Your African Year

A few days ago I was compiling an 800wd review of 2008 in Africa for one of my papers. I asked for help in finding a good news story to include and was inundated by readers’ ideas for things I should include. I simply didn’t have room for more than one, so I thought we might have a crack at putting together an alternative “good news” review of 2008.
I’ll start you off with an intro, but after that feel free to leave a brief paragraph or two about anything that has happened in Africa this year that you feel is important and carries some sort of wider significance for the development of the continent. I’ll update the main story with each of the latest comments, and it would make my job a maybe lot easier if you could try to follow on from whatever the last one was.

In some ways 2008 brought business as usual in Africa. Somalia sank further into chaos. Darfur’s messy conflict rumbled on. And the biggest news stories of the past 12 months involved elections that were flawed at best – rigged at worst.
But in other ways, away from the glare of the mainstream media, the year brought fresh achievements in commerce, politics and technology.

Over to you…
In Ethiopia, for example, an anti-government pop singer who could have faced 15 years in prison on trumped up charges of causing death by dangerous driving was only jailed for six years. (Andrew)