This Week in Africa
July 8, 2022
Quote of the week
“I’m a proud Tunisian woman standing here today. I know in Tunisia, they’re going crazy right now. I just try to inspire, really, as much as I can. I want to see more and more -- not just Tunisian -- Arab, African players on tour. I just love the game and I want to share this experience with them.” – Wimbledon Finalist Ons Jabeur
New details are coming out about the brutal deaths of at least 37 migrants in the Spanish enclave of Melilla. The situation epitomizes Europe’s anti-migration dystopia. Moroccan authorities are accused of trying to cover up the deaths.
Instability in Eastern DR Congo
Protests in Ghana
Ghanaians are protesting a failing economy, and trying to wake up a sleeping president. Meanwhile, Ghana will make a U-turn and seek help from the IMF. How did we get here? Will the dream of a Ghana without aid ever come true?
African international relations
Elizabeth Schmidt explains how sanctions against Russia came quickly, revealing an American double standard. She also discusses US support for authoritarian regimes in Africa. China opens its first political party school in Africa.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Power in Angola is wielded by one man. Ramaphosa faces questions about his wealth after burglary at his ranch. Lesotho is set to have elections under its old system of government. Activists in Kenya to keep fighting for abortion rights after end of Roe. Justice Mandisa Maya’s support for African languages in South Africa is a positive sign. Ethnic killings in Ethiopia illustrate how difficult it is to build peace in the country. What do Kenya’s fringe presidential candidates offer the elections? Why did 21 teens die in a South African tavern?
Africa’s rapid urbanization
The Blinded City is out. Check out AbdouMaliq Simone’s The Surrounds: Urban Life within and beyond Capture. Take a look at “Public Health and Sustainable Urban Futures” in the World Cities Report 2022. This article examines the challenges of co-production in Kampala. Learn about Uganda’s subnational “presidents.” In Egypt, the demolition of historic houseboats mark end to Golden Era past. This is why the South African state should not subsidize minibus taxi owners. Does Ghana need a military strategy to deal with its sanitation challenges?
Prisca Jöst and Ellen Lust’s article on social ties, clientelism and the poor’s expectations of future service provision is great. Also check out this one on clientelism, corruption, and the rule of law. This article examines conceptual analysis and African philosophy. This is a very cool special issue on “infrastructural frontiers: terrains of resistance at the edge of empires.” And this one examines stand-up comedy in Africa. Quantitative political science research is greatly underpowered. Yonatan Morse’s article draws from an awesome original dataset of biographical data of Cameroonian lawmakers. Pia Raffler asks: “Does political oversight of the bureaucracy increase accountability in Uganda?
Get your advance copy of Joeva Rock’s We are Not Starving: The Struggle for Food Sovereignty in Ghana. Evan Lieberman discusses his new book Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid on the Democracy Paradox podcast. Check out the Data Hub for the Study of Democracy. The new issue of the Comparative Politics Newsletter is out.
The week in development
Western nonprofits are trampling over Africans’ rights and land. Rising costs fuel political instability in Sierra Leone. The Gambia signs a $68 million grant to revive tourism. Learn more about tax justice and its burden on Africa. South Africa’s black farmers were set up to fail.
Africa and the environment
As climate change hits the continent hard, Gabon profits. After 40 years of extinction, rhinos return to Mozambique. Todd Moss explains why the climate panic about Africa is wrong. Multiple crises are threatening stability and development in the Sahel. Gambia bans the export of endangered rosewood.
And congrats to Ellen Lust, mentor extraordinaire!!
All the best,
Jeff and Phil