Africa Media Review for October 12, 2022

Mali: Junta Leader Assimi Goita Receives Draft Constitution
Mali’s junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita received a draft of a new constitution on Tuesday, a key part of the military’s bid to retain power in the crisis-hit country until 2024. The text of the “preliminary draft constitution” has not been made public and arrived two months after it was originally due, but the commission chair set up to write it said the deadline had been extended…Malian authorities, dominated by the military which seized power in August 2020, cite the drafting of a new fundamental law as one of the reforms needed for the “refoundation” of the state. They announced the commission in June after extending military rule until 2024, and have said the constitution will be put to a referendum in March 2023. AfricaNews

Chad’s Prime Minister Resigns Along with Government
Chad’s prime minister resigned along with his government on Tuesday, a day after the country’s military leader announced the creation of a “government of national union” to chart the path to new elections. Albert Pahimi Padacke handed in his resignation at an audience with Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who on Monday was sworn in as “transitional president,” Deby’s office said…He had also been prime minister under Deby’s father, against whom he ran in presidential elections that took place just before his death. Deby’s junta had originally declared its plan was to restore civilian rule after 18 months in power. AP

Germany at a Crossroads over Sahel Mission
Germany’s parliament is debating its deployment of troops to Mali and other Sahel states that are part of the multinational European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) and the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA). “The deployment of the Bundeswehr is becoming more and more of a complete disaster,” said Sevim Dagdelen, a member of the Bundestag for German’s socialist Left Party (Die Linke) and spokeswoman for international relations and disarmament. Escalating protests against the West followed by a spike in jihadi activities and political upheavals in many Sahel countries forced France to withdraw its troops from Mali in mid-March, putting an end to its Barkhane and Takuba anti-terrorist operations. DW

Liberian Civil War Torture Trial of Rebel Commander Opens in Paris
A rebel commander during the first Liberian Civil War, Kunti Kamara goes on trial in Paris on Monday for crimes against humanity, torture, and acts of barbarity, including the enslavement of an entire community in Lofa County, northwestern Liberia. “From 1993 to 1995, United Liberation Movement of Liberia (ULIMO), enslaved the local population,” says Alain Werner, director of Civitas Maxima, which provides independent legal representation for victims of crimes against humanity. RFI

‘Not Fair’: Ghana Slams West over Low Funding for Climate Change
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has criticised Western nations for their low financial commitment to addressing issues caused by climate change on the continent. “$55m for 54 countries – this is not fair,” Akufo-Addo was quoted as saying by French state broadcaster RFI on Monday…“The adaptation summit had the mission of mobilising $25bn by 2025 … ridiculously, while the G20 countries are responsible for 80 percent of emissions, Africa left Rotterdam with pledges of up to $55m,” the Ghanaian leader said. The African Development Bank pledged an additional $12.5bn to support the cause. The Rotterdam summit was set up to discuss climate change financing for Africa and took place ahead of the 27th annual summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to be held this November in Egypt. Al Jazeera

Nigerian Universities’ Eight-Month Strike Is Nearing Its End
University students in Nigeria have been at home since Feb. 14 thanks to an indefinite strike by lecturers across the country. But following recent interventions by federal lawmakers, and court rulings, classrooms could reopen later this month. On Oct. 10, the union representing the lecturers met with members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives. A video of the meeting seemed to show both parties amicably agreeing that the eight-month strike will be resolved “in a few days.” Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of the union that comprises over 80 government-owned universities, said the result of the strike will be that Nigerians will “be proud” of the universities in the country. Quartz Africa

Uganda Turns 60: Museveni Clocks 36 Years in Power After 1986 Coup
Amid a shocking Sudan Ebola outbreak, with no vaccine, and heavily-contested human rights, Uganda turned 60 on Sunday…Museveni, 76, is a political science and economics graduate from the University of Dar es Salaam. He has ruled for 36 years, while his eight predecessors have shared 24 years. His rule has been nothing short of autocracy. Last year, he was re-elected as president in what Human Rights Watch (HRW) flagged as, “marred by widespread violence and repression. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and beat opposition supporters and journalists, killed protesters, and disrupted opposition rallies.” There has yet to be any commitment to end the violations of freedom of association, assembly and expression, which persist in Uganda. On the eve of independence day, leading opposition leader Bobi Wine was detained in Dubai, where a charity concert had been planned. He blames this on Museveni. News24

Nearly a Million Affected by South Sudan Flooding, Warns UN
The number of people affected by large-scale flooding in South Sudan has doubled to almost a million since September, the UN’s emergency response agency has warned. Estimates by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) say some 909,000 people are suffering in the country of 11 million. As torrential rains ravage crops and destroy homes, the UN estimates that 71 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.  South Sudan has endured four consecutive years of flooding, with OCHA warning the disaster now affecting nine out of 10 states. RFI

Kenyans Are Dying to Work in Saudi Arabia
Wanjiru had been employed under Saudi Arabia’s Kafala system, a framework through which either an individual or a company sponsors a foreigner to work in the country.  The system gives the employer extensive control over the employee. It also grants them the power to transfer the domestic worker to other employers. This has enabled the buying and selling of domestic workers openly on social media platforms. On Twitter, for instance, several accounts advertise the sale and transfer of domestic workers of different nationalities, including Kenyans. Some posts have the photograph of the worker, their details, salary and the cost of transfer. The accounts act as go-betweens and charge a commission for the service. All the posts are in Arabic and have the condition that negotiations are via private messages. Mail & Guardian

Serious Debt Crisis Unfolding Across Developing Countries – UNDP
The United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) joined on Tuesday the chorus of institutions and charities warning that a serious debt crisis is now taking hold in the poorest parts of the world. In a new report, the UNDP estimated that 54 countries, accounting for more than half of the world’s poorest people, now needed immediate debt relief to avoid even more extreme poverty and give them a chance of dealing with climate change. “A serious debt crisis is unfolding across developing economies, and the likelihood of a worsening outlook is high,” the report published on Tuesday said. Reuters

Guterres: UN-African Union Partnership a ‘Cornerstone of Multilateralism’
“Over the past 20 years, the United Nations and the African Union have developed a unique partnership, rooted in the principles of complementarity, respect and African ownership – a partnership that has become a cornerstone of multilateralism,” said Mr. Guterres.  He listed some of the latest highlights in their cooperation, including initiatives to support the timely return to constitutional order in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, conducted jointly with the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. UN News

Nigeria: Lagos to Become Africa’s Model Mega City by 2052 – Sanwo-Olu
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says a plan is on to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city by 2052. Mr Sanwo-Olu said this on Tuesday, during the 9th edition of the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, held at Victoria Island. He said the government had made concerted efforts towards the conceptualisation and development of a comprehensive 30-year plan. According to him, the Lagos State Development Plan 2052 has the ambition of transforming Lagos into Africa’s Model Mega City. “The Lagos State Development Plan 2052 is built around four strategic pillars – Thriving Economy, Human-centric City, Modern Infrastructure and Effective Governance.” This plan focuses on 20 strategic areas that will drive this ambition. Premium Times Nigeria



Photo: Adam Jones