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This Week in Africa
October 21, 2022
Join the GLD Fellowship program. I am very excited for the Semafor Africa newsletter. Lots going on for Global Dignity Day. Join us next week for the virtual “Urban Politics in the Global South” virtual conference. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“The killing of councillors and municipal officials is not a local government matter that can simply be resolved single-handedly. There is a need to marshal society in its entirety to go back to the basics – where there will be respect for human life and democracy. The killing of councillors takes place in the backdrop of a violent society where human life is no longer valued,” Bheke Stofile, the president of the South African Local Government Association
Floods in Nigeria
Nigeria is experiencing some of its worst floods in more than a decade. More than 1.4 million people are displaced and more than 600 have died. Farmland and infrastructure are destroyed. Residents are doing their best to cope as entire neighborhoods are under water (videos tell the story). It is a national emergency. The floods are also affecting Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, including N’djamena.
Ethiopia’s civil war
Fighting in Tigray is getting worse, and the US “deeply concerned” (as is the rest of the world). Eritrean-Ethiopian forces have ramped up the attacks, along with ethnic militias. The Tigray war is not an isolated conflict. Analysts worry of escalated civilian attacks and possible Genocide as hate speech fuels the violence. Ethiopian forces took control of Shire, a key strategic city, as well as two other towns.
Civilians are fleeing and a humanitarian crisis grows. Doctors in Tigray wonder where the humanity is. An IRC aid worker was killed in an air strike. African regional partners are crucial to peace in the country. Kjetil Tronvoll explains the collapse of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition.
Violence in South Africa
Struggle for rights and freedom
Congo’s civilians are paying the price for proxy war. Somalia warns traders not to pay off Islamist militants. A measure of justice for Thomas Sankara. Tanzania’s president urges women to have fewer babies. New research brief on Sudan documents ongoing violations in the aftermath of the Coup. This is what has happened one year after the #EndSARS protests. The five stages of political grief. Biden balks on Africa sanctions. Protesters are demonstrating the transitional government in Chad’s capital. Is the West’s romance with Paul Kagame finally ending?
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Political scientists should study smaller cities. Frustrated Joburg residents face frequent water outages. Africa’s booming megacities are unsustainable. Gediminas Lesutis argues that Kenya’s mega-railway project reproduces inequality.
Learn more about the effects of ethnofederalism on communal violence in Ethiopia. This article examines the politics of spiritual warfare. Nicolas Lippolis explains Angola’s special economic zones. Naunihal Singh explains the myth of the coup contagion. This article revisits polygyny and intergroup contact. This looks good: “Modernising the village: State farms, agricultural development, and nation-building in 1960s Ghana.” This is a cool new journal examining the Indian Ocean rim.
This is a cool volume on populists and the pandemic. Glad to see Idayat Hassan and Jamie Hitchen’s WhatsApp and Everyday Life in West Africa: Beyond Fake News.
Some cool opportunities
Decolonizing Research Methodologies is up and running in Sweden. Attend this virtual conference on election violence. The “Foundations and Futures: 50 Years of SERSAS” conference looks great. The African Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) invites research fellowship applications from African researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners working on conflict and peacebuilding issues in Africa. This looks like a cool conference on infrastructural power at global frontiers.
The week in development
Google and Meta are complementary competitors in Africa. Nigeria has not fulfilled its promise as a global economic powerhouse. Uganda is opening the largest cannabis development site in the world. Here is an approach to tackling the problem of artisanal mining in Ghana. Illegal chrome mining threatens Limpopo. Nigeria is exploring debt restructuring. Zanzibar had almost defeated schistosomiasis until the UK stopped its aid overnight. Poverty and darkness are still everyday realities in DR Congo. These are eight reasons why Africa is primed for impact investing. Uganda announces lockdown as Ebola cases rise. Southern Africa has a once-in-a-lifetime industrialization opportunity.
Blog your development job market paper!
Ghana’s economic struggles
Ghana’s cedi is crashing. Global interest rate hikes are hurting Ghana and Nigeria. African banks are worried about funding costs. Ghana traders close shops to protest worsening economy. The economy is in dire straits.
Africa and the environment
Much of Africa could be unsustainable by 2050. This is why ambitious tree planting projects are failing. Africa has a right to energy self-defense. Ethiopia bets on more wheat. Renewables shift lays bare Africa’s energy dilemma. African energy week is accompanied by climate protests. 20 nations at high risk from global warming might halt debt payments.
I am so excited about Peace Medie’s new novel Nightbloom (beautiful cover)!!
All the best,
Jeff and Phil