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The Africa Report

Sameera Casmod |
24 October 2023 | 11:52 CAT
1-min read

Picture: Radio Islam International

Sizo Nkala, a research fellow at the University of Johannesburg Centre for Africa-China Studies, discussed Zimbabwe’s struggle with a cholera outbreak, Africa’s shifting stance on the Israel- Palestine war and the need for urgent action regarding Sudan’s dire humanitarian crisis.

Nkala said that the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe can be attributed to inadequate sanitation infrastructure, poor hygiene practices and a deficient public health system. With 5 000 infected and 100 fatalities, mainly in the southeastern provinces, the country grapples with a recurring issue that extends beyond its borders, as neighbouring regions such as Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia also report similar challenges.

The discussion turned to the relationship between “Israel” and African nations. Nkala noted, “ It seems Israel has gained a foothold in Africa. It’s a big contrast to earlier days when the Israel state was formed in 1948. African countries showed a could shoulder to Israel. They didn’t really want to establish relations with it.”

This was further exacerbated in 1973, Nkala said, after the Israel-Arab war when the Organisation of African Unity severed ties with Israel. This started changing in the 1980s.

“Today, we have 44 African countries hosting Israeli embassies in their countries. And also [about 30] African countries do have embassies in Israel.”

Nkala discussed Africa’s divided response to the Israel-Palestine conflict, with some countries siding with Palestine and others like Kenya, Ghana, and Dar es Salaam aligning with Israel. This division, he warned, weakens Africa’s influence on global matters.

The discussion shifted to Sudan’s overlooked humanitarian crisis, stressing the dire situation with 25 million people affected. The collapse of the medical sector, compounded by attacks on health facilities and shortages of vital supplies, has exacerbated the situation. He pointed out the looming risk of a cholera epidemic, escalating food insecurity, and a disturbing rise in human rights abuses, particularly violence against women and girls.

Despite the scale of the crisis, regional bodies such as the African Union have fallen short in their response, leaving Sudan’s population in a precarious and increasingly desperate state.

Listen to the Africa Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.


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