STOCK-TAKE: Africa in 2023
As 2023 comes to a close it’s important to take stock of this year’s aspect areas for African countries and below we have a summary of events that happened in different countries:
In July, residents of Johannesburg enjoy the first snow to fall in the South African city in a decade. While parts of South Africa regularly receive snowfall over the southern hemisphere winter months around June to August, Johannesburg last saw snow in August 2012.
In February and March 2023, Tropical Cyclone (TC) Freddy weather system struck Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, leaving a trail of devastation and destruction in its wake. In Madagascar, at least 17 people lost their lives due to the two impacts of the cyclone. In Mozambique, about 1.1 million people were affected by Freddy’s double landfall across Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Sofala, Tete, Niassa and Zambezia provinces. However, it was Malawi that suffered the most catastrophic consequences from Cyclone Freddy with at least 676 people losing their lives, and more than 659,000 people being displaced, most of whom lost their belongings and/or homes.
On Sept. 8, a devastating magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco just after 11 p.m. local time. This earthquake was the strongest to hit Morocco in at least 120 years. Hundreds of aftershocks have been recorded, with the highest being a 5.9 quake. Data Friendly Space reports that 59,000 homes were damaged, and 19,000 homes were destroyed.
AFRICA is contending with a climate crisis it did not create without sufficient recognition for the unique rights and needs of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population.
South Africa– this December, filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of crimes of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza after nearly three months of relentless Israeli bombardment has killed more than 21,500 people and caused widespread destruction in the besieged enclave.
DRC- Congolese police violently broke up a banned protest in the capital Kinshasa on 27 December, leaving several people wounded. Disputes over the Dec. 20 presidential and legislative elections threaten to further destabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is already grappling with a security crisis in eastern areas that has hampered development in the world’s top producer of cobalt and other industrial minerals and metals.
ZIMBABWE- Zimbabwe headed to the polls in August against a backdrop of one of the world’s highest rates of inflation and accusations of an intensifying crackdown on the opposition. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the presidential election, maintaining power. However, international election watchdogs and the international community raised doubts about the legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s election, along with Mnangagwa’s main opponent, Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change Party (CCC).
NIGERIA– It also held presidential elections in February and Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of the 2023 presidential election. Nearly 90 million people were eligible to vote in Africa’s largest democracy, with many Nigerians hoping a new leader will do a better job tackling insecurity, economic malaise, and growing poverty.
When it comes to music, Nigerian singer Burna Boy has ended 2023 as the top streamed African artist in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) on Spotify. This is according to Spotify’s latest Wrappedreport, the annual data-led review of how people listen to music and podcasts on the platform.
New Year’s Eve celebrations in Zimbabwe, Zim-dancehall kingpin Winky D has roped in an array of artists for his much-anticipated celebration of a musical milestone on New Year’s Eve. Winky D took his legion of fans out of suspense revealing six artists including Killer T, Tocky Vibes, and Ex Q amongst others who will share the stage with him at the show penciled for Harare International Conference Center (HICC).
In 2023, we also lost several African artists including, South African rapper AKA, Nollywood actress Cynthia Okereke, South African musician Zahara, Zimbabwe’s afro-pop singer Garry Mapanzure, Zimbabwe’s musician Terry Gee and South Africa’s musician Mbongeni Ngema amongst others.
TRAVEL AND TOUR
Africa is emerging as a preferred global destination for travelers, driven by a thriving tourism and business sector. The continent’s aviation landscape is now a formidable force, fostering crucial connections between Africa and the global community.
In South Africa, many tourists visit Table Mountain which offers a stunning backdrop for visitors to Cape Town’s Waterfront, while oenophiles and gourmands can revel in a sumptuous selection of vineyards and eateries.
In Tanzania, there is Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.
In Zimbabwe, there is Lake Kariba, the cultural bastions of the Khami Ruins, Great Zimbabwe, and Matobo Hills, alongside natural wonders Victoria Falls and Mana Pools.
In Kenya, Nairobi National Park is an urban sanctuary, while Lamu is an authentic Swahili trading town full of the aromas and colors of a region once romantically referred to as the Swahili Coast.
AFRICA HAS WITNESSED PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN ITS DEMOCATIC JOURNEY, WHILE ALSO NAVIGATING CHALLENGES IN PEACE, SECURITY, AND STABILITY BESIDES A CHALLENGING ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE.