Africa updates: What happened on the continent this week

There once was a prez called Saied

A Tunisian journalist was arrested this week for reading a poem about authoritarian rulers. The president, Kais Saied, recently suspended parliament in a move his critics described as a coup, but which does appear to have public support in a country with high levels of corruption and low levels of service delivery. Saied’s people clearly don’t think that journalists — or poets — should question his power, as other reporters have been intimidated or had their workplaces closed down. 

It’s about time 

Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah this week became the first black African writer in 35 years to win the Nobel prize for literature. Born in Zanzibar, he fled to England after a revolution in 1964. His first novel, Memory of Departure, about a young boy sent abroad by his family, was published in 1987. The Nobel committee awarded Gurnah the prize for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees in the gulf between cultures and continents”. 

SA among world’s worst polluters

South Africa is the 16th all-time highest emitter of carbon emissions, according to research that looks at the total emissions of countries over the past 160 years. The United States was first. 

Weapons bloom through Ethiopian Airlines

A CNN investigation found evidence that Ethiopian Airlines was used last year to transport weapons and supplies to Eritrea. In one case, the report found that a flight filled with flowers for export to Belgium was emptied and stocked with weapons instead, which the airline denies. The flight reportedly took place during Ethiopia’s civil war in Tigray, which has led to multiple mass killings, famine and sustained violence. 

This article first appeared on The Continent, the pan-African weekly newspaper designed to be read and shared on WhatsApp. Download your free copy here

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The Continent
The Continent is a free weekly newspaper published by the Adamela Trust in partnership with the Mail & Guardian.

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