Africa about to follow Libya

The wave of changes affecting the muslim world has reached Libya. The whole African continent is currently focused on what is going to happen next.

Libya is closing its borders, Visas are being refused to European citizens, actually to all the citizens coming from the Schengen space. Other closings are taking place: Youtube, Facebook and other social networks are also being locked, to avoid any organized demonstration; and Libyan TV has dismissed as “lies” every information delivered by global media, as Al Jazeera has been broadcasting since the begining of the pacific uprising in Egypt. Embassies are closing: Nigeria’s Libyan Embassy has closed, and it seems to be the starting point of the complete isolation of Libya, as if it was a modern Iron Curtain that is being settled up.

Moreover, on the Subsaharian world, the uprisings are being followed carefully. Some coordinated activist actions are taking place against other authoritarian regimes. This year, about 20 of these countries may organize elections, which gives some kind of insecurity to those regimes. Indeed, countries such as Nigeria or Uganda may have a crucial importance in the future of Africa: they both are relevant countries inside the African Union, and revolutions in there may cause an historical change in Africa. Furthermore, Uganda’s leader, Yoweri Museveni, has held the power for 20 years, which is a similarity with the causes of the uprisings in Egypt, or Tunisia.

Economically, this can have also a huge impact in Africa: More importantly, Egypt is one of Africa’s most populous nations. As one of the “Next Eleven” emerging economies, it’s also a regional economic powerhouse. Now that Mubarak has been deposed, the fallout could have domino-like ramifications throughout Africa. Many of the issues playing out in North Africa are also happening elsewhere on the continent, including the West African region.

Other hot spots in Africa are in the limelight this time: relevant elections will also take place in Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. The lack of a strong and dominant middle class, combined with an improved and increased access to internet in this countries  are allowing activists to organize themselves and so to take over control. Even though for us, occidental countries, this is something usual, it can become the decisive facts as it was in Egypt. This is all the more important that corruption, nepotism and electoral frauds recorded, among other facts have taken place for years in these countries.

South African commentator Sentletse Diakanyo is hopeful that the events going on in North Africa challenging authoritarian rule will spread throughout the continent. “The recent revolutions across the Arab world, from Tunisia to Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt and Syria should serve as an inspiration to Africans whose existence is at the mercy of kleptomaniacs and despots,” he writes in his column in the Mail & Guardian.

The main problem of the uprising are its possible expansion to the whole african continent. Indeed, if the revolution in Libya succeeds, several countries in Africa suffering the same opression as Egypt, Tunisia or Libya might follow. As far as human rights are concerned, it it such a massive event. But economy would also be touched, and so the whole world: the row materials used in the developped countries come mainly from Africa: diamonds are just an example. The uprisings in the muslim world may become an international issue if it keeps succeeding in the world.

It is so hard to know wether it is good or not for the world to beat the autocracies still existing in the world. Speaking about freedom, it would be always an important event, but if we take economy into account, it can bring such a big fight between occidental countries to obtain the raw materials.


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