Africa, oh Africa - to weep for you, or not to weep for you; to rally for you, or to denounce your affairs; to love you, or to despise the chastity of a history that you have surrendered of millions - dooming many of generations to slavery and eventual racial categorizations of below par; these are my paradoxical feelings of thee, oh Africa. But my opinion of you, oh Africa, will not effect you in 2015 as it neither did in 2014, 2013, 1966, 1948, 1937, 1914, 1865, 1833, 1807, 1801, 1640, nor 1627.
Africa's 2015 will be the same as that of all the other continents, but what will shape Africa is how much of the variables of its own destiny it allows to impact the continent of nations matched against its history, its resources - natural and human, its utility and its will.
Thus far, Africa has done horribly in finding the right balance to social, economic and political stability, well-being and independence. Poor systems of governance and sectarianism have resulted in thousands of deaths in conflicts from Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya among others. Poor infrastructures have resulted in thousands of deaths in an Ebola Virus epidemic that has ravished Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and effected Nigeria Senegal and the Congo.World Health Organization(WHO) numbers deaths so far at 7,373 from some 19,031 cases.
Economically, natural-resource rich African nations have been relegated to the role of salesmen rather than real producers of their resources. To satisfy the short-run cash coffers of a few, actual production of Africa's natural resources have been transferred to others nations including China. With the lost of production control, Africa has settled for a finite sum on returns from its natural resources as against a more infinite number had production control been retained.
Tribalism, sectarianism and extremism will be the basis of many conflicts in Africa. Conflicts to change governments and dictatorships could emerge in Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso , Democratic Republic of Congo among others.
Energy production could put Angola ahead of Nigeria, but Africa's share from these resources would continue to go unrealized by the people until there is a clear accounting of some 150,000 barrels of oil that goes missing every day in the Niger Delta region.
The Ebola Virus epidemic could subside by late Spring 2015, but the virus will leave these nations the disease ravished, weaker than before. Economic issues will haunt Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
African hiccups from Chinese investments in Sudan, to South Africa to Mozambique will be debated. On the other hand, a United States(US) plan to power Africa will be applauded since energy is or ought to be the cornerstone critical to the economic challenges facing Africa.
Following is a list of a few nations in Africa I deem worthy of attention in 2015:
If Kenya can get its act together, it could emerge as a Continent leader, but President Uhuru Kenyatta, has just thrown doubts on this realization by attaining increased security powers to deal with insurgencies by al-Qaeda backed Somali al-Shabab. The new powers gained by President Kenyatta to detain suspects for up to 360 days, to ban publicizing or broadcasting of material deemed insulting or threatening and police approval of media investigations of terror events, have been criticized by the Opposition and civil groups. In December 2013, al-Shabab led a deadly assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall and in the past couple of months, the group has returned to lead more deadly assaults in Kenya.
Boko Haram, corruption and sectarian violence will continue as major sores to Nigeria. Kidnappings of girls and of women remain un-resolved and there are no indications that these trends will end in 2015.
A threat of famine will become profound in Somalia in 2015 that if left unchecked could rival the 260,000 deaths from an earlier famine in 2011.
Sudan and South Sudan:
These two countries, split on July 9, 2011, continue to battle sectarian and tribal issues and these affairs will carry on into 2015. China's heavy oil-investment in Sudan could bring other complications to the state of affairs in that country.
Central African Republic:
While news of the fighting between the Seleka rebel coalition and the regime has not been reaching front pages recently, the sectarian violence that has displaced some 300,000 and killed over 5,000 in the past year, still rages.
When one of South Africa's staunchest patriots, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remarks: "I'm ashamed to call this lickspittle bunch my government," he underscored the status of the South African government leadership, post Nelson Mandela. Archbishop Tutu chastised his government for denying a visa entry to the Dalai Lama for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and for his 80th birthday celebration. The Cape Town summit was cancelled in South African and moved to Rome. The South African government has denied denying the Dalai Lama entry because of pressure from investor China. Yet, on denying entry to the Dalai Lama, South Africa enters 2015 ripe for conflict.
Zimbabwe's 2015 could be summed on the premise that Robert Mugabe has ruled the poor nation since 1980. He will turn 91 in February 2015. His wife, Grace, is 49, and she was just installed to lead the women's group within the ruling party, since the President has fired his deputy and eight ministers, while promoting an old supporter to vice-president. Mugabe has accused members of parliament of plotting to kill him. In 2015, Zimbabwe moves into the column of nations with strong possibility of conflict.
To pay or not to pay the army could bring instability to the Ivory Coast. Protected by an army of rebels and government soldiers, Ivory Coast, recent saw its army create chaos in the country as it protested for some $75 million in back pay. President Alassane Ouattara has promised to pay ahead of elections in 2015, but will it be sufficient and timely enough to maintain stability?
Democratic Republic of Congo:
The Democratic Republic of Congo has perhaps the best insight into how vulnerable the African Continent is to tribal and sectarian conflict at any time. Ethnic conflict in the mineral rich southeast region of the country will continue into 2015 and the country should be monitored so that another five million people do not die as has been the case since its civil war 1998-2003. Africa's vulnerability to conflict is exemplified in the following story:
There was a Bantu(Luba) man who was caught in bed with a married Pygmy(Twa)woman. A group of Pygmy men beat the Bantu man to death. Revenge by the Bantu brought Pygmy deaths and reprisals by the Pygmy brought more deaths. And therein is the truth of a present African conflict - squabbles that Africa need to hedge against in 2015.