Where Zimbabwe goes from here
June 10th, 2014
09:34 AM ET

Where Zimbabwe goes from here

By Morgan Tsvangirai, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Morgan Tsvangirai is president of the Movement for Democratic Change and former prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The views expressed are his own.

Zimbabweans were sincere in congratulating Nigeria in becoming Africa's leading economy earlier this year. We applauded its citizens and its leadership for overseeing the successful restructuring of their economy, and its subsequent ascendance to lead the continent in the global marketplace. But we also looked at Nigeria's achievements and wondered how we, too, might be able to achieve such heights. After all, we have done it before.

Yet such aspirations also raise serious questions about our ability to meet them, doubts that will only have been stoked by elections last summer. Last July, Zimbabweans calmly lined up for hours at polling booths across the country, united in embracing their democratic right and duty to vote for their country's future. But the official results did not appear to reflect the nation's collective will, prompting a weary shrug of the shoulders from the international community.

So, would the rest of the world be justified in losing hope in Zimbabwe's ability to change after another far from perfect election? The answer can be found in the progress that the country has made, progress that might surprise the casual observer.

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Topics: South Africa
South Africa in 2014: Mandela and elections
December 18th, 2013
04:51 PM ET

South Africa in 2014: Mandela and elections

By John Campbell, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: John Campbell is the Ralph Bunch Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria from 2004 to 2007. The views expressed are his own.

South Africa and the world have, since his death on December 5, been in the grip of a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. Yet the country will be moving quickly on, with the nitty gritty of national elections in March 2014. This process, and the formation of the resulting government, will dominate the first half of the year. Mandela was the public face of the governing African National Congress (ANC), which has always benefited from his halo effect. President Jacob Zuma no doubt hopes that will continue.

The ANC is the dominant element in a ruling coalition with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). SACP and COSATU contest elections under the mantle of the ANC, not as separate political parties. Throughout his life, Mandela was an unstinting ANC party man. In the aftermath of his death, some mourning events have had the coloring of a party rally. The party and President Zuma are doing all they can to maintain an association between Mandela and the ANC. But Mandela’s death also highlights the gulf between his ideals and current South African reality. When he appeared on the screens during the memorial service, Zuma was booed.

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Topics: 14 in 2014 • South Africa
Zakaria: We haven't seen leadership like Mandela's for a long time
December 6th, 2013
12:50 AM ET

Zakaria: We haven't seen leadership like Mandela's for a long time

CNN speaks with Fareed about the death of Nelson Mandela, his legacy, and what set him apart from other leaders. This is an edited version of the interview.

Nelson Mandela was a world leader who made such a change, not only in South Africa, but he inspired so many people around the world.

Absolutely. You remember, this is a man born in 1918, born when the sun never set on the British Empire, and who lived a long life, and was part of a kind of tradition of nonviolent resistance to colonial power and colonial oppression that was part of the Indian independence movement. He was greatly inspired by Gandhi, by the nonviolent struggle.

And that was one of the most remarkable aspects of Mandela, when he came out after 27 years in jail. I remember being struck by even his speech pattern. It was like he came out of a different era. He came out of an age when giants walked the world – Gandhi, Nehru, Churchill, FDR. He was really part of that world, but had just been frozen in a jail for 27 years.

But when he came out, it turned out he retained not just the speech patterns and some of the mannerisms and some of the formality, he was the man who almost seemed to always wear a suit, no matter where he went, until he left the presidency.

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Topics: Africa • South Africa
July 5th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

South Africa’s land issue not so simple

Editor's note: John Campbell is a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read the original post at his CFR blog Africa in Transition.

By John Campbell, CFR.org

Zuma must walk a fine line, especially on land.

Much or most of South Africa’s land remains in the hands of whites, and land reform proceeds at a snail’s pace — making it a source of grievance among many blacks. When Nelson Mandela was president, his plan stated that blacks would own thirty percent of land by 2014; today, they only own eight percent. FULL POST

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Topics: South Africa