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This Week in Africa
November 18, 2022
The first snow. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“In Senegal, we used to have fan clubs cheering for one player or another: one for El Hadji Diouf, one for Aliou Cissé. Today, people come to watch a team. Our players wear the national jersey. They’re proud to be Senegalese, proud to be African.” – Senegalese football coach Aliou Cissé
Democracy and elections
Sierra Leone’s ruling party tries to change the electoral system to stay in power. Nigerians will go to the polls amidst rising insecurity. TIFA Research publishes its report of Kenya’s 2022 election.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Comfort Ero gave this speech to the UN about counterterrorism. She also calls for Biden to play a more central role in preventing Ethiopia from returning to war. This is a cool look back at two decades of the Afrobarometer. Benin has expanded access to abortion rights. Aby Sene explains wildlife conservation and imperial expansion in Africa. Being black in Tunisia. South Africa’s left needs to organize.
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Very cool: Henri Lefebvre and the Theory of the Production of Space by Christian Schmid. I can’t wait to read Architecture and Politics in Africa. Take a look at “Conceptualising urban inequalities as a complex socio-technical phenomenon.” This is a cool piece on the transcalar politics of urban master planning. This article provides a new conceptual framework for public participation. Intermediate Cities and Climate Change examines the role of secondary cities in sustainable urban development.
Mwangi Mwaura explains the meaning behind demolitions in Nairobi; it is listed among global luxury markets. Outsourcing affordable housing in Ghana. Social innovation can help solve Africa’s urban challenges. Africa’s megacities look to mass transit to ease growing pains. COP 27 snubs Egypt’s unsung heroes of informal garbage recycling. Attacks on informal settlements are attacks on women’s economic liberation. Africa’s informal cities need more than green infrastructure to weather the effects of climate change.
“Explaining Backlash: Social Hierarchy and Men’s Rejection of Women’s Rights Reforms” presents new evidence from Malawi. This article examines actors, bricolage, and education policy in Ghana. Learn more about women’s political representation, good governance and human development. This article examines gender gaps in support for vigilante justice in Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. Hager Ali, Salah Ben Hammou, and Jonathan Powell examine constitutional engineering and military entrenchment in Sudan.
This looks good: Born with a Copper Spoon: A Global History of Copper, 1830-1980. Some cool books on religion in Africa. Undoing Resistance: Authoritarianism and Attacks on the Arts in Sudan’s 30 Years of Islamist Rule looks fascinating. Sandra Joireman’s Peace, Preference, and Property: Return Migration after Violent Conflict is out soon. I loved hearing Corinna Jentzsch present her book Violent Resistance: Militia Formation and Civil War in Mozambique in Uppsala yesterday.
And this is a great opportunity: The New Voices Initiative aims to identify, encourage, and support early career researchers (ECRs) who are interested in teaching at the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR).
The week in development
Chris Blattman tells the story of his first RA job, and it sparks a conversation about development econ as a colonial project and how to talk about fieldwork (read the replies). A rising number of Kenyans face starvation. This piece examines how to manage water, energy and food security in times of geopolitical turmoil. Learn more about one of the world’s deadliest gold mines in Tanzania. Why is Ghana’s economy battling “malevolent forces”? Can Virunga National Park survive more conflict and a new hunt for oil?
Africa and the environment
Livestock is a form of climate justice. A South African town battles a new mine, exposing future challenges of the energy transition. Air pollution and climate change are a deadly duo for Africa. Rising sea levels are driving faster erosion along Senegal’s coast. Adaptation to climate change must consider the local. The challenges of climate finance on the continent. Madagascar adapts to climate change.
Kenya warns that climate change will affect performance in sports. North Africa will turn to desalination for water security. To confront the drought, Kenyan herders look to hope underground. Week two of COP 27 opens with a focus on water, women, and “loss and damage” negotiations. Drilling for natural gas takes center stage. African insurers pledge $14 billion to take up climate change fight. Climate change will affect 64% of Africa’s GDP by 2100. If COP 27 fails, African countries stand to lose the most. Prominent Egyptian prisoner Alaa Abd El Fattah ends his hunger strike.
I can’t wait for Nanjala Nyabola’s forthcoming Strange and Difficult Times: Notes on a Global Pandemic. “Plastic Man” in Senegal is on a mission against trash. Nigerian basketball star commits to Washington State. Senegal and Cameroon carry Africa’s World Cup hopes. Senegal’s coach Aliou Cissé explains what’s at stake in the World Cup. Sisi Eko of San Francisco. Ooh, South Africa. Juba! Is rock climbing the future of tourism in Malawi?
All the best,
Jeff and Phil