Some predictions for 2013

 
LRA leader Joseph Kony (file photo) Will 2013 be the year Joseph Kony faces justice?

"Events, dear boy, events…" Harold Macmillan's overused and quite possibly apocryphal warning - supposedly given in response to a question about what British prime ministers fear most - still holds true for anyone attempting to peer into the year ahead in search of something sensible to predict.

2012 reinforced the point in Africa. Who could have anticipated Mali's spectacular fall from grace and stability? Or the shocking milestone of South Africa's Marikana killings? Or the capture of the eastern DRC town of Goma by rebels? Or even Somalia's peaceful and surprising election?

Last year I attempted to sidestep the whole business with a list of more humdrum predictions for the continent. The broad theme - of quiet progress away from the headlines - was on the money, but I still got most details wrong. Then again, perhaps that's the whole point. To have any chance of being substantially right, you have to keep your prophecies so bland and broad as to strip them of any real interest. Yes, Africa's economy will continue to grow. Yes, some conflicts will continue, others will end, and some elections will be relatively free and fair…

So what about 2013?

For the sake of argument - and please do argue - here are some suggestions for the year ahead, some broad, some specific.

South Africa - A relatively good year after the gloom of 2012. Cyril Ramaphosa will grab his "de facto prime minister" job by the teeth and embark on a frenzy of deal-making in order to push through at least some of the widely respected National Development Plan, while failing to keep President Zuma's shenanigans out of the headlines.

Zambia will win the Africa Cup of Nations.

Somalia - a big year of consolidation for the country as it starts to win over the sceptics/realists and moves towards building a credible government and restoring security after decades of chaos. But growing internal confidence will shift the focus towards Somalia's increasingly strained relations with its meddling neighbours - Kenya and Ethiopia. Piracy will hardly be mentioned.

Kenya - Raila Odinga, always the bridesmaid, never the bride, will finally squeak through to win March's election. The national poll will be peaceful and free - at least in comparison with 2007's - but the growing devolution of power across the country will trigger, or exacerbate, more localised conflicts, particularly in the east.

Mali - The much-touted military offensive to reclaim the north will not materialise, although there will be some skirmishes. Progress on the negotiating front, combined with repeated political crises in the south, will ensure more muddles and delays.

Zimbabwe - I hope I'm wrong, but I still can't quite imagine a peaceful, free election taking place this year. The constitutional process will collapse. SADC will intervene forcefully, but the South Africans remain lukewarm about the MDC and so, in the interests of stability, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will settle for an extension of a version of their current power-sharing arrangement, at least until 2014.

Uganda - Leader of the LRA rebels Joseph Kony will be betrayed for money and killed by one of his deputies. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be shelved once again.

Eritrea - Africa's invisible country will, for better or worse, be back in the headlines.

Ok, that'll do for now. What are your predictions?

 
Andrew Harding Article written by Andrew Harding Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 28.

    Andrew, I am much less optimistic about Ramaphosa in South Africa than you are. The ANC just gets more disappointing year after year. Just about the only thing that can be safely predicted in SA politics is an increase in the annual matric pass rate and that's a joke in itself - http://www.wonkie.com/2013/01/08/education-department/ - I only hope that Cyril puts the emphasis back on education.

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    Comment number 27.

    I agree with Dzvinyangoma. This is so biased. I sometimes wish people would stop reading some of the biased news- and would not get discouraged in visiting some of these beautiful countries like Zimbabwe... You would be shocked to see tthe difference of what is actually happening there and what is being reported.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    Safe bets: Presidents Biya, Ngessou, Obiang continue untroubled by too much international scrutiny of their bank accounts & loose interpretation of democracy. Guinea Bissau: another coup or ructions related to the cocaine trade. The Gambia: again wins the 'Favourite Old-Style West African Regime Funded by Tourism' prize. CAN 2013: Ghana - bumpy ride in the qualifiers but provide a late surprise.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 25.

    The Mali issue really did come out of nowhere and I'd suggest that maybe CAR will be this year's Mali. Maybe the situation will be resolved fairly quickly like Ghana's instability a while ago. Kabila will continue to rule DRC perhaps clinging on through support from the West backing him against the rebels since it's come out that they really are backed by Rwanda.

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    Comment number 24.

    Not sure about the Kony prediction, on paper that sounds too good to be true (though if one of his men sold him out then to me it's a testament to just how corrupt and unpredictable even the terrorists are in Africa). I'd like to believe that Somalia would have a peaceful year and though trends may suggest it's going that way, it's been too long since the country saw stability.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    I think there will be much follow-on effect for women's rights in Africa after the high profile rape case in India - http://b24.in/20130170/womens-rights-in-india/ - raises awareness of the issue in developing nations.

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    Comment number 22.

    The Supreme Court of Ghana would order for a re-run of Ghana's Presidential Elections. The elections would be closely contested and would be a real test of Ghana's democratic credentials.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    @ BluesBerry (19)

    There have been charismatic leaders in the past (Sankara, Lumumba, Sobukwe) and present (Malema, Ble Goude) The media mislabeled these people while the powerful groups made them disappear. Until every African is politically conscious, stop entertaining pandering to subversive powers, things will remain the same.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    Why the doom prediction for Zimbabwe and peace for Kenya when violence has already started in Kenya and there is none in Zimbabwe? Your prediction as a British journalist could not have been anymore predictable on Zimbabwe.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    African against African has been the history of Africa for centuries under colonialism, exploitation, greed & corruption.
    I predict a United States of Africa will come soon. Africans will be African citizens; all it takes is one charismatic, brave African with a dream (who can escape western assassination). Africa will become a Federation; no foreign entity will enter without African consent.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    South Africa a relatively good year phah why are they planning on stopping the genocide that there current racist corrupt goverment are undertaking with the help of the liberal media around the world ??

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    Comment number 17.

    What about DRC, and President Kabila's grip on power?

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    Comment number 16.

    These doomsday predictions are not meaningful when we are fully aware of symptoms that have persisted in many African states. I would be a little more concerned with an honest, holistic investigation into why certain symptoms persist?

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    Comment number 15.

    More oil and gas discoveries in East Africa.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    @13
    As a fellow Nigerian it's sad to hear things like this, however correct or incorrect. But surely this does not excuse the corruption and mismanagement that has led to these groups proliferating. When the English, Welsh and Scots are prospering why cant we?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    I sadly predict that Boko Haram- the terrorists group in Northern Nigeria will continue to wreak havoc and threaten Nigeria's unit as a nation. Unless, there is a national referendum to peacefully divide Nigeria into 3-separate countries - North, East and West, as nature had already done with rivers Niger and Benue. This forced-marriage, especially with the North, is obviously not working.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    I'd guess it will be excactly more of the same across the continent as last year, and the year before that and the year before that and..........

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    Greed and Corruption is a fairly safe prediction.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    My SA prediction: increasing civil unrest as Jacob Zuma concentrates even more on ANC internal politics, and even less on running the country. Cyril Ramaphosa is also a political animal: the deal he did with Mbeki (lots of money from BEE, if he left politics for a while) proves that. So he too is unlikely to do much for governance.
    Constructive change will not come before the next election.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 9.

    Funny how you completely overlooked perhaps the biggest game-player in Africa at the present time: China.

 

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