|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 ?!