So it’s that time of year when one of my clients puts together its review of the year. As usual I’m tasked with writing 800wd on the African year. As usual it’s something of a gloomfest. Here’s how it looks so far
- Zimbabwe – the old crocodile is still clinging firmly to power, while his country dies. Cholera sweeping the country despite earlier, apparently meaningless, power-share deal
- Kenya – while the rest of the African headlines were sadly predictable, no-one expected East Africa’s haven of stability and an engine of growth, to erupt into violence following rigged election
- Darfur – President Bashir looking at International Criminal Court indictment
- Democratic Republic of Congo – a four-year rebellion by a renegade army general flares up once more. A quarter of a million people forced to flee their homes as UN peacekeepers look on helpless to intervene
- Somalia – lawless land sinks even further into anarchy, as Ethiopian and government troops accused of war crimes, and pirates rule the waves
At the moment my plan is to end on the one bright spot I can find: The pirates have proved that Somalis can sometimes work together to achieve their objectives. Is this a model for a new type of government?
However, I realise that this might be misinterpreted as satire. So I throw it open to my readers…any other ideas of positive, optimistic stories that I can weave into my review of the African year? (I will take Barack Obama’s election if there are no alternatives – but I can’t help feeling that in a way that is not really an African story.)