This Week in Africa
November 24, 2023
Quote of the week
“The day that Uganda’s dictator Yoweri Museveni imprisoned me for one birthday poem that I wrote for him in 2018, was the day my commitment to publish my poems was born.” – Stella Nyanzi
New President of Liberia
Joseph Boakai is the new president of Liberia. The vote was extremely close. Gaining accolades across the world, George Weah conceded and gave this thoughtful speech. Sitati Wasilwa argues that Weah’s loss is a win for political accountability.
DR Congo elections
This piece outlines what is at stake in upcoming DR Congo elections. Opposition leader Moïse Katumbi launches presidential campaign. The election takes place amidst a devastating displacement crisis and continued fighting against M23 rebels.
Governing South Africa
Why is xenophobia so entrenched in South Africa? This documentary tells some of the story. Rita Abrahamsen examines South Africa in the political imaginary of the radical right. The mood in South Africa is one of disappointment, but a rebound is possible. Do elections matter in South Africa’s informal settlements?
Sudan’s civil war
Sudan is amidst a serious humanitarian and displacement crisis. The RSF now controls most of Darfur. Death and destruction is going largely unnoticed. Nima Elbagir reports on going home to the country on CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Challenges of democratization
Africa and Gaza
Congo’s cobalt mines
The rush for Congo’s cobalt is killing thousands of people. Siddharth Kara’s Cobalt Red documents this story, and is a NY Times Notable Book of the Year. You can read an excerpt here. This review essay takes a look inside Congo’s cobalt mines. The rush for minerals has also contributed to a massive displacement crisis.
Migration and displacement
Could the UK’s refugee policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda affect the Good Friday Agreement? Effective migration policy only works in partnership. Compassion for migrants has given way to cruel, performative politics. This study assesses a community-based approach to integrate displaced individuals into host communities.
Struggle for rights and freedom
Niger: Whose constitutional order? This is how the media covers school violence in Africa. The Gullah Geechee fight to save their Praise Houses before their African lineage is forgotten. This piece looks at the missing history of Africa in American education. Get your copy of Stella Nyanzi’s Exiled for my Mouth. Yoku Shaw-Taylor examines the loud silence around Africa’s complicity in the slave trade. Luke Melchiorre remembers Black November, the massacre of Uganda’s opposition three years on. Meet the man behind the “Uganda Renaissance.”
This is cool: Dan Paget explains Chadema politics in Swahili.
Security and instability
Africa’s rapid urbanization
How much do boda boda drivers spend on petrol? A rebuilt Mogadishu. This is how to bridge the SDG funding gap in cities. This event reports on youth gangs in urban Africa. This article maps deprived urban areas using open geospatial data and machine learning in Accra, Lagos, and Nairobi. Afra Foli analyzes claims of authority in Accra’s drainage. Peter Kasaija discusses politics and informality in Kampala. The Centre on African Public Spaces looks really cool. This conference on African Urbanisms looks awesome.
Marco di Nunzio calls for a politics of urban justice in Addis Ababa.
This article traces the production of green hydrogen in Namibia. Shakirah Hudani’s Master Plans and Minor Acts: Repairing the City in Post-Genocide Rwanda looks excellent. Shelley Liu has another great forthcoming article about how war effects long-run development in Zimbabwe. William Akoto examines state-sponsored cyber economic espionage in his new article. This article analyzes climate change and violent conflict in east and north Africa.
The Africa Charter for Transformative Research Collaborations works to “ensure that African scholars, institutions and knowledge take their rightful place in the worldwide scientific effort.” Check out these GLD research seminars on video. Apply for WGAPE in Ghana!
The week in development
Declan Walsh explains how one small statistic became a story that spanned a continent. An attack on staff of the African Development Bank in Ethiopia is sparking a tense debate with the bank. The African School of Economics expands to Zanzibar. Nigeria and Germany sign gas supply deal. Ghana to sign costliest loan ever for cocoa as debt crisis bites. Ethiopia has made great progress enrolling children with disabilities into schools. Ghana Reparations Summit agrees on global fund to compensate Africans for the slave trade. This is how to unlock “Made in Africa.” Check out this livestock for health study in Northern Kenya.
Floods in east Africa
Africa and the environment
Carlos Milani discusses the Anthropocene, climate emergency and the need for new thinking and Global South perspectives in fighting climate change. This report outlines climate issues in the Horn of Africa. Senegal, Wall Street, and water. Africa’s lack of weather stations is costing lives. Green exploitation is still exploitation. Namibia’s $10 billion hydrogen project raises a myriad of concerns. Meet Kidus Asfaw, one of the TIME100 Climate stars. The southern hemisphere is set for record-breaking heat as summer begins. Wildebeests and wolves are the secret weapons against climate change. Sierra Leone’s Nyangai Island is disappearing.
CFP: Institutions and Democracy in Africa
This American Political Science Association mini-conference aims to bring together scholars researching the ways in which African political institutions shape democratic outcomes. We are looking for papers that explore the ways in which African legislatures, judiciaries, electoral management bodies, and political parties shape democratic outcomes. To be considered, please fill out this form by 4 December 2023. If you have any further questions, contact Thalia Gerzso (email@example.com), Matthias Krönke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah J Lockwood (email@example.com).
Are the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers a new era for African football? Africa’s football stars are investing in the future of the game. The birth of Mama G, the face of Nollywood. I do not come to you by chance. Yum: Mbuzi Wet Fry, Mukimo & Steamed Cabbage. Highlife is Ghana’s musical gift to the world. Behind the power of Henri Lopes’ writing. Senegalese-Nola restaurant Dakar NOLA featured in Eater’s top twelve new restaurants of the year. Africa’s medieval treasures shine at the met. Lamu, the beautiful. A Luanda skyline.
RIP former Springbok Hannes Strydom.
All the best,
Jeff and Phil