Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
May 6, 2022
Tips for department chairs. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“The Black Stars journey to the Qatar 2022 World Cup Finals provides useful lessons on which we can model responses to the socio-economic disaster of today. If a team written-off by pundits can reinvent itself, work together under the right leadership, and attain international glory; then the answers to our present woes are not far-fetched, they are within us to achieve.” – Ghana’s former president John Mahama
Election in Kenya
Kenyans will go to the polls to elect a new president in August. Emma Elfversson explains some of the drivers of electoral violence. Rapper tells Kenyans “Yo! Get up and vote!,” but do voters care? Who will win over Meru County?
Ethiopia’s civil war
A new piece claims to provide an unconventional take about what it is like to live under the insurgent Tigray regime in Ethiopia. Lauren Blanchard takes issue with it here. Kjetil Tronvoll explains the anatomy of the civil war. This is a cool article: “The histories buildings tell: aesthetic and popular readings of state meaning in Ethiopia.” These ten books can help us understand the conflicts in Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Challenges of democratization
Mark Wentling argues that democracy in Africa is like a flashlight without batteries. What’s next for the push for democratization in Tunisia? Does the call for constitutional reform resonate with citizens in citizens in Ghana?
Freedom of speech
This is the reality of press freedom in Nigeria. Ghana drops 30 places in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index. Does Ghana’s constitution protect media freedom? Elon Musk left a South Africa that was rife with misinformation and white privilege.
African international relations
Learn more about China’s discourse power operations in the Global South. Aileen Waitaaga Kimuhu discusses Sino-African relations. Read this research briefing: “China, Africa And The 2021 Dakar Focac.”
Russia in Africa
Human Rights Watch reports abuses by Russia-linked forces in Central African Republic. This is how a sanctioned Russian company gained access to Sudan’s gold. Alex Thurston discusses four recent articles about Russia’s involvement in the Sahel. Can Africa offer an alternative to Russian gas?
Struggle for rights and freedom
Get your weekly Sahel news. Traditional approaches to transitional justice in Nigeria could help in the fight against armed banditry. In Senegal’s former capital, a colonial statue in hiding is no longer welcome. Former South African president predicts the end of the ruling party. Protesters face tear gas on third anniversary of Sudan sit-in killings. John Mahama seems to be readying himself for a presidential run in 2024. Who is behind South Africa’s xenophobic nationalism? What’s changed in Tanzania after a year with President Samia Suluhu Hassan?
Africa’s rapid urbanization
This is a very cool architectural project that reveals the historic treasures of Ghana’s design past. New forms of urban planning are emerging in Africa. Check out the Charter Cities Institute’s Planning Guidelines. ACRC examines youth empowerment and development in African cities. Zachary Levenson explains the politics of occupying land in South Africa. This is how face-me-I-face-you homes became a way of life in Lagos. How can architectural solutions contribute to increase liveability in informal settlements in South Africa?
This is an interesting article about India’s infrastructure building in Rwanda. This paper examines production systems in pre-colonial Africa. Karen Ferree, Lauren Honig, Ellen Lust, and Melanie Phillips’ APSR article is out: “Land and Legibility: When do Citizens Expect Secure Property Rights in Weak States?” This article examines conflicting rationalities in the digitalization of energy access in Kibera, Nairobi. This article discusses what it means for Nigerian migrants to be ‘stuck in place’ in Guangzhou City. Read “How violence shapes contentious traditional leadership in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.” This chapter examines climate and non-climatic stressors, internal migration, and belonging in Ghana. Current History’s Africa Issue is here!
Why Democracies Develop and Decline is out soon. Check out Mary Anderson and Kevin Fridy’s Community, Civic Engagement and Democratic Governance Governance: The Case of Ghana. Get your copy of James Yeku’s Cultural Netizenship: Social Media, Popular Culture, and Performance in Nigeria. Check out Sudan’s Unfinished Democracy. Saheed Aderinto’s Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa: The Human and Nonhuman Creatures of Nigeria looks fascinating.
The week in development
War in Ukraine is pushing global acute hunger to the highest level this century. Food aid for South African families marks end of Ramadan. Africa’s top COVID plant faces an uncertain future after production is halted. Uganda asks its neighbors to pay for refugees. This is a very cool map of the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean.
African economies have huge external debt financing obligations. Attitudes towards abortion in the DR Congo suggest there are ways to overcome stigma. Go inside Nigeria’s illegal abortion clinics. Africa accounts for 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money market. Chemical traces in ancient West African pots show a diet rich in plants. Uganda’s government should expedite land reforms. Here’s a list of Africa’s fastest growing countries. This article examines the uneven geography of FDI. If you want decolonization, go to the economics of Samir Amin.
We are still on fire at GLD – listen to our podcast on “How Bureaucrats and Civil Society (can) Facilitate Clientelism.”
Tech in Africa
This is a good thread on digital transformation in Africa. Africans turn to healthtech. Africa’s fourth industrial revolution depends on Internet connectivity. This article examines fintech urbanism in the startup capital of Africa.
Africa and the environment
DR Congo approves auction of oil blocks in one of the world’s largest carbon sinks, posing a double threat to the climate. This is how to make Africa’s “Great Green Wall” a success. Removing alien plants can save water. Climate change will cause 15,000 interspecies infections and accelerate viral spillovers. 20 percent of reptiles risk extinction. This energy efficiency tool is pretty cool.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil