• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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9 elections that will shape Africa in 2024

9 elections that will shape Africa in 2024

In 2024, Africa stands at a critical juncture as several nations gear up for elections that will profoundly shape the continent’s governance, security, and economic prosperity trajectory. Amidst challenges like skyrocketing inflation, unemployment, internal conflicts, and mounting debt, these upcoming elections are crucial for establishing a new competitive landscape and steering countries towards stability and growth.

The significance of these elections echoes across the continent, with each outcome poised to wield substantial influence on Africa’s future governance and development. The year 2024 holds the potential to chart a new course for African nations, addressing pressing challenges and paving the way for a more stable and prosperous future.

Chad – May 6

Chad’s upcoming election in May 2024 is expected to solidify General Mahamat Déby’s hold on power following a military coup in 2021. Despite promises of democratic transition, Déby has extended the junta’s rule and suppressed opposition voices through violence and constitutional amendments. The regime’s actions, including the appointment of an opposition leader as prime minister and the assassination of another opposition figure, highlight its efforts to maintain control. Regional tensions, particularly with Sudan, further compound Chad’s instability. Consequently, these elections have significant implications not only for Chad’s domestic governance but also for regional stability in Africa.

South Africa – May 29

South Africa’s election season on May 29, 2024, coincides with the country celebrating 30 years post-apartheid, marking a critical juncture for its future and economic progress. As reported by BusinessDay, this may well be the most critical election yet in the country’s history, as it is a ‘To Be or Not To Be…’ moment for the ANC and for South Africa.

Rwanda – July 15

Rwanda’s 2024 election is anticipated to be tightly controlled, maintaining President Paul Kagame’s long-standing rule since 1994. With the previous electoral process marred by irregularities, Kagame’s dominance is expected to continue, potentially extending his tenure to 40 years. Opposition candidates face intimidation and legal barriers, limiting genuine competition. Rwandans both domestically and abroad experience fear and censorship, with the media tightly controlled and dissent suppressed. The military plays a significant role in politics, influencing foreign policy objectives, particularly in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. While the electoral outcome may not yield surprises, Rwanda’s internal dynamics and regional influence remain noteworthy.

Algeria – September 7

Algeria’s presidential election on September 7, 2024, is closely watched as the country continues its transition towards a more inclusive and stable political system. President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s bid for a second term comes amid tightly controlled political dynamics, with the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party and the military exerting significant influence. The outcome of this election will reveal the extent of popular demand for democratic reforms, as evidenced by past protests, and may signal the direction of Algeria’s governance in the years to come. Additionally, given Algeria’s strategic importance as a major oil producer and its geopolitical ties, the election outcome will have broader implications for regional stability and international relations.

Mozambique – October 9

The upcoming election in Mozambique is overshadowed by concerns about the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) party’s manipulation of the electoral process. Despite protests and irregularities, FRELIMO’s dominance remains unchallenged, raising worries about democratic governance and accountability. Opposition party Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO) plans to participate but faces an uneven playing field. Civil society, led by the Catholic Church, will play a crucial role in advocating for transparency and electoral integrity, making credibility a key issue to watch.

Botswana – October

Botswana’s forthcoming election in October 2024 carries substantial significance for both the nation and the broader African context. The heightened competition among political factions signifies a strengthening democratic ethos within the country. President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s attempt to secure another term in office is met with significant challenges, compared with the opposition’s promotion of innovative policy agendas, including healthcare reform, which adds depth to the electoral dialogue.

Namibia – November

Namibia’s upcoming election in November 2024 is set to generate significant interest across Africa, particularly due to the potential for historic change. Since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) has maintained a stronghold on power in Namibia. However, with the passing of former president Hage Geingob, who had been in power since 2015, and the possibility of Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah emerging as the nation’s first female president, the country is poised for a potential shift in leadership dynamics.

Mauritius – November

Mauritius is set for its 12th general election in November, with the ruling Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) aiming to secure Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth another 5-year term. The country, known for its robust democracy and high voter turnout, has seen power rotate among the MSM, Labour Party, and Mauritian Militant Movement. Despite concerns about political dynasties and occasional irregularities, Mauritius enjoys strong governance and has made strides in healthcare, education, and income levels. However, challenges like corruption and organised crime persist. The upcoming elections will be crucial for maintaining Mauritius’s reputation as an accountable democracy.

Ghana – December 7

Ghana’s upcoming presidential election is highly anticipated due to its significance in ensuring a peaceful transition of power as President Nana Akufo-Addo steps down after two terms. The competition between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) highlights Ghana’s commitment to democratic principles and power-sharing between political parties. With a history of close electoral contests and equal representation in Parliament, the 2024 elections promise to be fiercely competitive. Moreover, Ghana’s robust democratic institutions, including an independent Electoral Commission and active civil society engagement, ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process. Despite economic challenges and security threats, the elections provide an opportunity for Ghanaians to shape the nation’s future and reaffirm democratic values.