Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
March 17, 2023
I enjoyed the Financial Times’ “Africa Special.” Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“Energy security for me, climate concerns for you.” – Ken Opalo
Protests in Senegal
Thousands of people are demonstrating in support of opposition candidate Ousmane Sonko, who faces a rape charge. Youth clashed with security forces, though most of the gatherings are peaceful. Check out this amazing footage from above. Protesters claim president Macky Sall is risking the country’s stability by potentially seeking a third term. For more on the political context that underlies the protests and what they might mean for 2024, see my previous post.
State elections in Nigeria
Nigeria postponed its state elections by a week to ensure that the voting machines are ready for the polls. CDD provides this helpful primer on the state elections. As more analysis comes out about the presidential election, it is clear that there was a Lagos-New York-London echo chamber that did not digest the full complexities of Nigerian politics and tried to will Peter Obi to victory. Nigerians don’t need another hero. But Ken Opalo remains bullish on Nigeria because of it spaces for institutional change and experimentation.
Storms in southern Africa
Violence in DR Congo
This is how a minority group in DR Congo became the target of rebels – and its own government. Rebels pull back as regional force deploys. Angola is deploying troops, signaling an interesting strategic decision that warrants further analysis.
Ethiopia’s precarious peace
Read this explainer to learn more about Tigray’s precarious transition. This report examines religion, politics, and the state in Ethiopia.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Uganda considers a bill to criminalize identifying as LGBTQ. Meet the progressive Indian grandfather who inspired Kamala Harris and lived in Zambia. Museveni’s son said he will stand for president in 2026. Nic Cheeseman and Marie-Eve Desrosiers explain how to do no harm to democracy when engaging with authoritarian states.
African international relations
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Constance Smith explains the complicated history of Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel, the city’s first skyscraper that recently closed. Malawi’s devastating cholera outbreak has killed more than 1,600 people since March 2022. Africa can’t ban its way out of used vehicles. This piece explains the role of governance in boda boda safety reforms from Kigali to Kampala. And towards housing justice.
Oh man, the state of urban economics.
Check out Sarah Brierley and Miguel Pereira’s “Women bureaucrats and petty corruption: Experimental evidence from Ghana.” Jeffrey Haynes explains revolutionary populism and democracy in Ghana. This Afrobarometer Working Paper examines the experience of political violence in Nigeria. I look forward to reading Mariam Bjarnesen’s article on hybrid governance in Liberia in the aftermath of the UN intervention. Justin Pearce explains traces of solidarity in liberation training sites in Angola. Check out this review of popular resistance to climate adaptation. This is an interesting article on Africa, India, and the spectre of race. Get your copy of Noah Nathan’s The Scarce State: Inequality and Political Power in the Hinterland.
Meet the new Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Africa Fellows. And apply for the Nordic Africa Institute’s Guest Researcher programme.
The week in development
This is an important investigation into the Indian cough syrup that killed children in The Gambia. Women need more access to land in Sierra Leone. This report considers Africa’s path to a single market. The Simandou mine will be back in operation soon. Land reform is a priority for Nigerian lawmakers. This is why raising awareness of corruption can backfire. Learn more about the tech crash in Nigeria. Private citizens are stepping in to save lives in Malawi. This is a good discussion on the political economy of reforms in Africa. Nigeria launches $672 tech fund for young investors. And W. Gyude Moore discusses China and the multilateral development banks.
Africa and the environment
US firm bids to stop controversial oil auction in DR Congo’s rainforests. After a decade of talks, countries agree to a treaty to protect the world’s oceans. Meet the giraffes that Malindi gave to China. As the climate worsens, Africa’s economies suffer. Learn more about adaptation policies, strategies, initiatives, and actions in Senegal. Climate policy is inundating the SDGs. Water disasters – droughts and floods – are getting more intense. East coast African states ail from too much and too little rain.
Frontiers in Comparative Urban Politics Research
APSA Research Development Group
The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce a Call for Applications from early-career scholars based in Africa who are interested in attending the 2023 APSA Annual Meeting as part of a Research Development Group. Organized by the African Politics Conference Group (APCG), the program is an opportunity to advance research towards publication, participate in the APSA annual meeting, and develop scholarly networks. Costs of participation will be covered through a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The deadline to submit applications is April 2.
Nanjala Nyabola takes a motorbike adventure to Lake Turkana. The Sharjah Biennial features these beautiful artworks of African cosmologies. This is how the Ukraine War affects the Rolex, Uganda’s special snack. The Basketball Africa League is back. Cooking with Africa’s top TikTok creator. Meet the new generation of African writers rewriting Africa’s story. This is how the Oscars changed the life of Kenyan designer Nthenya Mwendwa. This is a great interview with Nuruddin Farah. Lesley Lokko is curating the Venice Bienalle, and discusses Africa as a future laboratory for architecture. What does a Grammy Award do for an African artist?
I can’t wait to cook from Maria Bradford’s forthcoming cookbook Sweet Salone: Recipes from the Heart of Sierra Leone (what a cover!).
And take me to Tatiana, please.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil