02 March 2023

South Africa/Sex Work: The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill 2022 suggests total decriminalisation of selling and buying sex. If passed, this would decrease exposure to violence of female sex workers (70% of them have experienced violence in the past year) and put them in a better position to negotiate safer sex and to thus protect themselves against HIV-Aids. Only two other countries – New Zealand and Belgium – have so far fully decriminalised sex work. Decriminalising the selling of sex while buying of it is illegal – called the “Nordic model” as it is practiced in Sweden and Norway – has been shown not to improve matters.

Malawi: Maurice Munthali has quit. The hitherto president’s special adviser on peace, reconciliation and national unity and also spokesman for the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP), “accus(ing) the MCP of failing to provide ‘the type of leadership and direction that would meet the hopes of all Malawians for a better life’.” Though the president had centred his campaign on the fight against corruption, plenty of corruption scandals have happened since his election, implying people very close to him. Munthali is not the only one to have quit recently, Emmanuel Mwanyongo, a “rising star” within MCP has left the party and coalition partner Kamuzu Chibambo and his party have left the governing alliance.
BBC Africa Live 02 March 2023. 11:56

01 March 2023

Nigeria: Bola Tinubu of the ruling APC will become the country’s next president – he obtained 36% of counted votes (Atiku Abubakar of the PDP 29%, Peter Obi of the Labour Party 25%). The article gives detailed results, also state by state in an interactive graphic.

Nigeria: Voter turnout at Saturday’s elections was extremely low at 27%. Of the 93 million who registered to vote, Bola Tinubu was elected by not even 10%. According to the article, the reason for the low turnout was not voter apathy (or 87 million would not have gone through the complicated procedure of collecting their voter cards) but rather “problems on voting day” like voting not starting on time, voting not taking place at all in some opposition strongholds, voter intimidation and even ballot-box snatching. Are the opposition candidates thus right to call the elections rigged?
BBC Africa Live 01 March 2023. 17:11

France/Congo-Kinshasa: Anti-French sentiment is spreading – civil society groups held protests outside the French embassy in Kinshasa against Macron’s visit later in the week. Paris is accused of siding with Rwanda which is supporting the M23.
BBC Africa Live 01 March 2023. 11:06

Rwanda/Mozambique: After an extradition deal between the two countries, Rwandan refugees in Mozambique are afraid they’ll be persecuted
BBC Africa Live 01 March 2023. 17:39

Tunisia/Côte d’Ivoire/Guinea: After Kaïs Saïed’s “inflammatory comments”, Conakry and Yamoussoukro have sent aircraft to Tunisia to repatriate their citizens. “Dozens of Guineans and Ivorians have sought refuge in their countries’ embassies. Some have reported being physically assaulted.”
BBC Africa Live 01 March 2023. 17:12