24 February 2023

An animal is caught by its paw; man is caught by his mouth
BBC Africa Live 24 February 2023. 4:33 Proverb of the day. A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Paul Etoga in Tokyo, Japan

Sierra Leone/Vulnerability to Heat: People living in low-income and informal areas are more in danger of heat than richer ones, so African cities tend to be especially vulnerable to climate change-induced extreme heat. Freetown has appointed a “chief heat officer” to raise public awareness about extreme heat, improve responses to heat waves, and collect, analyse and visualise heat impact data for the Sierra Leonian capital. The article’s author would like to see her include in her agenda: vertical greening (as space is becoming scarce, change from the horizontal to another dimension); focus on improved access to health services, e.g., by community health initiatives; early warning systems where alerts are triggered when certain thresholds are reaches; learn from others (other cities) and share knowledge with them; bottom-up is best: prioritise local, indigenous knowledge wherever possible.

Africa/UN Vote Against Russia: Today Friday marks exactly one year since Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The UN General Assembly yesterday Thursday voted a resolution condemning the invasion: 141 backed it, 32 abstained, 7 voted against. The 2 African countries voting against were Eritrea and Mali; the 15 abstainers were Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, eSwatini, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal did not take part in the vote.
BBC Africa Live 24 February 2023. 5:04

Nigeria: Vote buying should be criminalised. But it hasn’t been so far. And as there are willing sellers and willing buyers, it has thrived in Nigeria since the country returned to democracy in 1999, a “prebendal democracy” where “institutions and processes of civil rule have been hijacked by elites who are inclined to appropriate the state as their private fiefdom.” Beyond criminalisation, the article’s author has other suggestions of what to do to stop it.

Nigeria: Chinyere Igwe, member of the House of Representatives for PDP (opposition) for a part of Port Harcout, was caught with 498,100 USD in cash in his car and was arrested for alleged money laundering.

23 February 2023

South Africa/Rock Art: With African herders and farmers arriving from the north some 2,000 years ago and European colonists 350 years ago, San rock art changed. The article follows these changes reflecting people meeting, fighting, intermingling…

South Africa/Electricity/Water: “Poor people are less able to afford alternatives for power and water” – the country’s public utility problems (with power cuts also causing problems with water supply) will worsen inequality that is already extreme. The article substantiates this with data from Gauteng.

Rwanda: To move towards universal health coverage, Kigali has built a healthcare delivery system focused on primary healthcare and has extended community-based health insurance to 80% of people, with the percentage of households protected by one kind of health insurance or another increased to 90.5% in 2020. The government spends slightly more than the 15% recommended by the Abuja Declaration of 2001 on health. Now for the remaining (hard-to-reach) 10%!

Mozambique: It has now been established that dead fish washed up on Maputo Bay died not because of chemicals or pollution but because of low salinity levels following heavy discharge of fresh water from rivers due to floods.
BBC Africa Live 23 February 2023. 8:48