Africa Media Review for January 20, 2023

Sudan: From Revolution, to Coup, to Uprising
Following the recent fourth anniversary of the popular uprising in Omdurman in December 2018, which was the spark to a series of events that eventually culminated in the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir from power the following spring, Sudan has once more become the scene of major anti-government protests and unrest. Huge demonstrations have been taking place around the country against the ruling military junta and leaders of the October 2021 coup that saw the suspension of the transition to democracy and threatened a return to outright despotism in Sudan…“The framework agreement, signed on December 5 2022, is aimed at achieving that objective — and is therefore reviled by most ordinary people in Sudan, who can see right through the charade it represents.” Morning Star

Sudan Forces Crack Down on Protesters in Capital
Sudanese protesters tried to march onto parliament on Thursday but were intercepted by security forces who fired tear gas and water hoses at the crowds. The protesters are marching against last month’s deal between Sudan’s coup leaders and the main pro-democracy group to establish a civilian-led transitional government following the 2021 military takeover. “We are against a settlement. Our protests will continue until the fall of the regime and the formation of a civilian and democratic state,” said protester Intesar Marrouf. Africanews with AP

Russia Delivers Warplanes, Helicopters to Mali
Mali has received more warplanes and helicopters from Russia, an AFP correspondent noted, the latest in a series of deliveries from its new top military and political ally. AFP counted eight planes and two helicopters at a ceremony on Thursday attended by Russian ambassador Igor Gromyko and the head of Mali’s junta, Colonel Assimi Goita. Mali’s current Air Force Chief General Alou Boi Diarra hailed the latest deliveries as the latest stage in the “unprecedented” modernisation of the country’s forces. Libya Update

Sierra Leone Passes Law Reserving 30pc of Jobs for Women
Sierra Leone passed a law Thursday requiring public and private entities to reserve 30 percent of their jobs for women, in a bid to tackle gender imbalances in a society that favours men. President Julius Maada Bio signed into law the bill, which also assures women at least 14 weeks of maternity leave, equal pay and training opportunities. Bio said it would “address the gender imbalances in this country comprehensively. We have to make sure it works. “We must end the impunity or violence against women in elections and public life and punish all persons and entities found guilty of such violence,” he added. AFP

G20 Creditors on Board for Ghana Debt Relief Talks: Paris Club
All member countries of the G20 group of economic powers are on board for a restructuring of Ghana’s debt and Paris Club members are ready to take the first step towards forming a creditor committee, an official from the Paris Club told Reuters on Thursday. Ghana last week requested a restructuring of debt it owes to other governments, becoming the fourth country after Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia to do so under a G20 Common Framework. Al Jazeera

Nigeria Elections 2023: How Influencers Are Secretly Paid by Political Parties
A BBC investigation has discovered that political parties in Nigeria are secretly paying social media influencers to spread disinformation about their opponents ahead of general elections in February. The BBC’s Global Disinformation Team has spoken to whistle-blowers working for two of Nigeria’s political parties, and prominent influencers who have described it as “an industry”. The whistle-blowers say parties give out cash, lavish gifts, government contracts and even political appointments for their work…Situation rooms are commonplace in the run-up to an election. It’s where political parties strategise, develop plans and monitor their campaigns’ success. But in the rooms the whistle-blowers described to us, there was another function: following how false narratives assigned to influencers were performing. Strategist Yemi says fake stories are developed to improve their candidates’ chances: “You can deliberately misinform in a suitable way for you.” BBC

Nigeria: Emefiele Meets Buhari in Aso Rock amid DSS Saga
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, had a separate meeting with Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the presidential villa…For some time now, Emefiele has been the subject of investigations by the Department of State Services (DSS) which approached a federal high court in Abuja seeking a warrant to arrest him over alleged terrorism financing. The court, however, declined the application on the grounds that the secret police did not provide any concrete evidence to substantiate its claims. A federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Maitama later issued an order restraining the DSS from arresting Emefiele. Meanwhile, following the CBN governor’s return to the country, news spread across social media platforms accusing DSS operatives of invading the apex bank to arrest him. The Cable

Somalia: Kenyan Security Forces Kill 10 Al-Shabaab Militants in Border Region
Kenyan security forces on Wednesday killed 10 al-Shabab militants in Garissa county in the northeastern region. Northeastern Regional Police Commander George Seda said the multi-agency security team conducted an intelligence-led operation on the al-Shabab hideout at Degbon after trailing the extremists for a week. “The multi-agency team also recovered weapons including rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), AK-47 rifles, and improvised explosive device materials,” Seda said in a security report. He said the killing of the extremists followed a tip-off from residents, adding that the operation was ongoing and would not divulge much. Shabelle Media Network

Uganda’s Recent $3.5 Billion Oil Pipeline Project Is Set to End the Country’s 2-Decade Long Oil Setbacks
The East African nation…[approved] the construction of a $3.5 billion oil pipeline that will transport the country’s crude to international markets…Like most other exploration projects in this region of the continent, environmentalists have expressed concerns, noting that the implementation of this project would displace or afflict the residents in the area. The project also poses a threat to the delicate ecosystem in the region. However, with an estimated gross reserve that stands at 6 billion barrels while recoverable oil stands at 1.4 billion barrels, it is highly unlikely that these concerns would deter the commencement of the project. For over 2 decades now, the oil reserves in Uganda has been sub-optimally explored owing to a lack of infrastructure and the occasional skirmishes between the government and oil companies. Business Insider Africa

No Quick Fix: The Challenge of Local Peacebuilding in South Sudan
South Sudan’s fraught peace agreement and transition have been blamed for fuelling a series of conflicts that have divided communities and contributed to humanitarian indicators reaching levels unseen even during the 2013-2018 civil war. Yet efforts by local and international organisations to reduce such conflicts are often falling short, over a dozen community leaders, government officials, and individuals involved in peacebuilding work in the country told The New Humanitarian. “What peacebuilders are not considering is that [conflict] does not end by just bringing [communities] together and letting them talk,” said James Ninrew Dong, founder of the Assistance Mission for Africa, a national NGO. “What is important is what comes next.” New Humanitarian

The Murky World of Foreign Child Adoption in Africa
Four Croatian couples are on trial in Zambia for attempted child trafficking after authorities found their child adoption papers to be fake. Their case has put a spotlight on foreign child adoption in Africa…The case has re-ignited the old debate about child adoptions in Africa involving western nationals. Critics argue that, in some cases, the practice has facilitated child trafficking. At the same time, those in support believe that adoptions help reduce the burden of feeding, clothing, and sheltering orphaned kids in institutions and families that struggle to raise their children due to poverty. “Lately, there’s been a lot of [human] trafficking cases that have been intercepted by the police, especially enroute to other countries,” Josphat Njovu, Executive Director of Advocacy for Child Justice in Zambia, told DW. DW

Key African Economies to Slow Rate Hikes with Inflation Peaking
After tightening monetary policy sharply in 2022, most African central banks are poised to slow the pace of interest-rate hikes in coming weeks as inflation shows signs of peaking or moderating. Monetary policy committees in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya will likely proceed more gingerly in raising borrowing costs, while Mozambique’s is forecast to stand pat as it assesses the impact of previous increases. Angola will probably remain an outlier and cut rates. Bloomberg



Photo: Adam Jones