“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”
The next season of Game of Thrones has started, and as fans watch the make believe world of Westeros, I have been watching the real Game of Thrones; the war for the final frontier market – Africa. According to PwC, Africa has the highest mobile broadband growth rate in the world, the fastest growing middleclass population in the world and 50% of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 is expected to come from Africa. The Africa rising narrative is steadily building momentum and in a complex continent, where roles and identities vary, good governance is even more important to help in realising the Africa promise.
At the LSE Africa Summit 2015 they discussed how good governance has many benefits, from increasing the community’s confidence that their leaders are making better decisions (informed by good information and data) in a transparent and accountable way. To helping to educate people to making them politically engaged and for them to feel that their leaders will act in the community’s overall interest, regardless of differing opinions.
Without good governance we fall into the Game of Thrones. For me the true interpretation of this TV show and book is that the gains that power achieved without justice will never be sustainable. Thus when good rules are disregarded, disorder and ruin will follow.
The Nigerian elections are over, Rwanda is discussing what will happen in the 2017 elections and Libya’s civil war continues. Let’s take a deeper look into these countries, what has happened so far, what are the lessons learnt and what does the future look like?
A new king on the throne
Nigeria’s 2015 general elections were hailed by many as a historic moment, the shift of power from, what some Nigerians have referred to as “Badluck Jonathan” and its former dictator, to a re-born democratic “dictator” Muhummadu Buhari. It was the first time a sitting president had been voted out of office and the incumbent accepted defeat.
This has inspired the hopes for a new era of democratic progress as the people of Nigeria can now acknowledge that they have a voice that counts and it counts because their votes are now accounted for. Technology played a crucial role in this, for example using finger print technology made rigging difficult, as it stopped people voting twice or voting for others who were not present. In addition, through the use of social media people were able to post real time pictures and stories, helping make the process transparent and broadcasting to the world when things went wrong.
Buhari has promised good governance and hopes to enhance the provision of justice and the rule of law by strengthening core institutions. Progress takes time and now with technology as an enabler, the world will watch in real time how Buhari delivers against his promises to Nigeria and to Africa as a whole.
KING SLAYER! Is what may seem acceptable to call NATO, their extensive air raids and support of the Libyan rebels, eventually helped to capture and kill the Mad King – Col Gaddafi. Their involvement was somewhat clear but important details of the AU mediation effort, and the roles of neighbouring countries like Sudan, Chad and Mali have yet to see the light of day.
Gaddafi was one of the leaders in Africa who supported the idea of a Pan African movement for a “United States of Africa”. He in the past had aligned himself with the Soviet, supported rebel movements like Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress and the Western Sahara’s Polisario Front independence movement against Morocco.
Well…strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter, and scattered they did. The ongoing crisis in Libya has so far resulted in tens of thousands of casualties since the start of the insurgency in early 2011. The nuisance and plague of the Arab spring caused a domino affect in Mali, North Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. The full account of the conflict and revolution remains to be written and the effects it has had and will have is yet to be fully comprehended.
You know nothing, Jon Snow
US Secretary of State John Kerry in the past recommended that African Head of States should not amend their Constitutions to allow themselves to run for another term. But what does he know? Is it because long-standing African leaders like Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (the longest standing African president) of Equatorial Guinea and Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola have children who are living a lavish life style and have billions worth of investments across the world, whilst people in their country live under the poverty line?
Who stays in power and for how long in a democracy should only be decided by the people.
In a recent New Times article it was stated that a peasant woman publicly declared that she would commit suicide if Paul Kagame does not run for another term and a businessman said he will go into exile. When I visited Kigali my friends called it the center of the world because of the undeniable positive economic and social achievements delivered by Kagame. He is a leader who kept his promise according to the people I came across.
If “Rwanda’s Lee Kuan Yew” leaves office, who else can take up the baton and guarantee order, quality of life and progress? Kagame in his interview with The New Times stated that his greatest opposition seems to derive from outside the country, as international media, consulates and NGOs, started the debate about the election, not Rwandans. In 2017 it will be up to the people to decide!
Winter is coming
Many of us know the story of Africa, how the continent was divided into different countries. Divide and conquer worked effectively. ‘Together they are strong, divided they are weak’. South Africa during apartheid made the country uniquely inward looking, which formed into a sort of mental ring-fencing from the rest of Africa. How did that history lead to the wake of xenophobic attacks today? As each country faces its own issues and problems I remember the motto of the Starks, “Winter is Coming”, in the Game of Thrones we must heed the warnings and be vigilant. But now Buhrai is in power, Col Gaddafi a great advocate of pan-Africanism is dead and we anticipate the 2017 elections in Rwanda. What do these events mean for the future of Africa? And when will the dream of visionaries like Kwame Nkrumah come to fruition – Africa coming together and becoming an economic powerhouse?
At GoGetters, we are not going to wait for the next chapter of Game of Thrones – The African Chronicles to be written. We are going to be one of many writing the story. As Africa 2.0 says, ‘we are the ones we have been waiting for’.
Have you ever wanted to be part of a movement? If yes, this is the moment to join GoGetters ‘click here’ to find out more.