28 February 2023

Nigerian Elections: With results from about half of Nigeria’s states known, Bola Tinubu, the ruling APC party’s candidate is so far in the lead with 39% of the votes, Atiku Abubakar (PDP) is second with 31% and Peter Obi (Labour Party) is third with 20%. PDP and Labour Party have criticized Inec (Independent National Election Commission) for its handling of the electronic voting system and call for the election – “a sham” – to be cancelled.
BBC Africa Live 28 February 2023. 18:59

Nigeria/Women: “(E)ducation for girls, gender-based violence, representation of women in politics, maternal health, and women’s economic empowerment” need more attention from the authorities. The article gives a brief overview over all of these concerns, showing how “(w)omen’s rights exist only on paper in Nigeria”.

South Africa: Not having done enough to prevent money laundering and terrorism funding, South Africa has been “grey listed” by the Financial Action Task Force FARF (the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog). On the list, it joins African countries Congo-Kinshasa, Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique. The grey listing will tend to decrease financial inflows from abroad and foreign direct investment as banks “will have to vet their clients and the sources of client income better before they invest” and that costs money. Cost of capital will also likely increase for South Africa. Pretoria now has until January 2025 to improve matters by means of additional legislation, additional funding for investigative authorities and effective and speedy prosecution of those at fault.

27 February 2023

He who depends on his relatives’ wealth, dies poor
BBC Africa Live 27 February 2023. 4:37. Proverb of the day. A Swahili proverb sent by Sylvester Maganga in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Namibia/Iceland: The 20 million USD or more Fishrot scandal will soon be dealt with in court in Windhoek in what is going to be “the biggest trial in the country's history”. Prominent businessmen and politicians stand accused of having diverted fishing quotas to Samherji fishing company of Iceland.

Niger: Between now and 2050, the country’s population will double to 50 million. To be able to feed its people, the article’s author’s research – with colleagues, he created a model – suggests that what is needed is a reduction of the fertility rate (presently the highest in the world at 7 per woman), then improved farm productivity – in the face of negative effects of climate change, “climate smart research investments” will be necessary plus farmers need to access and adopt new technologies or old ones like zaï and exploit indigenous knowledge – and finally “(g)reater integration into regional markets will (…) make food commodities more accessible and available”. N.B. that food security is of great importance to prevent youths from joining non-state armed groups.

South Africa: Paul Shipokosa Mashatile is set to replace David Mabuza as the country’s deputy president. At 61, he has occupied party (ANC and South African Communist Party/SACP) or state posts for 29 years. In prison 1985-89, he was provincial secretary of the ANC in Gauteng and provincial chair during the 2000s. Elected as a member of the provincial legislature and leader of the house in Gauteng in 1994, he was Gauteng’s premier 2008-09. An MP 2010-16 and again since 2023, he served as minister of arts and culture 2010-14. He became the ANC’s treasurer-general in 2017 and its acting secretary-general in 2022 and “(a)t the ANC’s 2022 national elective congress, he was elected by a sizeable majority as deputy president of the ANC.” The article’s author thinks highly of him, stating that “(h)e brings gravitas to whichever post he occupies” and “demonstrates competence and diligence in whatever post he holds” and has stayed clean of corruption. This is good news because, as deputy president, he will be “on standby” should Ramaphosa die or be removed from his post.

Nigeria: How do inhabitants of Port Harcourt in the country’s south-east adapt to global warming and climate change? The article’s authors’ research found that adaptation strategies of households “were greatly influenced by education level, monthly income, house type and house ownership” and that sensitization will be necessary “to make households less vulnerable to climate change risks”, especially poorer households.

Invisible Trillions: The financial secrecy system – “tax havens, ‘shell companies’, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations and new digitised money laundering technologies” – have proliferated and such operations syphon off much larger sums for example from Africa than “illicit transfers of funds through corporate under-pricing and overpricing of exports and imports, or the drug and other criminal networks”. Nobody benefits from the global secrecy system as much as the USA. Such rogue capitalism is putting democracy at risk if we follow Raymond W. Baker’s book “Invisible Trillions” which the article presents.