Africa Media Review for September 23, 2022

ECOWAS Leaders to Slap Gradual Sanctions on Guinea’s Junta
At an emergency summit on the sidelines of the annual UN meeting in New York, leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it would “take sanctions against Guinea.” ECOWAS commission president Omar Alieu Touray revealed that “gradual sanctions” would be imposed on a list of people linked to the Guinean junta who would be identified “very soon” by the bloc’s leadership. Guinea has been ruled by the military since a coup in September 2021 that ousted president Alpha Condé, who held power since 2010. RFI

Burkina Faso Soldiers Jailed over 1990 Student Leader Murder
A Burkina Faso court has found three former presidential guards guilty of involvement in the 1990 murder of a student leader, and sentenced them to terms of 10 to 30 years in prison. The three elite members of former President Blaise Compaore’s guard went on trial on Monday over the murder of a student who had led protests against their boss. Boukary Dabo was kidnapped by armed men on 19 May 1990 and taken to the main camp run by a presidential security regiment in the west African country. He was tortured to death there and buried at Po, 150km from the capital Ouagadougou. In a ruling that was issued late on Wednesday, the court found General Gilbert Diendere “guilty of complicity in illegal arrest and aggravated abduction” and sentenced him to 20 years in prison and a fine of one million francs (€1 500).  Prosecutors had asked for a seven-year sentence. News24

Climate Shocks to Drive 13.5 Million People in Africa’s Sahel into Poverty by 2050
Up to 13.5 million people across Africa’s Sahel region could fall into poverty due to climate change-related shocks by 2050, according to a new World Bank report. Sahelian countries need $33.16 billion for climate adaptation by 2030, the Country Climate and Development Report for the G5 Sahel region, released September 19, 2022, added. The Sahel extends south of the Sahara from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east of Africa. It is is particularly vulnerable to land degradation, droughts, floods and other climate shocks. The G5 Sahel is a group that comprises Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The impacts of climate change are unequally distributed among the people in the region. Small farmers, pastoralist populations, women and poor communities are at the receiving end of climate shocks. Three of the G5 countries — Chad, Niger and Mali — rank among the top seven countries most vulnerable to climate change. Their ability to adapt is significantly constrained by poverty and fragility. Down to Earth

Gabon: Opposition Leader Arrested with Suitcases Full of Banknotes
The former president of the Gabonese National Assembly, Guy Nzouba-Ndama, was arrested on Saturday, September 17, with suitcases filled more than a billion CFA francs, according to the government daily L’Union. Nzouba-Ndama joined the opposition in 2016 after leaving the ruling party. He was placed under police custody in Franceville in the South-East of the country, after his arrest at the border between Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville. Nzouba-Ndama was returning after a short stay in Congo-Brazzaville. The video flooded social networks with Guy Nzouba-Ndama in front of his SUV, with four suitcases placed in the back, and gendarmes forcing open the padlocks. inside they found notes of 10,000 CFA francs worth about 77 million euros…According to the Gabonese Press Agency, he was released overnight and his money returned. He returned to Koulamoutou, his political stronghold. For the moment, authorities and his party, the Democrats, remain tight-lipped on the issue. AllAfrica

Cameroon Military Acknowledges Troops Killed Mothers
Cameroon’s military says three members of its airborne battalion this week attacked civilians and killed two mothers in Nylbat, an English-speaking village in Andeck district. A statement signed Wednesday by military spokesperson Serge Cyrille Atongfack says the troops were dispatched to fight separatists in the troubled Northwest region. The troops violated orders from military hierarchy and started shooting indiscriminately on civilians, the military says, adding that one shooter killed two harmless mothers. Voice of America

Nigeria’s 2020 Protesters Look to the Ballot Box
Many young Nigerians behind the largest protests in the country’s modern history were traumatised by shootings in Lagos State on October 20, 2020, when security forces violently dispersed a crowd demanding better governance. Mass protests, which rallied to the hashtag #EndSARS — referring to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that was eventually disbanded over reports of extortion and brutality — ground to a halt after that fateful night. Amnesty International said at least 10 people were killed by the security forces, a claim the government has repeatedly denied. A Lagos investigative panel described the incident as a “massacre.” For those who were there and many others watching online, it was a moment of political awakening that could impact the outcome of next year’s vote. “We stopped fighting because we knew we had a chance to change the people at the top in 2023,” said 27-year-old Esther Jonathan. “We’ve been waiting for this.” AFP

Senegal’s First PM Since 2019 to Tackle Cost of Living Crisis
Senegal’s new “combat” government will prioritise purchasing power and employment, President Macky Sall said at the weekend after he appointed a new Prime Minister…In a speech to the nation broadcast on Friday, Sall said Ba, who has also served as finance minister, would be responsible for addressing the rising cost of living. “Measures to reduce the cost of living and support employment and entrepreneurship for young people, the fight against floods and costly rents will remain the highest of priorities for me,” Sall said…However opposition figures described the government reshuffle – which came five days after the return of parliament – as “a non-event” and “dark comedy”. Concerns persist over Sall’s decision to remove the role of premier, with critics accusing him of wanting to seize greater power. RFI

Pressure Is Rising for Western Countries to Lift Sanctions Against Zimbabwe
At the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Sept. 20, the African Union (AU) piled more pressure on the US, EU, and UK to lift all sanctions against Zimbabwe. AU chairmanSenegal’s president Macky Sallsaid the “harsh measures continue to fuel a sense of injustice against an entire people, and aggravate their suffering in these times of deep crisis.” The sanctions which began in the 2001/2002 financial year were caused by a land reform program initiated by the government decision to repossess land from minority white farmers for redistribution to landless Zimbabweans. Quartz Africa

Sudan’s Leader Says Date for Elections Not Fixed
The head of Sudan’s ruling council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told Reuters late on Thursday that no fixed date had been set for elections, but the military would not wait forever. Burhan, who derailed a political transition 11 months ago by dissolving a civilian-led government, had previously indicated that elections would be held in 2023. The takeover he led halted a power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians, triggering mass street protests and a stand-off between the military and pro-democracy parties. Reuters

Algeria Expels over 650 Migrants to Northern Niger
More than 650 migrants from a dozen African countries have arrived in northern Niger after being expelled by Algeria, local authorities said Tuesday. Some 669 returnees from Algeria, including two Nigeriens, and 667 West and Central African nationals arrived on foot on September 17 in Assamaka, the Nigerien town closest to the Algerian border, after being expelled from Algeria, local authorities said. The migrants include 648 men, 14 women and 5 minors. The group includes nationals from Mali, Guinea, Burkin Faso, Senegal, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Nationals from Chad, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Togo were also among the expelled migrants, according to the authorities. North Africa Post

A Decade of Progress in Agriculture Wiped Out, UN Says
Efforts made towards achieving eight Sustainable Development Goals have suffered a devastating setback due to adverse socio-economic impacts of conflict and war, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has revealed. The organisation stated that since 2015, the increase in the number of undernourished people globally has “stalled or even regressed” all the progress made during the previous decade, with hunger figures back to 2005 levels.  Millions of people have shifted from “moderate” levels of food insecurity to “severe” levels. Pietro Gennari, the FAO Chief Statistician noted that, “while the world was already not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before 2020, the past two years have seen a series of economic, political and environmental crises that have resulted in a reversal in several economic and social dimensions, including food security and agricultural productivity.” HumAngle

Appetite for Islamic Banking Concepts Ticks Up in Africa
More Muslims in Africa are gaining access to credit and insurance as conventional lenders and underwriters are joined by their sharia-compliant counterparts offering Islamic banking products and services…This comes as figures from the Islamic Development Finance Corporation suggest that global Islamic finance assets could reach US$ 3.8 trillion by 2024, up from the current US$ 2.7 trillion. A Proficient Market Insight report published last month shows that Africa is among the growth regions where non-Muslim majority states are developing strong Islamic finance markets…Fintech is seen as the game changer that, coupled with rapid smartphone and internet penetration on the continent, will bring credit and insurance closer to the underserved Muslim demographics. Bird Story Agency



Photo: Adam Jones