Cameroon's President, Paul Biya

Of all the autocrats who have managed to secure their survival by providing “stability” in a volatile region, Cameroonian President Paul Biya has arguably proven the most skilled. But the structural pressures currently building up around Biya indicate how misguided it is to rely on authoritarian systems to sustain political stability.

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It makes sense that a continent that is home to 54 countries and 1.2 billion people would also house many contradictory developments. Africa features several of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a burgeoning middle class. But much of the continent remains mired in debt, burdened by conflict and beset by elites clinging to power.