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This Week in Africa
June 10, 2022
Some great summer reading! Here is the week in Africa:
Kenya’s presidential election
Meet the four candidates running for Kenya’s presidency. William Ruto is officially a candidate. The race is on. The billboards tell the story. Hate speech and disinformation spike on TikTok in the lead up to the election. The stakes are high.
Church attack in Nigeria
Nigerian primary elections
Bola Tinubu is elected presidential candidate for the APC. He says it’s his turn to run the country. Learn more about the who’s who in Tinubu’s powerful network. Learn more about Nigeria’s evolving political party landscape. This video shows the spectacle of the primary election. Revisit my post “All politics is local” about how candidates build followings in African cities, which can jumpstart national campaigns. Idayat Hassan explains: And so the countdown begins.
Somalia’s political landscape
Migration and displacement
The number of African migrants making it to the US southern border hit a record high. Vigilantes and violence have South African migrants fearing for their lives. Ealeanor Paynter explains what the UK-Rwanda refugee deal means for asylum seekers. Senegalese are losing their homes due sea-level rise. Why are some refugees more welcome than others?
Struggle for rights and freedom
Vandals are looting graves in Beira, Mozambique in search of scrap metals. Uganda released Kizza Besigye from detention. Elin Bjarnegård and Pär Zetterberg explain how autocrats use women’s rights to boost themselves. The Gupta Brothers are arrested in Dubai, bringing them one step closer to being prosecuted for their role in “state capture” during Zuma’s regime. Learn more about the brothers here.
Evan Lieberman discusses democracy in hard places. Ryanair asks travelers to prove South African nationality, in Afrikaans. The Senzo Meyiwa trial casts spotlight on language use in South African courts. This is how to prevent electoral violence in Nigeria. I learned so much at GLD’s policy roundtable on the local effects of Tunisia’s political crisis. Check out Lexota, an interactive tool that helps you explore how laws and government actions against disinformation impact freedom of expression.
African international relations
This is an interesting post about an imaginary border in Ghana. The Wagner Group is getting rich in Sudan while helping the military crush the pro-democracy movement. It’s time to rethink West Africa’s intersecting security challenges. This is an important report on the role of Turkey and the Golf States in the Horn of Africa. Turkey is becoming an increasingly important actor on the continent. Howard French explains how Belgium can confront its colonial legacy in DR Congo.
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Developers are clogging up Accra’s wetlands, contributing to flooding. This is one reason why residents are unprepared. The City of Cape Town will return belongings to homeless individuals after agreement in court. Lagos is at war with its boda bodas. Grammars of the Urban Ground looks great. This post examines how to create sustainable growth and reduce poverty through structural transformation.
Small-scale rental housing, or backyarding, is an important strategy to alleviate the housing crisis in South Africa. This is how it works. This paper provides a comparative understanding of community-led and collaborative responses to Covid-19 in Kampala, Mogadishu and Nairobi. Meet the entrepreneur revolutionizing sanitation in Kampala with this smartphone app.
How does international intervention work to secure peace settlements after civil conflict (thread)? Emmanuel Debrah’s article examines the participation of chiefs in Ghana’s local government system. This special issue examines youth groups and gangs in Africa. Rachel Sigman explains how party finance shapes the politicized distribution of government jobs. Check out this chapter on political legitimacy in historical political economy.
This study examines the impact of colonialism on height size. The Nordic Africa Institute’s Pamphlet Collection is pretty cool. Training local leaders in mediation can reduce violence in Nigeria. This is a cool article on slanted narratives, social media, and foreign influence in Libya. Alternative dispute resolution can play an important role in peacebuilding in Liberia. Kate Baldwin and Joan Ricart-Huguet ask: Why are traditional chiefs in Africa more powerful in some places than others?
I can’t wait to read Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò’s Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously. Get your copy of African Literature in the Digital Age. Stefan Dercon’s Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose praises African technocrats. Check out Building States: The United Nations, Development, and Decolonization, 1945–1965. I am looking forward to Ben Ali’s Tunisia: Power and Contention in an Authoritarian Regime.
In memory of Isaiah Berlin.
War in Ukraine
The week in development
Taming the algorithms. Learn more about the startup market in Africa. These cities have the top startup ecosystems. These ten African countries receive the largest remittance inflows. Turkey’s construction companies are making a mark across the continent. Read the story of Uganda’s shrinking rolex. A new model by African experts suggest that Africa is estimated to have had a similar number of COVID-19 infections to the rest of the world, but with fewer deaths.
Africa and the environment
Africa is paying the price for climate change. Kenyan power lines are re-routed to protect flamingoes and pelicans. Worms in southern Africa. Young Ugandan climate activists explain their goals and vision. Africa needs better weather warning systems. This is why the world is running out of soil. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere spike past milestone. This is why mental health should be a priority for action on climate change.
Urban Politics in the Global South
There is so much exciting new research on urban politics in the Global South. We are starting an online workshop designed to bring together this growing, global community. Join us!
You can’t speak Swahili in Michigan prisons. The bike lanes of Addis. Instagram helped Amoako Boafo’s art sell for millions. Colonial vice at the Venice Biennale. Mourning King Fon Angwafor the third of Mankon, Bamenda, Cameroon. Check out the new statehouse in Dodoma. The body in flight. Zambia’s cycling city. Wine in Malawi!
RIP Dr. Alex Magaisa.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil