Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
June 17, 2022
I guess Paul Kagame and I have something in common. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“The message still remains that #WeAreAllGhana. We refuse to be silenced. We refuse to be daunt. We will resist the oppressors and any level of oppression. We are Ghana, We are Queer, We are here & will always demand for our rights to be respected & protected. #LoveWins.” – LGBT+ Rights Ghana
LGBTQ rights in Ghana
A giant billboard celebrating Pride month was pulled down in Accra. Karen Attiah explains Ghana’s tragic turn toward anti-LGBT extremism. Read the latest news on what is happening in the LGBTQ+ community. The queer community is fighting back against the anti-LGBT proposed law. An artist’s residency offers a haven.
Rwanda and DR Congo
Tensions between Rwanda and DR Congo are high. Congolese authorities blame Rwandan authorities of supporting M23 rebel attacks. People are displaced, and Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese residents are being targeted and their stores looted. Jason Stearns addresses the situation between the two countries.
Nigeria’s presidential election
Nigeria’s presidential candidates are a blast from the past. This piece discusses how security failures will affect the upcoming election. Money is breaking democracy. Looking back, has Buhari kept his promises?
And remember, Tinubu did not “build Lagos.”
South African politics
A burglary forces South Africans to ask: What is Cyril Ramaphosa hiding? He has created a misfortune of his own making, and his negotiation skills have failed him. The arrest of the Gupta Brothers cannot save the ANC. Jacob Zuma’s daughter calls for more unrest.
Kenya’s presidential election
The wheeling and dealing is on in Kenya. President Kenyatta is reshaping the race. Kenya’s political titans are gearing up for an electoral fight. Is the IEBC prepared? What is it about the Kenyan postcolonial state?
Ethiopia’s civil war
An invisible ethnic cleansing campaign is happening in Tigray. The government is negotiating in Tigray. This dataset includes Western Tigray in 108 historical and 21 ethno-linguistic maps (1607-2009). Abiy Ahmed’s power base is more fragile than ever.
Displacing the Maasai
There is a heavy police presence in Loliondo, Kenya as evictions against the Maasai intensify. In Tanzania, the government is moving Maasai out of the Ngorongoro reserve. Police even shot Maasai protesters. Some say that the government is making way for a UAE-backed trophy hunting reserve. Others say it is due to government’s conservation efforts. Stay tuned: the displacement of Maasai from their ancestral lands is likely to escalate into more protests and collective action.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Isaac Samuel discusses Hausa and the creation of an Africa lingua franca (subscribe to his Substack—its awesome). Refugees in South Africa demand resettlement due to xenophobia. Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni explains that we need African studies with Africans. Somalia’s president has selected a Prime Minister. This is what it means.
Prince Charles describes the UK’s Rwanda migrant policy as “appalling.” The European Court of Human Rights issued a last minute injunction to stop the move. At least 20 people are injured in police crackdown on school protest in Ghana. The next Mediterranean migration crisis will be worse. Learn more about mental health in Kenyan women activists. Alice Evans asks: Did transatlantic slavery and colonial borders wreck West Africa’s women’s movements?
African international relations
What is Uganda’s Operation Shujaa doing in the DR Congo? What is the status of cyber threats on the continent? Niger doubles down on its relationship with France. This map visualizes military expenditure in Africa. This is how Al Shabaab uses Facebook to spread extremism in East Africa. Congrats to Neha Wadekar for winning the Pulitzer Center’s 2022 Breakthrough Journalism Award for her reporting on the Mozambique insurgency. Burkina Faso is now the epicenter of the conflict in the Sahel. This paper examines regional integration in West Africa.
Check out this special issue “Political Front Lines: China’s Pursuit of Influence in Africa.” This is what Lesotho can teach Eswatini and South Africa about key political reforms. These are some important insights for AMISOM in Somalia.
Challenges of democratization
Africa’s rapid urbanization
What are Africa’s most expensive cities? This podcast discusses urban planning innovations that could help African cities. 26 more people are confirmed dead in KwaZulu floods. Cape Town also experienced terrible flooding. Khayelitsha residents shelter in churches after non-stop rain. The importance of sanitation in small towns. Diana Mitlin explains an approach to studying African cities. South Africa’s high court rules fees levied by City of Johannesburg on protest organizers unconstitutional. This is why eradicating open defecation is not the same as setting up new toilets. Air pollution in African cities presents a risk of premature death. Ethiopia’s capital is a showcase for its leader’s ambitions. Who will win the governorship of Nairobi?
Urban Africa Book series
I am very excited about the new UCL Press and International Africa Institute Urban Africa Book Series that I am co-editing with Jennifer Robinson. We welcome proposals that provide critical, in-depth analysis of key contemporary issues affecting urban environments across the continent. We hope to publish books by emerging and leading scholars in African urban studies, and will do so Open Access. Reach out if you have any questions. Check out the call here.
Tarila Ebiede and Kialee Nyiayaana explain how violence shapes contentious traditional leadership in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Clement Sefa-Nyarko examines institutional design and Ghana’s Fourth Republic. This article examines the coloniality of time in the global justice debate. Check out the paper “Measuring what matters.” Learn more about the colonial gaze of the German–Namibian publishing industry. This article provides an understanding of heterogeneity among Ugandan youth agripreneurs. This is what Makerere University reveals about culture. Make sure to check out Marie Gagné’s excellent article “Analysing the constraints to corporate land control: the influence of local power dynamics on a large-scale land deal in Senegal.”
Get your copy of Anarchism: A Short Introduction. Learn more about the remote valley in Ethiopia that shaped America’s policy on indigenous rights in global development in the book Last Days in Naked Valley. Get your copy of Everyday State and Democracy in Africa: Ethnographic Encounters. Elizabeth J. Pfeiffer’s Viral Frictions: Global Health and the Persistence of HIV Stigma in Kenya looks great. We are a year away, but the anticipation is great: Brenda Chalfin’s Waste Works: Vital Politics in Urban Ghana. I look forward to reading Keith Weghorst’s Activist Origins of Political Ambition: Opposition Candidacy in Africa’s Electoral Authoritarian Regimes.
The week in development
What is happening in the DR Congo’s mining sector? How are Ugandans surviving the fuel shortage? What’s the matter with private equity in Africa? Angola overtakes Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer. This brief amplifies grassroots COVID-19 responses in Kenya. The drought in Somalia is brutally killing children as parents flee for refuge. Ghana gets a $1 billion pledge from banks to spur its economy through its Development Bank Ghana. A months-long university strike in Nigeria puts students’ lives on hold. Kenya’s push to promote traditional food is good for nutrition and cultural heritage. Electric cargo bike pilot starts in Ghana.
90 percent of Nigerians – and Africans across the continent – want to study abroad. Oman and Tanzania set up a mutual investment fund. Stefan Dercon explains that wealthy elites – not foreign aid – rescues countries from poverty. The Lancet rejects papers that don’t acknowledge African researchers. Check out this new volume on public action and the pandemic. Learn more about ID Insight’s Dignity Initiative.
Tech in Africa
Africa and the environment
A former UN climate envoy argues that Africa must forgo gas exploration to avert climate disaster. Raft by raft, the Congo Basin rainforest loses its trees. Kenyan fishermen languish under government policy—the story from Lamu. Prolonged La Nina likely to worsen drought in the Horn. The brewing battle over African ivory. Ghana aims to plant millions of trees in a single day. Droughts are spreading across the globe. Can MENA countries fight climate change the same way as others?
Stay tuned: Kendrick in Ghana. A beautiful run. In Dakar, African art speaks in all its voices. Get your copy of Chef Simileoluwa’s From Eko with Love- A Guide to Modern Nigerian Cooking. Ibrahim Mahama’s art installation in Tamale is very cool. Uganda’s Tuktuks. Yum: Kienyeji Chicken, Managu & Wimbi Ugali. The NFL comes to Africa. Nyawira Githae writes: One day I will learn to speak my mother tongue.
Watch Neptune Frost, an Afrofuturist fantasia about the state of the world and how to resist it. It takes a team to raise an athlete. A Ghanaian chef serves free stew as more struggle to afford food. A book in Africa has women talking about sex. Plastic into portraits. Bismack Biyombo! Elsa!
All the best,
Jeff and Phil