Africa Media Review for March 17, 2023

New Sudanese Government To Be Formed in April
The new Sudanese government will be formed in April said the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in a press conference held on Thursday in Khartoum. The civilian and military signatories of the Political Framework Agreement, on Wednesday, held a meeting to discuss the slow-moving political process to restore a civilian-led transition in Sudan and took a number of decisions. Several leaders of the coalition of the December revolution’s forces held a press conference to brief Sudanese about the steps agreed upon in this meeting which was attended by the facilitators of the Trilateral Mechanism and the EU and Quad ambassadors who support the process…In line with the framework agreement of the 5th December 2022, the parties to the political process held three of five conferences to discuss issues that require a national consensus. For the two others, one related to justice and transitional justice is taking place currently while the last which deals with security reforms will be the last to discuss. The FFC negotiator stressed that the drafting committees of the final agreement and the structure of the transition will begin their meeting at the Republican Palace very soon. Sudan Tribune

Children Needing Aid in Central Sahel Double to 10 Million: UN
Ten million children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are in “extreme jeopardy” and desperately need humanitarian assistance due to worsening violence, the United Nations said Friday. The figure is twice as many as in 2020, while a further four million children are at risk in neighbouring west African countries as battles between armed groups and security forces spill across borders, the UN children’s agency UNICEF said…UNICEF said the violence was spreading from the central Sahel into the northern regions of Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo, which are remote communities where children have very limited access to protection and services. In 2022, UNICEF received only a third of the $391 million it was seeking in its central Sahel appeal. In 2023, it has appealed for $473.8 million for its humanitarian response plan in the central Sahel and neighbouring coastal countries. AFP

UNSC Backs 13–2 Vote To Keep UN Mission in S. Sudan
The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for one year, as two delegates abstained over the incorporation of certain language while raising issues regarding the penholder’s approach. Adopting resolution 2677 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2677(2023)) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), the 15-nation organ decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2023 and to maintain its force levels with a ceiling of 17,000 troops and 2,101 police personnel. Mirage News

Son of Long-Serving Museveni To Run for Uganda Presidency in 2026
The son of Uganda’s ageing leader, Yoweri Museveni, has said he intends to stand for the presidency in 2026, the first time the outspoken army general has given a timeline for replacing his father, who has ruled the East African country for 37 years. “You have wanted me to say it forever! Okay, in the name of Jesus Christ my God, in the name of all the young people of Uganda and the world and in the name of our great revolution, I will stand for the Presidency in 2026,” Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba wrote on Twitter late on Wednesday. Uganda’s opposition has long accused Museveni of seeking to impose a monarchy on the state and claimed he was grooming Kainerugaba to take over from him. Museveni has denied such accusations. Al Jazeera

I Won’t Be Intimidated To Call Off Protests, Kenya’s Odinga Says
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has maintained that he will not be intimidated to call off the countrywide protests slated for Monday. Mr Odinga, who addressed a in Nakuru City on Thursday, said the planned protests would be peaceful. While referring to his run-ins with former President Daniel Moi’s regime, Mr Odinga maintained that he will not be cowed by veiled threats from President William Ruto and other government officials…While declaring the March 20 demonstrations the “mother of all protests” expected to bring the country to a standstill, Mr Odinga listed six reasons to justify it. These are refusal by President Ruto to allow the audit of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers, high cost of living after the government eliminated subsidies, nepotism in the Kenya administration, failing to consult other stakeholders in the reconstitution of IEBC, broken promises and an illegitimate government. Nation

South Africa: Tanzania, SA State Visit Officially Kicks Off
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Official State Visit of President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania should serve to strengthen the bilateral and political ties between South Africa and the East African country. The President was speaking during official talks between the two nations at the Union Buildings in Tshwane. “We believe that this State Visit will further strengthen the bilateral political and economic relations between our two countries and enhance the work of the BNC [Bi-National Commission]. We must use this opportunity to explore further areas of cooperation. “I am pleased to learn that several Agreements and MOUs between our departments are currently at various stages of negotiation and will soon be signed and subsequently implemented,” he said. The President explained that the BNC aims to increase trade and investment between the two countries. SA News

Zambian Planes To Rescue Malawians Trapped After Storm
The Zambian government has provided two aircraft to help in rescue and distribution of relief aid to victims of Tropical Storm Freddy in Malawi. Malawi Defence Force confirmed on Thursday the arrival of the planes. The aircraft will be deployed to hard-to-reach southern areas in Mulanje, Phalombe and Nsanje where many people are feared trapped, deputy chief of military operations Col Lameck Kalenga said. Disaster management officials told a local news outlet that they have dispatched sniffer dogs to help find victims swept by mudslides. The death toll from the devastating storm jumped to 326 on Thursday, with more than 200 others declared missing by the authorities. President Lazarus Chakwera said some communities are yet to be reached. BBC

Presidential Election Worst in Nigeria’s Recent History — Peter Obi
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has described Nigeria’s just concluded presidential election held last month as the worst conducted in the country’s recent history. Mr Obi stated this during an interview on Channels TV Sunrise Daily morning show on Thursday. He lamented that despite repeated promises by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure that the elections were credible and successful with the help of the BVAS technology, coupled with the huge amount budgeted for the exercise, the process was far below expectations…The former governor of Anambra State lamented that the poor performance of INEC in the election due to the commission’s failure to upload election results in real-time on its portal as promised has downgraded the country’s rating by some rating firms…Mr Obi reiterated that he had more votes in Lagos than what was announced by INEC. He said they were able to gather more votes in Lagos because they told the people of Lagos the truth during their campaign in the state. “I can assure you that the position announced by INEC is false. I don’t know exactly what it would have been. Our votes are far more than that and the matter is in court. Premium Times

Sonko Court Appearance Sparks Unrest in Senegal’s Capital
Authorities forcibly removed Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from his car Thursday and escorted him to a court appearance, blocking his supporters from following him and sparking unrest in parts of the capital. Police fired tear gas in several parts of Dakar to disperse protesters on the third day of demonstrations in support of Sonko, who finished third in the last presidential election and is seen as a leading contender in next year’s vote. Some protesters set fire to buses belonging to Senegal’s national public transport company and targeted French shops. Unrest also was reported in the city of Thies, 68 kilometers (42 miles) east of the capital, as well as in the southern towns of Ziguinchor and Bignona and in Saint-Louis in the country’s north. Sonko maintains his legal troubles are part of an effort by President Macky Sall’s government to derail his candidacy in the 2024 election. The opposition figure has urged Sall to say publicly that he will not seek a third term in office. AP

Nigeria Has Launched a $672 Million Fund for Startups After the Collapse of Three US Banks
Nigeria has launched a $672 million fund to support its tech startups amid the upheaval caused by the recent collapse of three key US banks. The fund was launched on March 14 under the government’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (DCEP). Its corpus will include $170 million in contributions from the African Development Bank (AfDB), $116 million from the Agence Francaise de Developpement, $70 million from the Islamic Development Bank, and $271 million from the country’s private sector. The government itself will provide $45 million. Africa’s biggest economy has been the quickest in the continent to react to the crisis, aiming largely to reduce the dependence on startup funding from the US. The three now-defunct US-based lenders, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank, had been supporting tech-focused venture capitalism in Africa. Their collapse spells a dark moment for that ecosystem. Quartz Africa

Nigeriens Voice Optimism, Skepticism During Blinken Visit
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Niger with a pledge of humanitarian assistance for displaced people and support for the country’s efforts to combat violent extremism. Residents in the capital city of Niamey interviewed by VOA had mostly positive things to say about the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state…Blinken used the trip to announce $150 million in new humanitarian assistance to help meet needs in Western and Central Africa and the Sahel region created by instability. Beyond immediate assistance to refugees and other vulnerable groups, the United States is committing to investing in the long-term stability of the region, Blinken said. The U.S. will assist in making “Niger’s law enforcement more effective in combating terrorism, strengthening border security, enhancing counternarcotics capacity, stemming trafficking, and helping to investigate, prosecute and ultimately reduce terrorism and violent extremism,” Blinken said during a joint news conference with his Nigerien counterpart in Niamey. Voice of America

Tanzania Probes Mystery Illness After Five Die
Tanzania has dispatched a team of health experts to investigate a mysterious disease that has claimed the lives of five people, the government said. The illness was detected in “a total of seven people (with) symptoms including fever, vomiting, bleeding in various body parts and kidney failure”, the health ministry said in a statement released late Thursday. The government has sent a rapid response team to the northwestern region of Kagera which borders Uganda to investigate the “communicable disease”, Tanzania’s chief medical officer Tumaini Nagu said in the statement. “Samples have been taken from the patients and the dead in an effort to identify the source and type of illness,” she said, urging the public to remain calm but take precautions to avoid contagion. AFP