Yes, their are all these people registered to vote in South Africa. but how many of them are going to actually vote? the turn out at our last municipal elections was very low.

People have lost so much faith in the anc, and righty so. if they don't want to vote for them, then nobody else should get their vote. People see all the corruption going on with them, and think that all the other parties are the same....

This year will be about coalitions no doubt.

Key thing is for the DA is to get as much of the vote as possible. how they do that is another question in itself. they haven't done very well with the coalitions that they have had these past few years.

Another point as I sure you are well aware of is that we have too many political parties. the only thing the the majority of them care about is getting a seat in parliament and nothing else. just watch our state of the nation address next month. they spend more time shouting at each other than actually listening to what the president has to say.

We need leaders, and I don't see to many of them sadly. we could have been the leading country in Africa. shown everyone how its done. we have done the opposite.

The ruling party cant even provide electricity to its people everyday. don't even start with water and sanitation, crime etc.

One thing is for sure, they aren't the one's who will turn things around for us.

I do have hope for the rest of Africa as you have pointed out. so many countries are doing better than expected.

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Interesting facts about Africa in 2024. Also to add, as democracy continues to be fought, sparks resulting from the ruling parties and the opposition parties are inevitable. Dissenting voices will be brutally crashed considering that the ruling parties hardly accept any defeat. At worst, they can manipulate election results or Outmaneuver how voting is done. Activists are at risk of being eliminated like it has happened in Rwanda and recently in Kenya (meru County).

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Great overview, thank you for your analysis!

One set of countries I'm excited about and that have performed well the past few years without too much noise are the stable WAEMU countries (Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo). Economic growth is solid, state capacity is increasing, low probability of coups/instability and good policy implementation.

I wonder if those countries are not talked about enough because they are francophones? Or they are relatively small compared to the Eastern and Central countries? Wdyt?

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Good catch! There’s certainly an Anglophobe bias in Africanist commentary.

I have a post in the works on Togo (stalled political development, but interesting moves in logistics). Benin, too, has an interesting industrial policy in the textiles sector.

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Here's one reason for that bias. I stumbled into this story when researching the pressure South Africa is under because of the ICJ case against Israel - https://www.mikehampton.co.uk/p/who-controls-south-africa-part-1-brenthurst

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Mori, those four countries have all experienced a decline in their freedom scores. Côte d’Ivoire is actually at high risk of a coup due to the lack of a clear succession path for Ouattara. Furthermore, Ouattara destroyed all hopes of abandoning the CFA currency by colluding with Macron of France to tie the new currency to the Euro. Togo is a pure dictatorship; its institutions are weak and serve the president’s family, with no real opposition parties. Benin has regressed due to serious freedom violations and corrupt activities by the current administration. Senegal is on the verge of a meltdown if Sonko is not allowed to run or loses due to fraud. So, yes, they have done well on the surface or in the past, but their last three years have all been disastrous.

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Hi Carlos,

My perspective will be different as someone actually living in Côte d'Ivoire.

High risk of coup = I would downplay the risk. It certainly exists (which francophone african country does not have it?) but I don't think this is an existential threat for CIV.

The main reason why I think WAEMU francophone have been able to navigate better the covid macro environment is the Franc CFA which enables a stable currency and low inflation. Comparing to our next door neighbour Ghana, Franc CFA served us well.

Lastly, about freedom. You are right that broadly, we have seen a decrease in liberties and increasing signs of authoritarianism. Ouattara's third mandate is the prime exemple. Nevertheless, I will take smart economic policies over restricting freedom scores any time of the day (as long as the economic policies remain smart).

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Great overview, as always!

Many thanks.

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I strongly suspect the impact investors control much of what happens in political Africa - how can there be any 'regulation' when those entities are wholly funded by commerce (mainly BigPharma)?

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Excellent read- thank you. I didn't realise how many elections were slated for 2024. Looking forward to your insights

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