A different take on Africa's year ahead...
- 18 January 2012
- From the section Africa
This year, no tea-leaves, no "muti" or traditional medicine, no entrails or astrology and none of the usual stuff about elections, wars and dying politicians.
Instead, my predictions for 2012 deal with more every-day matters. Sorry they are a bit late, but if you like them, or hate them, or have infinitely better suggestions - please write in, and we can get together again in 2013 to compare notes.
Incidentally, how do you think my sangoma's forecasts for 2011 came out?
So, in 2012....
- A consortium of well-connected Angolans will purchase Portugal's Benfica football club
- The phrase "African middle class" will appear in more international headlines than "famine"
- An African will not discover cold-fusion. But another ingenious invention, like M-Pesa, will make us even more obsessed with our mobile phones.
- Guinea will win the Africa Cup of Nations (they are my pick in the office sweepstake)
- An international chain will open a store in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. For several weeks
- The number of Chinese language schools in Nigeria will quadruple
- The number of Africans living below the "poverty line" will drop from 61% to 57%, but almost nobody will report the fact
- Someone will coin a new name for Africa's middle class - which will be 400-million strong by the end of the year. The phrase will come from Mandarin
- A catchy song about malarial bed-nets will become an unexpected hit in Zambia, and a star of South Africa's undervalued poetry scene will be sampled by US rapper Jay-Z
- An unemployed Spanish woman, seeking work in Mozambique's capital Maputo, will be disqualified from winning a local beauty pageant
- Zimbabweans will stop accepting the euro as currency
- The continent will win more medals at the Olympics than ever before but four African athletes will get lost on the London underground system and miss their heats.