Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
Nigeria marks its first 10 years of unbroken civilian rule on Friday after emerging from nearly three decades of uninterrupted military dictatorship on May 29, 1999.
The political elite in Africa’s top oil producer are rolling out the drums to celebrate the milestone. And why not?
Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military ruler who won elections in 1999, ended Nigeria’s pariah status and brought Africa’s most populous nation back into the international fold, helping secure an $18 billion debt write-off in 2005.
Power was then transferred to President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007 – the first successful transition from one civilian leader to another since independence from Britain in 1964 – although the election was condemned by observers for widespread rigging.
Tsvangirai vowed to rescue the stricken economy and called on the international community to help salvage the economy of Zimbabwe where unemployment is above 90 percent, prices double every day and half the 12 million population need food aid.
Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua took office a year ago promising to pursue free-market reforms launched by his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo, vowing zero tolerance for corruption and listing seven national priorities including improving power supply and reducing food insecurity.
A year on, his critics say economic reforms are grinding to a halt, his anti-corruption efforts are just window-dressing and his cabinet is largely a collection of ineffective bureaucrats who are but a shadow of an all-star cast in the former administration.