What is Happening This Week

COVID: EU ‘confident’ of herd immunity by summer
The European Commission says its coronavirus vaccine drive is now on course to secure 70% inoculation of the EU’s adult population by mid-July.
The European Union’s vaccine task force chief on Sunday said the bloc would be able to produce enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity of the EU’s adult population by the middle of July.

“We are confident that we will be able to produce a sufficient number of vaccines to achieve the goal of collective immunity, which means that 70% of the adult population would have been vaccinated by mid-July,” European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said.

Arts.21 – Africa’s art treasures
Berlin’s Humboldt Forum is caught between provenance research and the debate over looted art. Right in the middle: Jonathan Fine, head of the Ethnological Museum. Arts.21 accompanied him at work and on a 2017 trip to Cameroon.

In 2017, he was co-responsible for the exhibition “Beyond Compare” which juxtaposed artworks from the Ethnological Museum with sculptures from Berlin’s Bode Museum. In the same year, he travelled to Cameroon to conduct research into one of the collection’s most impressive objects, a royal throne from the Kingdom of Bamum. He was searching for answers: How did it get to Germany?
Was it a diplomatic gift to the German Kaiser or a forced gesture of submission? Is it a case for restitution? If it were up to Cameroonian curator and art critic Bonaventure Ndikung, Germany would have to present Cameroon with an important artwork in return – as a true act of diplomacy.


“Decolonization” of donor funding. In January, the global nonprofit PATH announced it had been chosen by the US President’s Malaria Initiative to lead a $30 million malaria project in Africa. Seven other institutions were listed as partners in the initiative: none were from Africa. A recently published response letter by African health experts has reignited a conversation over the funding models used by global health institutions for the continent, Carlos Mureithi reports.

Nigerian musician Fela Kuti performs in Chicago in the US. Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Tackling a terrific legacy. The recent nomination of Nigerian Afrobeat king Fela Kuti to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a welcome recognition of his contribution to the world of music, writes Sanya Osha. But it also risks diluting the ideals and complexities of a musician whose work and life defied categorization.
The truth is that during Fela’s extraordinary lifetime, the Nigerian’s notoriety as an engaged citizen fighting for social justice was what usually attracted attention – and not his music . His public persona as a cultural renegade, an incorrigible iconoclast and social rebel hugged the headlines. Not his intoxicating blend of Yoruba trance music, highlife-derived harmonies and African American funk and jazz. He was artistically ahead of his time. And nearly 30 years since his passing, the world is still playing catch up.

America has been a longstanding partner to Africa’s nations and its people, leading in aid and development assistance, healthcare, and the fight against transnational terrorism. But Africa is more than conflict and poverty—it represents important opportunities in trade and investment, and many of the world’s major economies recognize this fact.

Many African countries are rapidly enhancing integration into global capital markets and innovating and developing sizable domestic markets. The continent, with a population in excess of 1.3 billion people, a median age under 20 years old, and a landmass large enough to fit Europe, the lower 48 United States, China, and India, includes several of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Idriss Déby’s death leaves unanswered questions. Days after securing a sixth term, a clash with rebels left Chad’s iron-fisted president dead on the battlefront, his generals reported. He leaves behind a complicated legacy bound up with contentious counterterrorism efforts, reports the New York Times.

South Africans see red over a green light for Amazon. Approval of a multiplex development in Cape Town anchored by the tech giant has run into resistance from environmentalists and the indigenous Khoi people. As Shoshana Kedem writes in African Business, a promise to be sustainable, generate jobs, and get local input might not be enough to justify occupying a sacred heritage site.