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2018 in retrospect: Africa

By Marjorie Hache

2018 was a bustling year on the African continent filled with elections and inaugurations that marked shifts in power from Liberia to Zimbabwe but also on a more grassroot level like in Tunisia where the capital elected its first female mayor.

Moving away from years of tension also seemed to be on the menu for many countries, including Ethiopia and Eritrea, who resumed friendly exchanges after falling out two decades ago.

However, regional unrest in Cameroon, Nigeria and DRC could not be ignored. Some countries clamped down on online freedom of speech, such as Uganda where vocal opposition politicians including pop star-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine were imprisoned and allegedly beaten by government forces.

This year also saw the international recognition of “Dr Miracle”, the Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege who has spent over twenty years carrying out reconstructive surgery on women who had been victims of rape and sexual violence. He jointly received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, along with women’s rights campaigner Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi woman who escaped from the Islamic State armed group after being sold into sex slavery.

France also promised to return 26 pieces of art that had been take from Benin during the colonial era while Senegal inaugurated a Black heritage Museum.

Report by Marjorie Hache


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