This is a great piece by the BBC’s Mark Doyle. Two things really stuck out for me. Firstly, what should we expect? Politics in Africa as a whole is a sorry tale but as Doyle observes, "Fifty years ago, almost the entire continent was ruled by foreign colonial powers. Even just 20 years ago, most African countries were run by dictators or military juntas." It’s a sorry state but I suspect there is a long way to go. Fifty years starting from scratch would be bad enough; fifty years trying to unwind the artificial boundaries created by colonialism? I fear they have only just started.
On a brighter note, Doyle alludes to the role of technology as an enabler. Mobile phones and, with time, the internet are allowing hitherto unheard of exchange of news and information. As a consequence, it is harder to political "baddies" to throw their weight around, harder for isolated incidents to be covered up. Technology is already making its mark on developing economies and upon the drive for democracy.