FROM SWAZILAND BECOMING eSWATINI, ZIMBABWE HOLDING THEIR FIRST EVER ELECTIONS WITHOUT MUGABE AND TO LOSING ONE OF THE GREATEST DIPLOMATS IN KOFI ANNAN – REVIEW OF AFRICA IN 2018
A day wouldn’t pass by without Africa making headlines in global news stories. In 2018, we saw Swaziland change its name to eSwatini, and Zimbabwe holding their first ever election without Mugabe since independence. The year also saw Ethiopia and Eritrea mend ties after decades-long of animosity, with Congolese gynaecologist being named a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. It wasn’t all great a year as the continent lost one of its greatest diplomat in Kofi Annan, with Ebola outbreak being declared in DR Congo.
Let’s relive all those moments in our throw back at 2018.
January 4 – Sudan recalls its ambassador from Egypt amid tensions.
January 9 – Egypt’s President Sisi wins huge parliamentary support for a second term as 464 of the 596 MPs backed him to run for another term.
January 22 – Former FIFA World Player of the Year, George Oppong Weah, becomes the President of Liberia.
February 15 – Cyril Ramaphosa assumed office as the 5th President of South Africa.
March 21 – African leaders establish the African Continental Free Trade Area to create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs, during the African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
April 2 – Abiy Ahmed becomes prime minister of Ethiopia after an unexpected resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn. He is the country’s first Oromo leader – ethnic group at the center of anti-government protests for about 30 years.
April 2 – Egypt’s President Sisi is re-elected with 97% of the votes.
April 11 – An Algerian military transport aircraft (Air Force II-76) crashed shortly after take-off from Boufarik Airport. All 257 people on board were killed, making the accident the deadliest air crash in Algeria.
April 19 – Swaziland is renamed Kingdom of eSwatini by its ruler, King Mswati III.
May 17 – Burundians hold a constitutional referendum to extend presidential terms from five years to a seven-year mandate.
June 5 – Ethiopia agrees to accept border ruling giving disputed territory to Eritrea.
June 7 – Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza announces he will not seek another term in office after his current mandate expires in 2020.
July 30 – First Zimbabwean elections since independence in which former President Robert Mugabe was not a candidate.
August 1 – Ebola outbreak declared in DR Congo.
August 18 – Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at the age of 80, after a short illness.
September 11 – Ethiopia reopens land border with Eritrea.
September 17 – Over 100 people die in floods after two major rivers in Nigeria; River Niger and River Benue, burst their banks.
September 20 – Ferry MV Nyerere capsizes, claiming 228 lives on Lake Victoria, Tanzania.
October 2 – US First Lady Melania Trump begins solo tour in Africa, as she visits Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt to promote her ‘Be Best’ campaign.
October 5 – Congolese gynaecologist, Denis Mukwege, wins the 2018 Noble Peace Prize with Yazidi human rights activist, Nadia Murad.
October 7 – Cameroon holds a presidential election which is won by Paul Biya (on a 7th term), who has been in power since 1982.
October 13 – US rapper Kanye West (YE) and his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, arrives in Uganda on a private visit, in a bid to promote the country’s tourism industry.
October 16 – Ethiopia PM, Abiy Ahmed appoints women to half of ministerial posts.
October 19 – Comoros authorities sign pact to end standoff on island after 5 days of renewed clashes between protestors and security forces. These clashes came as a result of President Azali Assoumani’s plans to end a rotating presidency on the archipelagic nation in July.
November 4 – Armed separatists in Cameroon kidnapped at least 78 students and their principal from a Presbyterian school in Nkwen village, near Bamenda, the capital of the English-speaking region of the country.
November 25 – More than 30 people dead after a boat capsized on Lake Victoria, Uganda.
November 30 – Cameroon stripped of hosting the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
November 30 – WHO declares that DR Congo’s Ebola outbreak is now the second largest in history (426 cases and 198 deaths recorded since August), behind the devastating outbreak in West Africa that killed thousands in 2015.
December 10 – EU renews sanctions against DR Congo’s Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary (chosen successor of President Joseph Kabila) and 13 other people. The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes for a year.
December 20 – In the latest FIFA ranking, Senegal tops Africa’s chart with 1505 points, followed by Tunisia with 1493 points, whiles on the world chart, the former ranks 23rd and the later ranks 26th.
December 27 – Ghana goes on a referendum in a bid to add six (6) new administrative regions, to the existing ten (10).
December 30 – DR Congo goes to the polls to elect a new president. This comes off after a series of delays which left people frustrated.