26 November 2022

South Africa/LGBTIQ: With homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools on the increase and queer and transgender individuals experiencing “extreme levels of anxiety and fear within bathrooms and other school spaces”, the country’s education department is trying to create safer learning spaces. But the department’s Gender identity and sexual orientation guidelines are being fought – even in court – by conservative Christian groups. There is great danger of putting “the safety and security of gender diverse and queer learners at risk. It also undermines the promise of equality in South Africa’s constitution.”

Uganda: The learning deficit created by school closures during Covid is estimated at 2.8 years. Add to this that Ebola has now prompted authorities to close schools ten days early for Xmas holidays. With many children in low-income contexts already struggling “to complete their schooling even outside emergency situations”, it becomes more and more important “to balance the realities of public health emergencies with children’s right to education.” Distance learning is simply not an option for the poor – and especially girls who have less access to the internet than boys.

Ancient Egypt/Tutankhamun: Today Saturday is the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in Luxor. The BBC article writes a bit about the pharaoh and new theories about his life and more about the discovery – with the roles of Howard Carter (who stole from the tomb, behaving as if he owned it) and Lord Carnarvon (who’s death in the year after the find was often attributed to a pharaonic curse) well-known while the contributions of Egyptians have been almost entirely eclipsed.

25 November 2022

Côte d’Ivoire: The World Bank will finance 149m USD of a project that aims to triple the country’s forest cover until 2030, to cover 20% of its territory then. Cocoa plantations are the main culprit of the country’s loss of most of its forest cover over the last half a century.
BBC Africa Live 25 November 2022. 6:54

Congo-Kinshasa: The ceasefire deal negotiated by heads of state in Luanda does “not concern” the M23 as they were not part of the negotiations. “Kinshasa has refused to engage with the M23, calling them terrorists” and accusing Kigali of supporting them.
BBC Africa Live 25 November 2022. 4:30

The lizard that jumps into the river to fight a crocodile will not come out with testimony
BBC Africa Live 25 November 2022. 4:30 Proverb of the day. Sent by Ben Amicable to BBC News Pidgin.

Simon Nkoli/South Africa/Queer rights: “Nkoli’s activism highlighted the intersectionality”, the “interconnectedness of various systems of oppression such as racism, sexism and homophobia”. He is best known for fighting against persecution because of sexual orientation. In Africa, it was he who organised the first Pride march. And he contributed a lot to South Africa’s 1996 constitution outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. He died in 1998, only 41 years old, but he is still being celebrated.