What’s Going On: African Teams at the FIFA Womens’ World Cup & more

Some pertinent headlines from Ghana, Sudan and Ethiopia.

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

A quick recap of the African teams’ first matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

On Sunday, South African striker Hildah Magaia scored the opening goal of Banyana Banyana’s first match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It was the first and only goal scored by an African side in the first round of group matches at the tournament, however, it came in an eventual defeat, with opponents Sweden coming back to winning the match 2-1. The goal was also a bittersweet moment for Magaia, as she picked up an injury while scoring the goal and had to be taken off the pitch shortly after. It’s expected that she will be fit when South Africa faces Argentina on Friday.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons were the only team to pick up a point in the first round of matches, after playing a goalless draw against Canada on Friday morning. They’ll be looking for an important win against host nation Australia, at their next match on Thursday. Both Zambia and Morocco suffered heavy losses in their first matches, the former losing 5-0 to Japan and the latter losing 6-0 to Germany. Both countries are making their first appearances at the Women’s World Cup, and they’ll be looking to put in improved performances during their next matches.

Zambia will face Spain on Wednesday, sans their first choice goalkeeper Catherine Musonda, who will serve a one-match suspension after picking up two yellow cards in the loss to Japan. Morocco will play against South Korea on Sunday morning. You can take a look at the full schedule here.

Ghanaian government minister resigns amidst stashed cash controversy

After six years as Ghana’s minister of sanitation and water resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has resigned from the position, following allegations that she had large sums of cash stashed in her Accra home. Dapaah made local headlines on Friday, following media reports that two of her former household staff appeared in court between July and October 2022, based on accusations of stolen cash and personal belongings from the ex-minister and her husband.

Prosecutors had told the court that the accused former staff bought houses and vehicles with the stolen money, however, reports of the allegedly stolen $1 million, 300,000 euros and 350,000 cedis drew outrage from Ghanaians, with many questioning how Dapaah came to be in the possession of such huge sums of cash. Under President Nana Akufo-Addo, many government officials have been caught up in corruption scandals, making it easy for Ghanaians to be hyper-vocal at alleged theft of public funds, especially at a time when skyrocketing inflation and a housing crisis has worsened the quality of life for many citizens.

“Whereas I can state emphatically that those figures do not represent correctly what my husband and I reported to the police, I am very much aware of the import of such stories around someone in my position,” Dapaah wrote in her resignation letter. “I do not want this matter to become a preoccupation of government,” she said, adding that she would “no doubt” be exonerated.

Hunger & Injustice continues in the aftermath of Ethiopian Civil War

After about two years of fighting, a November 2022 ceasefire served as the starting point for the war between Tigrayan regional forces and Ethiopia’s federal allies to officially come to an end. Over the last months, the focus has been on repairing Tigray and restoring normal quality of life to a region that has been denigrated by hunger, death, ethnic cleansing, gender-based violence and other human rights violation. Amidst there supposed efforts, lack of urgency and unaccountability have been rampant, putting doubts in how committed the Ethiopian government is to the cause.

According to multiple on-the-ground reports, food insecurity is a major issue that continues to plague Tigray. According to the World Food Program (WFP), about a fifth of the 6 million people in the region were severely food insecure as at February. In June, the WFP and the US government paused aid flow due to alleged diversion from those in dire need, in what could be the “biggest theft of food aid on record.” According to Gebrehiwot Gebregziaher, a doctor in charge of the Tigray region for the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, 595 people have been reported dead due to hunger since around April, a toll that will most likely continue to climb if efforts are not doubled to be transparent with aid flow.

In addition, human rights groups are still reporting that violence and ethnic cleansing continues in Tigray even under the ongoing truce. While the international community has called for investigations into these war crimes, the Ethiopian government have stifled those efforts by pulling sovereign rank. The pressure has clearly waned, with the US government helping out the country’s ailing economy, an indicator that justice against war criminals isn’t a priority at the moment—and may never be.

Nine people die due to plane crash in Sudan

For the last 100 days, war has raged on in significant parts of Sudan, mostly starting out of the capital city of Khartoum and down to the Darfur region. Over 2 million people have been displaced due to the in-fighting headed by two military strongmen at war, with well over a dozen ceasefire agreements breached and several diplomatic efforts yielding very little return. There’s no peace in sight, with both parties believing they have the capacity to overwhelming each other during the war.

Amidst all of this, other tragedies are still taking place. Although Port Sudan has barely been involved in the war, the army has confirmed the death of nine people, including four soldiers, when a civilian plane crashed on Sunday (July 23). According to the army, the plane crashed due to technical reasons, and the incident is significant because the Port Sudan airport is the only operational airport in the country due to the war. The airport is the important for the movement of aid and aid workers, as civilians left in the country are left to survive under the fear of hunger, fatal injuries and death.