Elected in triumph last August, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta faces growing criticism over failures to broker a settlement in the north and boost the national economy. The government's resignation on 5 April reflected deep differences over economic reforms between President Keïta and the departing Prime Minister and leading economist Oumar Tatam Ly. So far, little of the 3 billion euros (US$4 bn) in international aid, which was meant to be triggered by last year's elections, has been forthcoming, partly because of procedural and governance problems. Malians complain there has been far more money for the war against jihadists in the Sahel than for local reconstruction plans.
President Paul Kagame's keynote speech at the Amahoro Stadium on 7 April urged everyone to face up to their responsibilities, since 'the people who planned and carried out the genocide were Rwandans but the history and root causes go beyond this country'. The plea for reconciliation then switched to an attack on France: 'And no country is powerful enough, even when they think that they are, to change the facts. After all, les faits sont têtus (facts are stubborn)'.
Formally entitled 'Kwibuka 20' (we remember), with the motto 'Remember, Unite, Renew', the concerns of the present were never far away from the commemoration of the past. That genocide should happen 'never again' was a challenge to guests from countries where conflict with ethnic implications is currently under way. For others, the event affirmed and consolidated President Paul Kagame's rule. As he confirmed his determination to stay on his current course, the thoughts of some turned to 2017. By then, the constitution will have been changed to allow him to stand again for President or else he will step down, a prospect that at this point looks unlikely.
The deal between rival factions of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, mediated by Cyril Ramaphosa on 8 April, is likely to prove temporary. Hostilities are set to resume after the general elections on 7 May, with the probable result that Cosatu – Africa’s largest union federation with 2.2 million members – will be split between one faction that supports President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress and another that backs a radical alternative to the ANC.