A tough year for African leaders
Africa and the succession trap
Last year was tough for African leaders: one resigned, one was sacked, two were overthrown in coups, two were defeated in elections, and three died in office. Leadership succession is an issue also in Angola, and it will be hot in Madagascar, Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2013.
When pro-growth policies and property arrangements are closely associated with just one leader, the demise of that individual is likely to induce damaging uncertainty in investors. So how do states avoid the succession trap?
Currently there are three countries in Africa that have maintained high growth for more than a decade but have yet to experience a political succession: Angola, Rwanda and Uganda.
To avoid the succession trap, political and economic actors need to devise institutions that can supply credible commitments for investors in a context of transition.