Some philosophers argue that the only thing that remains constant is change.
It happens every day whether or not some people see it. Yet, not everybody is open to change and when it does occur, many accept it with much difficulty. No matter which side of the debate people may want to locate themselves today, the world will inescapably witness several leadership changes in 2017.
Beginning with the most powerful country on the planet, the United States of America, the world will have to learn to understand President-elect, Donald Trump who proved to be iconoclastic during the entire campaigns for the presidency. As he takes the oath of office on 20 January 2017, many will be watching to see how he works out the various promises made to American people which incidentally affect the global order.
If one of his key pledges to build a vast wall that separates the USA from Mexico seems far from Africans, the threat to send back at least five million illegal immigrants to renegotiate their entry into the USA from their home countries will certainly pose problems to several African families. Many other policies the incoming President of the USA will implement as he takes office in January 2017 will have obvious consequences on nations and segments of society worldwide.
Not far from the United States will be the United Nations Organisation (UNO) which will at the dawn of the New Year witness another leadership change with Antonio Gutterres, who was on 13 October 2016 appointed by acclamation to succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on 31 December. The 67-year-old former Socialist Prime Minister of Portugal already demonstrated his abilities as head of the UN’s refugee agency before acceding to the new post. However, as UN Secretary-General, he would face a world rocked by terrorism, staggering under the weight of refugees and battling to resolve the war in Syria and of course, an African continent that is riddled with mixed fortunes.
The continent has been unable to produce a viable chairperson of the African Union Commission to replace Mrs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is supposed to step down in 2017. African Union leaders will therefore be up to another tussle not only to scout for a new chairperson, but equally adapt to the approach which the new head of the Commission will have to put in place. Even if diplomatically the AU changes may not have much impact on the running of affairs on the African Continent due to the preponderant role of Heads of State who have over the years been reluctant to trifle with their powers, the fact remains that a change in AU leadership calls for some attention.
For instance, the Yahya Jammeh situation in The Gambia where Adama Barrow won presidential election and received congratulations from his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, who later reneged on his promises, will remain a call for concern. If such electoral bickering appears folkloric, the Ghanaian transition from John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress to Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party is indicative of an evolving Africa.
While the “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom ended up with Theresa May becoming Britain's Prime Minister on July 13, 2016 after her predecessor, David Cameron, stepped down because of his failed campaign to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union, France is preparing for a presidential election in 2017 where the incumbent has already declined to stand, leaving the door open for a new French President.