2017 was the beginning of a new era for many African countries. Long-term rulers departed in Zimbabwe, Angola, and the Gambia; internal dissent, economic challenges, and increasing unemployment rates pressured many countries including Ethiopia and Nigeria; and a divided ruling party in South Africa showed an electorate disenchanted with liberation movements

As millions of African voters head to the polls in the next 12 months, here are the elections to watch for, in chronological order:


1. Egypt

When: Between February—May 2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reviews the troops at the Defense Ministry in Paris, France, October 23, 2017.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.(Reuters/Thibault Camus/Pool)








The polls come as Egypt grapples with a sharp economic downturn and a surge in deadly terrorist attacks that continue to put a dent in its image as a favorite tourist destination.


2. Sierra Leone

When: March 7, 2018

Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Samura Kamara, arrives to address the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 22, 2017.
Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, Samura Kamara. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

This West African nation will hold general elections in early March, with more than a dozen parties fielding candidates in presidential, parliamentary, mayoral and municipal elections.

The 2018 elections come at a crucial moment as Sierra Leone recovers from the devastating impact of Ebola and a tragic mudslide that killed hundreds of people and displaced more last year.


3. South Sudan

When: July 2018

South Sudan President Salva Kiir speaks during a joint news conference with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir (not pictured) after their meeting at Khartoum's airport November 4, 2014.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir.(Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)









The world’s newest nation is expected to hold general elections amid a brutal civil war that has displaced millions of people both inside and out of the country.

As the government’s term comes to an end in February, president Salva Kiir wants to hold elections. This is proving to be impossible, given that the government lacks the necessary funds and the security to register voters and conduct elections.


4. Mali

When: April to Nov. 2018

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is seen on arrival for the ECOWAS meeting in Abuja, Nigeria December 16, 2017.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.(Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Landlocked Mali will hold regional, presidential and national elections in various stages, beginning in April and ending in November.


5. Zimbabwe

When: July 31, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a meeting of the ZANU-PF central committee in downtown Harare, Zimbabwe, December 14, 2017.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.(Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo)

With Robert Mugabe out of way, president Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to lead his ZANU-PF party into the presidential polls in late July.


6. Cameroon

When: Oct. 2018

With 36 years in power, president Paul Biya is one of the longest-serving African leaders still in power. At 84, Biya is expected to run again in the country’s general elections in October.

7. The Democratic Republic of Congo

When: Dec. 23, 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila addresses the nation at Palais du Peuple in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo April 5, 2017.
Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila. (Reuters/Kenny Katombe/File Photo)

More than two years behind schedule, the elections in the mineral-rich DR Congo will be finally be held in late December.

And the government have also resorted to an old tactic: cutting off the internet and SMS communication.

8. Libya

When: TBD 2018

With no exact date in place, Libya’s UN-backed government says it’s pushing ahead with preparations for presidential and legislative elections to take place in 2018.

Saif Al-Islam, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, gestures as he talks to reporters in Tripoli August 23, 2011.
Saif Al-Islam, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. (Reuters/Paul Hackett)
Culled from: QZ


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