Normally it would be fitting, acceptable and laudable to herald plans by the United States(US) and other developed nations to extend access to electricity and drinking water to millions of new households in Africa and the development of the continent's transportation and infrastructural works in deals with China, as major accomplishments that would augur well for Africa in 2016 and well beyond.
However, any plans for Africa could be wasted as development goods unless Africa fixes its generational problems of ignorance that have brought to wrought war and conflict by brother upon brother, by tribe upon tribe, by sect upon sect and by religion upon religion.
Historical social divisions within Africa that predate its colonial past and extend into this century stand as the biggest impediments to African development. These divisions, though not limited solely to Africa, have enabled dictatorships, despots, bad foreign influences and bad governments to keep Africa as the red-kettle recipient of the world, thus supporting the dowsing and the stunting of most hopes, aspirations and reaches of the average African people.
African despots stand in the way of any beneficial change coming to Africa. These despots continue to rule by abusing the ignorance of many and by suppressing the will of many others. From a ninety-year-old leader, to other leaders who have duped constitutional changes to extend their leadership domination over the people, and to a government that has scorned the significance of Nelson Mandela by patronizing communist China to deny a visa to the Dalai Lama, Africa's story of troubles and under development, is a lamentation of self-inflicted failure.
As I wrote last year and the year before, Africa will enter, and will exit 2016, just as it has done in any other recent year, with very much the same challenges and impediments. But 2016 could see more troubles for Africa as extremism, exacerbated by the absence of good governance, could spread wider across the continent.
Egypt: The spread of extremism from the Sinai to Cairo since the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the ousting of the Morsi government, represents the greatest danger to Egypt in 2016. Actions by the Sisi government, to among other things, join a Saudi coalition to fight terror, might not prove to be enough to insulate Egypt from insecurity in 2016. However, should Egyptians be able to maintain and to sustain a healthy tourist industry, Egypt could weather 2016 positively.
Libya: In lieu of an all-parties agreed upon United Nations(UN) peace plan, the single nation of Libya could be split between two or three parallel governments.
Tunisia: This working credible model of post-dictatorship democracy will continue to be tested by extremism and agitators.
Somalia: Governance building in Somalia will become even harder as the country comes under greater stress from extremism and as a launching ground to export violence to Kenya and Tanzania.
Burundi: This small country is exhibiting signs of falling into a civil war. The violence of the last month is showing no signs of abating anytime soon.
Rwanda: That some 98 percent of voters in this nation of ethnic wars and humanity crimes would support a constitutional change to allow President Paul Kagame, who has rule since 2000, to run for more terms, clearly underscores the essence of the African story of struggles.
Uganda: Constitutional changes have allowed President Yoweri Museveni to re-run for office in 2006, 2011 and again in 2016, again underscoring greater failings in the governance of Africa.
Congo: A weak constitution has allowed President Joseph Kabila to rule for 15 years and he will seek to extent this reign, again disclosing sources of African struggles. An increase in rebel activities could be expected in 2016.
Nigeria: Hope is strong that with a new government in Nigeria that corruption could be reigned-in and that the government would mount credible fights against the extremist group, Boko Haram, which has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
Central African Republic: Whether or not a new election on December 27, 2015, will hold a solution to the sect and religious violence in the Central African Republic is anybody's guess.
While all wishes hope for great growth, stability and peace in Africa, in 2016, the negatives against progress remain too numerous. Given the many affairs, the question as to the recurrence of the Ebola virus in western African, raises yet another potential impediment to stability for the continent.