BUCKLE YOUR BELTS for a roller-coaster ride through the Remaking of Africa. Africa may be changing because it is growing rich (you know that “Africa Rising” mantra), yes, but the truly disruptive development is the reorganisation of power happening both silently and noisily.
The landscape-altering tensions and drama right are, for now, being out in the Central and Eastern African swathe called the Great Lakes region.
There are 15 stories informing things like the bitter recriminations between Tanzania and Rwanda, and the flare-up of the fighting between M23 rebels and allied the Armed Forces Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and UN Intervention Brigade in DRC.
- The fall, and eventual lynching, of Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.
- The death of the influential Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi in August 2012.
- The fall of Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power, and its ouster by the military in July.
- The fall-out between the Egyptian and South African governments following Pretoria’s strong criticism of the coup in Egypt.
- The 2012 sanctions and international condemnation of Rwanda and Uganda over Kigali’s alleged support for DRC’s M23 rebels.
- The sharp rise in terrorist attacks in Nigeria by the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram.
- The defeat of Al-Shabaab in Somalia by the African Union intervention force AMISOM.
- The 2007-2009 global financial crisis.
- China overtaking the USA as Africa’s leading trading partner.
- Capture of power in the Central African Republic (CAR) by the Seleka rebels in
March and the ouster of Francois Bozize as president.
- The “disappearance” of top commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), General Stanislas Nzeyimana aka General Deogratias Bigaruka Izabayo, from near Tanzania’s Kigoma border point in April.
- Tanzania’s decision to expel over 20,000 people of Rwandese ancestry and refugees from its northwest region back to Rwanda.
- The impending trials at the International Criminal Court, The Hague, of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
- The fact that for the last two years, outside of then still-war-ravaged Somalia, no country in the wider Eastern, Central and Southern Africa region has suffered a famine.
- And what Twitter and Facebook have to do with it.
Beginning next week, we shall explore what these 15 stories have in common, and why if you want to be alive or rich in Africa in the next few years, it is important for you understand what they mean, and why the stage for the drama all these events is the DR Congo.