The outcome of the race between increasingly artful electoral manipulation and limitless possible manifestations of democratic expression is never entirely certain.
President Joseph Kabila remains in office despite upheaval in the DRC. He can still save face and a change of heart could see him become the first Congolese president to relinquish power.
For many of contemporary Congolese musicians the idea of authenticité was seen as a positive one at a certain level, even though Mobutu abused Congo culture to build his own personality cult.
Congolese President Joseph Kabila was due to step down last year after serving two terms. But he failed to organise elections leading to deadly protests. Is Congo's future now in grave danger?
Democracy is in a parlous state in many countries in southern Africa. Autocrats hold onto power, while electorates have little to choose from at the polls.
The Democratic Republic of Congo desperately needs a peaceful election but with the UN threatening to scale back its DRC mission, the likelihood of a successful poll is being threatened
A deal to finally hold long-postponed elections has been reached, but parts of the country are still dealing with violence and chaos.
The US wants to repeal controls imposed seven years ago on the trade of some Congolese minerals. The president's reasons might be all wrong. But the law was badly put together in the first place.
SADC's credibility is at stake. Its lack of political will in acting decisively against despots is at odds with the African Union's goal of promoting legitimate governance on the continent.
A peaceful transition in the Gambia, taken together with hints of change in Angola and Zimbabwe, will portend hope that Africa’s democratic renewal is still alive.
Congolese singer Papa Wemba might have been one of Africa's best loved musicians - but his politics wasn't popular with all his compatriots.
In the words of US President Obama: Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. In this light, the South African president's acceptance of a court ruling against him is a good thing.