11 January 2023

Benin: Provisional results allot 28 seats to the opposition and 81 to allies of Patrice Talon.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 17:24

Côte d’Ivoire: “(F)or his charisma and fiery rhetoric” Charles Blé Goudé was was once known as the “street general”. After his long time at the International Criminal Court that finally acquitted him, he held a first press conference now that he is back home, stating that “he will be president of the country one day” and that he will be a candidate at the 2025 elections.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 16:18

Zimbabwe: Health worker strikes are henceforth limited to 72 hours. With about 4,000 having quit quit and probably emigrated in 2022, lots more could now feel pushed to do likewise.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 11:17

Uganda: After 42 days without a new case, Kampala has declared the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak which started in September and killed more than 50.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 10:07

Ethiopia: Last Thursday, four human rights defenders of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) were arrested – they were accused of not having necessary permission for investigating cases of forced evictions in Addis. Amnesty International has appealed to authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release” them “and drop charges against” them.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 8:39

Rwanda/Congo-Kinshasa: A Rwandan government spokesperson said Kigali “had no intention to expel or ban refugees” from Congo – Kagame had been misunderstood.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 7:56

10 January 2023

A young shepherd does not let his sheep sleep
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 4:29. Proverb of the day. An Amharic proverb sent by Amanuel Fikru in Ethiopia.

Algeria: In 2021, during the country’s worst recorded fires, Djamel Ben Ismail, who had volunteered help fight the fires, falsely accused by locals of having himself started fires, had been attacked, tortured and burnt to death. The more than fifty people who were convicted in November 2022 have now received their sentences, “dozens” of them death sentences, 28 between 2 and 10 years, 17 were acquitted. But according to Amnesty International, “the cases were ‘marred by fair trial violations and torture claims’ and (at) least six people ‘were prosecuted due to their political affiliations’. According to Amnesty, “resorting to the death penalty in mass proceedings following unfair trials” reveals the authorities’ “utter disregard for human life”.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 7:41

Nigeria: According to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), the February 2023 “elections could be cancelled if nothing is done to tackle insecurity in the country”. 15 of Nigeria’s 36 states (plus the federal capital territory) are thought by media to be likely to experience violence before, during or after the elections, 5 in the country’s south-east, 4 in the north-west plus Lagos, Kano, Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Borno states.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 5:53

Rwanda/Congo-Kinshasa: According to Kagame, instability in Eastern Congo is “not Rwanda’s problem” and Rwanda would “no longer offer refuge to people fleeing conflict” there. According to him, it is “the remnants of Hutu extremist forces who tried to wipe out his Tutsi ethnic group in the 1994 genocide” who are the real problem in Congo’s east.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 4:36

Djibouti: Is this another white elephant project? A preliminary agreement was signed with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group for a USD1bn 5-year project for a rocket launch site cum port cum highway in the Obock Region in the country’s north.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 9:25

Anglican Church/Slavery: Research had shown that a historic “Church of England's investment fund had links to the slave trade”, so the Archbishop of Canterbury had apologised last year. Now the Church of England has announced the setting up of a £100m investment fund to be spent for “communities affected by historic slavery”. But it is an investment fund, not gift money, and it is meant to grow.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 15:26

Ghana: 40% of US, Japanese and EU used vehicle exports – 14 million per year – go to Africa. Low incomes and weak regulation concerning pollution explain Africa’s high demand for used vehicles only in part as the article’s authors’ research in Ghana has shown. In a setting where work, shopping and home are often far apart and thus require travelling, the factors increasing demand for imported used vehicles are first and foremost the lack of investment in public transport accompanied by lots of investment in construction of roads – and it is well-known that “(r)oads induce more spread-out land use – requiring more travel”. In such a context, bans and penalties on used vehicle imports will not work.

South Africa: Land reform ranked highly on ANC to do-lists when it finally came to power in 1994. In the decade starting 1996, land redistribution programmes were implemented. Then, the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) was adopted in 2006. By August 2022, the state had acquired 2.9 million ha of farmland previously owned by white farmers under the PLAS – and it was mostly land of good or fair quality. The article focuses on the analysis of the results of the PLAS that the Agricultural Research Council was commissioned to undertake. Despite the acquisition of good land, black farmers have not done well. “(P)oor beneficiary selection, inadequate support and infrastructure, and rampant crime” are amongst the main reasons for this. Access to capital – title deeds are necessary for accessing money from banks, lease agreements are not sufficient – has been a major limiting factor.

Egypt: Year-on-year inflation rose to 21% in December, almost 3% higher than in November. The Egyptian pound had been devalued in October. Restrictions have been imposed on imports and ministries have been instructed to cut non-essential expenditure.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 13:44

Gambia: Almost 7 years after he was tortured to death by Jammeh’s intelligence agents, a state funeral was held for Ebrima Solo Sandeng, Gambia’s former leading opposition activist who was sometimes called Gambia’s Steve Biko. Some activists say “that the reforms Solo died for have not yet been implemented”.
BBC Africa Live 10 January 2023. 12:11

Uganda: Writer Kakwenza Rukirababashaija and academic Stella Nyanzi and many another activist was charged and/or convicted under a section of a communications law that has now been annulled by the Constitutional Court because it curtailed freedom of speech.

African elephants: Droughts getting more severe because of climate change pose an existential threat for African elephants who “need hundreds of litres of water each day to survive”. Extinction would have dire consequences for other species as well, as elephants fulfil important functions in many an ecosystem. In the old days, “elephants migrated to water during drought. But the introduction of fenced areas in the landscape has disrupted this movement.” Wildlife corridors may offer a solution, but it means getting rid of fences and communities that have been fenced off contact with the pachyderms will have to re-learn to live with them. Ideally, “(c)ommunity management projects, such as in Northern Kgalagadi in Botswana” have “local expertise – drawn from millennia of experience and knowledge – (…) guide wildlife management”.