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.
Even as Chad’s leader, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, oversees a political transition toward elections planned for next year, he faces significant longer-term challenges to his rule. If he can navigate them, Deby is almost certain to win next year’s election. In the meantime, the day-to-day mechanics of repression will remain intact.