A global survey by Transparency International earmarks political parties and elected representatives as most corrupt, based on perceptions. Could this viewpoint be changing across Africa as we see the political careers of some of the continent’s longest-serving leaders coming to an end? Throughout most of 2017 the four longest-serving rulers in the world (except for royalty) were from Africa. By the end of the year one of these strongmen, Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, had stepped down and another, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, had been forced to resign. They had ruled for 38 and 37 years, respectively, and their incumbencies had been characterised by allegations of corruption. In Botswana we saw another orderly transfer of power as Ian Khama stepped down after 10 years in office, the maximum allowed under the country’s constitution, and handed the reins to his former vice-president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on April 1 2018. Liberia faced a test of its constitution recently when the first...

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