africa / Opinion / Politics

Is Ghana’s peaceful transfer of power a sign of political transformation in Africa?

by Nelima

The African in me looks at Ghana with pride while the Kenyan in me looks at Ghana with envy. Out of political maturity Ghana escaped what Kenya went through and has now come on stage as the political model for Africa. 

Now a year after the post-election violence that rocked Kenya, many people are still homeless and ethnic tensions are still high in some parts of the country. What’s troublesome is that thoughtful reflections have been few in the Kenyan media and practically non-existent amongst Kenyans in the diaspora. Instead there has been finger pointing as to who was responsible and the recommendations of the ” Waki Report” , which analyzed the underlying causes of the violence as well as named the key individuals suspected of orchestrating the violence, are yet to be implemented. Consequently, 2009 brings many political and socio-economic challenges for Kenyans which need to be addressed decisively.

For Ghanaians, this year starts on a very high note and the rest of Africa should feed off of this positivity.  The outgoing party (NPP) must be commended for eventually conceding  as should incoming President John Atta Mills, for being conciliatory in his victory. The appointment of the first female speaker, Justice Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo, to their parliament is great news too. It should not be forgotten however, that Kenya had a similar transfer of power from outgoing President Moi’s ruling party, KANU to the rainbow coalition opposition, NARC in 2002. Everyone was euphoric, but little did we know that Kibaki who was ‘handed’ power when he won the election would refuse to do the same when he was ‘defeated’ in 2007. Let’s hope that come next election Ghana will not take this route.

Let’s also hope that the Ghanain government set a trend of using cash returns from its resources to benefit its people. Pulled from an article in Bloomberg;

Ghana is the world’s second-biggest cocoa grower after neighboring Ivory Coast and Africa’s No. 2 gold producer after South Africa. It expects to become an oil exporter as early as 2010, when U.K. explorer Tullow Oil Plc aims to begin producing from its Jubilee field that contains an estimated 1.8 billion barrels of crude.

It is rumored that South Africa may go to polls as early as March. This will be one to watch  as it will probably be the most tense elections since apartheid. Other African countries scheduled to have presidential elections this year are; Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Somaliland, Sudan and Tunisia. There is also a current vacancy in the presidential post for Somalia.


4 thoughts on “Is Ghana’s peaceful transfer of power a sign of political transformation in Africa?

  1. Ghana’s peaceful transition of power is part and puzzle of the mixed bag of events that have taken place in Africa.

    One positive action does not erase the hundreds of other less positive ones that have taken place in this year alone, new as it may be. For Ghana, this is a very, very good first step.

    For this act to transform politics in Africa, we need all African leaders to follow suit. This is unlikely considering that Mugabe is still acting the fool and causing the death of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Kenyan leaders are still shortchanging their people even when it comes to something as routine as buying patrol boats and Congo, Sudan and Somalia to name but a few ares till in Chaos.

    Ghana’s positive step is one that should serve as a reminder to other African leaders that they are complicit in holding Africa back by their corruption and it is time for them to resolve to do what they were elected to accomplish.

  2. Thanks for reminding us that democracy is a work in progress and not a one time event. However, Ghana may not have the same problems as Kenya come next election because the Kenyan opposition was fragile from the start.

    And with regards to upcoming elections, there is pressure on the Guinean junta to hold elections by the end of this year.

  3. I’m not sure what to say – I agree with both Eva and James. While this can be considered a nice clearing in the bush, the forest remains dense…very dense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s