Talk Africa: Africa in 2017

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In the wake of 2016, many Africans had high hopes for what 2017 would hold. While news on the continent has been varied, it has definitely been an eventful year marked by electoral drama in Kenya and Liberia as well as peaceful yet unprecedented transitions of power in Angola and Zimbabwe.

On the global front, China-Africa relations cascaded in 2017 with the launch of numerous infrastructure projects and the reinforcement of multiple economic and political ties. On the other hand, U.S.-Africa relations have been lacklustre since the change of administration in Washington, arguably being at their lowest in recent history.

Climate change and adverse weather phenomenon hit the continent hard in the form of drought, landslides and flooding – even as global efforts to tackle climate change took a hit with the withdrawal of the U.S. from its commitments to the Paris Accord.

With security challenges faced at the hands of terrorists and gains made through the continent’s security measures, it is expected that these gains can be built on into 2018.

On the economic front, Africa’s markets re-surged following the recovery of commodity prices; however 2017 also witnessed a marked rise in jobless growth, a phenomenon that in part manifested itself through increased migration by many African youth to Europe and the ensuing slave trade in Libya that made global headlines. This is pit against positive growth trajectories released across the continent.