Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
December 9, 2022
Happy Holidays from GLD! Lots of excitement, including my good news about a project on political change and local governance in emerging cities. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“Sudan has a history of writing really well-intentioned and really well-worded documents. The problem has always been how you translate those wonderful words to actual mechanisms and policies.” – Kholood Khair
Ramaphosa in South Africa
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was close to resigning because of the Phiri Phiri scandal, but he dug in to stay in office. ANC support would suffer without his leadership, but they bypassed impeachment. Ramaphosa has been humbled, but he continues on.
Deal in Sudan
Escalating violence in DR Congo
Nigeria’s secret abortion program
A Reuters Report claims Nigeria’s military ran a secret mass abortion program in its war against Boko Haram. The report says Nigeria’s military terminated 10,000 pregnancies. The reactions were swift.
Ghana’s economic challenges
Ghana is hoping to finalize its agreement with the IMF next week. Bright Simons explains what it means if Ghana defaults on its debt. It will swap domestic debt in fight to regain economic stability. Parliament approves the 2023 budget and revenue strategy. Afrobarometer’s Joseph Asunka notes that Africa’s mounting debt is an issue to keep your eyes on for 2023, and Ghana offers a cautionary tale.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Jennifer Brass and Megan Hershey ask: Will Ruto resist the temptation to marginalize civil society? Howard French takes on V.S. Naipul’s unreal Africa. Sierra Leone cracked down on protesters, blaming them for attempting a coup. Poverty in eSwatini has bred unapologetic freedom fighters. Zimbabwe’s long quest for democracy trudges on. Samuel Anim explains the entitlement of Bola Tinubu.
The forgotten colony in the Sahara.
Security and instability
Witnesses accuse Ethiopian guards of massacring scores of Tigrayan prisoners. It is time for Ethiopia and Tigray to secure peace. Somali forces and clan militias capture a major town from Al-Shabaab. Jihadists and bandits are cooperating in Nigeria. This piece discusses leveraging the Africa Leaders Summit to engage Mozambique on security. There is increasing violence and displacement in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State. What’s going on with the UN mission in Mali?
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Learn more about the amenities provided by gated communities on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana. ACRC examines the housing challenges in Cockle Bay, Freetown. The stamps of Harar. Eastleigh, Nairobi could use some better sanitation measures. 24 hours inside Accra. Zambia’s urbanization review is out. More on Africa’s urbanization dynamics. This piece discusses engaging communities in data collection in informal settlements. The pride of Nima. The gentrification of Accra. Port Sudan is a divided city. Niamey! Freetown! Dakar!
Check out Salih Yasun’s great GLD Working Paper “The Municipal Finances and Challenges of Municipal Taxation in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia.” This looks good: “Beyond political will: unpacking the drivers of (non) health reforms in sub-Saharan Africa.” This article examines how local leaders can help improve the price of land in titles in urban Tanzania. Citizenship still matters. Dan Paget explains Chadema’s political philosophy in Tanzania. This article deepens our understanding of South Sudan’s mediation process. Brooks Marmon explains settler worldmaking. Check out this article on the Berlin Conference and the power of geographical imaginaries.
The week in development
Africans in the diaspora are the continent’s largest financiers. Two-thirds of South Sudan is at risk of severe hunger in 2023. Africa needs a holistic food security strategy. This is why Shoprite closed shop in DR Congo. Centum pulls plug on Lamu Coal project. Ghana’s Swoove says it is set to deliver growth after startup contest. A wealth tax won’t bridge the inequality gap in South Africa. Nigeria resumes the Abuja-Kaduna railway line. This is a nice discussion of how pandemic policies in South Africa are a form of neocolonial state capture. Uganda tries to bolster regional trade.
Read it: The Dignity Report 2022.
Africa and the environment
Addressing climate change will not save the planet. Here is everything you need to know about the global plastics treaty. Flash floods kill nine at a religious gathering in South Africa. Blackouts are still crippling South Africa. A new kind of climate refugee is emerging. Climate change and hunger are driving a refugee crisis in the African countries bordering Lake Chad. Germany is pursuing hydrogen in Namibia and South Africa. Renewables will overtake coal by early 2025.
Cameroon beat Brazil, but Africa’s hopes sit with Morocco. Liberia’s president George Weah’s son is playing for the US in the World Cup. The dreams of upsets in Senegal—they sure know how to watch a football game (too bad, Roy). “If an African team is playing, that’s what we’ll watch.” The tournament signals a global shift in football. South Africa could teach Qatar a few things. Meanwhile, women’s football in Africa is in danger of being left on the touchline. Is George Weah more interested in football than the presidency?
The joy of Kylian Mbappé.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil