve resilience have mostly failed, what will work better is building “resilience from below, drawing on local practices and networks”. Because “herders have a long-established repertoire of drought responses” combining “livestock movement, sharing and distribution of animals through loans, splitting herds and flocks, supplementary feeding and watering, careful herding, negotiating access to farmland or conservation areas, shifting species compositions, selective marketing of animals, and diversification to other income sources to support the herd or flock.”

Ghana: By means of 30 in-depth interviews and a focus group in Offinso in southern Ghana, the research reported in this article explored the effects of climate change on farmers. Importantly, with rains having become unpredictable, Nnoboa – a system of communal labour where labour is exchange, farmers help each other thus building social bonds – is becoming hard to organise.

Zimbabwe: Civil servants are to get 100% more pay, from 1st of March onwards for those in the security sector and from 1st of April for all others. Surprising – “(i)n 2020, the Zimbabwean government said it could not afford to increase salaries during a doctors' strike that lasted more than four months, paralysing the country's healthcare sector.”
BBC Africa Live 22 March 2023. 9:19

21 March 2023

Namibia: Activists have said they’ll go ahead with protests against unemployment today Tuesday – which is the 33rd anniversary of the country’s independence – despite a police ban. Michael Amushelelo of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters “said Namibia would celebrate 33 years of ‘high unemployment, high poverty, corrupt governance, looting and mismanagement of the country’.”
BBC Africa Live 21 March 2023. 6:42

Senegal: Will Macky Sall try to hold on to power beyond the two terms allowed by the constitution? In an interview he said it would not be unconstitutional for him to try for a third term. Political tensions already run high in the country, the government trying to instrumentalise courts to get rid of prominent figures of the opposition.
BBC Africa Live 21 March 2023. 4:33

African Union/LGBTQ+: The African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights – “an independent expert body within the African Union (AU) framework” – has recently refused observer status to three NGOs reasoning that “‘sexual orientation’ was not an ‘expressly recognised right’ in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights” and “that protecting and promoting sexual and gender minority rights was ‘contrary to the virtues of African values’.” This is not the first time the sexual orientation issue has come up with the Commission – in 2018, upon instruction of the AU executive council, it withdrew the observer status of the South African-based Coalition of African Lesbians, the executive council arguing that the Coalition tried “to impose values contrary to African values”. The article’s author explains why the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights, with its decision, “is on shaky ground”.

Malawi: By the latest count, tropical storm Freddy has killed 499, injured 1,332, displaced 508,244. 427 are still missing. All this mostly in ten districts in the country’s south. More than 500 camps have been set up by the government.
BBC Africa Live 21 March 2023. 8:43