Who’s next

There is almost universal consensus that the elimination of corruption will bring Africa to the fore, allowing it to take advantage of its demographic profile. The big challenge is democracy. The death of two leaders, one in Ghana and the other in Ethiopia, offers an interesting contrast.

On July 24th, within hours of the sudden end from cancer of Ghana’s president, John Atta Mills, his deputy, John Mahama, was sworn in with impressive constitutional calmness to replace him.

The death of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s authoritarian leader for the past 20 years, whose failure to implement a succession plan has left a power vacuum that portends potential problems for the country and the region. That will expose the West’s failure to promote the long term benefits of democracy where once the country had achieved stability following the ravaging starvation in the 1980s exacerbated by a similar political vacuum at the end of the Haile Selassie era.

The rest of Africa is jealous of Ethiopia’s proud heritage and success at avoiding colonisation in the Scramble for Africa during the latter stages of the 19th century.

It’s time to right a wrong.

More at:
Bye-bye big man
In rude health
Meles Zenawi’s successor faces challenges
Ethiopia profile

The man who tried to make dictatorship acceptable

Cause to celebrate

Africa is the troubled continent. Somalia, Sudan, Mali, DRC, Nigeria – all riven by conflict. Many of the countries covering the Sahel are suffering starvation.

The appointment of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s most capable politician, to head the African Union (AU) commission brings hope.

A minister since 1994, she headed the ministry of health under Mandela, then foreign minister for 10 years, earning kudos for her quiet diplomacy, with her biggest success coming as minister of home affairs. Prior to her taking the portfolio, the ministry had been consistently ranked the worst in government. Last year, under her guidance was the first time in 16 years that it received an unqualified report from the auditor general.

She’s a great choice to turn the AU into a body that can resolve Africa’s many challenges.

More at:
If Dlamini-Zuma leaves, who will steer home affairs?
Cabinet Report Cards: An Unbalanced Seesaw
Dlamini-Zuma elected to head AU Commission
The AU’s new chief: Who is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma?