News in Africa: 10/25/2012

If it’s not apocalyptic swarms of insects, then it’s piracy on the rise. Africa is getting hit hard with more after the break.

West Africa

Curious”¦piracy decreases in East Africa and increases in West Africa. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has affected the following countries: Togo, Benin, and Nigeria. Togolese officials reported more attacks in this year than in the past five years combined. The US Navy has played a large role in subduing the pirate attacks near Somalia, but navies in West Africa are ill-equipped to fight piracy at sea.

the Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu
As far as I can tell, this historic mosque is still standing, but other historic buildings have been destroyed.

Last week, I mentioned the instability in Mali, and herein we find another story plucked from that larger one. Islamist fighters (linked to al-Qaeda) have been destroying centuries old mausoleums and shrines in Timbuktu as an act of defending their faith against idol worship. In the process, these fighters are destroying a rich element of African history.

East Africa

With constitutional changes in the works in Tanzania, and therefore in Zanzibar, advocate Ms. Asha Bakari Makame has suggested to the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) that they include a clause prohibiting men preventing their wives from seeking gainful employment. Other suggestions Makame has made include allowing women equal property rights, privileges in marriage, and protections against abuse for women and children. Here’s hoping that the CRC listens.

Central Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that the recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has stabilized. It is believed that 75 people were infected with the virus with 36 dying from the hemorrhagic fever in the past ten days. As the virus has not spread outside of the town of Isiro, WHO believes this is a positive sign that this outbreak has been contained.

North Africa

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization predicts the arrival of desert locust swarms for Chad that are expected to spread out through Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. These swarms can potentially affect the large wheat producing crops of Algeria and Morocco as well as wreaking havoc on pasture lands and subsistence farming. Ground teams are spraying pesticides in an attempt to minimize damage.

Outline of Africa with the US, China, India, European countries, and more superimposed in a jigsaw-fashion with room to spare.

South Africa

Widespread strikes over wage disputes in South Africa’s mining operations have resulted in over 20,000 employees being fired and/or “effectively dismissed” by affected companies. These wildcat strikes have also resulted in some of South Africa’s worst cases violence since apartheid, resulting in thousands of ounces of lost gold and platinum production.


By Dormouse

Bilingual (and a half) white girl who spent thirteen of her formative years in Africa. She is a writer, mentor, coffee drinker, wife, cat owner, language lover, photography dabbler, aspiring speaker, and a lifetime student. She keeps her writing going over at

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