Africa has entered another year with mixed prospects for its 55 states. Starting in SA — the regional Gulliver that controls 60% of Southern Africa’s economy — President Jacob Zuma has become a "dead man walking" following Cyril Ramaphosa’s victory in the ANC presidential election. Backed by a cheerleading, biased media and supported by big business, the messianic expectations of Ramaphosa becoming a new broom to sweep out corruption could prove difficult owing to a wafer-thin ANC presidential victory. SA’s prospects are unlikely to improve dramatically if Ramaphosa does not show the courage to avoid being beholden to local and foreign business interests and the tyranny of ratings agencies, rather than tackling the plight of the 55% of the black population that still lives in grinding poverty. Changes of leadership from long-ruling autocrats in Zimbabwe and Angola will see Emmerson Mnangagwa and Joâo Lourenço, respectively, seek to consolidate their grip on power. Lourenço will have...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now