Sweeping wind of Change is what can best describe Africa this week.
Africa lost a legend, Ugandan youths and Women made history and two African nations opened gates of communication in an effort to end the suffering of their people to mention but just a few.
Here is the weekly round up of notable events and occurrence across Africa.
#1. Fare thee Well Comrade – R.I.P Ketumile Masire
Botswana’s founding father died on June 22 in Gaborone, the country’s capital city aged 91.
President Masire who ruled the land locked nation between 1980 – 1998 won the respect of the world after skillfully navigating Botswana through the severe drought that dragged on for much of the 1980s.
“We have a saying in Botswana: A man is never strong until he says what he believes and gives other men the chance to do the same,” he once said. “I am proud to say without a doubt – we are a strong democracy.”
Masire, who always described himself as “a farmer who has been drawn into politics” will be remembered for promoting social and economic well-being of Botswana during his 18-year reign.
#2. Ethiopia goes Nuclear – Ethiopia-Russia nuclear deal
Ethiopia and Russia have signed the first of its kind agreement on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The agreement was signed within the framework of the 9th International Forum ATOMEXPO 2017 held in Moscow.
Ethiopian authorities cited the current fast changing global environment and the need to use technology to support the fast growing Ethiopian economy as the inspiration behind the deal.
In this age of climate change where most western countries are increasingly cutting their reliance on nuclear energy from Germany to Japan, many critics would therefore question how Ethiopia and most African nations including Kenya who have shown interest in going nuclear capacity to sustain such an expensive and highly sensitive project not to mention handle the nuclear waste.
Memories of Ethiopia’s rubbish landfill disaster which killed 115 people on March this year are also still fresh.
Economists will also wonder if Ethiopia which has in the past ten years engaged in huge infrastructure projects like the construction of Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is unnecessarily saddling itself with huge debts not to mention unaffordable extra power.
#3. You want another rap? Yes Sevo! – Ghetto President gets elected
Kyagulanyi Ssetamu Robert popularly known by his stage name Bobi Wine was overwhelmingly elected as the member of parliament of Kyadondo East in central Uganda early this week.
The musician who has popular hits under his belt like ‘Little things you do’ which he collaborated with Kenyan diva, Wahu easily convinced Uganda’s majority youth and women to elect him signaling a fresh breath of air in Uganda politics.
Musicians trading studio booth for parliamentary chambers has been witnessed more and more in recent years.
In Tanzania Joseph Haule, popularly known as Professor Jay an award winning musician known for his mastery in Swahili vied for the Mikumi constituency parliamentary seat in 2015, and won.
In Kenya, another well-known musician, Charles Kanyi alias Jaguar, is also eyeing the Starehe parliamentary seat.
What most people will however be asking themselves is if these musicians are really driven to uplift the lives of their constituents or are simply moving to a bigger stage where the returns are bigger and the fame is hell addictive.
#4. Zambia to the rescue – Kenya-Zambia yellow maize trade
Zambia announced early this week that it will hold talks with Kenyan grain traders, with the aim of exporting maize to the East African nation.
Kenya is currently facing a biting maize shortage which it blames on poor harvests, caused by a prolonged drought.
The government was even forced to import 29,900 metric tonnes of maize from Mexico on May to curb the acute maize shortage.
According to the Zambian Finance Minister, Felix Mutati, the biggest challenge for his country has been accessing the Kenyan market at competitive prices.
“We have to find alternative markets for the 1.4 million excess crops and this development will make it known that Zambia is open for trade in maize,” ZNFU President, Javis Zimba, said as reported by CGTN.
This points to a long neglected problem Africa has been slow and sometimes unwilling to address, it is easier to import a commodity from Europe or even southern America than it is to import an item from a neighboring country.
The numerous red tape and slow bureaucratic process is Africa’s Achilles heel.
All in all Kenyans would welcome the news that their favorite meal would soon be available at the nearest store.
#5. Hope you can know sort your differences like Gentlemen – Ivory Coast
The United Nations closed its peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast on Friday after 13 years in the cocoa rich west African nation.
The mission, known as UNOCI, was established in 2004, two years after a failed coup attempt set off Ivory Coast’s first civil war, which split the country between northern rebels and troops loyal to then President Laurent Gbagbo.
#6. South Sudan Independence day that never was.
The government of South Sudan cancelled the independence day celebrations for the second year in a row citing financial difficulties.
The world’s youngest nation gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, following a 2005 agreement that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war.
In December 2013, barely two years later the country however slipped into war after President Salva Kiir accused his then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government and since then South Sudan has been rocked by civil war which has killed thousands and displaced millions.
The current violence and economic crisis did not warrant celebrations, and as a result, the celebrations would not be held, the unity government said according to CGTN.
Locals and governments alike have welcome the move saying there is nothing to be celebrated but Africa also needs to critically reexamine it role in the South Sudan’s crisis, is it fanning the crisis or solving it? After all when your neighbour’s house is on fire yours risk catching fire as well.