This Week in Africa
February 10, 2023
The days are getting longer. Come work with us at GLD. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“Unlike shopping in boutiques and malls, in the market there’s no gender restrictions or conforms. If I go to, like, let’s say, H&M or Mr. Price, there’s the male section, the females section. But in the market you don’t have any of that. Anybody can just come and shop and find what fits them.” – Stephanie Onyemachi on thrift markets in Lagos
The battle for the soul of Nigeria is on. Pollsters are providing new insights into the race. Stears’ announces the results from its first poll. Will Tinubu win Lagos? What is Buhari’s legacy?
Struggle for rights and freedom
The Wilson Center publishes their Africa Year in Review 2022. Pope Francis visits the world’s newest country—which is “broken.” Surviving an attempted lynching in Nigeria. This paper examines the EU’s strategies with the least developed countries in Africa. Are Africa’s “leading” democracies in decline?
Stability and insecurity
Russian “instructors” are busy in Central African Republic. This piece discusses conflict and peacebuilding in Africa. Fighting escalates in Somaliland. Ken Opalo asks: Is Somalia turning the corner? Is Kenya’s intervention in the DR Congo backfiring?
Africa’s rapid urbanization
In this podcast, I discuss African cities as sites of contention. The delays of service delivery in Tshwane. How to put local communities at the center of public space in informal settlements. The history of Kilwa Kisiwani. Festival Godwin Boateng and Jacqueline Klopp explain the used car problem. Prince Guma maps technology in Nairobi’s informal settlements. On the importance of reform coalitions. The people’s art of urban taxi slogans. And those who make homes in dark buildings in Johannesburg.
This special issue on “Infrastructure that connects and divides” looks great. In the issue, Astrid Haas asks: Whose infrastructure is it anyway? This article examines political participation at the margins in Agbogbloshie, Accra. Make sure to check out these two important issues on “City in Africa I: Urbanism and informality” and “City in Africa II: Urban environmental health.”
Learn more about cocoa in Ghana. Noah Nathan and Melissa Sands provide this great review article on context and contact in political science. Planning for context-based climate adaptation. Check out Elizabeth Sperber and Erin Hern’s article “Comparing Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians’ Religious and Political Beliefs Across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.” This article examines perceptions and responses to COVID-19 in Malawi and Zambia.
CFP: Special issue on Political Change in African Cities
Kristian Hoelscher, Taibat Lawanson, and I are editing a special issue on “Political Change in African Cities: Mobilization, Participation, and State-Society Relations.” See our CFP. The issue will assess how urban growth shapes political change, and identify the conditions in African cities that affect broader socio-political transformation. It takes a place-based approach and theorizes how the underlying structural, historical, and spatial contexts associated with urbanization condition the nature, sequencing and dynamics of political change. If you are interested in contributing to the Special Issue, please submit an abstract to Jeffrey Paller (email@example.com) by March 31, 2023. We then aim to have a remote workshop in early Fall 2023, and submit full papers to a leading comparative politics or African politics journal by November 30, 2023.
The week in development
Seye Abimbola writes: When dignity meets evidence. Meta fails to stop a court case in Kenya over a toxic work environment. The role of national parks in illicit economies and conflict dynamics. This piece explains the irony of the $30 billion mobilized for agribusiness as 282 million Africans starve. China’s demand for donkeys is rising—and they look to Africa. South African blackouts cost the country $51 million a day. Marion Ouma explains that cash transfers are not a silver bullet for development.
This looks good: White Saviorism in International Development.
Africa and the environment
Toward a postcolonial perspective on climate urbanism. Meet the people safeguarding the forests and lagoons of West Africa. Solar grid expansion in Africa. South Africa’s power grid is collapsing, costing the country $51 million a day and affecting mining. The interplay between sea level rise in Senegal and far right populism in Europe. More controversy over Africa’s largest dam.
Women find their own voice at this Lagos thrift market. Turning Nairobi’s public libraries into ‘palaces for the people.” Kehinde Wiley’s Lagos home is pretty cool. Turning flip flops into art. Angelique Kidjo carries a fierce history. Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu is yet to be found after being caught in Turkey earthquakes.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil