16 February 2023

Ethiopia: According to the Ethiopian Orthodox church, the row with the breakaway clergy has been resolved by discussions between the two groups held in the presence of Abiy Ahmed, other government officials and elders. The conflict had had eight people killed and hundreds detained.
BBC Africa Live 16 February 2023. 6:20

South Africa/Hunger: Social vulnerability is about people’s susceptibility to natural disasters, adverse health outcomes and social inequalities. The relationship between social vulnerability and food insecurity had so far not been well researched for South Africa. The article’s author’s research found “(o)ver 20.6% of the South Africans in (the) sample were socially vulnerable, and 20.4% food insecure”, with Africans more vulnerable than white people or people of Asian or mixed descent. Unsurprisingly, females, people living in rural areas, people with low socio-economic status, people without high school certificates and adults over 45 are more vulnerable than others. The conclusion is a bit banal: “government and other stakeholders need to implement creative and targeted social strategies to reduce and eliminate food insecurity in highly vulnerable groups. Improving the economy and education system should be the main areas of focus in addressing social inequalities in the country.”

Nigeria: By presidential decision, the old 200-naira banknotes will be valid after all – but only until 10th of April. The Central Bank decision that old 500- and 1,000-naira banknotes are no longer valid (since 10th of February) remains in place. Will this half-measure calm the anger of cash-short Nigerians? Invalid old banknotes “must be taken to the central bank through designated channels”.
BBC Africa Live 16 February 2023. 6:58

Ghana: It seems that the government is so desperately short of money that it tries to cheat on bonds held by pensioners – “bonds that matured in early February were not paid” and a “strictly voluntary” exchange for new bonds with 3.5% less “return” and deferred payment was proposed. All of this, it seems, so that the country qualifies for an IMF “bailout”.
BBC Africa Live 16 February 2023. 17:31

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