Could we be witnessing the awakening of a giant? It is hard not to be excited by the incredible political upset playing out in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where opposition candidate Félix Tshisekedi has been declared the winner of the presidential election, according to the electoral commission’s preliminary results. Over the holidays, the DRC offered us a roller coaster of a spectacle. From the possibility of an endless delay, to the exclusion of 1.2-million people from the vote in the Beni, Butembo and Yumbi areas for security reasons (including an Ebola outbreak), to a rather chaotic ballot marked by polling stations opening only at midday, few believed that the elections would happen at all — or that the outcome could be anything other than a win for Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, President Joseph Kabila’s chosen heir. In a world shaken by political upsets, the DRC might have given us the African answer to Brexit, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron’s elections. A smug Kabi...

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