KW 41: Violence against women increases, Africa’s super-rich, Saiko – the ecological disaster off the coast of Ghana

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Africa loses billions to illicit capital flight: According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), African countries lose an estimated 88.6 billion dollars each year, equivalent to 3.7% of the continent’s economic output, in illicit capital flight. “Illicit financial flows rob Africa and its people of their prospects, undermining transparency and accountability and eroding trust in African institutions,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said in a statement accompanying the report, which calls for increased transparency and cooperation between tax administrations globally and within the continent to tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Violence against women increases: The number of cases of sexual violence and feminicide in Africa has continued to rise since the outbreak of the pandemic. Many African women are no stranger to gender-specific violence. The UN describes it as a “shadow pandemic”: Violence, sexual abuse and the murder of women have increased alarmingly not just in Africa but worldwide. The reasons can also be traced back to the pandemic. In South Africa, according to the latest statistics from the South African police, a woman is murdered every three hours. The government also saw an increase in violence against women during the lockdown.

Africa’s super-rich: In January, business magazine Forbes published a list of the richest people in Africa. Billionaires live in eight of the 54 African countries – that is twice as many countries as in 2011. Three billionaires in Nigeria are among the ten richest Africans. The richest person in Africa comes from Nigeria: Aliko Dangote. In Egypt, the former Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour and Naguib Sawiris are among the super-rich. The net worth of founder and CEO, Issad Rebrab, of Algeria’s largest privately owned company, Cevital, also rose during the coronavirus crisis. The fifth richest person in Africa is the South African Johann Rupert.

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UN experts tell Nigeria to release singer: United Nations human rights experts have urged the Nigerian government to ensure the release of a singer who was recently sentenced to death for blasphemy. In August 2020, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy by an Upper Shari’a Court sitting in Kano. He was accused of making blasphemous and degrading remarks against Prophet Muhammad in a song he shared on WhatsApp, an act considered to have been done with the intention to hurt the feelings of Muslim faithful.

Senegal renames Central Square in former colonial capital: Senegal has rebaptized a central square in its former capital Saint-Louis which bore a statue and the name of a prominent 19th-century French colonial governor. Saint-Louis was the capital of the French colony of Senegal from 1673 until 1902 and French West Africa from 1895 until 1902, when the capital was moved to Dakar. Its central square was named after Louis Leon Cesar Faidherbe, who protected northern France from a Prussian invasion in 1870-1871. The square has been renamed Baya Ndar, which in the dominant Wolof language, means Ndar square. Ndar is the local name of Saint-Louis.

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Saiko – the ecological disaster off the coast of Ghana: An ecological disaster is unfolding off the coast of Ghana. Under the cover of darkness and out at sea, trawlermen trade tons of iced fish with local fishers unable to source catches of their own in Ghana’s plundered waters. This illegal practice is known locally as “saiko”.

Mali appoints new prime minister: Mali’s transitional president has appointed the former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane, as the West African nation’s prime minister. The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an August 18 coup. ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.

October 2, 1520 – The beginning of slavery: In 1520, a ship under the Spanish flag sailed from the west coast of Africa to the Spanish colony of Hispaniola. Packed full of valuable raw materials: gold, ivory and slaves. 50 men who were tied at their hands and feet with iron chains. This is how the colonial powers Spain and Portugal began the transatlantic human trafficking. The consequences of inequality and racism against black people are still felt today.

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Africa has lost an estimated 9.6 billion dollars to tax havens.


“Social norms and standards are so weak that women are simply killed, raped, beaten and disposed of. The country is not doing enough to work towards gender equality.”

Lesley Ann Foster, chairwoman of the women’s rights organization Masimanyane Women’s Rights International in South Africa.


Music service Mdundo lists on the Danish stock exchange: African music service Mdundo has listed on the Danish stock exchange to accelerate its growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Mdundo claims to have over 5 million active users as well as a combined 20 million-plus downloads and streams per month. The service is available to users worldwide, but focuses on 15 African markets including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Cameroon, Congo, Malawi, South Africa and Namibia.

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