Category: AIF Issue 42

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Ailing and failing

The Nigerian president’s battle with ill-health means he is struggling to fulfil his election campaign promises Joseph Adeyeye Nigeria is battling a bloody Islamic insurgency in its northern region, a secessionist movement in the east, a wave of kidnappings in the west and oil-well attacks in the south. But in the last few months it is […]

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African presidential systems and how to fix them

      The continent’s systems of governance are evolving, but a transnational approach may be needed to ensure a system that works for the citizenry In Africa, by 2005, about 40 countries had introduced democratic systems of government since independence by having “regular, competitive multi-party elections”. Others, however, have remained under authoritarian rule, as […]

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A flawed legacy

The outgoing Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos has managed to dilute his own legacy, undermining his own achievements and those of his country At the end of September 1979, the Angolan ruling party presented José Eduardo dos Santos as its chosen replacement for President Agostinho Neto as the new head of state of the […]

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Who replaces No 1?

As the pressure mounts on president Jacob Zuma, the race to take over the South African presidency is anything but clear-cut Although the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has downplayed reports of a leadership contest, power jostling is already evident at the top levels of the party. The race for a new South African president […]

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The president who would be chief

Many say president Jacob Zuma will become known as the man who presided over the demise of one of Africa’s oldest liberation movements President Jacob Zuma’s presidential style has undermined the South African constitution, the rule of law and rational policymaking. It has undermined the democratic idea of separation of powers between different spheres of […]

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Last man standing

While the DRC president is seen as aloof and alienated from his people, few doubt his ability to manipulate the political system One morning last November, Joseph Kabila’s motorcade bullied a path through Kinshasa’s traffic towards the Palais du peuple, which houses both the Senate and National Assembly. The Congolese president rarely ventures into public […]

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How much longer?

The Zimbabwean president managed to hold onto power through a pretence of competition through elections There has been neither peace nor serenity during Robert Mugabe’s 37 years in power. He has been at war in Zimbabwe since its birth. The infrastructure he inherited, better than anywhere else in Africa, is derelict. Every state company is […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Of heroes and villains

Africa’s best and worst presidents: How neo-colonialism and imperialism maintained venal rules in Africa. By Nkwazi Nkuzi Mhango, Langaa Research and Publishing, 2016 Tanzanian writer Nkwazi Nkuzi Mhango’s book on African rulers tries to explain why some African leaders are good and others bad – in terms of how effective they are as managers, as […]

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Good Khama, Bad Khama

The regime of the Botswana president is accused of eroding good governance and democracy, as the economy starts to lose its lustre In a continent in short supply of exemplary leaders, Botswana gets accolades as a bastion of democracy and good governance. Yet this perception is misleading. The southern African nation with a population of […]

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Popular but tainted

The scion of the post-colonial Kenyatta political dynasty, Kenya’s president Jomo Kenyatta continues to enjoy popular support for his promotion of development In public, Kenya’s third president comes across as someone who is warm and caring, and who has the interests of the country at heart. If you don’t love him for his warm personality, […]

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An uphill task

Adama Barrow astonished the world by unseating long-time autocrat Gambian Yahya Jammeh, but now faces an unenviable task of rebuilding a country left in ruin Before his rise to The Gambian presidency little was known of Adama Barrow, who was finally installed in the post in December last year. The incumbent, Yahya Jammeh, who had […]

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