Africa in the News: South Africa Elections Announced, African Athletes Compete in Sochi, and Amadou Sy Speaks on Power Africa

South Africa Sets Date for General Election

On Friday, South African President Jacob Zuma announced that the next general elections for his country will take place on May 7. Recently, Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC), though still predicted to win, has been beset by scandals and its popularity is on the decline.  At the end of last month, two major opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and Agang, agreed to work together to challenge the ANC.  The pact, which stated that Agang leader and antiapartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele would serve as president should the two parties win a majority together, fell apart after only five days, with both sides blaming the other.   

Africa at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Though African countries rarely participate in the Winter Olympics due to the continent’s minimal snowfall and the continent has yet to medal at the Winter Games, Africa will be represented by five tough competitors in Sochi this year.  Togo’s Mathilde Amivi Petitjean and Alessia Afi Dipol will be competing in cross-county skiing and alpine skiing, respectively, while Zimbabwe’s Luke Steyn will be competing in the slalom and giant slalom events.  Morocco is also sending alpine skiers Adam Lamhamedi and Kenza Tazi to the Games.  

AGI’s Amadou Sy Speaks on Power Africa

On Thursday, February 6, the Africa Growth Initiative’s Amadou Sy appeared on The Kojo Nnamdi Show to speak on President Obama’s Power Africa initiative as well as the other infrastructure needs across the continent.  Amadou argued that Africa’s infrastructure needs are vast, with $93 billion needed to solve the current gap. Though African governments usually can bring in $45 billion through taxes and aid, a lot is still needed, largely from the private sector, to support and scale up these projects, Sy said.

Sy was joined by Todd Moss, senior fellow and director of the Emerging Africa Project at the Center for Global Development; Agnes Dasewicz, director of the private capital group for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Zemedeneh Negatu, managing partner and head of transaction advisory at EY (formerly Ernst & Young) in Ethiopia.