Is A Change In Power Equal To A Change In African Politics?

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The politics of the African continent have for a long time been haunted by issues of oppression, inequality and a number of injustices. While there has been some remarkable progress made in the continent over the last few decades, it has always been watered down by the systemic corruption and the oppression that were common characteristics of many African Governments.

The last two years, however, the continent has seen a sudden change in its inhabitants. Citizens of different countries have risen up and spoken out against the injustice and poor living conditions within their countries. Politics in African nations have ceased to be one of fear where those in power and the wealthy in the society dictate the fate of the rest of the country.

A woke electorate in Angola, Zimbabwe, Gambia, South Africa and most recently Ethiopia have seen long-serving leaders either resign or forcefully removed from their positions of power. In Kenya, an awareness of human rights and the freedom to express one’s self through their vote has seen citizens take to the streets in large numbers to protest the election irregularities that seem to recur with every election.

There is no doubt that the citizens of African countries are becoming more aware of the need to have progressive and visionary leaders if they are ever to achieve a free and fair society. While power has been changing hands eliciting an air of excitement and hope amongst Africans, the global community still awaits the results of this power change.

Albert Einstein once argued that doing something the exact same way multiple times yet expecting different results with each trial was simply madness. Is this the case in Africa? Yes, the old men of politics and their archaic ways are leaving power willingly or otherwise. Yes, the continent is pregnant with hope and dreams of a better future. But who are taking up these vacancies? Who is being entrusted with the responsibility of bringing this hopes and dreams to fruition?

Replacing these corrupt leaders with their right-hand men and women who served them with unwavering loyalty in their corrupt regime is equivalent to switching out one madman for another. Their idea of leadership and governance will most likely be a variation of what was there before them. In the case of Zimbabwe, for close to 40 years the country understood corruption and oppression to be the language of leaders. It is, therefore, not far-fetched to expect a majority of leaders under this rule to have adopted this style of rule as the right way to rule.

What the continent needs is a complete overhaul of the corrupt governments that have held on to power for almost half a century. For South Africa to truly expect reforms, they need to do away with the corrupt regime that is ANC and raise a new crop of leaders who understand exactly where the shoe pinches and are driven to do something about it. In as much as we have corrupt presidents and leaders, they are backed by corrupt governments and politicians. It is therefore not enough to cut off the head of the snake; we need to rid ourselves of the entire snake.