In DepthFrontline

Wed,22Nov2017

Frontline

Who speaks for South Africa's poor?

Photo©Alexander Joe/AFPThe ANC has traditionally been the party of the poor, but union leaders say that rings hollow today. Amid a new wave of strikes they claim the ruling party is in the pocket of business and investors. So who will the workers turn to with their vote?

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Kings, Adapt or die!

The Asantehene, king of the Ashante, and wife, surrounded by courtiers. Photo©Robin Utrecht/AFPAfrica's monarchs are resilient. For centuries they ruled through intricate hierarchies of clan and kinship. Then colonial invaders polarised them, deposing some and courting others. Independent African states are proving just as testing for traditional authorities.

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Zimbabwe: Reading between the political lines

Time for a change? The MDC did not offer much to contrast with the ‘tried and tested’ formula. Photo©ALEXANDER JOE/AFPThe big questions – leadership succession in the two main parties, economic strategy and foreign policy – remain unanswered despite the peak of international interest in the elections. But many voters wanted little more than to avoid the murderous violence of 2008.

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Kenya's devolution revolution

Behind its	lush parks and skyscrapers Nairobi is two-thirds slum. The governor now has $20bn to change that/Photo©Nigel Pavitt/Jai/CorbisThe constitution approved in 2010 created 47 new counties that elected officials at the 4 March national elections. The county governments will have to provide services, but the earning potential from wooing investors will in some cases be life-changing.

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Will Africa leave the World Bank behind?

The China- built new AU headquarters in Ethiopia, perhaps the foretaste of a coming re-alignment in Africa over development pathways? Photo©©XINHUA/ZUMA/REAGovernments across the continent are looking for new development models after the policies of privatisation and liberalisation seem to have run their course.

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Thirty ideas shaking up Africa

Too often presidential politics, with its big egos and backroom deals, can feel like the only show in town. Policy plays second fiddle. But leadership is recognising the innovative, sometimes daring, ideas that need backing. Africa has them in spades: from agriculture, healthcare and energy production to new policies to boost financial markets or create a continental standby force.

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Transport: Can African trains take the strain?

Nairobi commuters relax on the 30-minute ride into the city centre – but only middle-class Kenyans can afford to travel by rail/Photo©Georgina Goodwin/afpMass transit systems are urgently needed in Africa's increasingly gridlocked cities. Nairobi, Kampala and Luanda are among the capitals where light rail systems, bus rapid transit, trams or water taxis are in the planning. But, as their policy-makers have found, there is no easy solution for affordable, efficient public transport.

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