15 February 2023

Kenya/Menstruation: Yesterday Tuesday, Senator Gloria Orwoba discovered a period stain on her trousers, “an accident”, but decided to continue into the chamber. Once there, she was ordered by the speaker to leave and change her clothes. Even women senators told her to cover herself. In a BBC interview Gloria Orwoba said: “The culture that we have inculcated is to shame the period. It's like something completely horrible is happening to you. That culture has been embedded and it's completely rooted. It is known that when you're on your period you should hide. You should not speak of it and it's a secret.” Instead of changing her clothes, Gloria Orwoba went to speak to the media and fittingly went to distribute sanitary pads in a school.
BBC Africa Live 15 February 2023. 16:56

Rape: Tigray/Eritrea/Ethiopia: Despite the peace deal, assaults on civilians and rapes of women have not stopped in Tigray. According to the official Tigray Health Bureau, 852 cases of rape have been reported in survivor-help-centres between the signing of the peace deal on 2nd of November 2022 and the end of the year 2022. Eritrean soldiers are the first accused, but Amhara militias and Ethiopian soldiers are said to have committed rapes as well.

Nigeria: The non-availability of banknotes caused by the central bank’s new policy is making people more than angry. Banks have been set on fire or roads blocked and tear gas has been fired on demonstrators in Warri, in Benin city, in Ibadan.
BBC Africa Live 15 February 2023. 14:56

Ghana: Year-on-year inflation stood at a staggering 53.1% in January – but that is a slight improvement on the December figure of 54.1%. The slight improvement is apparently due to a reduction in fuel prices.
BBC Africa Live 15 February 2023. 12:44

Chagos: In a report, Human Rights Watch accuses the UK of crimes against humanity in Chagos. This comes on top of London facing more and more condemnation internationally, the UN’s International Court of Justice having ruled “that the continuing British occupation of the archipelago is illegal”. The General Assembly of the United Nations “has also voted, overwhelmingly, in favour of the islands being returned to Mauritius.” London has apparently felt obliged to start negotiating the sovereignty of Chagos with “Mauritius’s UN ambassador (describing) those talks as ‘constructive’.”
BBC Africa Live 15 February 2023. 10:17

14 February 2023

Kenya: Five counties in northern Rift Valley region have been declared “disturbed and dangerous” and issued with a dusk to dawn curfew for a month after “bandits” killed over 100 civilians and 16 police in the past half a year. The army is to join police in fighting the bandits. Factors behind the banditry are said to be “ethnic rivalry instigated by politicians”, “competition for natural resources” and most of all a “lucrative meat trade” with “(t)housands of cattle (…) stolen every month and driven hundreds of kilometres away for slaughter for sale in the local or international market”.
BBC Africa Live 14 February 2023. 6:06
BBC Africa Live 14 February 2023. 14:41

South Africa: Seven of the country’s nine provinces have been flooded following heavy rains and a state of national disaster has been declared. The heavy rains – caused by La Niña – are predicted to continue for some more days.
BBC Africa Live 14 February 2023. 5:04

Equatorial Guinea: The Marburg virus belongs to the same family as the Ebola virus. Equatorial Guinea is experiencing its first outbreak of the Marburg virus. In Kie Ntem province (west of the country), nine people are thought to have died from it. 16 contact cases are under quarantine. “Movement has been restricted around two villages where most cases have been reported” and contact tracing is ongoing. There being no vaccine or treatment, those affected are to drink lots of water while specific symptoms are treated.
BBC Africa Live 14 February 2023. 4:34

Mozambique: In Nairato (Montepuez district, Cabo Delgado province), an army outpost and a gold mine have been attacked in the early morning by “militants”. The number of police and forest rangers killed has not been specified. Staff have been evacuated from the mine.
BBC Africa Live 14 February 2023. 10:02

Senegal: Public transport in 4 million inhabitant-Dakar is insufficient. Informal transport fills the gap, especially in the suburbs and first and foremost amongst them an estimated 5,000 “clandos”, clandestine taxis which operate without a licence. According to the article’s authors, official recognition, i.e., formalisation, would enable them to contribute more to mobility, especially in the city’s periphery.

Tanzania: School rankings have been abolished. Since the 1990s and until last year, the National Examination Council had published such rankings annually, based exclusively on certificate of primary resp. secondary school examination results. The ranking often determined parents’ and students’ school choice. The article’s author agrees with the new policy, as the school rankings such as practised in Tanzania deepen inequalities. “The methodology skips students’ socio-economic status, school environment, availability of adequate teaching and learning resources and facilities, presence of qualified teachers and facilities including laboratories in all examined subjects, and prevailing culture in the surrounding community.” And high-ranking schools tend to select students whom they expect to perform well.