• African Cup of Nations (January 14-February 5 2017)

    Gabon will play host to 15 national soccer teams in the premier African soccer showcase in mid-January. The first match is set to be played on the 14th of January, pitting the hosts against Guinea-Bissau at the Stade d’Angondje. Tournament winners will make their way to Russia for the FIFA Confederations Cup and have the footballing bragging rights for two years. The match schedule can be found on the Supersport website which will also broadcast all matches live on its Television channel.

    eCommerce MoneyAfrica Confex (February 22-February 2017)

    With mobile money’s relevance ever increasing in Africa and eCommerce showing great potential, players are set to meet in Cape Town for the third MoneyAfrica Confex. According to the event site, “The eCommerce Africa conference sessions will examine various aspects of development in the industry.” The 2017 conference will have new features which will focus on innovations in African FinTech products. East African mobile money transfers alone stand at over $45 billion and Nigeria’s remittances are fast approaching $10 billion. This is a big industry on the rise and the Confex is an event not to be missed.

    The African Union Commission Chairperson Election (January 2017)

    After failing to elect a new Chairperson last year, the AUC will be hoping to elect a new leader to succeed Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma at the helm of the continental body. This will be done during the session of the Summit of the African Union in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. 5 candidates are hoping to ascend to the chairmanship and steer the AUC forward as changes in the AU are implemented. Pelomoni Venson Moitoi of Botswana, Agipito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea, Adoulaye Bathily of Senegal, Moussa Faki Mahomat of Chad and Amina Mohamed of Kenya are the hopefuls and they all have a wealth of experience to give Africa. Whoever is chosen will be equipped to take the AUC forward. The AUC is expected to have structural reforms and redefinition of roles which process is being led by Rwanda’s President Kagame.

    Election Year, The Greats might fall

    President Paul Kagame’s term expires this year but he is constitutionally able to stand for election on the 4th of August. The “public” supported an amendment of the constitution of Rwanda that did away with term limits thus making the man eligible for more terms. In Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta will also face a litmus test against Raila Odinga who will be hoping the masses will be on his side this time. The Kenyan election will be on the 8th of August. After the controversial Yahya Jammeh boot out in The Gambia, no one is safe anymore. Will the greats fall again this year? This will be a political year to behold. Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos says he will not seek reelection in August and this means the country will have a new leader in almost four decades. Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will also leave office when her 10 years as leader expire. It remains to be seen who will be elected by the Liberian public on the 10th of October. The Democratic Republic of Congo might also see another leader by year-end as the country will have elections on a yet to be announced date. Joseph Kabila, the incumbent, will not run in that election whenever it happens.

    Presidential Inaugurations and sore losers

    Adama Barrow should be inaugurated this year but not if Yahya Jammeh has his way in The Gambia. Jammeh embarrassed himself in 2016 by attempting to block Barrow, the President-elect’s ascension to power. ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc has since deployed troops in the country and Jammeh started the year by calling out the bloc’s move as a “declaration of war”. It seems he will continue on his destructive path this year and has even gone on to warn that “the impasse will continue with the risk of escalation into a military confrontation”. He should learn from Ghana where Nana Akufo Addo, the President-elect will be sworn into office on the 7th of January. Interesting times indeed!

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