Africa Media Review for September 6, 2022

Kenya Supreme Court Rules No Foul Play in 2022 Elections and Upholds Ruto’s Win
Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld William Ruto as the fifth president following the 9 August polls. Judges unanimously agreed that there were no discrepancies, irregularities, nor interferences as alleged in a petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga. The ruling puts an end to weeks of tension in the country. “We declare the election of the first respondent [William Ruto] as president elect,” read Chief Justice Martha Koome when giving today’s verdict at the Supreme Court of Kenya in Nairobi. Ruto will be sworn in on 13 September. The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate garnered 7,176,141 votes (50.49 percent), defeating Azimio party’s candidate Raila Odinga who won 6,942,930 votes, representing (48.85 percent). Odinga, filed a petition to Kenya’s Supreme Court last month, claiming he had “enough evidence” to show he had in fact won the election. The veteran politician said that he respects the opinion of the court “although we vehemently disagree with their decision today.” “We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine grounds and occasion resulted in unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims”, he wrote in a statement. RFI

Angolan Court Rejects Opposition Claim to Annul Election Result
Angola’s constitutional court rejected on Monday an opposition party claim seeking to annul general election results which handed the victory to the ruling MPLA. The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) filed the complaint after the country’s electoral commission last week declared the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) the winner of the national election. The court ruled that UNITA’s complaint did not meet the requirements to allow the legal body to annul the results. UNITA used a procedure reserved for situations in which “there are no other means intended to safeguard the useful effect of the alleged rights,” and therefore the claim was dismissed, the judges said. Reuters

Biden Puts Support of Democracy at Center of Agenda, at Home and Abroad
On his travels last month, Mr. Blinken unveiled a new U.S. strategy for Africa that has democracy support at its core. But he also said at a news conference in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, that the United States did not “want a one-sided, transactional relationship.” He praised Congo for being a “strong participant” in the Summit for Democracy that Mr. Biden convened in Washington last year. Congo is a nascent democracy. After a troubled presidential election in 2019, it had its first peaceful transfer of power. Mr. Blinken promised the country an additional $10 million “to promote peaceful political participation and transparency” in elections next year, for a total of $24 million in such programs overseen by the United States Agency for International Development. Mr. Biden’s aides say their approach emphasizes “democratic resilience” rather than “democracy promotion,” unlike efforts by earlier administrations. New York Times

As Africa’s Climate Warms, Rich Countries Pledge More Funds
Rich countries said they will spend about $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, according to officials at a summit in Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Monday. The amount promised by the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program — a joint initiative between various nations and organizations — is billed as the largest ever adaptation effort globally. Half of the amount is pledged by the African Development Bank with representatives from Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, the International Monetary Fund and others also offering their support for the initiative. The continent emits just 3% to 4% of emissions despite being home to nearly 17% of the world’s population but experts say it is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it less able to adapt. African nations hope to use the funds to improve their resilience to extreme weather events, such as droughts or floods, increase tree cover and protect biodiversity, as well as expand their renewable energy capacity. AP

Famine ‘At the Door’ in Somalia, Predicted for Later This Year
Famine “is at the door” in Somalia, with “concrete indications” that parts of the south-central Bay region will be in famine between October and December this year without an urgent surge in aid, the UN warned today. “This is the final warning to all of us,” the UN’s humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, told a press conference in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. “This is the last minute of the eleventh hour to save lives.” A two-year drought, mass displacement, decades of war, and a so-far sluggish aid response means more than seven million people – almost half the population – are already chronically hungry. In May, at least 213,000 people in the Bay region were in “catastrophe” – a technical term for starving. But despite growing evidence for months of the looming crisis, aid has been slow to arrive. In April, the UN’s $1.5 billion response plan was just 17 percent funded, only reaching 70 percent in August. As a result, there have been repeated fears of “pipeline breaks” in relief delivery. New Humanitarian

Rwandan Opposition Figure Victoire Ingabire Seeks Reconciliation in Her Homeland
In 2010, Rwandan opposition figure Victoire Ingabire Umuhoz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly conspiring against the state. She received a pardon from President Paul Kagame in 2018. Still, she accuses Kagame’s government of oppression and despotism. In this interview with DW’s Sandrine Blanchard, she explains why she continues to tirelessly campaign against the government while also trying to find a way of dealing with the country’s traumatic past. DW

Sudan, South Sudan Differ on Status of Abyei Region
Sudan and South Sudan have differed on the status of the disputed oil-producing region of Abyei, citing internal political issues requiring the urgent attention of the leaders from both countries. “There are no scheduled discussions about the status of Abyei that I know”, South Sudan’s Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin said on Monday. He added, “Sudan is engaged in internal matters as for us, we have been ready and willing to meet and discuss. In fact, it is in the interest of the people of Sudan and South Sudan to see that the issue of Abyei is settled but intervening factors have always interceded and drew the attention of the leadership.” Sudan Tribune

Nile Islanders Face Eviction to Make Way for Egypt’s Latest Grand Plan
Residents of a Nile island in greater Cairo woke up in recent weeks to find officials taking measurements of their houses — a final step before enforcing demolition orders. Since then, people from Warraq — some of whom have been on the working-class, agricultural island for generations — have renewed efforts to oppose a mega development project that would see the island’s character and their homes erased. “Just give us a part of the island, even if it is behind a wall,” one resident in his thirties told AFP, requesting anonymity due to security concerns. “We will not leave,” he added, insisting he has all the proper documentation for his house. With its green fields, red-brick buildings, irrigation canals and livestock farming, Warraq — located in Giza governorate and home to around 100,000 people — is just a ferry ride away from Cairo’s traffic-choked streets. AFP

Algeria a ‘Reliable’ Gas Supplier: European Union Chief Michel
Algeria is a “reliable” energy supplier, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday during a visit to the North African country as Europe scrambles to replace Russian supplies. “Given the international circumstances that we’re all aware of, energy cooperation is obviously essential, and we see Algeria as a reliable, loyal and committed partner in the field of energy cooperation,” Michel said after meeting President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. European officials have been looking to Algeria, Africa’s biggest gas exporter, to fill a shortfall in supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February sent prices soaring. The situation has taken on added urgency in recent days after Russia halted gas deliveries to Germany via the key Nord Stream pipeline just weeks before Autumn begins. Before the Ukraine war, Algeria provided the European Union with some 11 percent of its gas needs, against 47 percent provided by Russia. Algiers has seen a string of high-profile visitors in recent months seeking to boost exports. AFP

Zimbabwe Government Harasses Opposition with Arrests, Jail
Opposition politicians languishing in prison. Journalists and government critics harassed and arrested. Public meetings banned. Zimbabwe’s general election is several months away but many opposition figures say they are already battling intense government repression similar to the iron-fisted rule of Robert Mugabe, the former president who died in 2019. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is responding with force to opposition to his rule, stoked by worsening economic conditions including inflation at more than 250% and the emergence of a popular new party. Among those suffering from the government’s dragnet is opposition member of parliament Job Sikhala, who has been detained in the harsh Chikurubi prison near the capital, Harare, for close to three months on accusations of inciting violence. The fiery 50-year-old Sikhala has been arrested more than 65 times in his two-decade political career but has never been convicted of any crime, say his lawyers. AP

South African President Ramaphosa Slams Anti-Immigrant Protests
South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa condemned anti-immigrant protests in the capital, Pretoria, after demonstrators barred non-nationals from accessing a hospital. The trouble was sparked by a video on social media showing a regional health minister berating a Zimbabwean patient at a South African hospital a week ago.” Acts of lawlessness, intimidation and humiliation directed at foreign nationals, whether they are documented or undocumented, should not be tolerated,” Ramaphosa told parliament in a televised address on Tuesday. The president’s statement follows an incident which has sparked a fierce debate in both countries, as some see this as another instance of xenophobia. On a vivit to a hospital, Limpopo provincial Health Minister Phophi Ramathuba told the Zimbabwean woman who was awaiting medical attention there that she and other immigrants were straining the provincial healthcare system. The woman had reportedly been in a car accident and was scheduled for surgery. RFI

Nigeria’s ‘Japa’ Migration Phenonemon: Factfile
Nigeria is a giant oil-rich nation that is home to a vibrant tech scene and booming entertainment sector. But many middle-class Nigerians are heading abroad or say they plan to do so, hoping for a brighter future in Europe or North America. Here’s a snapshot on the phenomenon of “japa,” the word in Yoruba meaning “to flee.”…Despite these advantages, ramshackle infrastructure, inequality and the problems of poverty are a major headache. More than 80 million of the country’s 210 million live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. Between 2010 and 2020, the country’s unemployment rate rose five-fold to more than 30 percent. In July, inflation reached almost 20 percent. Many Nigerians are deeply worried by worsening insecurity, with criminal gangs kidnapping people for ransom in northern and central states and jihadist groups waging an insurgency in the northeast. AFP

35 Civilians Killed in IED Blast in Burkina Faso
At least 35 civilians were killed and 37 wounded Monday when an IED blast struck a convoy carrying supplies in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north, the governor of the Sahel region said. The landlocked African state is in the grip of a seven-year-old insurgency that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced some 1.9 million people to leave their homes. Monday’s incident took place as the military-led convoy was supplying towns in the restive north on a road between Bourzanga to Djibo, according to a statement by Sahel region governor Rodolphe Sorgo. “One of the vehicles carrying civilians hit an improvised explosive device. The provisional toll is 35 dead and 37 injured, all civilians,” it said. AFP

Sub-Saharan Africa Is the Only Region Where Out-of-School Children Keep Increasing
India, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the top three countries with the highest numbers of the 244 million out-of-school children in the world, according to new estimates by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). Of particular interest is the fact that the figure appears to be increasing in sub-Saharan Africa as it trends downwards in the rest of the world. In addition to Nigeria where there are now over 20 million out-of-school children, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan are in the unflattering top 10 with China, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Quartz Africa

 



Photo: Adam Jones