Africa Media Review for November 4, 2022

Ethiopia’s Truce Is a Step Toward Ending Civil War, but There Are Reasons for Caution
Now that two of the warring parties in Ethiopia have signed a landmark peace deal, the world is watching to see if it will truly mean the end of one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. The deal was struck Wednesday as the war neared the two-year mark since fighting erupted in the Tigray region, in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020. The fighting has killed hundreds of thousands of people, uprooted millions from their homes and devastated one of Africa’s biggest economies…But one major player in the conflict — the neighboring nation of Eritrea — wasn’t involved in the negotiations, which raises questions about the lasting power of the truce. NPR

Stop Eritrea’s ‘War-Funding Diaspora Tax’, Say MPs and Lords
A group of UK parliamentarians is calling for an urgent investigation into the collection of a “diaspora tax” by the Eritrean authorities, which they say could have helped fund war in neighbouring Ethiopia. MPs and members of the House of Lords want the government to launch a “full, formal, and fully funded” public inquiry into the collection of the 2% tax in the UK, and take “robust action to stop the practice”…The tax, levied on Eritreans living abroad to fund, according to the Eritrean government, development projects, is collected by Eritrea’s diplomatic and consular offices around the world. Failure to pay it in effect bars people from receiving consular help or assistance from the state, for example, if they want to get a passport or sell property in Eritrea. Guardian

Two Thirds of South Sudan Population Risk Severe Hunger in 2023 – U.N.
Up to 7.8 million people in South Sudan, two thirds of the population, may face severe food shortages during next year’s April-to-July lean season due to floods, drought and conflict, United Nations agencies said on Thursday. The shortages are worse than at the height of a civil war in 2013 and 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. Children’s Fund UNICEF and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said. Reuters

Kenya MPs Raise Questions over KDF Troops Deployment to DR Congo
Kenya’s legislators have raised questions on the legality of deploying troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) without parliamentary approval. Mr William Kamket, the MP for Tiaty Constituency, Thursday rose on a point of order questioning the sequence of events, saying the letter from Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale came to the House on Wednesday afternoon while President William Ruto commissioned the troops to DRC on Tuesday afternoon. East African

Congo Turns Heat on Uganda over M23 Rebels
A group of Congolese parliamentarians and civil society activists have petitioned President Felix Tshisekedi to sever diplomatic relations with Uganda, accusing it of supporting advancing M23 rebels…Arguing that a peaceful Congo is beneficial to Uganda, minister Oryem-Okello added: “Those (accusers) are attention seekers. They should do some research and bring evidence…Uganda doesn’t support M23 (rebels). Uganda is seeking total peace in eastern DRC.” Monitor

US to Remove Burkina Faso from Trade Pact: White House
The United States will exclude Burkina Faso from a US-Africa trade agreement, President Joe Biden said Wednesday, citing a lack of progress towards protecting of the rule of law and political pluralism…More than a third of national territory remains outside government control. The US has determined that the government of Burkina Faso has not met “eligibility requirements” under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and Biden said on Wednesday that Washington will terminate the country’s designation as a beneficiary starting January 2023. AFP

Guinea Junta Seeks to Prosecute Ex-President Conde for Alleged Corruption
Guinea’s justice minister on Thursday ordered legal proceedings against former President Alpha Conde and more than 180 officials from his deposed regime for alleged corruption and embezzlement of public funds, according to a public document. The West African country is run by a military junta that overthrew Conde, 84, in a coup last year. Some opponents of the junta say it is going after Conde’s old allies to prevent them from running in the next elections. Reuters

UK Court Finds Glencore Must Pay R2bn for Bribing African Officials
A London court approved on Thursday a confiscation order of 93.5 million pounds (R2 billion) against the British subsidiary of mining and trading group Glencore for seven bribery offences in relation to its oil operations in Africa…The UK subsidiary pleaded guilty in June to seven bribery offences. Glencore, a Swiss-based multinational, said in May it expected to pay up to $1.5 billion in relation to allegations of bribery and market manipulation in the United States, Brazil and Britain. Reuters

The Climate Is Already Collapsing in Africa – But Its Nations Have a Plan – Emmanuel Macron, Macky Sall and Mark Rutte
For Africa, climate change is an irreversible reality. It’s too late to turn back the clock. But we have a very narrow window to put coping mechanisms in place. That is why we have two priorities for the coming UN Cop27 climate summit in Egypt: keep the 1.5C warming target within reach, so as to avoid even worse impacts of climate change, and to radically accelerate climate adaptation action in Africa and in all vulnerable developing countries across the globe…Africa has everything necessary to succeed. It has the youngest population of any continent, it has conquered innumerable challenges (including most recently Covid 19) and its nations are determined to transform the climate crisis into an opportunity. Guardian

#COP27: Research Identifies Capacities of Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia to Meet Climate Change Pledges
A research work commissioned by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has revealed the capacities or otherwise of three West African countries to meet their climate change pledges…According to experts, Africa’s vulnerability to climate change suggests that governments must join the rest of the world in taking ambitious climate action to increase the continent’s resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change. However, the reality, these experts said, is that most Africa’s economies are poor, heavily dependent on natural resource exploitation, and are struggling with heavy debt burdens. Therefore, they believe, poorly thought-out climate action, globally and within countries, can compromise the prospects of economic growth and bind the continent to poverty. Premium Times Nigeria

How Deep-Seated Sexism Is Making Food Insecurity Worse in Nigeria
Adaptation – how to manage the impact of climate change by adapting to cope with the risks – will be a key issue at the UN’s COP27 gathering, which gets underway in Egypt next week. In Nigeria, as elsewhere in Africa, the role of women farmers is fundamental to that debate. Across Nigeria, women are responsible for 70-80% of all agricultural labour, and should have the right to hold and inherit land, according to federal and state law. But a 2016 government report found that, on average, only 7% of landowners in the country are women. In the oil-rich, crowded Niger Delta, even fewer women own land, making up less than 6% of proprietors. New Humanitarian

An IMF Deal Is Just the First Stage in Resolving Ghana’s Crisis
Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s appeal to the IMF is to fund the repair of the country’s short term problems with public finances and for restoring its balance of payments. Ghana hopes to reach the deal by the end of the year and the money will help fund the country’s 2023 budget and post-covid recovery programs, he said. That would provide the platform for tackling “long term structural changes that are at the heart of our goal of constructing a resilient, robust Ghanaian economy and building a Ghana beyond aid.” Some of those structural needs include better infrastructure, especially healthcare and investments in education. Quartz Africa

New Prime Minister Promises to ‘Make Lesotho Great Again’
Lesotho’s new prime minister, Sam Matekane, revealed his plan to make the country “great again” when he officially assumed the premiership on Friday, at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru. “This address represents a social contract in which I promise to make Lesotho great again,” Matekane said in his address, which centred on revitalising the country’s battered economy, partly the result of years of political instability…The speech repeated much of Matekane’s rhetoric from the election campaign. It was replete with promises to improve the country’s macroeconomic position, tap into and realise the potential economic returns of the existing positive investment environment, and provide access to quality services for all. Mail & Guardian

 



Photo: Adam Jones