13 March 2023

The elder who fails to condemn wrongdoing with his firm voice will flee the repercussions with his weak limbs
BBC Africa Live 13 March 2023. 4:33 Proverb of the day. A Yoruba proverb sent by David George in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Namibia: Vice president and deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has been named by the president as the candidate of Swapo party (in power since independence) for next year’s presidential elections. It is thus very likely that Namibia will have a woman president as of next year.
BBC Africa Live 13 March 2023. 7:46

South Africa: Doctors have joined in a strike of public service workers who are, since last Monday, demanding better pay. Military personnel have been deployed to hospitals in areas worst affected by the strike (Sebokeng, Thelle Mogoerane, Bheki Mlangeni) so as to “stop the intimidation of workers and to ensure hospitals can remain operational”, workers having been “violently barred from entering and patients in need of care (…) turned away” by strikers. According to the health minister, at least four deaths have directly resulted from the strike. Later today Monday, a labour court ordered the strike to stop. “Health workers are regarded as providing essential services in South Africa and are prohibited from striking.” Authorities are happy with the ruling and are, on its basis, now planning to implement a no-work no-pay policy should the strike not end.
BBC Africa Live 13 March 2023. 5:55
BBC Africa Live 13 March 2023. 10:14
BBC Africa Live 13 March 2023. 12:49

Neil Aggett et al.: He was only 29 years old when tortured and killed in police headquarters on John Vorster Square. Neil Aggett was a doctor and trade unionist who fought apartheid. Today, “many thousands of freedom struggle activists like Neil have been betrayed by the governing African National Congress (ANC) politicians who have looted and brought the country nearly to its knees.” According to the article’s author, setting things right starts with saying “no”.

Africa/Islamist violence: According to ACLED data, 2022 saw 6,859 episodes of violence involving militant Islamist groups in Africa (40% in central Sahel, 37% in Somalia, 14% in the Lake Chad basin, 6% in northern Mozambique, 2% in Sinai), plus 22% in comparison to 2021 resulting in 19,109 deaths – plus 48%, with deaths of civilians up by 68% to 7,220. Obviously, intimidation of locals into compliance takes precedence over the winning of hearts and minds. With militant groups becoming increasingly resilient, adept at generating revenue (combining “looting, extortion, control of mining sites and trade route domination”), “(a) more comprehensive and contextualised response is needed” where “government legitimacy, political will, control of corruption, investment in development activities and the mitigation of human rights abuses” are essential.

Nigeria: Urbanisation is progressing rapidly. While 53% of 213 million are estimated to presently live in urban areas, this percentage is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. This implies many challenges. Family planning is one important tool for “preventing unsustainable urbanisation and urban poverty”.

12 March 2023

Congo-Kinshasa/Angola: As the ceasefire with the M23 that was meant to begin on Tuesday does not hold, both sides accusing the other of breaking it, Angola is sending a military unit to eastern RDC “to help secure areas that have been held by the M23 rebel group and to protect ceasefire monitors”. A Regional Force of the East African Community has already been deployed to the area. Is there a risk “of this becoming a wider international conflict”?