Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (74) recently returned to the U.K. for medical treatment, his fourth visit to the U.K. for treatment since his election in 2015. In the same week Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (93), flew to Singapore for a “routine medical check-up”. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos (74) has reportedly also been undergoing medical treatment in Spain. These cases have stirred debate around medical tourism. Health care systems in many African countries are inadequately funded. There are arguments that our African presidents need to lead by example, and ensure that healthcare systems in their countries improve to match or surpass the foreign countries they so much love to visit.
Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on Sunday defeating Marine Le Pen (48), a far-right nationalist. Macron’s win has been met with a global sense of relief, across Africa, the 39 year-old’s election has elicited mixed reactions. Macron is France’s youngest leader since Napoleon. Yearning for renewal, and generational political change in their respective countries, Africa’s young people have taken to social media, drawing parallels between the young French leader, whose win has shaken the country’s political landscape with African leaders who continue to cling on to power.
Angolan demonstrators this week took to the streets in a protest in Luanda against a draft law criminalising all abortions. The bill is set to be voted on next week. Abortion also remains a criminal offence in numerous other African countries, and many women and girls die each year from unsafe abortions. An estimated 21.6 million women worldwide, 18.5 million of which are in developing countries, subject themselves to unsafe abortions each year. Stigma, and discrimination on the issue is pervasive and various rights groups continue to lead campaigns which seek to raise awareness and assert that every woman and girl has the inalienable right to make decisions regarding her body.
Jacinta Raquel Felipe is a female hyper realist artist based in Angola. Her artwork has garnered quite an audience. See some of her remarkable drawings, which have left many on social media in awe.
Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF party has confirmed President Robert Mugabe as its candidate for the 2018 polls. President Mugabe who will be 94 in 2018 has showed no signs of relinquishing power and naming a successor. Conversely, reports that Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will step down before the country’s 2017 elections have raised a few eyebrows. The reports of dos Santos’ retirement come amidst numerous cases across the continent where leaders continue to cling on to power, in some cases against the wishes of the electorate.
It’s hard to imagine the country without him, but dos Santos’ departure could well set change in motion.
The President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir has revealed that he will step down in 2020, after his term expires. If al-Bashir quits in 2020, he would have been in power for 31 years. There have only been a few leaders who have voluntarily ceded power or resisted the temptation to change the constitution to allow them to contest again, prompting the question, why do African leaders cling onto power instead of handing power?
After a 27 year civil war that devastated Angola, an enterprising steel company in the capital Luanda is converting the remnants of the conflict to good use. The guns and other abandoned weapons, remnants of the conflict are being used as a source of raw material for the steel mill. We look at other methods being used to recycle decommissioned arms.
Africa’s second longest-serving leader, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has unexpectedly announced he will step down in 2018, having been president since 1979. If dos Santos steps down in 2018, he would have been in power for 39 years. How sincere is dos Santos’ proposal?