Image Source: Warwick Univeristy Politics and international studies https://goo.gl/Y9Q7wj

Africa’s Innovation Story — The future of African politics

The revolutionary road

What will the future be like?

Events

If we look at Zimbabwe some of the most important events are democratic elections which determine who will rule and govern the country for 5 years. The most recent election in the future will be the 2018 harmonized elections. Subsequently this will be followed by the 2023 and 2028 harmonized elections.

2018 Elections

In 2018 it is less likely that elections will buckle from the previous trend of low voter turnout unless something extraordinary takes place within Zimbabwe to sway the apathy of the electorate. The possibility of this is marginal. There are 3 potential scenarios in 2018 namely, the emergence of a strong opposition to the incumbent, business as usual for the incumbent and the beginning of internal renewal of the incumbent. It will be interesting to see which of these 3 scenarios will play out but the most likely is business as usual followed by internal renewal and lastly the emergence of a strong opposition. Importantly, the discussion is always been centred on whether elections free and fair. Whatever the conclusions about whether elections will be free and fair it is likely that ZANU PF will have a majority in parliament and the senate and control over the presidium.

2023 Elections

The 2023 election will be one of the first ones we will witness the effects of time and nature on revolutionary parties as first hand war liberator voices will diminish and the party will rely on a second hand revolutionary narrative to spur voters on. This is an important landmark event for revolutionary party much like what revolutionary parties in countries like Namibia, Kenya or Zambia experienced.

2028 Elections

By 2028 it is most likely that the revolutionary narrative will be driven by second or third hand accounts hence compounding the need for another revolutionary agenda which will be economically focused so as to appeal to the masses. Maisiri suggests that devolution of power is a possibility. 2028 represents a point of no return in that the lines between the elite and the ordinary will be blurred by technology in politics.

What are the emerging patterns?

Trends

Over the next 15 to 20 years one emergent trend will be the emergence of the youth vote. Throughout Africa projections are clear that the largest portion of the population will continually be under the age of 30. This one factor will contribute significantly to the urbanization of Africa. According to Nic Cheesman in the next 20 years the urban population of Africa will increase from 700 million to 1.26 billion. Furthermore, this will not necessarily be concentrated in the continent’s capital cities like Harare. Rather, Cheesman cites the United Nations’ prediction that 75% of urban population growth will take place in the smaller intermediate cities and towns such as Kadoma, Gweru and Kwekwe in Zimbabwe. According to Cheesman this will reduce the distance between urban centres. Already, evidence exists in Zimbabwe of the urbanization of peri-urban and rural areas around cities . According to Cheesman the distance between cities in West Africa with a population greater than 10,000 fell from 111km in 1950 to 33km in 2000. This is likely going to impact on the reliance of parties on the rural vote for victory.

What may change?

Discontinuities

What steps we can take to move forward

Milestones

One of the concepts of the future proposed by Sohail Inayatullahis social change that is the contributory effect of the individual or the whole to the future. It is most likely that entrepreneurial endeavours can and will significantly transform the political landscape in Africa deliberately or through serendipity in a bid to appeal to the social appetites of the younger generation.

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Musi Sam

Love writing about life and anything inspirational. I try to life forward.