Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
September 8, 2023
Check out all that we’ve been up to at GLD. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“The constitution is clear, where there are communities they must provide basic services. There are currently at least 40 cases in court where we are asking the city to reconnect buildings and at least 11 to prevent evictions.” -- Siyabonga Mahlangu from the nonprofit Inner City Federation
Building fire in South Africa
The building fire in South Africa shows the decay of the country’s economic capital. This is a harrowing story of a father’s desperate 5-Story jump to save his children from the blaze. Officials knew about the state of the building—but did nothing. This is a glimpse inside Joburg’s “hijacked buildings.” They are firetraps. Kwazulu Natal plans to clear illegally occupied buildings after the devastating fire in Johannesburg. Read The Blinded City for some good background and historical context.
Coups in Africa
What’s driving Africa’s coups? These are the similarities and differences between coups in Niger and Gabon. Ebenezer Obadare explains the real meaning behind Niger’s coup. This is a fascinating article on the re-birth of pro-military music and videos after the coup. Gyldas A. Ofoulhast-Othamot explains how Bongo ruled Gabon and how and why his tenure ended. The Gabon coup calls for the West to rethink its Africa strategy. France, in particular, needs to reset. This is what it could mean for ECOWAS. Those willing to sacrifice democracy for stability will have neither.
War in Sudan
Security and instability
The Wagner Group is likely to play a key role in some African states. Kristof Titeca explains the struggle for influence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Liberia marks 20 years since the end of its civil war. Ethiopia’s government faces new threats. African conflicts displace more than 40 million people. Rwanda helped oust Jihadists in Mozambique, but can it work across the continent?
Struggle for rights and freedom
Ramaphosa’s electoral strategy involves blaming Apartheid for the country’s problems and handing out targeted grants. Oge Onubogu discusses Africans’ discontent with democracy. Ousmane Sonko faces an uncertain future in Senegal. And a free expression roundup.
Africa’s rapid urbanization
This report address how secondary cities can empower governments to deliver migration solutions. Gundula Löffler and Astrid R.N. Haas explain how to address Africa’s infrastructure gap. This could be a game changer: Lagos has a new Metro. Who is left behind from Nigeria’s COVID-19 policies?
Emma Elfversson and Kristine Höglund review urban growth, resilience, and violence.
Strategic Taxation: Fiscal Capacity and Accountability in African States explains why some countries invest in fiscal and state capacity. This looks great: Maritime Culture and Everyday Life in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Coastal Ghana: A Social History of Cape Coast.
Carolyn Barnett explains women’s rights and misperceived gender norms under authoritarianism in Morocco. Make sure to read Sarah Brierley and George Ofusu’s cool article “Chiefs’ Endorsements and Voter Behavior” with evidence from Ghana. Prisca Jöst, Matthias Krönke, Sarah Lockwood, and Ellen Lust’s article is out: “Drivers of Political Participation: The Role of Partisanship, Identity, and Incentives in Mobilizing Zambian Citizens.” This article examines UN Peace Agreements beyond the security dilemma.
And sign up for The Monkey Cage’s newly, renamed initiative Good Authority.
The week in development
Africa Climate Summit
City leaders call for action on investments and green jobs at the Africa Climate Summit. This is how Africa can navigate the urban climate paradox. Africa secured $23 billion in climate investment at the summit. Here are some ways to close the climate-finance gap. This is why the summit cannot overlook conflict.
The Cuba-trained “Hit Squad” boxers are poised to strike in Dakar. Lagos, from seven vantages. South Sudan makes history in world basketball. And Lindokuhle Sobekwa’s powerful personal journey as a photographer in South Africa.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil