In June, the Zondo Commission submitted the final volume of its report on state capture, which laid bare the scale of corruption presided over by the ruling African National Congress throughout the 2009-2018 presidency of Jacob Zuma. In doing so, it also placed a number of uncomfortable issues in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inbox.
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.
Earlier this month, Zambia agreed to a $1.3 billion loan with the IMF that comes with stringent conditions. That development has sparked conversations elsewhere in Africa about a return to the kinds of IMF-imposed austerity programs seen in the 1980s and 1990s, and what the ramifications of those policies could be for Africans today.