Saturday, April 07, 2012

Africa Rising: Mrs. Joyce Banda sworn in as President of Malawi

Mrs Joyce Banda
Source: BBC Online
Although largely by default, history has been made today on the African continent. Following the very sudden death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika of Malawi, vice-president Mrs. Joyce Banda was sworn in as President. She is the first female president of Malawi and the 2nd female President of an African country. 

I must admit that I do not know much about Mrs. Banda. I know nothing about her policies nor do I have a complete understanding of the issues surrounding her acrimonious relationship with the now-deceased former president. However, I do feel a wave of hope and optimism for the African continent that comes purely from a deviation from the norm. I think I have to explain.

African politics is a very male-dominated arena and not only that but it is dominated by males of a certain age and generation. Although their wisdom and experience have added a level of stability to the African continent, some of these learned men have clung to power for far to long leading to stagnation.There is always a need for change. Such a change came in Senegal recently when a relatively young 50 year old Mack Sall was sworn in as President after octogenarian Abdoulaye Wade gracefully conceded defeat in a run-off election. This was after the same President Wade not-so gracefully changed the constitution to allow himself to run for an unprecedented third term in office. 

So winds of change are blowing through the African continent. A Malawian from high school could not have expressed it better on facebook when she said that this Easter has a special meaning as it marks a renewal of hope and rebirth. This can be seen as hope and rebirth not just for Malawi but for the entire continent. 

Next up, can we please have Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala heading the World Bank already ?!


Lady Jaye said...

Hmm. I saw a TEDx video of Mrs. Iweala. NOT impressed with her opinions AT ALL. But I don't know anything of her policies, so....

The old guard is dying out, and I don't think the remaining ones realize that they can't take it with them #Mugabe.

Abena Serwaa said...

@Lady Jaye, thanks for the stopping by. I will have to check out this TEDx video. I know alot of criticism has been levelled at her especially with the fuel-subsidy cuts in Nigeria. She's an economic hardliner but I think she is a great role-model and inspiration for African women in general.

Sankofa said...

May the winds of change blow ever stronger on the African continent. I feel optimistic about many of the things happening and I feel as though Africans are no longer willing to be so passive when it comes to their governance.

I, too, know nothing about President Banda but I'm wishing her all the best.

Abena Serwaa said...

@Sankofa Glad to hear you share my optimism about good things happening to the African continent. The winds of change are blowing and Africa is indeed rising!

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Rudraksha said...

Great post!! very informative.
Thank you very much for such a lovely and informative post.