Africa Day: We need to see more women in power

The month of May has been set out to observe the significance of the African continent.

Africa Day is observed annually on May 25 and this year in South Africa it coincides with the inauguration of President Cyril Ramphosa.

Africa State of Mind host Lee Kasumba looks at the state of the continent and how it has transformed since the first celebration of the day in 1963.

She puts focus on the elections that took place within the continent, looking at how exercising democracy has now influenced how elections are run.

Read: Zeitz MoCAA to present special programme for Africa Day

We can't take for granted that for a long time we could not have elections without there being bloodshed.

Lee Kasumba, Host - Africa State of Mind

There are several countries this year that had elections that were peaceful. In Senegal, Macky Sall was re-elected and those elections were peaceful. In Nigeria we saw President Muhammadu Buhari being re-elected.

Lee Kasumba, Host - Africa State of Mind

Kasumba speaks of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the dethroning of long-term leader Joseph Kabila whose family ruled the country for more than 22 years.

The election of President Felix Tshisekedi took place in December 2018. Although the election results were disputed, Tshisekedi was declared president without bloodshed.

Another thing to note, says Kasumba, is the election of women in positions of power within the continent. Jeanine Mabunda was elected head of the DRC national assembly.

We need to see more women in power. Jeanine Mabunda is the first woman to be elected in the DRC national assembly, this is excellent.

Lee Kasumba, Host - Africa State of Mind

Of course, Sahle-Work Zewde stepped in as the first female president of Ethiopia.

Lee Kasumba, Host - Africa State of Mind

These are fantastic stories of having women playing more roles in terms of democracy in the continent and seeing them being able to lead.

Lee Kasumba, Host - Africa State of Mind

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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