|Fireworks illuminate the night sky in The Hague not in December but in August 2011|
2012 started with such momentum that I forgot to even acknowledge that we entered a new year. This year literally started with a bang all over West Africa. First there were the sad and unfortunate Christmas bombings in Nigeria even before the new year had started. Also in Nigeria the astronomical increase in fuel prices led to civil protests that surprisingly got the government to concede and reduce the price of fuel. The implications for the ability of people power to bring about change are tantalizing. Sadly, still in Nigeria, mid January then saw more violence with coordinated bomb blasts in Kano killing more people.
Further west, in Senegal, a court has just ruled that octogenarian president Abdoulaye Wade can seek a 3rd term in office. This has led to violent protests and unrest in the country. It appears the writing is clearly on the wall but whether President Wade chooses to read it is another matter.
Meanwhile in Ghana, the first month of the year has been marked with quite a lot of activity. There have been major ministerial changes; one fired, one resigning, a number shuffled in, a number shuffled out and quite a few shuffled around. In the background has been the incessant humming noise of the (so-called) 'Woyome Saga' that just does not seem to go away. 2012 will be a momentous year for Ghana since at the end of the year, Ghanaians will decide who will govern the country for the next 4 years. Well, here's to 2012. May it be a peaceful and productive year that lives up to everyone's expectations.