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AFRICA MACRO Some of the longest lasting conflicts have now ended. There are U.N. peace keeping forces in Abyei, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Liberia and the Western Sahara to monitor the peace. Sierra Leone and Liberia are rebuilding after brutal civil wars and now hold free and fair elections. Long time dictators such as Mummar al Qaddafi (killed by rebel forces after being captured near his home town of Sirte on October 20, 2011), who ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years, Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia for 23 years, have been deposed in the “Arab Spring”. Despite the persistence of several notorious dictators such as Robert Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe for 31 years and in the process decimated an economy that had great potential, Teodor Obiang Nguema Mbas of Equatorial Guinea who has amassed a fortune and kept an iron grip on power and Meles Zenawi who has been in power in Ethiopia for twenty years, the trend in Africa is towards greater freedom, respect for human rights and free and fair elections. It is no longer rare for there to be a peaceful transition of power rather than rigged elections, one general replacing another or perpetual dictatorships.

ANALYSIS AND STRATEGY

witnessed any leader or ruling party being peacefully voted out of office, with the notable exception of Mauritius in 1982… Since 1991, however, no less than 30 ruling parties or leaders have been ousted by voters…The one party state is no longer the African norm (our emphasis).” Freedom House, which analyzes political trends throughout the world, rates Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe and South Africa as being “Free.” Between its 1999/2000 survey and its 2011 survey (covering political events in 2010), Burundi, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Niger and Togo saw their ratings change from “Not Free” to “Partly Free” while Ghana moved up to “Free” from “Partly Free.” In its 2011 review of press freedom (covering developments in 2010), Freedom House characterized the press in Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe and South Africa as “Free”.

In March 2011, Benin held Presidential elections that were judged to be free and fair. Nigeria, which is notorious for its “flawed” elections held a Presidential vote in April that according to international observers was “clean.” Following the vote, Festus Mogae, the former president of Botswana and the head of the Commonwealth Observer Group, called the balloting “a sea change, not only for Nigeria but for the rest of the continent… In recent decades, Nigeria had come to be known for elections that were ‘influenced’ by numerous political interest groups. People outside of Nigeria and the Nigerians themselves had come to believe that elections could not reflect the will of the people. But the past two election cycles there have showed that the call for truly open and democratic elections was heeded. Clearly, one of the most important economies in Africa is reforming itself and putting its house in order.” In September, Zambia had a peaceful transition of power when President Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, which led the country for twenty years, stepped down after being defeated by Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front. On October 11, Liberia held the first round of its second Presidential election following the end of a brutal civil war. The balloting went ahead peacefully and there were no allegations of fraud. According to an October 1, 2011 article in the Economist, “From around 1960, when African colonies first became independent, until 1991, not one of Africa’s 53 countries Joab’s Technologies and Research, Natu Court Flat B.

Although there are some countries, such as Ethiopia, Eritrea and Zimbabwe that restrict, monitor and block what are considered to be objectionable web sites, use of the internet is generally unrestricted in much of Africa. Internet use however is limited by the inability of most of the population to afford a personal computer, the low electrification rate, a poor telecommunications infrastructure, low literacy rates and high connection charges. There are, however, smart phones that cost less than $100 and are selling strongly in Africa. They Page 13 of 104

Equity Research in Africa, Like an Electric Train Africa is picking up, a True Emerging Market  

Economic analysis of Africa as a whole, as well as of particular countries and sectors, with special regard to their potential as investment...

Equity Research in Africa, Like an Electric Train Africa is picking up, a True Emerging Market  

Economic analysis of Africa as a whole, as well as of particular countries and sectors, with special regard to their potential as investment...

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