Africa’s Deficient Democracies, Lessons from Malawi

Last week a section of African commentariat and punditry community concentrated on African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 2012 report, which claimed that Africa’s old leaders and their reluctance to relinquish power is stifling democratic progress on the continent. According to the AfDB report, Africa has had a total of 653 elections between 1960 and 2010. Only 16 per cent of these elections had a sitting president vacating the office. Example of old leaders like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Angola’s José Eduardo dos Santos, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang and many others were mentioned. Leaders’ clinging on to power is indeed Continue reading

Malawi 2014: Political Affiliation is no Longer a Sure Path to Winning Elections

Voter registration excise has started in selected districts and constituencies for the May 2014’s tripartite elections in Malawi, where electorate will be voting for a president, parliamentarians and ward councillors. At the time of writing it was still too early to comment on the turnout but the elections fever is well and truly taking hold of the country; evidenced by the evermore-intense political finger pointing among politicians and political parties. On a personal level, I am excited by the prospect of registering and voting next year, mainly because this will be my first time to vote in my own country, Continue reading

It’s Time African Union Turned its Attention to Something Worthwhile

African Union have been meeting for the first time since the death of its former leader and financial backer in chief, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last October. The issue of future funding for the organisation may yet be on the agenda even though the proceedings have been dominated by leadership elections. Whatever is on the agenda, it is unlikely many Africans, let alone the international community really expect much from an organisation that has always shown its weakness at crucial moments, the Libyan case being the most recent example. Yet 2012 could prove to be one of the most crucial and Continue reading