2014: Battle lines drawn in Africa
THE political environment in a country is key to economic growth and development.
Generally, if a country must thrive, political stability is a pertinent ingredient. The situation is the same for business. Entrpreneurs who neglect politics, do this at their peril. According to an old saying, ‘Business is politics and politics is businesses. And in Africa the saying truly weighs more than gold.
Relative political stability in the past decade is one of the major factors attributed to Africa’s economic success.
This year, a few elections accordingly will have investors glued to the news, and could determine economic development in a handful of African countries.
Africa is usually regarded as a black continent and elections tend be tightly contested. Western countries have actually viewed Africa as a continent with full of troubles and whenever, she hold elections the end result is civil war.
For this year, 2014, many African countries are going for elections and many patriotic citizens are hoping that they will be held peaceful and the winner will shack hands with the winner so is the loser.
The year could be telling for the political and economic future of Africa, with the following elections being the biggest ones to watch:
The road to a new constitution and presidential election has been anything but smooth. Persistent protesters, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood who supported former President Muhammad Morsi, are tired of the current happenings. A majority of the country likely supported the recent military leadership.
Recent news that a new presidential election could involve General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who led the coup, will only further boost concerns about any upcoming election.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour party both suspect the military wants to assume the role (and accompanying dictatorial control) of former President Hosni Mubarak. While farfetched, there will be supporters and detractors both wondering the same thing.
Joyce Banda may be in trouble. She is trailed be allegations of corruption. She flipped and flopped on the issue of gay rights, first embracing and then punting to a potentially inflamed popular will.
Banda took over office when Bingu wa Mutharika died unexpectedly in April 2012.
Mutharika won just a hair short of 66% of the vote in 2009, so there may be enough slack for Banda to eke out a win, especially if the opposition is unable to mobilize a viable challenger.
Of the many elections this year, the most far-reaching could be in South Africa on May 7th. The African National Congress (ANC), led by Jacob Zuma, is arguably poised to win in an election that will mark 20 years of democracy for the country.
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party could steal some ANC support. Africa’s largest economy has continued to witness repeated strikes in the mining sector, high unemployment, government corruption allegations and low economic growth.
The last three factors boost the EFF’s youth support, especially considering those born after the end of apartheid have less attachment to the ANC. Thus, Malema’s calls for nationalization attempt to capitalize on the palpable sentiments of inequality. But they do not bid well for attracting a winnable mass to defeat the ANC.