Africa Media Review for September 20, 2022

Sudan: Minister of Finance Claims Military Junta Will Maintain Control over Multiple Sudanese Authorities
Jibril Ibrahim, Minister of Finance and head of the Justice and Equality Movement, said that the military junta intends to maintain its control over sovereign and security authorities, defence authorities, foreign relations and international cooperation authorities, and all other authorities during negotiations over the executive government through the Security and Defence Council.  He said in a press conference in Khartoum on Saturday, that in his opinion, El Burhan’s statement in July was about withdrawing from the dialogue, rather than a return to the barracks. Dabanga

Chad FM Resigns Citing Disagreements with Ruling Military Gov’t
Chad’s interim Foreign Affairs Minister Mahamat Zene Cherif has said he was stepping down because of disagreements with the ruling military government as it attempts to open dialogue with rebels and end military rule. Cherif’s resignation came on Monday as talks launched by government leader General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno are taking place in Qatar’s capital Doha with various rebel and opposition groups. The talks are aimed at paving the way for elections after the military seized power last year. Al Jazeera

Senegal Swaps Key Ministers After Appointment of Prime Minister
Senegal President Macky Sall appointed new ministers for economy and finance after naming the country’s first prime minister in three years, doubling down on efforts to rein in a building cost-of-living crisis…On Saturday, Sall appointed Amadou Ba as prime minister — a role he had abolished in 2019. Ba previously served as finance as well as foreign minister under Sall.  The moves follow parliamentary elections that Sall’s ruling coalition narrowly won, while losing its absolute majority. The vote was widely seen as a test of the president’s popularity. Sall, 60, has faced political unrest in the last 18 months that’s also been fed by uncertainty over whether he intends to run for a third term when his mandate expires in 2024. Bloomberg

Presidential Terms Should Be “Limited” – Namibian President
“Now, as I say, the third wave of African leaders is asserting the constitutional path. We believe in limiting mandates.” He added that there are some leaders who want to change the constitution of their country to remain in power, but believe “Generally, the people want elections, democratic elections, everywhere but nobody is perfect, just look at America.” Hage Geingob is of the opinion that presidential terms be limited “because if you are elected directly by the people, you don’t really have anyone to answer to but if you are elected by parliament.” AfricaNews

Angola’s Lourenço Returns but Youths Shake Ruling Party Chokehold
At first glance, the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)’s win in the August 22 vote might be viewed as another routine victory for the party, which has been in power since independence from Portugal in 1975. A closer look however reveals that the party is in crisis, posting its worst result since multi-party politics were introduced in 1992. In the last four consecutive elections, the MPLA has become increasingly unpopular, losing about an additional 10 percent of the available votes every cycle. This was despite a change of guard from Jose Eduardo dos Santos who ruled for almost 40 years to Lourenço who succeeded him in 2017. In this election, MPLA received just over 51 percent of the vote, securing a second five-year term for Lourenco while its archrival, main opposition party UNITA, gained approximately 44 percent. Al Jazeera

South Africa Plunged into Open-Ended Power Crisis
South Africa’s electricity crisis has moved to its most severe stage yet, the national grid nearing total collapse and the power utility Eskom urging citizens, businesses and municipalities to cut usage. Serial failures, even on recently commissioned power units, and planned outages for maintenance sometimes lead to several outages a day. Previous outages – at lower levels than the ‘Stage 6 rolling blackouts’ declared Sunday morning as five more coal-fired power units failed overnight – were estimated to cost the country over $57 million daily. Nation

Burundi Must Engage in ‘Credible and Inclusive’ Move Towards Democratic Rule
Despite commitments and measures taken by the government, the human rights situation there has not changed in a substantial and sustainable way, said Fortuné Gaétan Zongo, who was appointed on 1 April as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi. “It is crucial and urgent to initiate reforms and a credible and inclusive democratization process in Burundi to avoid a recurrence of past cycles of violence,” he said, presenting his first report to the Human Rights Council. In his report, the expert recalled the obligation of accountability since the 2015 crisis and called for deeper institutional reforms. UN News

Eritrea Accused of Starting Offensive on Ethiopia’s Tigray
A spokesman for Tigrayan authorities said Tuesday that Eritrea has launched a full-scale offensive along the country’s border with northern Ethiopia in what appears to be an escalation of last month’s renewal of fighting. The Eritreans are fighting alongside Ethiopian federal forces, including commando units, as well as allied militia, said Getachew Reda…It was not immediately possible to obtain a comment from authorities in Ethiopia or Eritrea, which lies north of Tigray. Britain and Canada issued travel advisories last week telling their citizens in Eritrea to be vigilant after authorities there called up citizens to report for military duty. AP

UN Chief Pledges to Support South Sudan Peace Process
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has pledged his full support to the peace and stability of South Sudan. He made the assurance at a meeting with South Sudan’s Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. Akol is due to address the UN General Assembly on behalf of President Salva Kiir. Sudan Tribune

Kenya: Ruto to Rally African Leaders on Climate Change
Kenya’s President William Ruto will use his maiden trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York to rally African peers to raise their voice on the danger of climate change. Africa is expected to be take the biggest hit from climate change. Dr Ruto is expected in New York on Tuesday afternoon to attend the 77th UN General Assembly. He will be travelling from London where he had attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday. A tentative programme from the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ruto will meet African heads of state to discuss climate change and its effects, including the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa and flooding in Sudan. East African

1.8 Tons of Cocaine Seized, 5 Arrested in Nigerian Bust
Nigeria’s anti-drug agency seized a record 1.8 tons of cocaine valued at $278 million at a Lagos warehouse in what it described Monday as likely the country’s largest bust ever. Five people, the warehouse manager and four “drug barons” including one profiled as a Jamaican were arrested in connection with the drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said. The suspects were members of an international drug syndicate the agency has been trailing since 2018. The agency said the drugs were found in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos on Sunday at a time when “the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.” AfricaNews with AP

Niger Questions Wisdom of Sustaining World’s Highest Birth Rate
On current trends, Niger’s population is on course to nearly triple from about 24mn in 2020 to a projected 68mn in 2050, according to the UN Development Programme’s latest forecast. If that projection proves correct, Niger’s population will have grown 25 times in the century to 2050, a period over which the global population will have risen a relatively modest fourfold. For some Nigeriens, such prodigious growth is something to celebrate in a world where populous countries such as China enjoy geopolitical clout. But while the fast-growing population in much of Africa is often presented as a demographic boon, many people warn about the links between a high birth rate and poverty. Financial Times

Africa Set for Fertiliser Boom as Food Crisis Remains Critical
A fertiliser boom is breaking out across Africa as calls for food security gain momentum amidst a widespread continental food crisis. With an estimated 346 million people on the continent negatively impacted by a severe food crisis, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the use of fertilisers has become more central, even as environmental and green farming activists call for caution…That said, Africa has barely used fertilisers. Only six percent of Africa’s cultivated land is irrigated, and the average fertiliser consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at 17 kilogrammes of nutrients per hectare of cropland, according to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra). That is only a drop in the ocean when compared with a world average fertiliser consumption of 135kg/ha. East African



Photo: Adam Jones