The chronicles of 2018!
- January 3, 2019
The year 2018 was no ordinary time. For Africa, it was the year of transformation. The continent saw a radical shift in its political scenario, adjustments in its economic architecture and the restructuring of its social fabric.
The events that transpired this year made for narratives that will never be forgotten. These were the stories that made you smile; stories that made you cry; stories that made you think; stories that changed your life; stories that made 2018 the year it was!
ELECTIONS: The constant of changing leadership
Egypt: On March 29, with five main rivals barred from the ballot paper, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took 92% i.e. 21.4 million of the votes. Twenty-five million of the 60 million registered voters turned out during the three days of polling.
Botswana: On April 5, Mokgweetsi Masisi replaced Ian Khama, the outgoing president and son of liberation icon Seretse Khama and took accession as the President of Botswana.
Mali: With an overwhelming 67 percent of vote, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was re-elected as the President of Mali on August 17 in a runoff after a controversial first round of voting.
His opposition candidate, Soumaila Cisse, who also ran against Keita in 2013, secured 32 percent of the votes. The citizens of Mali were not surprised with Keita’s win who had a near monopoly over campaigning resources such as access to the state television.
Zimbabwe: The ruling party of Zimbabwe ZANU-PF won the 2018 parliamentary elections on August 1 with a clear majority, according to the Electoral Commission. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe in November 2017, became the third President of the country.
The unemployment rate in the country stands at more than 90%; agriculture sector has regressed from commercial to subsistence after the seizure of white-owned farms, the banking system is collapsing and the economy is clearly in need of a revival.
Cameroon: Having governed the country for over 30 years, the reigning Head of State Paul Biya won Cameroon’s presidency for the seventh time with 71.3% votes. At 85, Paul Biya is the oldest leader of sub-Saharan Africa and the second longest-serving leader of Africa (after Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo). Biya would now remain in power until at least the age of 92.
Madagascar: Presidential elections were held in Madagascar on November 7. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round involving the top two candidates, Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana, was held on December 19. On December 27, Rajoelina was announced as the winner with 56% of the vote.
When women took command!
Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Fatuma Ahmed as Kenya’s first female Major-General. She is now Assistant Chief of Defence Forces for personnel and logistics.
Ethiopia: October 25, 2018 will always be remembered as a historic day in the calendar of Ethiopia; for it was on this day that the country appointed its first ever woman President – Sahle-Work Zewde. A prominent diplomat, Ambassador Sahlework Zewde replaced the outgoing president, Dr Mulatu Teshome, who had been serving since 2013.
The journey doesn’t end here
Ghana: ‘To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.’ Kofi Atta Annan was no ordinary man. He chose to live a life of constant struggle as he fought for equality and humanity that knew no divisions. He knew he wanted a peaceful and fair world and the reason he wanted to get there was for the benefit of the entire human race.
The great humanitarian passed away on August 18th, after a brief illness. He was 80.
South Africa: Affectively known as “MaWinnie” or the Mother of a Nation, Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, passed away on April 2, 2018.
The former wife of legendary South African President Nelson Mandela will always be remembered for her heroism and dedication in the fight against injustice and oppression during South Africa’s apartheid era and her continued fight against poverty.
Events that changed the course of history
Like a Wall of BRICS: It was on December 24, 2010 that South Africa officially became the member of an independent association of major economies – the group was renamed as BRICS to reflect the extended membership. On July 25, 2018, the newest member of the family hosted the annual gathering in Johannesburg for the second time, and greeted the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China with open arms.
The ‘end of a war’: Ending a 20-year conflict, Ethiopia and Eritrea declared that their ‘state of war’ has come to an end. A joint committee which implements the Ethiopian-Eritrea Peace and Friendship Agreement started work, according to the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During his visit to Eritrea, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed disclosed recently that the leaders of the two countries have agreed to work jointly in diplomacy, transport, boundary affairs, use of port, and trade as well as African and international issues.
Noble Peace Prize 2018: Denis Mukwege from Congo was awarded the 2018 Noble Peace Prize for his efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Since the Panzi Hospital was established in Bukavu in 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults. Most of the abuses have been committed in the context of a long-lasting civil war that has cost the lives of more than six million Congolese.
73rd UNGA: From Rwandan President Paul Kagame to President Danny Faure of Seychelles, a total of 34 world leaders from the four corners of the globe addressed the General Debate of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26, 2018. Sharing their vision on the world’s most pressing challenges, they discussed issues ranging from climate change, nuclear proliferation and protracted conflict to large-scale migration, economic inequality and the elimination of extreme poverty through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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