Letter from Africa: The yr veteran presidents moved on

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Mike Hutchings/REUTERS

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Zimbabweans celebrated after President Robert Mugabe resigned

In our collection of letters from African writers, Ghanaian journalist and previous govt minister Elizabeth Ohene displays on 2017 – the yr when a lot of Africa’s long-time presidents moved on.

Taking a look again, it moves me that this has been very a lot a yr of recognized names at the transfer. Over right here in Ghana, 2017 began with a brand spanking new president. We had voted out an incumbent govt in December 2016 and we have been feeling moderately happy with ourselves. Out went John Dramani Mahama and in got here Nana Akufo-Addo.

Little did I do know that by way of the top of the yr, very lengthy established presidential names have been going to be at the transfer.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos – who were in position as president of , handing the reigns to his successor in September. And after nearly 38 years, it isn’t simple to bear in mind to mention President Joao Lourenco of Angola.

If Angola felt like an earth tremor, Zimbabwe was once to give us with a complete scale tsunami. The occasions that ended in President Robert Mugabe after all stepping down after 37 years nonetheless appear fairly surreal. Was once it an army or palace coup, or does it should be referred to as a coup d’etat?

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Getty Photographs

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When he stood down, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, left, was once the sector’s second-longest working president

In any case, all of it gave the impression somewhat civilised: there was once no violence, the warriors spoke, Zanu-PF met and spoke, Zimbabweans poured out onto the streets, First Woman Grace Mugabe disappeared from sight and Mr Mugabe was once out. The material producers have modified the designs and put the face of Emmerson Mnangagwa at the textiles.

There are different presidential actions, now not somewhat as dramatic, however similarly vital. Having satisfied his compatriots to take away the inconvenient two-term restrict, President Subsequent door, President Yoweri Museveni was once having a little bit extra problem manoeuvring to stick in energy to proceed the crucial paintings of ruling Uganda.

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Media captionChairs have been thrown all the way through the talk in Uganda’s parliament

The Ugandan parliament has been the scene of a lot drama, the charter has been amended and not anything will have to stand in his approach if President Museveni will have to need to stand once more as president for ever and ever, or till he reaches a Mugabe state.

While they have been at it, the parliamentarians took the chance so as to add two additional years to the lifetime of the Ugandan parliament and the presidency. In different phrases, the mandate given in 2016 will now not lead to 2021 however in 2023. Whichever approach you take a look at it, President Museveni goes to be round for a very long time.

For some time previous this yr, Nigerians weren’t somewhat positive of the whereabouts in their chief, Muhammadu Buhari, by no means thoughts how lengthy he could be round for. President Buhari had long gone to London for clinical consideration and ended up staying there for greater than 100 days.

Ellen Johnson Sirleafis stepping down after two phrases as president of Liberia and there is not any signal that she sought after to increase her time period. She is being changed by way of 1995’s Fifa International Participant of the 12 months, George Weah, who will convey his soccer abilities to the presidential mansion.

For one temporary second on 1 September, President Uhuru Kenyattafeared his grip at the presidency was once loosening when the Superb Courtroom ordered a re-run of the polls he concept he had gained. Issues returned to standard when his outdated time opponent Raila Odinga boycotted the recent elections ordered by way of the courts and a Kenyatta was once safely again within the Kenya State Space.


Elizabeth Ohene:

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Elizabeth Ohene

The material producers have modified the designs and put the face of Emmerson Mnangagwa at the textiles.


The Togolese seem to have had sufficient of what they’re describing as a dynasty. There are proceeding demonstrations towards President, who succeeded his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died in 2005 after having dominated Togo for 38 years.

The battle on the ANC congress to elect a brand new chief final week additionally featured well known names. In any case Cyril Ramaphosa defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to grow to be the president of the ANC and most likely president of South Africa when elections are held in 2019.

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PHILIPPE WOJAZER

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A speech by way of Ghana’s president in entrance of France’s president calling for Africa to finish its dependency at the West was once a viral hit

Subsequent door in Botswana, a well known title has introduced he’ll be leaving place of job when his time period as president involves an lead to April subsequent yr.

Sooner than that, President Ian Khamadecided to stir issues up just a little. He made public the letter that the Everlasting Consultant of america to the United International locations, Nikki Haley, despatched to Botswana about final week’s Basic Meeting vote at the standing of Jerusalem. The letter, which I consider was once despatched to all African international locations, warned that President Donald Trump sought after to understand which international locations voted in favour of a solution successfully calling on him to withdraw his reputation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr Trump later threatened to withdraw monetary assist to those that subsidized the solution.

Botswana would now not be intimidated by way of such threats, a commentary from the Botswana international ministry said and proceeded to vote towards the United States. Certainly, Togo was once the one African nation to vote towards the solution, whilst Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda all abstained.

It might appear Ghanaian president Mr Akufo-Addo’s marketing campaign for an Africa Past Support could be put to the check quicker moderately than later. Because the outdated calypso would put it, 2017 is finishing on a roll.


Extra from Elizabeth Ohene:




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