Africa Media Review for November 23, 2022

Sahel Insurgency Could ‘Engulf’ West Africa, Ghana President Says
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday warned that a rampant Islamist insurgency in West Africa’s Sahel is threatening to engulf the entire region. West African leaders and European ministers are in Ghana’s capital Accra to discuss regional solutions to the insurgency that is spreading as foreign troops pull out of Mali, where militants have seized vast swathes of territory…There are concerns military withdrawals from Mali will create a security vacuum in an area where groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have already branched into Mali’s neighbours and moved into coastal states south of the Sahel. “Today the terrorist groups, emboldened by their success in the regions, are seeking new grounds,” Akufo-Addo said on the second day of the Accra Initiative security conference. Reuters

South African President Makes First UK State Visit of King Charles’s Reign
The South African president has started a two-day state visit to the UK, the first since King Charles took the throne, with the Conservative government eager to focus on trade rather than challenge South Africa’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine…Ramaphosa arrives in the UK in need of a boost at home and abroad. Since ousting his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, as the head of the ruling ANC amid a raft of corruption scandals five years ago and then winning a general election, the 70-year-old has seen his authority, morally and politically, weakened. Guardian

Twitter Agrees to Negotiate Severance Pay with the Laid-Off Africa Team, Avoids Law Suit
Twitter has finally agreed to renegotiate the severance pay and separation arrangements for the employees at the Africa office in Ghana following a CNN report…This comes after ex-employees of the headquarters accused the platform of breaking Ghanaian laws by withholding additional severance pay and other pertinent benefits that other laid-off Twitter employees will receive from them. This is in contrast to the assurance given to all Twitter employees worldwide prior to the layoff after Elon Musk’s takeover. However, many of these ex-employees claim there was no such negotiation on severance pay for the Ghana-based employees and accuse Twitter of discriminating against them in comparison to laid-off employees in other regions. Tech Next Nigeria

Mali Bans French NGOs as Diplomatic Row Deepens
Mali’s junta announced on Monday a ban on the activities of NGOs funded or supported by France, including humanitarian groups, amid a worsening row between Paris and Bamako. The West African nation’s interim Prime Minister Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga justified the move in a statement on social media, calling it a response to France’s recent halt to development aid for Mali. The French foreign ministry said last week it had made the decision, which came three months after finalising its pull-out of anti-jihadist forces from the country, over Bamako’s alleged use of paramilitaries from Russian group Wagner. RFI

Boko Haram Fighters Kill 10 Chadian Soldiers Near Nigeria Border
Boko Haram militants killed at least 10 Chadian soldiers in an attack on a military unit in Lake Chad province near the Nigerian border on Tuesday, Chad’s government said in a statement. The unit had been dispatched as a precursor to setting up an army post on the island of Bouka-Toullorom, between the villages of Ngouboua and Kaiga, where Boko Haram has carried out several offensives in recent years. Militants attacked early on Tuesday morning, killing around 10 men and wounding several others, the statement said. Reuters

Nigerian Twitter Knocks CBN, Emefiele over New Naira Notes Designs
After weeks of anticipation, the new designs for N200, N500 and N1000 notes were unveiled in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Central Bank of Nigeria announced in October that the redesigning was necessary to counter the hoarding of the notes…A couple of weeks later, Amina Abdulmalik, Deputy Director of, Currency Operations Department, CBN, said the redesigning was also needed to reduce counterfeiting, noting that “Nigerians have set up factories and are just chunning out bank notes because those bank notes don’t come back into the banking system.” However, the new designs launched on Wednesday have been met with widespread condemnation on social media, with one Twitter slamming Emefile for being “out of ideas.” Guardian Nigeria

Zimbabwe Approves Law That Seeks to Punish ‘Unpatriotic’ Citizens
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has approved a proposed law that seeks to punish ‘unpatriotic” citizens as the 80-year-old ruler moves to silence critics and entrench his rule…Critics say the proposed law is part of a sustained attack on the freedom of expression by the Zimbabwean ruler who took over power in 2017 following a military coup that toppled long-time ruler, the late Robert Mugabe…Former Finance minister and now deputy leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change Tendai Biti described the proposed law as “fascist and unconstitutional.” East African

SADC’s Anti-Corruption Committee Meets to Plan Long-Term Regional Cooperation
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is seeking to increase cooperation among member states in the recovery of ill-gotten wealth when the bloc’s Anti-Corruption Committee (SACC) meets on Wednesday. The SACC will be meeting in Boksburg from 23 to 25 November and will be chaired by Andy Mothibi the outgoing committee chairperson. News24

South Sudan: Governors Forum Commences in Juba with Calls for Peace
The 6th Governors’ Forum officially kicked off in the South Sudanese capital, Juba on Tuesday with calls for peace and stability in the country…Meanwhile, the head of the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Nicholas Haysom said the forum will boost the implementation of the 2022 roadmap. “I’m deeply honored to address the commencement of the 6th governors’ forum which recognizes the urgency of implementing the 2022 roadmap. This is an opportunity to reflect on South Sudan’s recommitment to the revitalized peace agreement,” he said. Sudan Tribune

Kenya & Uganda: Ruto, Museveni Pitch Business and Tech Relations in East Asia Trips
Kenya’s President William Ruto and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni are pitching business and technology relations in their separate trips to east Asian countries. President Ruto touched down in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday afternoon, indicating his trip will focus on boosting trade relations as well as investment opportunities in energy. The Ugandan leader, on his part, arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday afternoon. Both African leaders were separately invited by their respective hosts — South Korea’s new President Yoon Suk-yeol and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc. East African



Photo: Adam Jones