This Week in Africa, July 9, 2021

Democracy. Development. Daily Life.


“Global inequality in one tweet.”

Sisonke Msimang


Get caught up with Ufahamu Africa. Here is the week in Africa:

Protests in eSwatini

It’s all the king’s men versus the people in eSwatini. Citizens have had enough of their corrupt and ineffective leaders. Protesters have even started to target King Mswati’s properties to show resistance to his rule. The government has responded with violence as the king orders a crackdown. The king called on the military to protect him from demonstrators. SADC will dispatch a team of ministers to the country. New Frame provides this thread on the crackdown on journalists, while the eSwatini Institute of Democracy provides this statement.

This is a helpful explainer. These photos help tell the story of the eSwatini protests. #SwaziLivesMatter

Next steps in Ethiopia

Tigrayan forces paraded thousands of Ethiopian military prisoners of war through the streets of Mekelle last week. But the fallout begins: More than 400,000 face famine as the government continues to weaponize starvation. Journalists are under threat. Abiy has a choice to make about saving the country. Read this interview with Tigray’s leader.

The Crisis Group provides this analysis. These are five steps to sustain a ceasefire in Tigray. Where does Abiy Ahmed go from here? And the conflict in Tigray is fueling Amhara expansionism in other parts of the country.

Struggle for rights and freedom

At least 43 migrants drowned off the shore of Tunisia trying to make it to Italy. The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Ghana strongly condemns the killing of two men by security personnel in Ejura. Uganda is taxing Internet usage by 30 percent to control speech. This is an interesting discussion on class and police brutality in Kenya. Muema Wambua provides this assessment of historical injustices and transitional justice mechanisms in Kenya.

Election on the continent

Somalia will hold its long-delayed election on October 10. This is how to reform Angola’s electoral system.

African international relations

Erdogan has visited Africa more than any other non-African leader. Fracturing states in Africaare redrawing colonial maps. I’m looking forward to the Imagine Africa Series. Rosebell Kagumire discusses African young women resisting borders.

Africa’s rapid urbanization

Prince Guma’s Rethinking Smart Urbanism looks great. Working with displaced people can help make better and more inclusive cities. This article postcolonizes planetary urbanization. Learn more about how to build safe and sustainable cities at this conference. This articleexamines power, politics and a poo pump in Kampala. This is how to localize the SDGs in cities.

Cities in a post-COVID world.

Research corner

Here is a discussion of democracy in Africa. Check out this article on candidate resources and party switching in new democracies. Leo Arriola, Jed DeVaro, and Anne Meng’s article“Democratic Subversion: Elite Cooptation and Opposition Fragmentation” is out. Summer Lindsey’s article looks interesting: “Conflict, Protection, and Punishment: Repercussions of Violence in Eastern DR Congo.” See this article with UCDP data on new trends in conflict across the globe.

Reimagining Christianity and Sexual Diversity in Africa looks great. The Savior Fish tells the story of how a local community confronts environmental change on Lake Victoria. Decolonising Political Communication in Africa has some good chapters. Though not about Africa, Ben Marquez’s new book The Politics of Patronage is sure to have insights for those working on development in Africa.

The week in development

Ghana will soon issue green and social bonds. The African Genome Project offers great promise. This is an interesting post on Kwame Nkrumah and imperialist finance. Africa can level up its digital game through better governance and trade. This is how Ethiopia can facilitate economic inclusion for refugees. Kajsa Hallberg Adu explains how understanding Ghana’s students is key to fixing the country.

A new malaria vaccine shows early success. Check out this incredible poverty map that estimates micro-estimates of wealth. This is how Nigeria can solve its tech talent gap. Ghana’s government is facing the heat over the price it pays for COVID testing and vaccines. Nigeria’s Twitter ban is affecting e-commerce. The rush for gold in South Africa continues. Are poor countries turning the corner after an increase in poverty due to the pandemic? What role does religion play in the Nile Dam dispute?

Stop filming us.

Africa and the environment

Climate change signals the need to diversify African economies. Urgent action on climate change is needed. This is how the private sector is shaping the future of Lake Chad and the Congo Basin. This Burkina Faso rapper turns rhymes about climate change. Nigeria’s Oluwaseyi Moejoh is spreading conservation activism across Africa. Why are jacarandas flowering early? What is the impact of mining on the environment?

Miasa Publishing Workshop

The MIASA Publishing Workshop for African scholars, jointly organised by Africa Spectrum(published by the GIGA Institute for African Affairs) and the Contemporary Journal of African Studies (published by the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana), will take place virtually on 21 and 22 October 2021. The workshop will also benefit from collaboration with the African Studies Association of Africa. Learn more here, and apply at this link.

Daily life

Freetown is pretty cool. The glory and the tragedy of Zambia’s psych-rock trailblazers. Nigeria is taking over the NBA.

All the best,

Jeff and Phil

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