Over the last few months, something extraordinary has happened in Southern Africa:  Three new leaders - Cyril Ramaphosa in South Africa, Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe, and João Lourenço in Angola – armed with reformist agendas have succeeded rulers whose corruption and poor governance impoverished their lands. If they succeed, there will be renewed hope for the 100 million people who collectively live in those countries. However, all three are from parties that have ruled since independence (1975 for Angola and 1980 for Zimbabwe) or the advent of non-racial rule in South Africa in 1994.  These new leaders therefore face one of the great political quandaries:  can they change the political orders that birthed them? Ramaphosa’s accession to the presidency, after the forced resignation of Jacob Zuma, has raised hopes that the systemic theft and mismanagement that has afflicted South Africa since the advent of the Zuma administration in 2009 will be reversed. Ramaphosa played a critica...

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