Today, we look at the sequel to the outlooks for Africa in the year 2016, be sure to note that we will keep you updated on these happenings once they occur right here on CP Africa. I should also note that, there are strong inputs on this piece, from Nick Branson and Jamie Hitchen, both of African Research Institute.
The Prominence of Social Media
African youth harnessed the potential of modern communication tools to mobilize protests in Burkina Faso and South Africa, successfully preventing a military coup and halting significant rises in university tuition fees. Twitter hashtags are becoming important tools for mobilization and are likely to become more prominent as the cost of communication decreases. Governments are already responding to this perceived threat. Tanzania rushed through four pieces of legislation relating to access to information, media, statistics and cybercrime in 2015, while Nigeria may adopt a social media bill in 2016.
The Battle for the ANC
In South Africa, rumours have been circulating about plots to oust President Zuma mid-term. Zuma famously usurped Mbeki as ANC president at the national conference in Polokwane in December 2007, positioning him to become head of state, following the April 2009 elections. Zuma’s decision to fire Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister was an assertion of his authority that backfired. With the ruling party likely to lose control of important metropolitan authorities at municipal elections in 2016, the campaign to succeed Zuma will dominate South African politics right up until the next ANC national conference in December 2017.
A Changing Climate
In 2015, flooding in Freetown and Accra devastated urban areas whilst El Niño brought drought to rural Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Unpredictable weather will be a continuing feature in years to come, despite the agreement reached at COP21 in Paris. Long term commitments can work alongside short-term solutions: improved urban management and support for the growing of drought resistant crops like finger millet. But weather can also offer opportunity for the continent. Renewable energy, in particular solar, wind and geothermal, has been cited as a key avenue for tackling the power deficit on the continent by African Development Bank president, Akinwumi Adesina.
African Development Bank
Last year, we reported a lot of activities from the African Development Bank (AfDB), ably led by the former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina. The body which has planned a lot of developmental projects across Africa is expected to continue in its flying colors which earned it a lot of accolades across the globe last year. We all should remember that the body has plans to electrify Africa in 10 years via renewable energy, a source of energy which the world is paying massive attention to.