Discover more from This Week in Africa
This Week in Africa
September 23, 2022
It is now fall. Here is the week in Africa:
Quote of the week
“We must recognise the time for changes in the global systems is now. If the world is to truly find love, peace and prosperity, the structures that exist to create global stability must be rebuilt on the principles of fairness and the inclusion of all nations.” – Mia Amor Mottley at the UN
Ghana’s economic challenges
Ghana’s e-levy is hitting the poor the hardest. The IEA reflects on Ghana’s rising inflation. A team from the IMF will visit Ghana next week to assess the situation. Debt-restructuring talks will begin. The continent is dreading the move toward austerity. This is what looms ahead. Meanwhile, Ghana’s economy is growing faster than expected on manufacturing and cocoa prices.
Elections on the continent
This is why Tanzania is envious of Kenya’s election. Oppositions are gaining strength across Africa. The MPLA retained power in Angola but must confront a disillusioned youth population. Senegal’s presidential poll is shaping up to be very competitive.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Eritrea is boosting its military reserves and helping Ethiopia fight rebels. Check out this CSIS conversation with Somalia’s president. This piece examines class struggle under neoliberalism. What did Cyril Ramaphosa and Kamala Harris meet about? Can you measure what peace is?
Challenges of democratization
Africans want democracy, but disapprove of their democratically-elected representatives. They don’t see elections leading to accountability. The continent’s path toward more democracy has run into headwinds. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi blames the elite capture of democracy as a contributor to persistent poverty and inequality. Democracy in Kenya is at stake as William Ruto takes on the media.
Africa’s rapid urbanization
Architecture and Politics in Africa is open access. A reflection on the life and work of Akin Mabogunje. Challenging the perception of Accra’s architecture. This is good: post-colonial education in Kumasi. This article examines the intersection of climate risk and social vulnerabilities in Lusaka. Boda bodas in Luanda. Check out these interesting articles on urban Africa in Urban Studies.
Abiy Ahmed is transforming Addis. More on mortuary politics in colonial Ghana (I wrote about it recently here). Marco di Nunzio discusses the hard work of mobility. While Rwanda slum dwellers accuse government of forcible evictions, Freetown, Kumasi, and Kigali all won Bloomberg Cities Networks “Mayors Challenge.”
Africa holds up a mirror to Africa. Learn more about the wildcat strikes during the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1980. Check out this Africa Today special issue on “Rethinking Refuge.” This looks good: Leslie Elaine James’ “Blood Brothers: Colonialism and Fascism as Relations in West Africa and the Caribbean.” Learn more about the Bawku conflict in northern Ghana.
Eve Fairbanks discusses her new book with Francis Fukuyama on how blacks and whites have adjusted to democratic life in South Africa. I can’t wait to read Lynn Schler’s Decolonizing Independence: Statecraft in Nigeria’s First Republic and Israeli Interventions. This looks interesting: Agricultural Commercialization, Gender Equality and the Right to Food: Insights from Ghana and Cambodia. Malaka Gharib remembers summers in Cairo in her new graphic memoir It Won't Always Be Like This. Check it out: African Modernism and Its Afterlives. Fiona Shen-Bayh discusses her new book Undue Process: Persecution and Punishment in Autocratic Courts. Pick up Transformations of Rural Spaces in Mozambique. I can’t wait for Tom Goodfellow’s Politics and the Urban Frontier: Transformation and Divergence in Late Urbanizing East Africa.
Nicolas van de Walle selects several books to explain the last century—and the future.
The week in development
World-Bank funded government support boosted community well-being in Sierra Leone. Somalia is on the brink of famine. Tunisia needs a new approach to development. Kenya’s William Ruto praises Uganda’s savings culture. Schoolchildren suffer amidst the Anglophone Crisis. There is a new Ebola outbreak in Uganda. Patience Afulani calls for patient-driven healthcare. How to integrate refugees into the labor market?
The African School of Economics is where it’s at.
Africa and the environment
Ghana’s efforts to employ young people and regrow forests could work better. African nations push for more climate finance in the lead up to COP27. Floods killed more than 300 people in Nigeria this year. Global conflict makes the climate crisis worse. Africa’s contribution to climate change is negligible. South Africa’s rolling blackouts can be life or death.
The Woman King
The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, a group of women warriors who fought for the kingdom of Dahomey in the early 1800s. Leonard Wantchekon was a historical advisor on the film. This is what the film gets wrong—and right – about Dahomey’s women warriors.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil