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Vol 50 No 1

Published 9th January 2009


Whiskey doubles all round

All of North Africa’s leaders will have something to celebrate in 2009, even if the majority of their populations won’t

North Africa’s leaders are among the longest-serving in the world and the most immune to democratic impulses. In comparison, Africa south of the Sahara with its multiparty elections and freer press is a hubbub of political pluralism and accountability. It is clear that North Africa’s oppressive political systems and gerontocracy are holding back economic development and social change, yet that will not stop its ageing leaders from celebrating their decades- long grips on power.

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