African society is at a historic turning point, with its citizens caught between rapidly growing economies, morphing political landscapes and technological innovations that are impacting all pillars of tradition and culture
Last week, as part of the Amani Africa II field exercise, the African Standby Force (ASF) began testing its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) at the Lohatlha military base in South Africa.
With as many as 14 sub-Saharan African states taking to the polls, 2015 has been a critical year on the election calendar. On Sunday Tanzania, a country that exemplifies peace and political stability on the African continent, conducted its general elections.
This past week, the ANC was dealing with its biggest jolt since it came to power in 1994. With little more than a hashtag, #FeesMustFall, and a lot of healthy outrage, tens of thousands of students across the country and across race and party lines rose up, shut down campuses and stopped examinations, then marched on Parliament and Luthuli House and left the lawns of the Union Buildings smouldering.
“There is going to be blood this year if my party doesn’t win,” said the young man Tanzania, and his fellows cheered him on. For a country that is deemed to be a harbour of peace, it is especially scary to hear passionate young people throwing words like blood around in conversation, as if it were nothing. Yes we want change, but what price are we willing to pay for the change? Can this change also be peaceful?
Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties are in serious trouble and are functioning on a wing and a prayer. They however will not admit to it. The largest opposition in Parliament and also popularly, the MDC-T, appears to be entering a new phase of contrived factionalism spurred on by differences over congress outcomes and alleged coalition talks.
When will customs officials at airports stop checking your temperature upon arrival from an African destination? In countries like Ethiopia, half a dozen medics in white coats check whether travellers had recently visited Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. Admittedly, Addis Ababa hosts the headquarters of the African Union (AU), where most of Africa’s 54 member states are represented. And these officials travel a lot.
Takura Zhangazha on the political reshuffle in Zimbabwe and Zanu Pf’s intention to perpetuate and secure its position as ruling party and ensure a present, but thoroughly negligible, opposition.
The ills facing Africa today, including low agricultural productivity under a changing climate to Africa’s socio-economic growth, are widely documented. A consequence of low agricultural productivity, Africa spends more than US$ 35 billion annually on food imports, while food worth up to US$ 48 billion is lost annually in the postharvest and a further 6.6 million tonnes of potential grain harvest – enough to meet annual calorific needs of approximately 30 million people – is written off as productivity loss due to degraded ecosystems.