On the 15 of November the military in Zimbabwe took control of the country’s state broadcaster and also blocked off access to government offices, and parliament but denied it was taking over government. Military spokesperson, Major General S.B. Moyo made a televised statement saying the army is targeting “criminals around” President Robert Mugabe, who are “committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in order to bring them to justice”. Following the military takeover South Africa President Jacob Zuma sent special envoys to Zimbabwe to meet with President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force but the political crisis is far from being resolved. Pres Mugabe appears to be still at the helm and in a surprising development he appeared in public for the first time since the coup to attend a graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University in Harare. Mugabe’s future remains uncertain and Zimbabwe is on tenterhooks as the political drama unfolds.
South Africa President Jacob Zuma has sent special envoys to Zimbabwe to meet with President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force. President Zuma says he spoke to President Mugabe today, who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was “fine”.
The military in Zimbabwe has taken control of the country’s state broadcaster in the capital Harare. The army seized the state TV and also blocked off access to government offices but denied it was taking over government. Major General Moyo said “as soon as they are done the situation will come to normalcy”.
Kenya’s Supreme Court will once again be the centre of a likely lengthy legal battle following the recent re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta with opposition leader Raila Odinga refusing to accept the result. In his victory speech President Kenyatta who was declared winner of the poll with 98 percent of the vote said he expects his re-election to be challenged in the courts. The country remains in a precarious situation as it remains uncertain how the political crisis will unfold and if will be peacefully resolved.
The continent is facing major problems, from corruption, unemployment, lack of access to quality education and decent health care. The public health systems of many Africa countries are in shambles, in desperate need of financial investment but leaders travel to European and Asian nations to seek medical care. In August South Africa’s Health Minister Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said African leaders should be “ashamed” of the practice, and “We must promote our own,” public health systems. Corruption on the continent has also remained a major problem affecting social and economic development. This lack of political will and willingness to fight corruption has been fuelling the scourge on the continent, preventing millions of people from escaping the cycle of extreme poverty.
The death toll has risen in Cameroon’s English-speaking region following clashes between security forces and protesters calling for independence. Rights group Amnesty International says at least 17 people were killed in clashes. People in the region have been pushing for independence from Cameroon after protesting of years of marginalization by the dominant French-speaking region. President Paul Biya on his Facebook page condemned the violence and called for dialogue. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also strongly condemned the violence and commended the calls for a discussion on the issues raised by protesters.
A country and continent’s true strength and potential is its young people. Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050. However, with the population increase comes new opportunities and challenges. Brain drain has increasingly become one of Africa’s biggest problems. The continent is suffering from brain drain as its young, skilled workers depart from the region, is search of greener pastures, leaving skilled and educated professionals in short supply. Last year the IMF in its World Economic Outlook report noted that the outflow of skilled labour and young people seeking better educational opportunities outside the continent’s borders will continue rising, and the trend is worrying.
Currently at 1.2 billion, Africa’s population is projected to more than double by 2050 and quadruple by 2100, reaching 4 billion. Young people make up a large part of Africa’s population but the continent is home to aging and many of the world’s longest-serving presidents. Unemployment is a reality across the continent and with the projected doubling population by 2050 new political, social and economic challenges face Africa. While African youth still remain marginalised in terms of political and civic engagement/involvement, the trend is beginning to change, and Africa’s growing and large youth population presents great opportunities.
Africa has seen some of its leaders clinging to power for decades. Some of these leaders will rather die hanging on to power than to handing it over to someone else. There are cases where some leaders continue to cling on by changing the constitution, removing term limits to stay in power. In recent years, a number of leaders have been successfully removed from power (Yahya Jammeh in The Gambia, more recently), but there are still a number of leaders prepared to manipulate the political processes to extend their stay in power.