Africa Media Review for January 25, 2023

Africa’s Role in China’s Multilateralism Strategy
China’s desire to reshape multilateral institutions and create new ones, rests in part on its ability to enlist Global South support for its global initiatives. Africa is the largest bloc in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly with 28 percent of the votes compared to Asia’s 27 percent, the Americas’ 17 percent, and Western Europe’s 15 percent. Africa also holds more than a quarter of the votes in all UN governing bodies and is the largest bloc in other agencies like the World Trade Organization, the Group of 77, and the Non-Aligned Movement. This makes Africa votes critically important to Chinese efforts to redesign global institutions. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Inflation Is So High in Egypt That Eggs Are a Luxury
Egyptians will continue to struggle, as they have for years as the government tightened spending on public health care, education and subsidies. Despite a $12 billion I.M.F. loan in 2016, the economy struggled to generate stable jobs or reduce poverty. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, which walloped Egypt’s economy, began in 2020, the World Bank estimated nearly 60 percent of Egyptians were poor. Many more are now descending into poverty, though Egypt has lately bolstered welfare programs and postponed cuts to subsidized bread. New York Times

Wagner Inc: A Russian Warlord and His Lawyers
A Financial Times investigation based on leaked emails and documents, as well as corporate records, export certificates and interviews, demonstrates how Prigozhin has used leading corporate lawyers around the world to try to keep western governments at bay. Having instructed a leading firm in Moscow, he established a string of shell
companies that have allowed his mercenary operations in Africa and Syria to keep functioning. The documents provide an unprecedented insight into Wagner’s business operations, revealing a group of front companies connected to Prigozhin, such as RN Trading, that have managed to operate unsanctioned up until this day…UN investigators documented how Wagner mercenaries had been involved in human rights violations in Central African Republic including torture, disappearances, summary execution and rape. In June 2019, Sudanese paramilitary fighters, who had been trained by Wagner mercenaries, killed more than 100 protesters in the country’s capital Khartoum. Financial Times

Why South Africa Continues to Be Neutral in Ukraine-Russia War
The United States has criticised South Africa’s decision to hold military exercises next month with Russia and China as the war in Ukraine rages on. The exercises – called Mosi, which means “Smoke” in Tswana, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages – will see 350 of South Africa’s soldiers train alongside their Russian and Chinese counterparts…“The United States has concerns about any country … exercising with Russia as Russia wages a brutal war against Ukraine,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said on Monday…Pretoria and Moscow have long historical ties dating back to the times of white minority rule in South Africa. South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has longstanding relations with Moscow forged during the liberation struggle against apartheid. Many of the ANC leaders were educated or received military training in the Soviet Union. Some, like the late Eric “Stalin” Mtshali, have Russian nicknames thanks to their connections to Moscow. Al Jazeera

Namibia: Herero and Nama File Suit Against Genocide Agreement
One of Namibia’s top lawyers is taking on his country’s heavyweights. Patrick Kauta’s lawsuit, “Bernadus Swartbooi v. Speaker of the National Assembly,” takes aim at the president, government, speaker of parliament, parliament and attorney general. Herero and Nama representatives announced last Friday (20/01) they had filed a lawsuit against the Joint Declaration with Germany. The charge is just as powerful: According to the claim, which has been obtained by DW, the joint declaration by Germany and Namibia on the genocide of the Herero and Nama people between 1904 and 1908, in what was then the colony of German Southwest Africa, is illegal. DW

Malawi Cholera Death Toll Passes 1,000 as Outbreak Spreads
Malawi’s worst cholera outbreak on record has left more than 1,000 people dead even as cases have reached 30,621, health minister Khumbize Chiponda has said. The death toll announced on Tuesday breached a grim milestone and surpassed the largest recorded outbreak, which killed 968 people between 2001 and 2002, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)…In September, the WHO warned that after years of decline, there was a “worrying upsurge” in cholera outbreaks globally, with climate change adding to traditional triggers such as poverty and conflict. Al Jazeera

Rwanda Fires at DR Congo Military Jet as It Lands in Goma
The tension between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo went a notch higher on Tuesday after Kigali shot at Kinshasa’s military jet as it approached landing in Goma…At the summit in November, the DRC and Rwanda committed to seeking peace. The withdrawal of the M23 rebels from all occupied areas has not taken place, with the DRC, the US and some European nations claiming the fighters are being supported by Rwanda. War between the rebels and the Congolese army has resumed with new fighting, with each accusing the other of launching attacks. East African

UN: Escalating Attacks Terrorize Thousands in Eastern DR Congo
The U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, is condemning escalating violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that has killed hundreds of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in search of safety. More than 130 armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are creating havoc and terrorizing the population with their brutal, frequent attacks. Whole communities have become uprooted. Millions of displaced people have been consigned to a life of destitution and dependence on international aid. The latest deadly attack occurred in Ituri province on January 19 at the Plaine Savo site for internally displaced people. U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Eujin Byun says armed men stormed the site and killed two adults and five children. Voice of America

South Sudan: EU Official Concerned over Slow Implementation of Peace Deal
A top European Union (EU) official has expressed concerns over the slow pace of the implementation of key provisions the peace agreement that ended nearly five years of civil war in South Sudan. David Karpela, the Chief of Cabinet for the EU’s Special Representative made the remarks after meeting South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar in the capital, Juba on Tuesday. The two leaders discussed the latest developments in the implementation of the agreement, amid calls for peace parties to expedite the formulating the permanent constitution and set up electoral framework for South Sudan to hold its first ever general elections at the end of the transitional period. Sudan Tribune

Nigeria’s Boko Haram Fighters Surrender After Clash with Iswap
At least 214 fleeing Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to Nigerian troops in the country’s north east following a deadly clash with the rival Islamic State of the West African Province (Iswap) that claimed many lives. Reports say that Iswap terrorists carried out the reprisal attacks on Boko Haram fighters on Tuesday in Mantari and Maimusari in Bama, North East Borno state. The Iswap group successfully dislodged the Boko Haram, killing many of them and forcing survivors to flee their camps together with their families. Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters and their top commanders who fled the field later surrendered to the Nigerian Army troops based in Konduga and Banki. East African

Cameroon Journalists Seek Protection over Killing
Cameroonian journalists have called for more protection following the murder of their colleague Martinez Zogo, who was a critic of the government. Mr Zogo’s multilated body was found near the capital, Yaoundé, on Sunday, five days after being abducted by unknown people. Prior to his death, he had threatened to expose corruption in government. Media rights group Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the killing, calling it a “grave blow to democracy and press freedom.” BBC

Women in Sierra Leone Can Finally Own Land
It’s a new dawn for the women of Sierra Leone after president Julius Maada Bio assented into law the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment 2021 bill on Jan. 19, which will be implemented alongside the Customary Land Rights Act 2022 (pdf), allowing them equal rights as men to own, lease, or buy land in the country. The law signifies a huge leap forward in including women in the development of the west African country’s real estate industry, which, due to deeply rooted cultural norms, has been under the control of men. Quartz Africa



Photo: Adam Jones