Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture in Bishoftu town, Ethiopia, last year.
For the first time in years Ethiopia's ruling coalition faces real political competition from two parties within its own ranks. Can they usher in democracy after nearly 30 years of authoritarianism?
Somaliland’s ruling party candidate and newly elected president Musa Bihi Abdi.
The self-declared territory of Somaliland has held peaceful elections since it broke away from Somalia in 1991. But last month's polls triggered protests that should be cause for reflection.
Congolese soldiers arrest anti-government protester in North Kivu province.
President Joseph Kabila was supposed to step down at the end of his term in 2016. By clinging on to power he threw the Democratic Republic of Congo into a vicious cycle of deadly conflict.
French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to French counter-terrorism forces in northern Mali, in May.
EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson
Some African countries present a facade of democracy. The absence of substantive democracy is contributing to instability on the continent.
Zimbabwe’s Defence Force has taken control of the country’s political affairs.
By intervening in Zimbabwe's politics the military could plunge the country into a prolonged period of uncertainty. Could President Emmerson Mnangagwa be its saviour?
Mugabe tried to impose his wife on his party as his chosen successor.
Are we witnessing the end of an era in which dictators stayed in power for decades? If so this must be good not only for Angola and Zimbabwe but for southern Africa as a whole.
The coup in Zimbabwe means Mugabe’s long and disastrous presidency is finally over. The questions that remain are the precise details and mechanics of the deal which secures his departure.
Kenya’s National Super Alliance opposition leader, Raila Odinga.
Raila Odinga has been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy and upholding the rule of law in Kenya. His latest battles are bound to cement his legacy as a progressive force for good.
Former president of Boswana Ketumile Masire.
Botswana’s late president Ketumile Masire was original and daring. He should be remembered for his courage and prudence.
A supporter of the opposition leader Raila Odinga faces off against riot police officers during a protest in Nairobi.
Elections in Kenya are never just a matter of casting ballots. Historically, they have been marred by ethno-political violence, exacerbated by vigilantes and militias deployed by politicians.
A placard “leave the power” being held by a demonstrator during a protest against President Faure Gnassingbe in Lome.
Noel Kokou Tadegnon/Reuters
The seeds of discord that were planted in independent Togo have resulted in ethnic divisions, and a state that has long been ruled by family. But recent protests could mean things are about to change.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta waves as he leaves a campaign rally in the capital.
While Kenya's political leaders often adopt a populist approach to politics, it's not unimaginable that the courts could also pursue a populist path by claiming to speak for the people.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and contender Raila Odinga in happier times. The two are now embroiled in a bitter political contest.
Democracy doesn't seem to work within societies governed by politics of ethnicity. Instead, elections continue to offer up the hard choice between electoral credibility and political stability.
Kenya’s Supreme Court judges preside before delivering the judgment that nullified last month’s presidential election
Kenya's electoral commission faced many legal challenges before the general election, and yet another after the poll. But how will the Supreme Court's historic ruling impact the country's democracy?
When Kenyans vote, ethnic conflict is never too far behind.
One way to diffuse the tension when Kenyans choose a head of state is to take that decision out of their hands. This could help achieve ethnic cohesion.
Political messaging through fake news featured during Kenya’s recent general election.
Fake news has intruded on every aspect of life. Audiences need to counter its appeal, as the media alone is incapable of debunking false information.
Opposition supporters outside Kenya’s Supreme Court.
Some might see Kenya's presidential election petition as 'nuisance legislation'. But legal arbitration must be encouraged as an audit to the democratic process.
João Lourenço, set to become Angola’s president, is unlikely to bring any major changes.
EPA/Manuel de Almeida
Angola's president-elect, João Lourenço, has a reputation for relative probity. But, he's unlikely to rock the boat as Eduardo dos Santos remains party chairman.
The SACP and Cosatu have spoken out against South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.
The twilight of Jacob Zuma's ruinous presidency coincides with growing revulsion at his misrule of South Africa. But, it's important that his erstwhile supporters acknowledge their complicity.
A woman stands behind policemen during post election clashes, in Nairobi’s Kibera slum.
Much international media focus has been on Kenya's election being a trigger for violence, but that's only part of the story. The ongoing grievances of Kenyans must be addressed.