24 February 2021

Niger: According to the electoral commission, the ruling party’s candidate, Mohamed Bazoum, a former foreign and interior minister, has won the second round of presidential elections with more than 55% of votes. Some supporters of opposition candidate Mahamane Ousmane do not accept the results and they have clashed with police after tyres were burnt and a campaign vehicle of the ruling party was set on fire.
BBC Africa Live 23 February 2021. 17:01 resp. 17:24

Italo-African fashion: Five Italian designers of African origin - Fabiola Manirakiza originally from Burundi, Claudia Gisele Ntsama from Cameroon, Mokodu Fall from Senegal, Joy Meribe of Nigeria and Karim Daoudi from Morocco – have opened the Milan Fashion Week.
BBC Africa Live 24 February 2021. 16:51

23 February 2021

Mozambique: Daviz Simango, mayor of Beira and leader of the country’s third largest (behind Frelimo and Renamo) party MDM (Mozambique Democratic Movement) has died, most probably of Covid-19. He’d been taken to South Africa for treatment.
BBC Africa Live 22 February 2021. 17:27

Racism et al. in Europe: Despite the European Parliament’s passing a “Resolution on the Fundamental Rights of People of African Descent” in 2019 and an “ambitious” anti-racism action plan for 2020-2025, “the EU has some way to go to fully recognise, let alone address, the structural legacies of colonialism”.
Sweden comes first in the “Good Country Index” (https://index.goodcountry.org/) and doesn’t have much of a colonial past (with the exception of the Saami), yet Sweden has recently opposed the implementation of the Durban Declaration (adopted 20 years ago), “the world’s most comprehensive human rights instrument against racial discrimination”. And that is just one example.

Mining & its continued harming of the environment: The Conversation article is a summary of the two authors’ “The evolving techniques of the social engineering of extraction: Introducing political (re)actions ‘from above’ in large-scale mining and energy projects”. To minimise resistance against projects harmful to people or to the environment, “extractive corporations and their governmental allies sculpt social conditions. They ‘manufacture’ consent and ‘manage’ dissent towards their ventures.” They shape “the perceptions and behaviour of governments, shareholders, consumers, and people living in the areas where large-scale resource extraction occurs.” Mining firms use hard (coercion) and soft (e.g. community relations work) techniques. They can for example hide under the chimera of ‘green extractivism’.

Intellectual property linked to geography: People around the world attach value to buying authentic products from their sources, coffee from Ethiopia, for example. There is a type of intellectual property right called Geographical Indications (GI) that offers protection. Yet few African countries benefit, few have signed the relevant treaties and few have certified GI products – Oku white honey from Cameroon, South African Rooibos tea and South African lamb being exceptions. “Registration and export of GI products will improve the economy of rural African communities.”

Nigeria/Covid-19: Throughout most of Africa, official coronavirus case and fatalities numbers are generally thought to be far lower than the real numbers – due to low testing and poor registration of deaths. Concerning the latter, according to the BBC, “Nigeria is among countries on the continent that do not have a compulsory system to register deaths (…). Only Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles and Mauritius have a universal death registration system.”
An antibodies-survey undertaken in 4 Nigerian states with a total of 10,000 participants suggests that 1 in 5 of those tested in the states of Lagos (south-west), Enugu (east) and Nasarawa (centre) and 1 in 10 in Gombe (north-east) had been infected.
The official figure for Nigeria stands at 153,000 cases and 1,862 deaths. According to the antibodies-survey, there have been around 4 million positive cases in the state of Lagos alone – more than have been officially registered in the whole of Africa to date.