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BOTSWANA; 5O YEARS OF PEACE & STABLE DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD’S CORE OF DIAMONDS

Pre-Independence History

Botswana on the Map of Africa

BOTSWANA was known as BECHUANALAND during the British Rule between March 1885 up until September 1966 when it gained its Independence.

Sir Seretse Khama born in a powerful African Royal Family in Bechuanaland known as Bamangwato rose to be the King of Bamangwato at the Age of 4 with his Uncle as the Regent in 1925 when his Father Sekgoma 2 who was the King died. While schooling in London Khama married a White Lady known as Ruth Williams. This sparked Anger among his Bamangwato People with which the neighboring South Africa Apartheid Regime used to influenced his Ouster as King of Bamangwato in 1950 and his subsequent Exile in London.After a series of Protests by his People who refused to replace him; He Khama and his Wife Ruth were allowed to return to Bechuanaland as private Citizens in1956.

In November 1961 Khama made a comeback to the Political Scene with a New Party which he Named ‘Bechuanaland Democratic Party’ with which he alongside other Pro-Independence Nationalists used to further push for Independence. Being an organized idealistic Party; BDP won the 1965 Legislative Elections with a Landslide which saw Seretse Khama rise to become Bechuanaland’s Prime Minister with his Party Secretary-general Quett Masire as his Deputy.

With their Positions, the Two made the final Negotiation for Independence and on 30th September 1966 Bechuanaland was gained its Independence from the British Rule. It was upon this renamed as the Republic of Botswana with Seretse Khama as its first President and Quett Masire as his Vice President as per the 1965 Self-Government Constitution.

Post-Independence Botswana

January 1967 Diamond Rocks known as Kimberlite were discovered at Orapa Central Botswana by a British Diamond Exploration Company known as ‘De Beers’.

The first Multi-Party Democratic General Elections in Botswana were held on October 1969. 77 Candidates in 4 Political Parties contesting to Govern this budding Democracy. The reigning Independence Party that had been renamed to ‘Botswana Democratic Party’ won this Election with a Landslide Victory winning 24/31 Elective Positions. Khama under Parliamentary Democracy was smoothly Re-elected back into Office by the National Assembly. BDP went on to win the 1974 and 1979 Elections with Landslide Victory giving Khama an easy way back to Office.

On 13th July 1980 President Seretse Khama who was 59-years old succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer while in Office. Quett Masire his Vice President immediately took over in acting capacity as per the Constitution; Five Days later Masire was confirmed as the new President in a National Assembly Vote of 18th July1980 with Festus Mogae, Peter Mmusi and Lenyeletse Seretse.

The BDP went on to win the 1984, 1989 and 1994 Elections with Landslide Victory giving President Quett Masire and easy hop from one Term to another. President Masire voluntarily resigned towards the end of his Third Term on April 1998 to engage in Diplomatic Initiatives leaving his Vice President Festus Mogae to take over ahead of the 1999 Elections. Quett Masire an esteemed Statesman and Diplomat died on 22nd June 2017 at the Age of 92-years. Again BDP won the 1999 Elections with a Landslide Victory and Festus Mogae was elected by the National Assembly as the new President. Mogae was Re-elected for his Second Term upon BDP’s Victory in the 2004 Elections.

18 Months to the end of his Second Term Festus Mogae who is now 80-years old  stepped down to allow for Transition leaving his Vice President Lt.Gen Ian Khama the Son of Botswana’s first President to steer the Country ahead of the 2009 Elections.

Again BDP won the 2009 Elections with a Landslide Victory and Ian Khama was confirmed as the new President. It went ahead to win the 2014 Elections this time losing the Popular Vote to the collective Opposition. It nonetheless maintained the National Assembly Majority thus securing President Ian Khama’s Second Term. President Ian who is now 66-Years old also stepped down on April 2018 a Year+ towards the end of his Second Term like his Predecessor to give time for Transition. He chose his 56-Years old Deputy Mokgweetsi Masisi to take over ahead of the October 2019 Elections.

Botswana October 2019 General Election

For the first time since 1969 when BDP took Power it is in this Election slated for 23rd October 2019 going to face a serious Challenge from the Opposition. With its Strongholds weakening since the 2014 Election; BDP is going into this Competitive High-stakes Election without its Significant Strongholds. Former President Ian Khama who still has Influence especially in Central Botswana broke ranks with his former Vice President and Successor President Mokgweetsi on April 2019 over bitter Policy and Ideology differences that have seen President Masisi overturn Key Policies of Ian’s Adminstration. Ian has as a result  quit and left BDP his Father’s Party that made him President and registered his own Breakaway Party known as ‘Botswana Patriotic Front’ on June 2019 which he is now seriously campaigning for alongside UDC (an Alliance of different Parties) which is the main Opposition in a bid to defeat the 50-years old BDP. He recently in a Campaign Rally went on record saying BDP is now a dead Party.

Six Political Parties will contest in this Election with Four of them fielding Presidential Candidates. President Mokgweetsi’s Long-ruling BDP Party is hoping to get confirmed by the Electorate, Mr. Duma Boko via UDC (Umbrella for Democratic Change) which is the main Opposition, Mr. Biggie Butale via the BPF (Botswana Democratic Front) and Mr. Ndaba Gaolathe via the AP (Alliance for Progressives). The Party that will win 29/57 Constituencies which is the Majority in the National Assembly will produce the 6th President of Botswana. Out of 1.6 Eligible Voters only 925,000 have been registered to vote in this Election.

The 4 Presidential Candidates in Botswana 2019 Election
L-R: Duma Boko, Biggie Butale, Incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Ndaba Gaolathe

Botswana Fact File

  • Botswana is the World’s largest producer and exporter of Diamonds in terms of Value. A recent discovery on April 2019 by a Canadian Diamond Mining Company in Botswana found a 1758 Carat-Diamond which is the Second largest Diamond to be discovered in History
  • Botswana is the Second most peaceful Country in Africa after Mauritius. It is the most Stable Democracy in Africa now flourishing with 50-years of Free and Fair Multi-Party Electoral Democracy often regarded as the epitome of Democracy
  • Despite being among Africa’s Top 25 biggest Countries in Area Size; Botswana is one of Africa’s most sparsely populated Countries now with a Total Population of 2.3 Million People. Kenya which is almost the same Size as Botswana has a Total Population of 50 Million People.
  • Botswana’s GDP currently stands at about 18 Billion U$D with Botswana Pula as the Country’s Currency
  • English is the Official Language while Setswana is the National Language with Christianity being the main Religion
  • Gaborone is the Capital City of Botswana.

Botswana’s Governing Party BDP;in Power since Independence in 1966 was again on October 26,2019 declared the Winner of this Election having Won 38/57 Seats in Parliament (66%) thereby guaranteeing President Mokgweetsi Masisi a smooth sail to a fresh Five-years Mandate. Coming Second was the Main Opposition Party UDC which managed to Win 15/57 Seats. The newly formed Opposition Party BPF Won 3 Seats with AP coming last with 1 Seat at the Country’s Parliament.

(Photos Courtesy)

MOZAMBIQUE; Independence, Rocky Political Journey Strained By Historical Political Antagonism

Mozambique Location on the African Map

Struggle for Independence

MOZAMBIQUE or MOCAMBIQUE in Portuguese was a Colony of Portugal since 1752 up until June 1975. Mozambique’s Struggle for Independence gained momentum on June 1962 when Three Mozambican Nationalist Organizations/Parties MANU, UDENAMO & UNAMI converged at Dar Es Salaam merged to form One Party in a bid to intensify the push for Independence. The “Mozambique Liberation Front” famously known as FRELIMO was formed under the Tutelage of Tanzania’s Founding President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who was their Host since the Portuguese State in Mozambique could not allow such to take place. Sir Eduardo Mondlane was elected as FRELIMO’s first President with Uria Simango as his Vice President. Together with Marcelino Dos Santos, Joaquim Chissano and Samora Machel and the Central Committee returned to Mozambique guided by the spirit of Marxism and demanded Political Independence from Portuguese, an End to Economic Exploitation by the Western Nations and the formation of an all-inclusive Socialist Society of Mozambique.

FRELIMO’s second Congress of July 1968 adopted Marxist-Socialist Policies with Mondlane and Simango being re-elected as Party Leaders. Mondlane would later be Assassinated 7-Months later on February 3, 1969 through a packaged Bomb sent to him as a Gift at FRELIMO Headquarters in Tanzania in what is believed to have been a Conspiracy of Portuguese Agents with the help of some FRELIMO insiders. Simango his deputy took over with assistance from Marcelino and Machel who later on November 1969 ousted him and took control. The duo Marcelino and Machel who had received Military Training intensified Guerilla War against the Portuguese. A Military Coup in Portugal on April 1974 overthrew the Autocratic Regime of Estado Novo. The New Regime in Portugal started Negotiations to terminate the draining Portuguese War in Africa.

Portugal and FRELIMO started Negotiations for Mozambique’s Independence which culminated in the Lusaka Accord of September 1974 that created a Transitional Mozambique Government ahead of Official Independence Proclamation that happened on the 25th Day of June 1975 which was the 13th Anniversary of FRELIMO.

Independent Mozambique

FRELIMO established a One-Party State with its then President Samora Machel becoming the first President of the Newly-Independent People’s Republic of Mozambique. Lourenco Marques is renamed Maputo after Maputo River to become the Capital City of Mozambique.

With the FRELIMO Government facing a huge demanding Task of lifting the New Republic from Poverty, Illiteracy and general Lack of Key Infrastructure and Capacity; a Counter-Revolutionary Movement RENAMO (Mozambique National Resistance) funded by Colonial Prime Minister of Rhodesia (Modern-day Zimbabwe) Ian Smith and the Apartheid South African Regime begins to directly Confront FRELIMO. The Confrontations intensified to become a Fully-fledged Civil War that plagued the Young Nation of Mozambique for 15-Years between (1977-1992) . Characterized by Marxist FRELIMO led by President Samora Machel against  the Rebellious Anti-Communist RENAMO led by Andre Matsangaissa ; This War led to the Deaths of over 1-Million Mozambicans with RENAMO’s Rebel Leader also Killed in the fighting by Government Forces on October 17,1979.

Amid the War; President Samora Machel together with 33 FRELIMO Comrades died in a Mysterious Plane Crash at Mbuzini Hills of Mpumalanga in South Africa on October 19,1986 in what is believed to have been plotted by South Africa’s Anti-FRELIMO Apartheid Regime that was then being led by P.W Botha. No One has been held to account up to this day. Two Weeks after Machel’s death FRELIMO Central Committee elected Samora Machel’s close ally and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joaquim Chissano to take over; Chissano was sworn in on November 1986.

President Chissano introduced drastic changes Key among them changing from Marxism to Capitalism and the start of Peace-Talks with RENAMO in an attempt to end the Civil War. Chissano announced direct Talks with RENAMO on March 1990 and the Negotiations began on July 1990 at Rome-Italy. The Negotiations started bearing Fruits on November 1990 when a New Constitution was enacted. The New Constitution ushered in Democracy and Multi-Party Politics and a Bill of Human Rights. The Talks went on for Two Years and the Leaders of the Two Warring Parties President Chissano and the then RENAMO Rebel Leader Afonso Dhlakama finally met on August1992. The Two signed the ‘General Peace Agreement’ on October 1992 with 7-Protocols in it key among them being  the Ceasefire that brought the 15-Years Civil War to an End.

The first Democratic Multi-Party General Elections were held on October 1994. FRELIMO’s Joaquim Chissano won with 53% followed by RENAMO’s Afonso Dhlakama with 33%. FRELIMO also Won the Majority in the National Assembly. The 2nd General Election was held on December 1999 and FRELIMO Won again.Chissano was re-elected with 52% with RENAMO’s Dhlakama coming a Strong-Second with 47%.RENAMO Protested and Contested this Election at the Supreme Court but their Petition was thrown out. The 3rd  General Election was held on December 2004.President Chissano was not on the Ballot like he had earlier promised to Step down while criticizing his Neighboring Counterparts President Chiluba of Zambia and Mugabe of Zimbabwe  for overstaying in Power. Again FRELIMO’s Candidate in this Election Armando Guebuza won with 63% followed by RENAMO’s Dhlakama with 31%. President Guebuza was again in the 4th General Elections of October 2009 Re-elected with a Landslide Victory of 75% with RENAMO’s obvious Candidate Dhlakama nose-diving with 16%.

The 5th General Election was held on October 2014 with a New FRELIMO Candidate Filipe Nyusi winning with 57% against RENAMO’s obvious Candidate Dhlakama who got 36% in his 5th Unsuccessful attempt to get the Top Job. RENAMO’s insurgency had began in 2013 but it was mildly stopped by a Cessation Accord between Outgoing President Guebuza and RENAMO’s Dhlakama. It intensified after the 2014 General Elections Results that were rejected by RENAMO who demanded Control of 6 out of 11 Provinces of Mozambique which it claimed to have won.

RENAMO’s Longtime Leader and FRELIMO’s Arch-Rival died on May 3,2018 Aged 65-Years in what was reported to have been a Heart Attack.He died in Gorongosa Mountains his Hideout. RENAMO chose Ossufo Momade who was its Secretary General between 2007-2012 as its interim Leader who it would later Confirm as its Presidential Flag-bearer on January 2019 at its National Congress ahead of the October 2019 General Elections. A Military faction within RENAMO led by General Mariano Nhongo rejected his Election claiming it was influenced by FRELIMO and that  Momade was FRELIMO’s Project in the oncoming Election.

On August 1, 2019 President Nyusi signed a New Peace Accord with Momade in a bid to end armed hostilities between Government Forces and RENAMO but RENAMO’s Junta led by Gen.Nhongo have refused to drop their Weapons. Nhongo who claims to Command over 500 Armed RENAMO Junta has vowed to totally disrupt the oncoming Elections if the Nyusi Government will not have negotiated with them directly saying they do not recognize the August Peace Treaty. The Junta heavily concentrated in the Northern Part of Mozambique that is Rich in Natural Gas has actually claimed responsibility on some Acts of Violence being witnessed in the Country in the ongoing Election Campaign Caravans. The Northern Part has been experiencing deadly Conflict Since the discovery of huge Natural Gas Deposits in 2010. Since the start of 2019 Election Campaigns at least 30 People including one Senior Election Observer identified as Mr.Matavel have been reported dead with little intervention from the Government. The Amnesty International has named Civil Society Leaders, Human Rights Activists and the Press as endangered groups in the looming Electoral Crisis.

Mozambique’s Historical Political Arch-Rival Parties To Date

MOZAMBIQUE October 15, 2019 General Election

Mozambique October 15,2019 General Elections

This 6th Multi-Party General Election will again largely be pitting Mozambique’s Independence Party FRELIMO that has been in Power for 44-Years Now against its familiar obvious Opposition Party RENAMO; The Two have been competing for 25-Years since 1994. President Filipe Nyusi will be seeking his 2nd and last Term in Office under FRELIMO; a Party whose Credibility and Influence is fast-waning against a disjointed RENAMO’s disputed Candidate Ossufo Momade. The other Two Presidential Candidates in this Election are Beira City Mayor since 2003 Daviz Simango of the MDM Party; an offshoot of RENAMO. Simango was a RENAMO Member from 1997 until March 2009 when he bolted out to form his own party the MDM (Democratic Movement of Mozambique). The other Presidential Candidate is Mario Albino with his AMUSI Party.

  • There are a Total of 26 Political Parties in this Election
  • 12.9 Million out of Mozambique’s 30.5 Million People have been Registered to Vote in this Election
  • There are over 20,000 Polling Stations spread out across the 11 Provinces of Mozambique
  • This will be the first Presidential Election without RENAMO’s Five-times Candidate the late Afonso Dhlakama who has been FRELIMO’s Arch-rival since 1994
  • Mozambique’s Independence Party FRELIMO that has been in Power since Mozambique’s Independence 44-Years is still the Front-runner in this Election
  • For the first time courtesy of the Maputo August 2019 Peace Accord; Provincial Governors will be directly Elected not Appointed by Executive Decrees
  • In Terms of GDP; Mozambique whose Economy is highly dependent on Agriculture is among the 10 Poorest Nations in Africa with a GDP of 14 Billion USD; This is expected to change for the better with the 2010 Discovery of over 75-Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Mozambique’s Northern Coast of Cabo Delgado Province. This according to Italian and American Companies at the Center of this Discovery makes Mozambique one of the World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Hubs. Commercial Production and Export is set to start in 2024
  • The Country’s Official Currency is known as Mozambican  Metical while the Official Language is Portuguese (Inherited from the Colonial Master) although Native Languages like Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena and Ndau  are also widely Spoken
  • Mozambique’s Main Religion is Christianity although there is also a good number of Muslim Faithfuls

On October 27,2019 Mozambique’s Electoral Commission CNE declared incumbent President Filipe Nyusi of the Long-ruling Party FRELIMO as the Winner of this October 15th Election with 73% giving him a fresh Five-years Mandate.Main Opposition RENAMO’s Candidate Ossufo Momade garnered 21.88% of the Vote. In an Election that saw a Turnout of 50.74% the other Two Presidential Candidates MDM’s Daviz Simango garnered 4.38% with AMUSI’s Mario Albino garnering 0.73% of the Total Valid Votes. The main Opposition totally rejected the final Results of what they termed as the “most fraudulent Election ever” challenging it all the way to the Constitutional Council of the Supreme Court where their Petition was dismissed on November 15,2019. RENAMO said FRELIMO has again violated Mozambique’s Third ‘Peace Accord’ signed on August 2019 between FRELIMO Leader President Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade the Leader of RENAMO by manipulating this Election with Violence, Intimidation and Massive Electoral Fraud thereby putting the Fragile Peace and Calm of this Country at Stake.

TUNISIA: ICON OF THE ARAB SPRING; BUDDING DEMOCRACY IN THE ARAB WORLD

Tunisia on the African Map

History

TUNISIA; Home to the ancient City of Carthage (Found in Tunis the Capital City of Tunisia Today) is Africa’s Northernmost Country a former French Colony since May 1881 until its Independence on March 1956. Its Independence came after a series of Negotiations that begun in 1952 between France and Tunisian Freedom Fighters led by Habib Borguiba and other Nationalists under the Neo Destour Party. Habib was at the Time of Independence serving as the Second Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tunisia under the French Protectorate.

A National Constituent Assembly formed on March 1956 to draft a Constitution for the New Republic of Tunisia elected Borguiba as its President on April 1956. The Neo Destour Party Leadership invited the Constituent Assembly Members for a Special Sitting on July 1957 and their Meeting officially Declared the Republic of Tunisia and Appointed Borguiba as the Acting President of the Republic of Tunisia a Position which was Legally Binded when Tunisia adopted its First Constitution on June 1959.

President Borguiba ruled the New Republic of Tunisia for 3 Decades until November 1987. Borguiba’s Health started ailing in early 1970’s and his Condition deteriorated in mid-1980’s when his Doctors declared him Mentally incapable of performing his duties. His New Prime Minister One General Ben Ali who he had just Appointed on October 1987 Ousted him from Office in a Bloodless Coup of November 1987 and took over immediately.

The New Military Head of State promised Reforms in Democracy and Governance but he never lived to the Promise. Although he introduced some Economic Reforms in Tunisia’s Economy,Ben Ali turned into a Dictator and ruled Tunisia for 24 Years until January 2011 when he was Ousted by Tunisians in Tunisian Revolution that began on December 2010 Ousting Ben Ali on January 2011. The Tunisian Revolution which began when a Jobless Graduate one Tarek Bouazizi who was working as a Vegetable Hawker immolated himself by dousing himself in Petrol and setting himself on Fire on December 17,2010 to Protest what many Tunisians felt epitomized Ben Ali’s Regime; Unemployment, Corruption, High Cost of Living, Oppression, Human Rights Abuse, Tyranny and Poor Governance. The Tunisian Revolution inspired what is now famously known as the Arab Spring where Arabs in Arab Countries in Africa and Middle East Revolted against Dictatorship deposing Long-serving Dictators notably Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak sweeping Across Middle East Countries.

Ben Ali and his Family managed to flee and went to Exile in Jeddah Saudi Arabia where they have been offered Asylum and Refuge up to Date. Ben Ali Died on September 19,2019 at a Hospital in Jeddah at the Age of 83.

Before fleeing Ben Ali had delegated his Powers to his Prime Minister one Mohammed Ghannouchi a Decision that was quashed by Tunisia’s Constitutional Court. The Court subsequently announced the Legal Transition where the then Speaker of Parliament one Fouad Mebazaa took over as Interim President awaiting Presidential Election in 60 Days.

Fouad Mebazaa governed Tunisia as its 3rd President between January 2011 to December 2011 when the ‘Tunisian Constituent Assembly’ Constituted on October 2011 to draft a New Constitution and Appoint a Transitional Government after the Revolution Appointed former Human Rights Activist and Ben Ali’s Critic one Moncef Marzouki  as the New Transitional President of Tunisia.

Marzouki governed Tunisia as its 4th President for Three Years between December 2011 to December 2014 when he lost to one of his Prime Minister one Beji Essebsi in Tunisia’s Historic First Ever Free and Fair Democratic Election of November-December 2014. President Marzouki is remembered for restoring Calm in Tunisia after the 2010 Revolution by lifting the State of Emergency and Instituting Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission.

The then 88-Years Old Historic First Democratically Elected 5th President of Tunisia Beji Essebsi was Sworn in on December 31, 2014. Essebsi ruled Tunisia for 4 Years and 7 Months until July 25, 2019 when he died in Hospital at the Age of 92 in what his Office said was a Serious Illness. Before his Death President Essebsi had already Announced that would not seek Reelection in 2019 Presidential Election saying Time had come for the Youth to Lead Tunisia. Essebsi will be remembered for his Passion and Quest for Equality and Equity between Men and Women in Tunisia which he Championed through Legal Amendments and Parliament Debates.

The Speaker of the ‘Assembly of Representatives’ one Mohammed Ennaceur took over as the Interim 6th President awaiting Presidential Election set for September 15,2019. Tunisia is Administered through a Parliamentary System of Government.

Tunisia’s Second Democratic Election

The September 15, 2019 Presidential Election saw a whopping 26 Candidates contesting for Tunisia’s Highest Office in the Country’s Second Democratic Election. Among them are Key Prominent Figures led by the Country’s Current Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi, former Prime Ministers Mehdi Jomaa and Hamadi Jebali, former Tunisia Transitional President Moncef Marzouki, Media Tycoon Nabil Karoui who is currently in detention facing Money Laundering and Tax Evasion Charges, Ennahda’s Abdelfattah Morou and Abir Morsi who is among the only Two Female Candidates in the Race.

This Election which saw a Poor Voter Turnout where only 45% of the 7 Million Registered Voters turned out to Vote has to the Surprise of many led to a Run-off Election set to be held on October 13,2019 between Two New Entrants in Politics;One Independent Candidate 61-years old former Law Professor Kais Saied who led with 18.4% followed by 56-years old Media Tycoon Nabil Karoui who came Second with 15.6% . This was a huge blow to the Country’s Political Establishment.None of the 26 Candidates in this Race managed to get a Clear-cut Win (a Simple Majority above 50% of Total Valid Votes) in this Round One Election hence the Two Top Contenders will have to battle it out in a Decisive Run-off that will determine the Winner who will then become Tunisia’s New President.Nabil Karoui who was in detention since late August was Freed from Jail on October 9,2019 by Tunisia’s High Court that annuled his detention Order.

This Run-off Election that saw Voter Turnout increase to 55% was Won by the modest 61-years old former Law Professor Kais Saied with a Landslide Victory of 72% against Nabil Karoui’s 27% .Mr.Nabil conceded defeat and congratulated the New President-elect Mr.Saied.

Mr.Saied largely seen as an Incorruptible social Conservative locally described as a “Robocop” for his Modesty Won the Hearts of Tunisians with an almost Zero-budget Campaign.His Anti-Political Elite approach helped him woo the Support of Tunisian Youths who Voted for him Massively.He thanked the Young People for turning a New Page and promised to build a New Tunisia for them and for all Tunisians.He pledged to Decentralise Power,Fight Corruption and fulfill the Aspirations of the 2011 Arab Revolution that began in Tunisia.

Mr.Kais Saied the New President of Tunisia

Tunisia’s 11.5 Million People who are 98% Arabs/Muslims are mainly dependent on Agriculture, Petroleum, Hydrocarbons and Metals Mining, Textiles, Tourism and Manufacturing as the main Economic Activities in the Country with Tunisian Dinar as the Country’s Currency.Tunisia’s GDP Currently stands at 40 Billion USD.

(Photos Courtesy)

EAST AFRICA’S OIL BREAKTHROUGH; WILL IT BE THE USUAL TALE OF FOREIGN CAPITALISM AMIDST LOCAL STATE OF DISCORD & DISARRAY?

I’m sure You have heard the phrases “Curse of Oil” the “Dutch Disease” or the “Resource Curse”. Basically this is the Paradox of plenty where naturally wealthiest Countries are usually the most destitute, oppressed and underdeveloped Home to  some of the poorest and most depressed People on Earth. This is characteristic to

Oil is the Lifeblood of the World’s Economy

all naturally wealthy Nations especially in Africa and even across the World.

Oil in itself is historically quite a delicate and hotly contested Resource and Matter. Oil is the World’s largest and most important source of Energy; Essentially Oil is the Engine or rather the Lifeblood of the Global Economy. The World’s biggest Economies which also happen to be the most industrialized and powerful Nations primarily rely on Oil to run and manage their dynamic Economies which explains why they happen to be at the Center of every Single Oil Block and Oil Well across the World.

China which is currently the most industrialized Nation in the World produces 3.8 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it consumes 13 Million Barrels of Oil daily. The U.S.A which is the World’s biggest Economy produces 13.1 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it consumes 19 Million Barrels of Oil daily. Africa as a Whole produces 9 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it only consumes 4 Million Barrels daily.

Note: 1 Barrel equals 159 Litres.

Before I introduce you to East Africa Oil breakthrough let us have a moment of Silence for the Republic of Venezuela which has the World’s largest Oil Reserve with a whopping 303 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and the Republic of Libya which has the largest Oil Reserve in Africa  with 48 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve.

The Relationship Between Oil,Peace and Prosperity

Libya is still embroiled in Civil War since 2011 with Venezuela now teetering to a Civil War. We must not forget the Oil War and Unrest experienced/being experienced in Iraq, Syria and Niger Delta in Nigeria. All these boil down to the Oil Question and Control happening under the guise of Political Power Struggle under the Machinations of Giant Foreign Capitalists and Imperialists.

The 1st of August 2019 Announcement by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta that Kenya has now joined the League of Oil exporting Countries in the World with an initial Consignment of 200,000 Barrels of Crude Oil Export valued at Ksh.1.2 Billion has elicited mixed reactions, responses, emotions and expectations across the Country as Kenyans seek and try to interpret, understand and make sense of what this News actually means. Discovery of Commercial Oil in any Country is usually expected to lower the means and cost of production which directly translates to low Cost of Living and improved Standards of Living to its Citizenry.

The discovery of Viable Oil in Kenya was made in 2012 making it the Second East African Nation with Proved Oil Resource after Uganda who discovered theirs in 2006 and South Sudan whose first Oil Block was discovered in 1978 long before its Independence from the main Sudan.

Impeccable Reports have it that Kenya has over 1 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and 750 Million Barrels of Recoverable Oil or Commercially Viable Oil within Turkana area. The main developers in this Project being Britain’s Tullow Oil Company alongside France’s Total and Canada’s Oil Corp Companies who are currently extracting 2000 Barrels daily with Production Sharing Agreement remaining a Top Secret between Kenyan Government and the Developers as maintained by Petroleum and Mining Minister John Munyes until August 16,2019 when the Kenyan Government finally revealed its deal with a UK-based China Oil Refinery Company (ChemChina UK Limited) who bought the first Crude Oil Export Consignment flagged offf on August 26,2019 by President Kenyatta at the Port of Mombasa. Uganda on the other hand has 6.5 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and 2.2 Billion Barrels of Recoverable/Commercially Viable Oil with its main developers being Britain’s Tullow Oil alongside China’s CNOOC, France’s Total and Italy’s Saipem SPA Companies. Uganda is yet to start extracting Commercial Oil due to Disagreements with developers over Taxation and Production sharing Agreement. South Sudan who have only explored 30% of their Total Oil Potential currently has 3.5 Billion Barrels of commercially Viable Oil. It’s currently producing 165,000 Barrels daily down from 350,000 Barrels that it used to produce shortly after its Independence in 2011-2012 before the ongoing Civil War/Unrest that broke out on December 2013. The main developers of Oil here are China, India, Malaysia with Russia and France also expressing their Interests.

The real Discord, Disarray and Disaster is in how these Three Oil Nations in East Africa do or intend to do with their Crude Oil in terms of Refinery, Value Addition and Value Proposition.

With East Africa’s Sole Oil Refinery Plant KPRL (Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited) in Changamwe-Mombasa Kenya inoperative since 2013 with all efforts to Revive and Modernize it Vain; Kenya like South Sudan has started its Oil Business with exporting Oil in its Crude form.

Kenyan Government Officials seem to be reading from different Pages on the Issue of Oil Refining. On January 2018, the then Industrialization Minister Adan Mohamed said it makes more sense to build a new Oil Refinery than to revive and modernize KPRL which he termed as a very old Facility adding that Deliberations for a new Oil Refinery were on course. Just recently on February 2019 the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum Andrew Kamau ruled out the possibility to construct a new local Oil Refinery saying such an expensive Capital-intensive Project would not make Economic Sense going with the current Crude Oil production capacity of 2000 Barrels daily not even in the expected daily Optimum of 80,000-100,000 Barrels.

The now defunct KPRL Refinery that has a daily capacity of refining 80,000 Barrels of Crude Oil is being used to store Crude Oil before Exportation. Its proposed Ksh.120 Billion revival and upgrade plan in 2013 was abandoned never to be reconsidered again even Kenya acquired its full Ownership on June 2016. Kenya has since KPRL Closure in 2013 been purely relying on imported refined Petroleum Products and it seems this will be the case as its Oil Business starts in Crude Oil exportation.

Uganda on April 2018 signed a Deal with a Consortium of American and Italian Firms to construct a $4 Billion (Ksh.412 Billion) 60,000 Barrels  Hoima Crude Oil Refinery by 2023. It has in this invited its EAC Neighbors to buy Shares in this Refinery. Kenya and Tanzania have actually taken up Shares in this with Tanzania taking 8% and Kenya taking 2.5% .The rest have remained silent on this forcing Uganda to to take up the Shares it had offered them. France’s Total has consequently come into this taking up 10% with the majority 60% being left for other Foreign and Private Investors. Uganda intends to refine about 11,000 Barrels of Oil for its daily Domestic Use and Export the Excess.

At the declared Rate of Extraction Kenya and Uganda’s proven Oil Reserves are expected to take at least 55 Years to deplete.

South Sudan on the other hand continues to export all its Crude Oil to Sudan’s Khartoum

EAC Oil Nations-South Sudan,Uganda and Kenya Flags

Refinery before exporting it via Port Sudan. South Africa is in an advanced Process of signing an Agreement with the Government of South Sudan to construct a 60,000 Barrels daily Oil Refinery at a Cost of $1 Billion.

 

(Photos & Graphics Courtesy)

 

 

 

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS;AFRICA’S LARGEST & MOST PRESTIGIOUS FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

History

AFTER a long struggle to be recognized by FIFA as a Football Zone; Africa was finally recognized as a FIFA Zone in 1954 during a FIFA Congress held in Bern Switzerland. Later in another FIFA Congress at Lisbon Portugal in 1956; Africa’s Pioneer Representatives led by Egypt, Sudan and South Africa decided to form an African Football Confederation that would oversee Africa’s Inter-Nations Football Competition. A Constitutional Meeting between these Three Countries also attended by Ethiopia held on February 1957 at Khartoum Sudan founded the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and organized the Historic First “Africa Cup of Nations” (AFCON) that kicked off on February 10, 1957 at Khartoum Sudan.

By then only Sudan and Egypt had gained their Independence in Africa, South Africa was still under the White Apartheid Regime, Ethiopia was never colonised. The newly formed CAF disqualified South Africa from this inaugural Tournament for defying CAF’s requirement to have a Multi-racial Team. This only left 3 Teams in Competition. Egypt won this inaugural AFCON 1st Edition Title after beating Ethiopia 4-0 in the Final Match.

HERE IS A SERIES OF AFCON CHAMPIONS TO DATE

  • 1959-2nd Edition held in Egypt where still the 3 Inaugural 1st Edition Teams participated. Egypt won their Second Title after beating Sudan 2-1

    AFCON TROPHY

  • 1962-3rd Edition in Ethiopia where 6 more Teams joined the Competition to make a Total of 9. Ethiopia lifted its first Title after beating Egypt 4-2 on Extra Time
  • 1963-4th Edition in Ghana.6 Teams: Ghana lifted its first Title after beating Sudan 3-0
  • 1965-5th Edition in Tunisia.6 Teams; Ghana lifted its second Title after beating Hosts Tunisia 3-2
  • 1968-6th Edition in Ethioia.8 Teams: DR Congo lifted its first Title after beating Ghana 1-0
  • 1970-7th Edition in Sudan.8 Teams: Sudan lifted its first Title after beating Ghana 1-0. This was the first Televised AFCON Tournament
  • 1972-8th Edition in Cameroon.8 Teams; Congo-Brazzaville lifted its first Title after beating Mali 3-2
  • 1974-9th Edition in Egypt.8 Teams; DR Congo lifted its second Title after beating Zambia 2-0
  • 1976-10th Edition in Ethipia.8 Teams; Morocco lifted its first Title after beating Guinea with 5 Points to Guinea’s 4
  • 1978-11th Edition in Ghana.8 Teams; Ghana lifted its third Title after beating Uganda 2-0
  • 1980-12th Edition in Nigeria.8 Teams; The Host Nigeria lifted its first Title after beating Algeria 3-0
  • 1982-13th Edition in Libya.8 Teams; Ghana lifted its fourth Title after beating Hosts Libya on Penalty shoot-out
  • 1984-14th Edition in Ivory Coast.8 Teams; Cameroon lifted its first Title after beating Nigeria 3-1
  • 1986-15th Edition in Egypt.8 Teams; Egypt the Host lifted its third Title after beating Cameroon on Penalty shoot-out
  • 1988-16th Edition in Morocco.8 Teams; Cameroon lifted its second Title after beating Nigeria 1-0
  • 1990-17th Edition in Algeria.8 Teams; Host Algeria lifted its first Title after beating Nigeria 1-0
  • 1992-18th Edition in Senegal.4 more Teams joined the Competition to make a Total of 12; Ivory Coast won its first Title after beating Ghana on Penalty shoot-out
  • 1994-19th Edition in Tunisia.12 Teams; Nigeria lifted its second Title after beating Zambia 2-1
  • 1996-20th Edition in South Africa.4 more Teams joined the Competition to make a Total of 16; Host South Africa lifted its first Title after beating Tunisia 2-0
  • 1998-21st Edition in Burkina Faso.16 Teams; Egypt lifted its fourth Title after beating South Africa 2-0
  • 2000-22nd Edition jointly hosted by Ghana and Nigeria.16 Teams; Cameroon lifted its third Title after beating Nigeria on Penalty shoot-out
  • 2002-23rd Edition in Mali.16 Teams; Cameroon lifted its fourth Title after beating Senegal on Penalty shoot-out
  • 2004-24th Edition in Tunisia.16 Teams; Host Tunisia lifted its first Title after beating Morocco 2-1
  • 2006-25th Edition in Egypt.16 Teams; Host Egypt lifted its fifth Title after beating Ivory Coast on Penalty shoot-out
  • 2008-26th Edition in Ghana.16 Teams; Egypt lifted its sixth Title after beating Cameroon 1-o
  • 2010-27th Edition in Angola.16 Teams; Egypt lifted its seventh Title for a third time in a row after beating Ghana 1-0
  • 2012-28th Edition jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.16 Teams; Zambia lifted its first Title after beating Ivory Coast on Penalty shoot-out
  • 2013-29th Edition in South Africa.16 Teams; Nigeria lifted its third Title after beating Burkina Faso 1-0
  • 2015-30th Edition in Equatorial Guinea.16 Teams; Ivory Coast lifted its second Title after beating Ghana on Penalty shoot-out
  • 2017-31st Edition in Gabon.16 Teams; Cameroon lifted its fifth Title after beating Egypt 2-1
  • 2019-32nd Edition in Egypt.24 Teams; Algeria lifted its Second AFCON Title after beating Senegal 1-0

The 32nd Edition of AFCON was held in Egypt  from Friday June 21st to Friday July 19th 2019

CAF expanded participation from the usual 16 Teams since 1996 to 24 in a bid to make the Tournament more competitive. The 32nd Edition saw New Fist-timers like Madagascar, Burundi and Mauritania with Madagascar pulling a Surprise by going all the way to the Quarter Finals in their Debut to AFCON.

AFCON 2019 Group Fixtures

In 2013 CAF set the AFCON Year to always be on Odd Number Years after every two Years to avoid clashing with FIFA World Cup Year that falls on Even Years and also give African Teams ample time to prepare for the World Cup. CAF has also this year rescheduled the Months of AFCON from the usual January-February to June-July to avoid clashing with the European Leagues Calendar where a good number of African Players are involved.

 

 

AFCON Quick Facts

  1. Egypt is the Most Successful African Team in AFCON History with a Record of 7 Titles followed by Cameroon 5, Ghana with 4 and Nigeria with 3 Titles
  2. Egypt has made the highest number of appearances in AFCON now with a record of 24 followed by Ivory Coast at 23 and Ghana at 22
  3. Egypt has hosted AFCON for the highest number of times now at a record of 5 Times followed by Ghana at 4 Times
  4. For the Past Four Times Egypt has hosted AFCON Tournaments it has only lost once in the 1974 AFCON.
  5. Former Cameroonian Striker Samuel Etoo still holds the record of AFCON’s greatest scorer with a record of 18 Goals in his 6 appearances in AFCON. He has also won CAF’s ‘African Player of the Year’ Award for Four Times
  6. Former Ivory Coast Striker Laurent Pokou still holds the record of the highest number of Goals scored by one Man in One Match where he scored a record of 5 Goals for Ivory Coast in the 1970 AFCON against Ethiopia in the Group stages. He actually comes second to Samuel Etoo In the list of AFCON Top Scorers of all time
  7. Former Ivory Coast Captain Yaya Toure shocked Africa when he Won CAF’s “African Player of the Year Award” for a record of Four Times in a row
  8. Former Egypt Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary won the now defunct CAF “Goalkeeper of the Year Award” in 2001 and later in 2006,2008 and 2010 when he helped his National Team Egypt to lift the AFCON Title for 3 Times in a row
  9. Former Liberian Striker now the 25th President of Liberia Sir George Weah shocked the World when he bagged the 1995 CAF “African Player of the Year Award”, the Prestigious FIFA “World Player of the Year” Award and the “Ballon D’or”. He is the only African Footballer to ever Win these Two Awards to Date
  10. Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Seychelles, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Lesotho and Gambia have NEVER QUALIFIED for AFCON since its Inception.

Photos Credit.

SOUTH AFRICA; History,Intrigues of Apartheid Regime & New State of Democracy

South Africa General Elections 2019

  • 1899-A Supremacy War breaks out between the British Empire of Southern Africa and the Boers who who were controlling Two Colonies in Southern Africa. The British won and seized the Two Colonies (Transvaal and Orange Free State) from the Boers making them self-governing Colonies of their Empire. Their now Four (Cape,Natal,Transvaal & Orange Free Colonies) Separate Colonies United to form the “Union of South Africa” under the British South Africa Act of 1909.
  • 1912-The Native National Congress which would later become the African National Congress (ANC) was formed by Black South African Nationalists. Two Years later in 1914 the National Party (HNP in Afrikaans) was formed to advance the White Afrikaans Ideology, Dominance, Nationalism and Culture. Two other Parties were formed; the South African Communist Party in 1921 and the United Party in 1934.The United Party was the Governing Party until May 1948 General Elections when it lost to the National Party (HNP) due to its unclear Stand on Race Relations Policy. The National Party was unequivocally for the Minority White Supremacy to the detriment of the Majority Black South Africans. Upon assuming Power the National Party led by Prime Minister D.F Malan vowed to advance and implement a stringent Policy of Racial Segregation in all spheres of Governance and Life. This came in as a measure to counter the growing Majority Blacks Population Influence and ensure the Minority White Population control everything. The National Party named this Policy “Apartheid” meaning ‘Apartness or Separation’ marking the Historical beginning of what would become 46 Years of the Infamous Apartheid Regime in South Africa.
  • The Apartheid Rule began with the Populations classified into Races complete with an Act to restrict every Race to a Particular Area with the Minority White Race being Supreme. The South African Communist Party was banned in 1950 prompting Nelson Mandela to start Civil Disobedience with his ANC Party. A breakaway Congress from the ANC also started Black People Demonstrations against Apartheid Policies which saw 70 of them Killed when they confronted Police at Sharpville on March 1960. This Mass Killings named as ‘Sharpville Massacre’ came as a Critical defining Moment in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle. The ANC was banned this very Year 1960.
  • The Apartheid Government organized a Referendum on whether the ‘Union of South Africa’ should become a Republic. In a Controversial Whites-Only Vote 52% approved this Proposal and on May 1961 the Republic of South Africa was born. Later in 1961 Nelson Mandela with a special ANC Force started a Sabotage Movement, Comrades from the Communist Party joined him and they named their now Strong Sabotage Movement against the Apartheid Government “Umkhonto We Sizwe”.
  • He Mandela was on August 1962 arrested and sent to Prison. Later on June 1964, Mandela and Seven of his Comrades in Resistance (Kathrada,Sisulu,Motsoaledi,Mlangeni,Govan Mbeki,Mhlaba and Goldberg) were in ‘Rivonia Trial’ Convicted for Life Imprisonment for Sabotaging the Government. The 7 were taken to Robben Island Prison. Goldberg who was the only White Person in this group was separated from them and Jailed separately at a Pretoria Prison.
  • In 1976 another Fierce Anti-Apartheid Government Education Policies Rebellion led by Youthful Black Students broke out in Soweto (Soweto Uprising) leading to Mass Savage Killing of over 700 Black Youths. This escalated into a National Anti-Apartheid Government Uprising making the Apartheid Ruler then P.W Botha to announce a State of Emergency in 1985. A General Election that for the first time allowed other Races to Vote was conducted in 1989 and FW De Klerk Succeeded PW Botha as the New Apartheid Government President, he lifted the Four-Years State of Emergency in 1990 and promised Reforms and Negotiations with the Black Majority Leaders and Activist who he freed upon meeting Mandela in Prison. He on February that same Year 1990 released Mandela after 27 Years in Prison. He also lifted the ban on the ANC and Mandela was elected its New Chair in 1991.
  • This marked a turning point in South Africa’s History as Negotiations to end Apartheid Rule began in earnest between Black Leaders led by Nelson Mandela and President De Klerk leading to a New Interim Constitution for an All-Race Democracy in 1993 which earned the Two 1993’s Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The First Historic All-Races Election was conducted on April 1994 which ANC won, thereafter the Parliament Appointed Nelson Mandela to be the First Black President of Post-Apartheid Republic of South Africa. Nelson Mandela formed a Unitary Government with De Klerk and Thabo Mbeki as his first Deputy Presidents as per the Interim Constitution. A New Fully-fledged Democratic All-Races Constitution was adopted on May 1996. De Klerk later resigned from Politics on June 1996.
  • ANC won the General Elections of 1999 and Thabo Mbeki was Appointed to Succeed President Mandela on June 1999. Despite having all the support to go for a Second Term as President which was Open to him per the 1996 Constitution, Nelson Mandela decided to Voluntarily Retire after his One-Five Years Term as President making a Resounding Mark of Legacy in African Politics.
  • Again in 2004 General Elections ANC won with a Landslide and President Thabo Mbeki was Appointed for a Second Term as President. On June 2005 President Thabo Mbeki sacked his Deputy Jacob Zuma amid Corruption Charges pressed against Zuma and replaced him with Madam Mlambo Ngcuka. On September 2006 Corruption Charges against Zuma were dropped.
  • On December 2007 Jacob Zuma was elected the Chair of the Ruling ANC Party reviving his chances of Succeeding President Thabo Mbeki. Fresh Corruption Charges were preferred against him that very Year but they were later dismissed on September 2008.
  • Still on September 2008 President Thabo Mbeki bowed to Pressure from his Party to resign and stepped down. This was upon some serious allegations of him having misused State Power against his first Deputy Jacob Zuma in his Corruption Cases.
  • ANC Deputy Party Leader Kgalema Motlanthe was chosen by Parliament as the Interim President ahead of the April 2009 General Elections.
  • The ANC won the April 2009 General Elections and on May 2009 Jacob Zuma was Appointed to be the New President by the Parliament.
  • On November 2011 ANC Suspended its Influential Youth Wing Leader Julius Malema for bringing dishonor to the Party through his Controversial Leftist Stands in Politics and Governance. Julius Malema and his like-minded allies formed a Movement and on July 2013 formed a Party for their Movement and called it “Economic Freedom Fighters” a now Popular Party especially among the Youths actually the Third Largest in terms of Representation in both Houses of South Africa’s Parliament.
  • The Public Anti-Corruption Ombudsman on March 2013 brought a highly charged Accusation against President Jacob Zuma for $20 Million Upgrade of his Private Residence using Public Money.
  • December 2013 South Africa’s First Black President, Anti-Apartheid Champion and an Esteemed Global Statesman acclaimed as the ‘Father of the Nation’ Nelson Mandela dies at the Age of 95.
  • Again ANC won the 2014 General Elections and President Zuma gets Re-Appointed for a Second Term. Two Years into his Second Term South Africa’s Supreme Court indicts President Zuma for Violating the Constitution in the Controversial $20 Million Upgrade of his Private Residence using Public Money.
  • On February 2018, President Zuma who by then was set to face his 9th Vote of No Confidence for his Numerous Charges of Corruption among other damning Scandals resigned under intense Pressure from his Ruling Party.
  • Cyril Ramaphosa who is 67 Years old (Lawyer/Business Mogul) who had been elected the Chair of the ruling ANC on December 2017 was hence Appointed by the Parliament to replace Jacob Zuma as the 4th-President of Post-Apartheid South Africa on February 2018, a Position he holds up to Date when South Africa is heading to its 6th General Elections to elect a New National Parliament that shall in turn Appoint a New President.
  • The Anti-Apartheid Liberation Party ANC which is the Largest Party has been Ruling South Africa since the Fall of Apartheid Regime in 1994 to Date but on this Particular Election of May 8,2019 it will be facing other 48 Parties led by its Main Challengers the Democratic Alliance Party currently headed by 39 Years old Mmusi Maimane and the Economic Freedom Fighters Party headed by 38 Years old Julius Malema who was at one time ANC’s Youth Wing Leader.There are 26.7 Million Registered Voters in this Election.
  • The May 8,2019 Election was Won by the ANC  with 57.5% this being its worst Performance since 1994 when it came to Power;Its representation in Parliament also came down from 249 Members to 231.Julius Malema’s EFF recorded the best Performance with its Parliament representation increasing from 25 to 43 Members.This Election also recorded one of the Poorest Voter Turnout and geneal Voter Apathy. Having the Majority in Parliament,ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa was consequently elected President of South Africa and took a New Oath of Office on May 25,2019 for a New Term until 2024 when the next General Elections will be held.

Quick Facts about South Africa:

  1. Its Current Population Stands at 57 Million People.Its Population is still largely viewed in terms of Races even after the end of the Apartheid Rule 25 Years ago;the Native Black South Africans are the Majority at 80% with the White,Coloured,Asian and Indian South Africans sharing 20% of the Total Population.
  2. It’s the World’s Largest Producer of Platinum accounting for 70% of the World’s Platinum and among the World’s Largest Producer of Coal.
  3. It’s Africa’s Largest Producer of Gold with its Annual Production currently at 144 Tons
  4. It’s Africa’s Second Largest Economy with a GDP of $349.299  Billion.
  5. South Africa has 3 Capital Cities divided for the 3 Arms of Government;Pretoria is Home to the Executive,Cape Town for the Legislature and Bloemfontein for the Government’s Judiciary.The Country has 9 Provinces
  6. The Country’s Currency is called South African Rand
  7. The Country is Predominantly Christian with over 80%  of its Population being Christians
  8. South Africa has 11 Official Languages;Isizulu and Isixhosa being the Two Most Spoken Languages.English is also used as an Official Language mainly for State Communication.
  9. South Africa made history in 2010 for being the First African Country to host the Celebrated and Most Famous Sport Tournament in the World;the 2010 Football (FIFA)World Cup Tournament.
  10. South Africa is according to World Bank Report the Country with the Worst Income Inequality thus the Most Unequal Country in the World where 1% of its Total Population actually own 70% of the Country’s Total Wealth.South Africa is also the Country with the Highest Unemployment Rate (28.33%)in Africa and the Second in the World according to Global Economy Report.

The Africa We Want:Radical Thoughts For A Demanding Cause

THE AFRICA WE WANT

Introduction

Triggered by his inaugural address remarks to African Youths that they (African Leaders) cannot build Africa without us for we are professional Men and Women with full role to play; Two Days after his Election as the Chair of the African Union (AU) and its Leader of Reforms, I wrote an Open Letter to President Paul Kagame through the Weekly  East African Newspaper of February 3,2018.In it was a Congratulatory Note, my take on AU’s 2018 Theme on the War against Corruption and a request to have Youths in Africa actively involved in it and the greater African Prosperity Agenda as enshrined in Aspiration 6 of our Agenda 2063.It is in this light that I express my Thoughts,Ideas and Vision on an Ideal Africa

The Seven Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 (Graphic Courtesy-NEPAD)

under the Theme of ‘The Africa We Want’. As a Pan-African Youth who passionately subscribes and believes in an African Dream;an Ideal Africa I hereby Propose my Composed Thoughts of an Ideal Africa as I Envision  it.

I am in my Submission solely guided by the African Union Concept,Ideal and Spirit of the January 1961 Casablanca Summit and most importantly the Casablanca Group’s Submission at the Historic first ever Independent African States Leaders Summit at Addis Ababa on May 24,1963 as Concisely captured in One of the greatest Pan-African of all times;Ghana’s Founding Father President Kwame Nkrumah’s Speech in this 1963 Summit THAT; “No Sporadic Act nor Pious Resolution can Resolve our current Problems;Nothing will  be of Avail except the United Act of a United Africa”.

My Submission is built on the 7 Aspirations of our Agenda 2063 on Critical Questions that we need to ask ourselves and Actions needed to be taken now to revamp and fast track the realization of our Grand Goals and Dreams as spelt out on our Africa Agenda 2063.

My Proposal Essay

  1. A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development

Being the Youngest Continent in the World; I fail to understand why Africa and her Young Nations are so much obsessed with extortionate Infrastructural Projects that are way beyond our Financial Wherewithal with little investment to the basics of a developing Society. In as much as Infrastructure is a requisite for growth and development, let us go for modest Infrastructure in order to strike balance with other equally important requisites of a developing Continent for sustainable growth and development. It’s alarming that the International Monetary Fund has warned of our Debt Burden saying over 40% of Low Income and Low Middle Income Countries in Africa are already in Debt distress. China; our biggest Trade Partner who has now become our biggest Creditor has Cancelled Debts owed to it by over 30 African Countries that it has described as Poor and heavily in Debt 3 times in a row. What this basically means is that we are borrowing to Finance unsustainable and unviable development Projects. As the  acclaimed Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of needs puts it; Physiological human needs are the basis of their survival and the first step of Motivation that must be fulfilled  before pursuing satisfaction on a higher level failure to which other further pursues lose meaning. What would a homeless Man, hungry, thirsty, depressed in tattered Clothes want to do with a Bullet Train or a Multi-Lane Super Expressway?. The Global Hunger Index shows that 4 out of the Hungriest Countries in the World are in Africa with 12 out of the 15 Hungriest Countries also being in Africa. Is this really the Africa we want?. What inclusive growth and development can we claim before feeding our Hungry and Undernourished People?.

I suggest strategic high investment in Food and Livestock Agriculture, Crop Irrigation, Textile and Food Industries, Housing, Health and Lifestyle with modest investment in financially demanding Projects like Transport Infrastructure and other Secondary needs. Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and Development of any Society is always a result of its robust Social aspect. I suggest the consideration and inclusion of this aspect in our Agenda 2063 Flagship Projects.

  1. An integrated Continent, Politically United based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the Vision of Africa’s Renaissance.

Does the Vision, Spirit and Ideals of our very first Leaders in Independent Africa still exist?. Do the Resolutions, Declarations and Aspirations of the Historic May 1963 OAU Conference especially those of the “African Unity Now Casablanca Group” that I consider a precise Panacea to Independent Africa’s Past and Present Problems still exist in the realms of Today’s African Leaders. What was adopted, what was modified and what was ignored and forgotten. The attitude towards Pan-Africanism might change with every generation but the Core of this Ideal is Sacrosanct. The content, message and ideals in the 32 Speeches made at this Historic Conference holds the clearest picture of the African Dream at Get-go. It forms the very naissance of what is and should inform the essence of Pan-Africanism. Do we have an African Character, do we inculcate it to our Children. Pan-Africanism is not about being black in Complexion but rather what identifies and inspires us as we dream, speak, do and be. We can achieve an integrated Africa, yes, when we acknowledge, bespeak and appreciate our entwined past, cultivate our Today together and foster an all-inclusive Future together. It’s so refreshing and promising to see the progress of key Agenda 2063’s Continental Integration Projects namely the Africa Free Continental Trade Area that is almost coming into force, the Single Air Transport Market, Integrated High-speed Train Network, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport that are on Course. These are momentous strides in our Integration Journey that we need to zealously Fast track. We must also reinvent our approach to Leadership and Politics. We have over time contaminated our Leadership with wasteful Politics. We have taken Politics for Leadership and Leadership for Politics only to mess the solemn call of Leadership. Authoritarian, Despotic,Dynastic,Personality Cult, Populist Politics of Propaganda,Rhetorics and Charades that are totally Vague in Vision,Ideology and Strategy have costed us Big Time. That our daily discussions and aims are about how to deal with or Oust Failed and mostly oppressive Rulers and Regimes or how and who to install as the next Leader is not only wasteful but also retrogressive. Let us invent a Comprehensive Model of Practical  Leadership and Governance that only Recognizes/Adapts What and How to do in Governance not who to get into Leadership/Government. I believe an all-inclusive team of African Union’s Governance Architecture in conjunction with the Political Affairs department can come up with such a Model and then present it for debate, consideration and suggestions of improvement in individual African Countries. This would be a good point to start the process of Political integration which will in time translate to a Politically Sane,Visionary and Informed Continent.

  1. An Africa of Good Governance, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law

The endeavors of this Aspiration are all tied to one thing; the Rationale and Sanctity of our Institutions of Administration and Governance. The Institution of Government Executive, Judiciary, Electoral Agencies, Lawmakers and Human Dignity Activism. We have a tendency in Africa where heads of Institutions always want to be and actually end up being bigger than the Institutions they head always seeking special privileges, immunity and impunity in the face of the Institution’s mandate. This beats all logic behind such Institutions. We can achieve good Governance when every Leader however high or low their office and Institution ranks is subject to Scrutiny and Accountability.An Average African Voter/Common African Man Needs and Deserves to be Enlightened on what Constitutes,What Defines and what Makes a truly Good Government,Governors and Governance Structure.This is the Basic and the Surest Means of achieving Good,Productive and Visionary Governance across Africa.The African Union should recruit specially trained Envoys to make this the very firts and most Elaborate and Intense Activity before every General Election is held in every part of this Continent.We also can achieve True Democracy when all our Centers of Democracy led by our Electoral Agencies and Lawmakers are truly free from all imaginable interference and manipulation. We can achieve true Justice and Rule of Law when we let our Constitutions and Law reign supreme above all regardless and Champion for Justice for all without delay. All African Countries should now ratify Article 1 of June 1998 Protocol to affirm and have the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights Fully-fledged. This will give it Authority to Investigate, Prosecute and Arbitrate on all cases of Human Rights Violation anywhere in this Continent. On the intention to merge this Court with the African Court of justice to have an African Court of Justice and Human Rights that shall have Criminal Jurisdiction as per June 2014 Malabo Protocol I have a reservation. The Rationale behind this is great but one of its critical Provision reeks of Manipulation and Handicap. Why would sitting Heads of States and Senior State Officials want to be free from Charges and Prosecution by this Court? Why would our Leaders create such a good institution as an African Solution to African Problems and then place themselves above it? Is this not an impediment to its mandate and authority? The essence of Justice and Rule of Law is the Supremacy it exerts on all its subjects. I humbly call upon our Leaders to reevaluate and readdress this specific aspect.  Human Dignity and Rights advocacy groups across Africa should also be empowered to be the Eye and Ear of this African Court of Justice and Human Rights. As the Celebrated Pan-African, Revolutionist and Former President of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara said, let our Revolution towards this Aspiration be a collective effort to transform reality and improve the situation of Africans with Concrete solutions not about Public Speaking, Fine phrases and Slogans to look like we are offering solution when we are not.

  1. A Peaceful and Secure Africa

First things first; what ignites Conflicts and War in Africa, what Fuels it?. The leading causes of War and Conflict in Africa are Power, Territorial/Border Conflicts, Resource benefit sharing Conflicts, Ethnic Wars, Religious Extremism and Terrorism. Power is atop the causes. It is the reason behind Coups, Mutinies, Civil Rebellions, Armed Rebellion, Civil Wars and Uprisings witnessed in African Countries from time to time with some going through this at this very moment. Leaders who take Power through Unconstitutional means, Vote Rigging, Authoritarians, Leaders who do not want to Share nor leave Power Fuel such Wars whose aftermath is usually Mass Killings and devastating Human torment/suffering. Border Conflicts fuels armed Rebellion and Confrontations, Natural Resources exploitation by Local and Foreign Cartels fuels animosity and sometimes armed struggle as People seek to benefit from those Natural Resources which are indeed their Birthright. Ethnic Wars mostly ignited by feelings of Segregation in Power and Resources sharing Policy leads to armed confrontations and sometimes Secession struggles. These eventually offers a breeding ground for Religious Extremism and Terrorism as People struggle to dominate or resist domination.  Whilst I appreciate the gains of the various Peace and Security Measures spearheaded by African Union’s Peace and Security Council there is still a huge challenge ahead in securing the Peaceful Africa We Want. Even as we seek to Silence Guns by 2020 through the Africa Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 and the ongoing implementation of Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa 2018-2028 we need to invest the biggest amount of Africa Peace Fund on Preventive Diplomacy so as to Pro-actively anticipate and Prevent Conflicts and Wars long before they materialize. The African Governance Architecture should form an all-inclusive body and come up with an African Governance Framework Protocol, Resources Sharing Policy and Formula and also Arbitrate on long-standing Border Conflicts. We shouldn’t let our Individual Sovereignities to set us up against each other but rather to be the undying Source of our Cordial Coexistence,Values,Wisdom,Ideas and Heritage.Peace Education should also be taught to all Generations  across all African Communities stressing on the importance of Dialogue, Tolerance, Integration, Peaceful,Productive Co-existence and Synergy amidst our rich Diversity.

  1. An Africa with a Strong Cultural Identity, Common Heritage, Values and Ethics

As I noted in Aspiration Two; being truly African is not a matter of being black in complexion, it’s not even much about being born in Africa; like the Legendary Pan-African and first President of Ghana H.E Kwame Nkrumah said ‘I am not an African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me’. True African Cultural Identity is about the African Character, Spirit and Fiber. It’s that which should set you apart as you imagine, envision, speak and do about your Individual Country and ultimately about your Continent Africa. I have seen some African Leaders give very impassioned Pro-Africa speeches only for their Character and Actions to reveal absolute opposite. In order to Treasure and Cherish our common Heritage; we must acknowledge and establish our intertwined Past and History, Foster our present as one People and Collectively Forge our Future as a People of the same Motherland that is Africa.An African Identity will require One Truly African Language which should as a matter of Urgency be actually introduced in every School and in every Community at every Corner of our Continent.Forget about English,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Italian,Arabic,German or even Chinese;These are Colonial Heritage left by the Imperialists to forever Cause Discord in every African Discourse so that for example Anglophone Africans are completely Alien to Francophone Africans.We must rise above this historical impediment Now.Communication is a Basic and the most important point of Contact,Connection,Relation and Interaction between and among Human Beings.We can Never truly Integrate or Unite as One African People without One Common Truly African Language from East-to-Central-to-West-to-Southern-to-Northern Africa.On Values and Ethics; we must effect substantial Renaissance of Pan-Africanism, Afro-Optimism, Afro-Centrism and Afro-Futurism. We must rediscover, reclaim and rekindle our Wisdom and Knowledge on African Morality, African Virtues and Values as fashioned by our Founding Mothers and Fathers whose erosion and corrosion began way back in the Colonial Era and is still going on in the face of a highly influential Foreign and Europe/Western Culture. The African Union’s Social and Cultural Council together with the Pan-African Parliament should kick-start this Mission in earnest.

  1. An Africa whose development is People-driven, relying on the Potential of African People especially our Women, Youth and Caring for Children

“To take part in the African Revolution; It’s not enough to write a Revolutionary Song. You must fashion the Revolution with the People; If you fashion it with the People the Songs will come from them” said a True Pan-African; the first President of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure. He was absolutely right; Africa’s Agenda 2063 is a Masterpiece but it might not have a meaning for Africans without them at the Center of its every step and stage.Over 60% of Africa’s Population Today is below the age of 25 years with Africa’s Median Age being 19 Years. Africa is home to the World’s Youngest Population. This is in itself a Goldmine; it’s equally a Time Bomb. It all depends on the Strategy Africa has for this delicate Demographic. Whilst our Leaders seek to prepare a Future for us, it’s prudent that they also prepare us for the Future. We are not too young to lead and if indeed we are, then we are not too young to be part of our Continent’s Strategy Formulation. We have our own Visions, Ideas, Opinions and Desires; Involve us actively and consistently. I am glad we now have an AU Youth Envoy; the next most important thing is to transform the Envoy into an Afro-Optimism Movement that shall Traverse Africa conversing with the Youths on what they believe should be an Ideal Africa and bring their ideas together for Action. Our Women our Mothers are our all-time Treasure; they bring and nurture Life to the World. They are the very first Teacher one learns from in their Life. Every Child in this Continent deserves an Enlightened and Empowered Mother. The AU Directorate of Women, Gender and Development should revamp its Policy, Strategically lobby and increase the Fund for African Women and then use ‘Rights of Women in Africa’ division of our African Court (ACHPR) to establish Women Empowerment, Enlightenment and Welfare Program and Centers across Africa for our Women and Children to Learn and Advance themselves which will translate to Enlightened Communities across Africa.

  1. Africa as a Strong, United, Resilient and Influential Global Player and Partner

During the 7th Forum for China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing last year; President Paul Kagame in his capacity as the AU Chair said Africa is not a Zero-sum game that our vigorously growing ties with China do not come at anyone’s expense; In another High-level Europe-Africa Forum still last year he said that Europeans should view Africa as Partners not beneficiaries of their generosity. We have also in the past seen France-Africa,USA-Africa,India-Africa,Tokyo-Africa,Middle East-Africa,Korea-Africa,Norway-Africa,Germany-Africa and most recently Russia-Africa not forgetting the oncoming January 2020 UK-Africa Summit where the World’s Super Powers are seeking to engage Africa as a Continent. The biggest and most Critical Question is how Africa goes to such Forums;Do we engage as One Bloc of 54 States or each of our 54 States goes into the Negotiation Table Individually.Remember at all these Conferences Africa is rarely the Initiator;It’s usually these Countries that Initiate,Invite and set the Agenda always coming into the Negotiation Table as One;Clear and Conscise on what they want for their Countries and People out of these Summits.This is more often than not a complete opposite of how Africa walks into these Summits.In retrospect;Africa we must with an urgency of now get our Act together,think about our Formation,Place,Space,Position,Gains,Give and Take in such High-level Global Platforms while Strategising on such Events in the Future.For instance our Trade with China our biggest Trade Partner and Creditor has been on a nosedive since 2014 due to weak falling Commodity Prices lowering the Value of our Exports to China as their Exports to Africa increase steadily. How about Africa’s Debt burden to China;why is China always waiving Debts for African Countries referring to them as Poor, least developed and heavily in debt while giving out more Money as Debt to the same Countries?;This is not Strength,it’s neither Influence nor Resilience for Africa.Are we not slowly but surely falling trap to Debt Diplomacy with China?.Russia also did the same in the just concluded Russia-Africa Summit.These continued Debt relief gestures from our Creditors should now be a wake-up call to African Countries;such Diplomacy looks/sounds too good and we must stay both Woke and Warned.Are we biting more than we can chew,what kind of Projects are we financing with these huge high-interest Loans that cannot repay the Loans?.I believe Africa can develop without these external Aid and Loans;we only need the right Mindset to realize this. Our Trade with Europe has also been imbalanced since 2014. Why is our Trade with Global Economic Giants always fluctuating? Here now is where our Agenda 2063’s ‘Africa Commodity Strategy’ as a Flagship Project comes in handy. We need to introduce a Standard Policy on Commodity State, Volume, Quality, Positioning, Value Addition and Proposition for all Exports from Africa and a Standard Policy for Necessity, Priority, Quality, Validity and Alternative for all Imports to Africa. The AU Trade and Industry Organ should begin this as a Process of revamping our Foreign Trade Policy. The process of Ratifying our very own 1.2 Billion People African Market, $2.5 Trillion worth Africa Continental Free Trade Area is done and dusted;A Grand Stride in our Continental  Economic Integration and Naissance. Every African is looking forward to this Great Initiative of our Agenda 2063 that is just about to come into Force;Its operational Phase beginning July 2020. Charity begins at home; the Success of AFCTA will place us as the Single Strongest and Biggest Trade Bloc in the World but we must be very pragmatic as we approach the operational phase of this momentous Program.

Another critical issue towards this Aspiration of becoming a Strong Influential Global Player and Partner lies in our Stake and Voice at Key High-Level Decision Making bodies in the World led by the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Security Council, the World Trade Organization General Council, the G 7 Alliance among others. As the late Zimbabwean President and Great Pan-African H.E Robert Mugabe once noted;It’s untenable, unreasonable and unfair that Africa has neither Influential nor Permanent Representation in some of these bodies whose Decisions and Decrees we are Subject and bound to oblige.We Must seek and have Real Substantial Place,Positions and Voice in these Key Global Decision-making Bodies and Organizations.

{The Writer Mr.Hezbon Mureithi is One of our Editors at Honourable Media Africa}

 

 

 

 

 

Senegal:An Enchanting Democracy In Turbulent West Africa

  • Senegal Gained its Independence from France On 4th April 1960;On 5th September 1960 it became a Republic with Leopold Sedar Senghor as the First President.The first Independence Elections were held on December 1963 and Senghor with his Independence Party ‘Senegalese Progressive Union’ (UPS) was reelected unopposed as he was the only Candidate.
  • By 1966 Senghor’s UPS Party absorbed all the other Parties  to make Senegal a One-Party State.This allowed President Senghor to Run for Two Consecutive Terms being an Unopposed C

    Senegal 2019 Presidential Election

    andidate in the General Elections of 1968 and 1973.

  • A Constitutional Amendment of March 1976 allowed 3 Parties to Join the Political arena.Senghor’s UPS Party Re-branded to become the Socialist Party and for the first time in the Elections of February 1978 Senghor had an Opponent one Abdoulaye Wade who joined the race with his Senegalese Democratic Party (SDP).He nevertheless Won his Third Term with a Landslide.Senghor ruled until December 1980 when he retired Voluntarily handing over Power to his Prime Minister one Abdou Diouf. Senghor became the first President of Independent Africa to retire and hand over Power Voluntarily.
  • More Political Parties were formed after Senghor’s retirement and by the time of the next Elections on February 1983 Abdou Diouf had Four Opponents.He however won with a Landslide.He again on the Elections of February 1993 won his Second Term.
  • On the General Elections of   February 2000 no Candidate managed the Constitutional Threshold of 50% of Total Votes prompting a Second Round Poll on March the same Year and Diouf lost to his long-time Challenger and Opposition Candidate one Abdoulaye Wade.This was Wade’s 5th Time in the Race for the Top Job after Four Unsuccessful attempts.Just like his Predecessor, Diouf conceded defeat and handed over to to Wade on April 2000.On the Elections of February 2007 President Wade Won his second Term as President.
  • In the General Elections of February 2012 Wade sparked controversy when he declared his bid for a Third Term against the dictates of the 2001 Constitution that had set a Maximum of Two Terms for Presidency.The Constitutional Court on January 2012 ruled in his favor and he was cleared to run.He lost to Macky Sall in a Second Round Poll of March 2012 after that of February failed to Produce a Clear Winner.Wade conceded defeat, congratulated Macky Sall and handed over to him on April 2012.
  • In Today’s Election,President Macky Salll willl be facing 5 Opponents after Two of who would be his Major Opponents Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade were disqualified from the Race by the Constitutional Council over their involvement in Mega Corruption Cases that saw them Convicted in 2018 and 2015 respectively.
  • Without the Two in the Race Macky Sall who is 58 Years old is well placed to secure his Second Term in Office
  • Out of Senegal’s Total Population of 16.5 Million People;6.6 Million Senegalese have been Registered to Vote in the 15000 Polling Stations across the 45 electoral Constituencies in this Country.
  • The February 2019 Presidential Election was won by Incumbent President Macky Sall with 58% securing his Second and Last 5-Years Term in Office.

Nigeria’s Intriguing Political Journey Right From Its Independence TO DATE:

  • #NigeriaDecides2019
    #Nigeria2019Election

    October 1,1960 Nigeria gained its Independence from Britain; Nnamdi Azikwe gets appointed as Governor  General alongside Tafawa Balewa as the Prime Minister.

  • October 1,1963 Nigeria became a Republic with Nnamdi Azikwe as its first President with Tafawa Balewa as its first Prime Minister.
  • While in his Third Year in Office; January 1966 President Azikwe travels to West Indies on a Medical Trip and while away a Bloody Coup is staged by the Military to depose him leading to the Killing of his Prime Minister Tafawa, Senior Army Officers, Prime Ministers of the West and North of N

    Nigeria on the African Map

    igeria among other Senior Government Officials. Major General/Commander Johnson Aguiyi alongside a battery of Igbo(Southerners)Power Elite suppressed the Coup and Seized Power to become a Millitary Head of State. This marks the start of Nigeria’s 3 Decades of Millitary Rule, Supremacy and Showdown.

  • Northern Nigerians who suffered the brute of this Coup saw this as a Conspiracy by the Igbo Power Elite to annex and subjugate them creating vile Ethnic Animosity. July the same year 1966 the Northern Soldiers staged another deadly Coup against their Southern Colleagues and Killed Aguiyi who was now the Military Head of State. In this Violent takeover, the Northerners killed close to 30,000 Igbos forcing them to flee to the South. On May 1967 the Igbos declared their Independence in a Secession bid to have a Nation of their own which they named Biafra State. This announcement became the start of a Ghastly, Bloody Civil War (Biafran War) that lasted for Two and a half years until January 1970. Gun battle is believed to have caused over 100,000 Deaths with Drought, Hunger, Starvation and Diseases claiming over a Million Lives of the Igbo Community. Upon a thoroughly suppressed Igbo Warriors and a decimated Population; the Igbos surrendered on January 1970 and the Military Ruler General Yakubu Gowon who took over after Aguiyi’s assassination accepted them back to the Nigerian State ending the deadly Civil War.
  • General Gowon ruled until July 1975 when he was overthrown in a bloodless Coup that happened while he was away in Kampala Uganda for the 12th OAU Summit. General Muhammed Murtala took over as the New Military Head of State. Barely 7 Months into Office General Murtala was on February 1976 assassinated in a failed Coup attempt. His Chief of Staff who had been promoted to a Lieutenant General one Olesegun Obasanjo was immediately appointed by the Supreme Military Council took over as the New Military Ruler. Obasanjo ruled for Four Years until August 1979 when the First Ever Presidential Elections were held where a Civilian one Shehu Shagari won the Election. Obasanjo stepped down both as the Military Head of State and Army Officer and handed over to the Newly Elected Civilian Head of State Shagari on October 1979. The Supreme Military Council was dissolved to give birth to a New Nigeria.
  • 3 Years into Office, Shagari’s democratically elected Government was on December 1983 deposed by the Military, a new Supreme Military Council was formed and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Current President of Nigeria) took over as the New Military Ruler. Buhari ruled for around Two Years until August 1985 when a New Military Council (Armed Forces Ruling Council) formed by General Ibrahim Babangida overthrew him and Gen. Babangida took over. The new Military Ruler promised to restore Democracy; he ruled for 8 Years. In a Visit to Egypt on August 1993 Gen. Babangida stepped down and appointed a Civilian who was a Lawyer one Ernest Shonekan as an Interim President. Shonekan’s Transitional Government was in its Fourth Month deposed by General Sani Abacha on November 1993 who appointed himself as the head of Ruling Military Coucil and Head of State. Gen. Abacha ruled for 5 Years until June 1998 when he mysteriously died in his Presidential Villa. His Defence Staff Chief Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar was immediately sworn in the same Month. Gen. Abdulsalami promised to hold a Democratic Election within a Year in order to hand over Power. He established an Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted Presidential Elections on February 1999. Former Military Head of State Olesegun Obasanjo won the Election and true to his Word Major Abdulsalami handed over Power to Obasanjo on May 1999. A modified version of the 1979 Constitution adopted during Abdulsalami’s Reign came now came into force with President Olesegun Obasanjo marking the birth of yet another New Nigeria.
  • In another Presidential Election on April 2003 Obasanjo’s Ruling Party PDP won a Second Term against his main Opponent and former Military Head of State Muhammadu Buhari(Now the Current President). Amid claims and accusations of intending to hang on Power with a Third Term, President Obasanjo bowed to pressure and stepped down after the Controversial April 2007 Presidential Elections won by one Umaru Yar’Adua. His main opponents again Muhammadu Buhari and Obasanjo’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar contested the results in Court but their Petititions were dismissed.
  • President Yar’Adua suddenly left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on November 2009 on a Medical Trip reportedly ailing with Pericarditis. After Three Months of his absence Concerns were raised with Pressure from Various Stakeholders in Politics on his inability to discharge his duties as President. Nigeria’s Senate bowed to Pressure and calls to declare Yar’Adua’s Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as an acting President. On February 2010 President Yar’Adua secretly returned to Nigeria with his state of Health still unclear with claims it had deteriorated. 4 Months later on May 2010 President Yar’Adua was announced Dead. His Vice President Goodluck was immeadiately Sworn in as President. 10 Months into office a Presidential Election was held on April 2011 and Jonathan confirmed his Position as President after beating his Close Rival Muhammadu Buhari.
  • President Goodluck ruled until March 2015 when another Presidential Election was held. He lost to General Buhari, Conceded defeat and handed over Power on May 2015. This was Buhari’s 4th Trial to become President through the ballot after his unsuccessful bids in 2003,2007 and 2011.He made history as the first ever Opposition Candidate to beat a sitting President.

  NIGERIA TODAY

  • General Buhari who at one time served as Nigeria’s Millitary Head of State between December 1983-August 1985 is the Current Democratically Elected President of Nigeria now running for his Second Term in Office in Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Election Set to happen This Saturday February 23,2019 after they were abruptly called off last Saturday 5 Hours to the start by the Electoral Commission INEC  citing Logistical shortfalls.73 Candidates have been registered to run for President although the real Race is said to be between Current President Buhari who is also the Oldest Candidate at 76 against Former Vice President and Business Tycoon one Atiku Abubakar at 72 both with a wealth of Political Experince from Nigeria’s Charged Political Battles in the Past. Atiku has unsuccessfully been in this race for 3 Times in 2007,2011 and 2015.  The race has also attracted Youthful Contenders like Mr. Chike Ukaegbu who is only 35, Madam Eunice Atuejide who is 40, Mr. Fela Durotoye and Mr. Omoyele Sowore who are both 47.A whopping 52% of the 84 Million registered Voters are Youths (35 Years and Below). 6 Female Candidates are also in the race this being the highest number of Female Presidential Candidates in Nigeria’s History. There are 84.3 Million Registered Voters set to cast their Votes in 120,000 Polling Stations across the 36 States of Nigeria.
    • The February 2019 Presidential Election which recorded a very Poor Turnout and Voter Apathy with over 53 Million out of the over 84 Million Registered Voters failing to Vote was Won by Incumbent President Buhari (APC Party) with 15 Million Votes winning in 19/36 States against his closest Rival Atiku Abubakar (PDP Party) who garnered 11 Million Votes winning in 17/36 States.President Buhari is Now in his Second and Last 4-Years Term in Office.
  • Nigeria is the Biggest Economy in Africa, the Biggest Oil Producer in Africa and 13th in the World, the Most Populous Country in Africa and 7th in the World with a Population of over 200 Million People across  its 250+ Ethnic Groups. Over half of its Population is below the Age of 20 Years with its Media Age being 19 Years.
  • Nigeria’s Capital City Lagos is the Largest City in Africa with a Population of over 22 Million People. Nigeria’s Official Language is English with Local Languages Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo having the Most Speakers due to their Massive Population. Islam Religion has the majority of the Population closely followed by Christianity Religion. Nigerian Naira is the Country’s Currency.

Photos Credit;Ballot Naija & 123RF.

Madagascar’s Bitter Powerful Political Arch-rivals Never-ending Face-off

44 Years old former Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has been declared the Winner of a hotly contested Presidential Vote Run-off against his Arch-rival 68 Years old Marc Ravalomanana who is the sitting President. Andry has garnered 55% against Marc’s 44% of Total Votes according to Madagascar’s Election Commission INEC .The two

Andry Rajoelina (Former President of Madagascar) and now the President-Elect

emerged as the Top Contenders in the November 7,2018 Presidential Race but none garnered a majority of Total Votes cast leading to the December 19,2018 Run-off between them.

Surprisingly;the two bitter rivals have in the past served as Presidents of this impoverished Indian Ocean Island that heavily relies on Agriculture for survival.Marc Ravalomanana rose to power in June 2002 after being declared the winner of a disputed election against Madagascar’s long-time President Didier Ratsiraka leading to a deadly post-election violence.He ruled until the year 2009 when he was Toppled and Ousted by Andry Rajoelina who was then  the Mayor of Antananarivo in an Army assisted Coup that installed him as President after a Violent Political Strife. Andry ruled until 2013 when another Election was to be held and Marc Ravalomanana returned from Exile strong and ready to to take on his bitter rival Andry.

In fear that the two were just about to once again plunge the Country into a deadly Civil and Political unrest like the had done in 2009;huge pressure from the international Community was mounted on the two to shelve their ambitions.The two were eventually barred from contesting for the Top Seat in the 2013 Presidential Election.Upon this,Andry endorsed his ally Hery Rajaonarimampianina who went ahead and won the Election taking over from Andry who stepped out on January 2014.Hery has been the President since then To Date when he is now expected to hand over Power to Andry in about 10 days once Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court Confirms his Win as declared Today by the Election Commission.

Both Marc and Andry had earlier claimed Victory in this Poll accusing each other  with Electoral Fraud and Malpractices which now makes the Future of this Island Nation Tense with Fears that the Constitutional Order and Calm installed in 2014 could be disrupted should Marc decide to reject these Results and call for Protest.

Marc Ravalomanana (Former President of Madagascar)