Africa Media Review for November 9, 2022

Rising Sea Levels Besieging Africa’s Booming Coastal Cities
African coastlines have experienced a steady rise in sea levels for four decades. At the current pace, sea levels are projected to rise by 0.3 meters by 2030, affecting 117 million Africans. If global warming is contained to 2˚C above 1990 levels, sea level rise may be limited to 0.4 meters. However, a 4˚ C level of global warming would lead to a 1-meter rise in sea levels by the end of the century…Rising sea levels are triggering coastal flooding and erosion as well as the loss of the coastal habitats that provide natural shoreline protection from storm surges. The loss of these habitats increases the number of people at risk. Africa Center for Strategic Studies

South Africa Runs on Coal. Can It Transition to Clean Energy?
About 80 percent of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal. South Africa, the most industrialized and diversified economy on the continent, has pledged to phase it out. At last year’s global climate summit, in Scotland, wealthy nations pledged $8.5 billion to help South Africa shift to energy systems that produce less pollution. But most coal mining ventures, once run by white-owned conglomerates, have shifted to Black ownership under laws passed after apartheid by the governing party, the African National Congress. With that wealth finally in Black hands, political and environmental analysts are concerned that the A.N.C. and its union allies may be loath to let go of the industry — especially at the urging of Europeans, who profited for generations from South Africa’s resources. New York Times

Tanzania’s President Hassan Pitches $18 Billion Plan for Energy Transition in Africa
Tanzania’s President Samia Hassan will present an $18 billion plan to build renewable power generation in southern Africa at talks in Egypt as leaders from the continent seek to increase climate finance in the region. Under the proposal, a bloc of 12 countries in the region would increase generation by about 8.4 gigawatts from sources such as solar and wind…The move may help Hassan goad developed nations, who have been asking African economies to focus on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, to back up their call with financing. There’s also been a trickle of funding for renewable energy projects on the continent, which made up about 1% of the global total of renewables deals last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Bloomberg

The COP27 Is in Africa — But Is It for Africa?
The COP27 serves as an opportunity for African leaders to voice their unique needs in the climate crisis. But, with the continent suffering disproportionately from climate change, calls for more funds are mounting. The COP27 talks are to referred as the “African COP” — and not just because of the location where they’re taking place…Africa is far more likely to suffer the effects of global warming — some of which are already being felt, such as during the ongoing drought that has taken hold over the Horn of Africa. Meanwhile, the continent only receives 5.5% of climate financing, as it is responsible for generating less than 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions. DW

Torrential Floods Impact Food Security in West and Central Africa
Conflict in the Sahel region has displaced nearly 8 million people, most of them farmers, for whom the pandemic had disrupted farming. That, along with prolonged drought last year and fallout from the Ukraine crisis – which reduced fertiliser supplies to the region – meant crop output was going to be low. “It is an unprecedented situation,” Ollo said. “This is a perfect storm of factors all playing and leading us towards a catastrophe, a major crisis.” Al Jazeera

Egypt: Rights Chief Calls for Immediate Release of Jailed Blogger and Activist
Alaa Abdel Fattah has been arrested many times over more than decade for his activism around violations perpetrated by the security forces and the use of military courts to try civilians. “I urge the Government to immediately release Abdel Fattah from prison and provide him with the necessary medical treatment,” Mr. Türk said in a statement…Mr. Abdel Fattah began the hunger strike in April, severely limiting his calorie intake, but stepped it up on 1 November.   He then stopped drinking water this past Sunday, the first day of the COP27 climate action conference, which is taking place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. UN News

Sudanese Police and Demonstrators Clash in the Capital, Khartoum
The pro-democracy demonstrators chanted “No to military rule” as they marched towards the presidential palace, denouncing last year’s coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan that derailed a transition to civilian rule. According to eyewitnesses, thousands also demonstrated in the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, and Gedaref in the east. The United Nations reported over 370 people killed in clashes this year and at least 210,000 were forced from their homes. AfricaNews

Mali Rights Commission Condemns Restrictions on Free Press
Mali’s National Human Rights Commission has condemned restrictions on press freedom, after authorities suspended one the country’s main TV channels. Action was taken against Joliba TV after it aired an editorial criticizing rising intolerance and attacks on freedom of expression. The commission released a statement Tuesday expressing “concern about the exercise of certain civil and political rights, in particular those relating to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.” The statement called on Mali’s government to ensure respect for these rights “at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances.” Voice of America

Insecurity: Nigerians Worried over Threat to 2023 Polls Despite Assurances
Despite assurances from President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs that there is no cause for alarm over security threats to the 2023 elections, Nigerians are still worried about the spate of insecurity in the country. This is heightened by the recent terror alerts from some foreign missions and high commissions, warning its citizens not to travel to Abuja and eight other states in the North. Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that 242 polling units with 142,261 registered voters in 10 Councils of Katsina State were under serious security threat. Guardian Nigeria

Uganda to Close Schools Early After Eight Children Die of Ebola
Schools across Uganda will close two weeks before the scheduled end of term after 23 Ebola cases were confirmed among pupils, including eight children who died. Education Minister Janet Kataha Museveni said on Tuesday that the cabinet had taken the decision to close preschools, primary schools and secondary schools on November 25 because densely packed classrooms were making students highly vulnerable to infection. Al Jazeera

Uganda: Museveni Vows No National Lockdown as Ebola Cases Rise
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday reiterated his refusal to impose a nationwide Covid-like lockdown to contain the spread of Ebola despite a worrying increase in cases…”There will be NO LOCKDOWN. Therefore, people should go ahead and concentrate on their work without any worry,” he said on Twitter. AFP

DR Congo Jets Bomb M23 Rebel Positions in East of Country
DR Congo’s military used newly deployed jets to bombard M23 positions in the east of the country on Tuesday, officials said, with some residents of rebel-held territory fleeing across the border…M23 rebels have won a string of victories against the Congolese army in North Kivu province in recent weeks, dramatically increasing the territory under their control.  Their resurgence has cratered relations between the DRC and its smaller neighbour Rwanda, which Kinshasa accuses of backing the M23. AFP

Uganda Successfully Launches Its First Satellite into Space
Uganda on Monday successfully launched its first ever satellite into the international space station  following its construction by three Ugandan and Japanese engineers under a multinational satellite design programme. The country’s cube type satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1, will subsequently be deployed into the low earth orbit in December this year. According to the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the PearlAfricaSat-1 is designed to provide research and observation data that will provide solutions in weather forecast, land, water bodies, mineral mapping and agriculture monitoring. Others are disaster prevention, infrastructure planning and boarder security. East African

 



Photo: Adam Jones