Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham writes for The American Interest on how democracy and economic growth will define Africa in 2016:
This year is shaping up to be a pivotal one for democracy in Africa, potentially setting the course of the continent’s political and economic development for years to come, and at a historic moment when its long-awaited economic takeoff finally seems to be getting underway.
National-level elections for the presidency and/or parliament will take place in about twenty African countries… provincial and local government elections are planned in a number of other countries… If the electorates continue their recent trend of rewarding performance while punishing incompetence and corruption, Africa may witness considerable upheaval in the months ahead.
The United States ought to focus its diplomatic leverage and such material and human resources as are available on helping Africans progress toward transparent, effective governance as their continent’s economy continues to grow. If this can be accomplished, 2016 may be the year that the Congo and other African countries will finally pivot towards a more hopeful future.