As the year rounds up, Africanews’ digital team looks back at the major news items from across the continent. Our 2018 Review page looks at the different information blocs on our website – news, sports, business, sci-tech and culture.
In other perspectives, our team will look at news trends over the course of the year. Trends shall include: women of the year, peace deals of the year, Africa’s relations with the world, review of the various presidential elections etc.
With respect to the country by country review of major news, at least three items will be reviewed whiles taking stock of how the different countries handled issues back home, with neighbours and the world at large.
A special tab on the Africanews homepage ‘2018 Review’ is LIVE with a pool of articles and photo stories looking back at the year. We are using an alphabetical arrangement in respect of country reviews. This part concentrates on Ivory Coast through to Mozambique.
IVORY COAST – Ruling coalition slits, Drogba retires
Ivory Coast ruling coalition that has President Allasane Ouattara and former president Henri Konan Bedie leading twin factions split after irreconcilable differences between them.
Ouattara’s party has since entered a new coalition arrangement with a number of parties.
It came at a time the president had stated that he was ready to leave at the end of his mandate in 2020. It also shapes up the political landscape going into the polls.
Former First Lady Mrs. Gbagbo was also released from prison on a presidential pardon during independence day celebrations. The opposition meanwhile continue to restrategize to win back power.
The country’s biggest football star in the last decade Didier Drogba also hanged his boots after an illustrious career with the national side and clubs across Europe, Asia and North America.
KENYA – Odinga swearing in, peace with Kenyatta, Kipchoge record
Opposition leader Raila Odinga went ahead with a banned alternative swearing in after boycotting a poll rerun ordered by the Supreme Court in 2017.
The offshoot of the event had famed lawyer Miguna Miguna twice deported by authorities claiming he held a Canadian passport. A court has recently ruled in his favour that he was a citizen by birth.
Odinga meanwhile entered a peace agreement with President Kenyatta, as part of plans by both leaders to heal the country after a fractious election heavy on tribal leanings.
Corruption was another high point in the year. A deputy chief justice was put before court, head of a youth development agency and scores others were arraigned over looting. Prosecutor Nur Din Hajji also appointed a Norwegian to help prosecute high profile cases.
Then there was the occasional Al-Shabaab attacks and heavy rains leading to floods, landslides that claimed lives after a dam overflowed its banks.
LESOTHO – MPs 100% pay hike demand, diamond find
Lawmakers in Lesotho officially tabled a motion demanding a 100% hike in their salaries, PM Thomas Thabane confirmed recently.
Despite being a country where incomes are low, the MPs insisted that a raise was the only way they could combine living and executing constituency projects. The proposal is being considered.
A diamond reputed to be the world’s fifth largest was also discovered in mines located in the country.
LIBERIA – Weah takes office, missing bank notes, free varsity education
After a decade in charge, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stepped down ushering George Weah in as the new president of post-conflict Liberia. Weah beat Sirleaf’s VP Joseph Boakai in a poll runoff.
Months on Sirleaf won the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize for good governance. But then had to defend her son after he was mentioned in the case of missing banknotes from the Central Bank, having previously worked there.
The latest on the notes was a central bank statement that denied any such monies had been missing even though at a point government solicited US assistance on the matter.
President Weah also announced free university education for undergraduates in all public tertiary institutions, a move that was welcomed largely because high fees had led to protests weeks earlier.
LIBYA – Gaddafi Jnr bids for presidency, insecurity rages, polls postponed
Freed son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam confirmed that he will stand as a candidate when presidential elections are next held in the country. He also waded into the arrest of former French president Sarkozy held over Gaddafi campaign funds.
The Libyan issue travelled to France and Italy in search of an electoral solution. Whiles a meeting in Paris agreed on December polls, it was deemed impossible at a conference in Italy – where a 2019 date for a referendum was set.
The case of insecurity continues with attacks on state institutions especially. The elections headquarters and state oil facilities all suffered armed attacks.
MADAGASCAR – Epidemic outbreak, heated presidential polls
The presidential elections of November have dominated the news but before that was an plague epidemic outbreak that claimed lots of lives.
The WHO had to immediately intervene in the crisis that threatened to get out of hands. It was the timely arrest of the situation that allowed the polls to even hold.
After a crowded field of candidates went into the vote, the incumbent along with dozens fell out with two former presidents securing enough votes to contest in a December 19 runoff.
MALAWI – anti-corruption protest, Banda returns, Mutharika-VP clash
Malawi started bracing up for presidential polls in 2019. The climate started heating up between the president Peter Mutharika and his vice. The two have since gone separate ways.
The two are likely to face each other at the polls. Another sure candidate is former president Joyce Banda who returned after self imposed exile and has gotten her party’s nomination as flag bearer.
Whiles ex-VP Chilima is campaigning to root out corruption, the Mutharika government has been hit by anti-corruption protests across the country.
MALI – Insecurity continues, IBK wins reelection, G5 Sahel duties
In Mali, incumbent President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita, IBK, secured a second term in office winning a runoff vote against main opponent Soumaila Cisse.
Keita has continued to promise security in the vast country where insurgents continue to carry out attacks on the population and law enforcement officials.
With Mali being the most hit by insurgents in the Sahel region, IBK joined his colleagues in the G5 Sahel bloc for deliberations on how to degrade the terrorists.
MAURITANIA – historic AFCON qualification, G5 Sahel
Like Mali, Mauritania was also key in anti-terrorism meetings of the G5 Sahel bloc over the year. President Ould Abdul Aziz was key in voicing the need for the body to be positioned well to ensure security.
Mauritania along with Madagascar were two sides that qualified to the African Cup of Nations, for the first time in their history.
The two will join the tournament set for mid 2019. CAF has yet to pick hosts after taking rights off ill prepared Cameroon.
MAURITIUS – President forced out, Top of Mo Ibrahim Index
President Ameenah Ghuraib, at the time Africa’s sole woman president was forced to resign amid a finance related probe. She had fought to keep her position but gave up later.
That did not take the shine off the country which was adjudged the best governed according to the annual Mo Ibrahim index for 2018.
MOROCCO – Africa’s fastest train launched, CHAN champions, regional protests
Africa’s fastest train was launched in Morocco by the King and visiting French president Emmanuel Macron. The country also hosted and won the local AFCON, the Championship of African Nations, CHAN. They beat Nigeria in the final to emerge champions. Despite being tipped for AFCON 2019, government dismissed the possibility recently.
Protests continued in parts of the country’s north. People who took to the streets were protesting the cost of living. MOZAMBIQUE – Veteran opposition leader dies, Al-Shabaab attacks surge
Afonso Dhlakama, the country’s main opposition leader died this year. There was a joint moment of grief as government and the nation mourned the former rebel leader. He was given a state burial and had since been buried. The party he led, RENAMO has since announced a replacement.
The country’s security issues took a new dimension as attacks believed to be by persons with links to Somali insurgent group, Al-Shabaab spiked especially in the north. Then there was the pay roll fraud of 30,000 workers.