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Coups and Covid- the Africa Report

Nov 03, 2021

Staff Writer

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok was deposed by the military on October 25, after tensions had been simmering between civilian and military components of the country’s transitional council, especially in light of the military’s refusal to hand over power.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, elections the November 1 elections has seen a drop in support for both the ruling African National Congress, and the opposition Democratic Alliance, as would be voters increasingly turn away from the electoral system, preferring to engage with the state through other ways, including through protest action.

It has been argued that transitions to civilian rule take time, and that institutions are required, especially in relation to democratic consolidation, ”democracy needs nurturing….. [and]  transitioning from military to civil rule takes time, it has to be built [and]  can’t be done at once.”

Africa has seen 5 attempted coups in 2021 alone, 3 of which were successful, including a second in Mali in less than a year.

Meanwhile the coronavirus continues to impact the continent, especially the more contagious Delta variant. Africa will likely miss its target of 40% vaccinations by the end of the year, with only 5 countries including the Seychelles and Tunisia reaching this; currently only 6% of the continent has been vaccinated.  Social distancing and mask wearing have thus been advocated.

In more positive news, Cambridge University (England) and the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) have commenced the process of returning artefacts to the Kingdom of Benin, which were stolen during the period of colonialism. This follows artefacts having been returned from France, and thus alludes to the growing push to regain the continent’s stolen artefacts, most of which remain in Europe following the period of colonialism. It is significant that over 70 years after colonialism, most countries on the continent are still suffering its effects, especially in relation to trade, economic development and the lack of industrialisation, with countries in Francophone West Africa still forced to use a denomination of France’s colonial currency, the CFA Franc.

 

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