Akin Rotimi


Democratic transitions going on in Africa are slow and timid. However, there is reason to believe that something substantive is happening. 

America’s President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and First Lady Zineb Jammeh at the White House on Aug. 5, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the State Department)

Two contrasting political transitions are scheduled this week: In America, President Obama will hand over power to his successor Donald Trump. But in The Gambia, President Jammeh will not be stepping down for Adama Barrow who beat him in December. The regional bloc ECOWAS should have found a way to hear Jammeh’s Supreme Court appeal instead of planning a military intervention.


From the peaceful conduct of the 7 December 2016 general election, to the prompt concession by former President John Mahama; from the seamless transition programme through to the orderly inauguration of the new president on 7 January 2017, the Black Star has once again shone brightly as the lodestar of African liberation.