Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
May 20, 2022
I’m having a great time in Bristol discussing the political transformation of African cities. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“Let’s forgive each other…Let’s not get busy with yesterday but building a better tomorrow, a better future…a Somalia that is in harmony with each other and is in harmony with the world.” – Somalia’s new president, Hassan S Mohamud
In a historic election, Somali lawmakers chose a new president on Sunday. Here are some photos of beautiful Mogadishu on the eve of the vote – and kids playing football on the streets. Terrorists still hold incredible power in the country. The vote took place behind heavily securitized barricade. Abdi Latif Dahir provides this very helpful summary of the voting process. Hassan Mohamud returns to the presidency, and Farmaajo concedes. Immediately after the election, Biden announced that he is returning ground troops to the country. Somalis are optimistic about the leadership, but the president faces a very tough road ahead.
Ethiopia’s civil war
Ethiopia’s government intensifies air strikes in Oromia, targeting civilians in some cases. Unearthed evidence maps out Western Tigray dispute. People flee starvation in Tigray. Ethiopia is restricting the foreign press. Ethnic federalism is not working. Is there genocide in Ethiopia?
Struggle for rights and freedom
Who are the “machete wielders” terrorizing parts of Uganda? Was South Africa’s state capture commission worth it? Museveni’s succession plan is raising alarm in Uganda. Learn more about Russia and the future international order in Africa.
Africa’s rapid urbanization
I enjoyed attending the book launch of Power and Informality in Urban Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives. I’m looking forward to the release of Tom Goodfellow’s Politics and the Urban Frontier: Transformation and Divergence in Late Urbanizing East Africa. Check out Dynamics of Systems of Secondary Cities in Africa. This is a cool article about property rights and planning in Mukuru, Nairobi. Learn more about peri-urban land governance and market dynamics in Tamale, Ghana.
Taibat Lawanson conceptualizes the liveable African city. ACRC goes on a field trip through Mukuru, Nairobi. Climate change caused floods that killed 435 people in South Africa. More on delivery and dispossession in South Africa. This project traces the Marine Drive in Accra. Big infrastructure projects on the continent should work for everyone. Microplastics are rife in drinking water of Lagos. Social media can be a force for good during crises, as evidence from Lagos demonstrates. Why are there heaps of garbage in Nigeria’s cleanest city? What are the political implications of rapid urbanization?
Does democracy matter?
This looks good: The Sentimental Court: The Affective Life of International Criminal Justice. Check out Manufacturing in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890-1979. Adam S. Harris’ Everyday Identity and Electoral Politics: Race, Ethnicity, and the Bloc Vote in South Africa and Beyond is out. This looks great: Wealth, Land, and Property in Angola: A History of Dispossession, Slavery, and Inequality. Iriann Freemantle and Loren Landau explain migration and the African timespace trap.
The week in development
On the value of written documentation of land rights. Senegal sees hypocrisy and opportunity in Europe’s search for gas. Ghana does not want to go to the IMF for help. This piece discusses capital flight from the Global South. Black farmers in South Africa need support. Kenyan Anna Qabale Duba is crowned the world’s best nurse. The 21st century will be all about Africa’s demographic revolution. This is what is needed for real land reform in South Africa. Inflation in Nigeria is at an eight-month high. Ghana’s high school system needs a re-think. Turkey is edging closer to China’s financial muscle in Africa’s construction projects. What is the role of Chinese firms in Africa’s economic transformation? Meet Rest of World’s 100 Global Tech Changemakers.
Africa and the environment
Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo outlines the hypocrisy of rich countries’ climate policies. Kenya’s great lakes are flooding. Resistant bacteria is circulating. This is why millions of people across Africa are facing extreme hunger. Persistent drought in Ethiopia is a result of climate change. Wheat supply shock puts the focus back on farming. Securing land rights is crucial to land restoration in Africa. Pollution is killing a million people a year, hitting Africa the hardest.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil