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The Africa Report

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
2 April 2024 | 15:18 SAST
2-minute read

Bassirou Diomaye Faye is set to be sworn into office as Senegal’s youngest leader today. Analysts suggest that Faye represents Senegal’s departure from traditional norms towards an anti-establishment stance. The transition in Senegal mirrors a global trend of new leadership challenging entrenched systems.

Faye was part of a group of political dissenters freed from prison under an amnesty announced by former President Macky Sall ten days before the March 2024 presidential ballot.

Faye’s ascension symbolises a break from the status quo that has long tethered Senegal’s direction to France, its major ally in the region, Ashraf Patel, a Master of Arts graduate from the Graduate School of Public and Development Management at WITS , said earlier this morning on Radio Islam International.

“The new president, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, is young. He comes from a kind of new vision and new thinking that definitely seeks to break from the establishment, particularly in the West African hierarchy,” Patel says.

Patel highlights the significance of Senegal’s peaceful election process and the acceptance of results by all parties, signalling a positive shift amidst a backdrop of coup d’etats and post-election turmoil in Africa.

Nigeria’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrencies highlights the potential threat that the digital asset poses to financial markets. While cryptocurrency offers opportunities for financial inclusion and innovation, concerns over illicit activities prompted Nigeria’s action to regulate and monitor its usage.

The sentencing of Sam Bankman-Fried, the mastermind behind a major cryptocurrency scandal in the US, further fuels governments’ resolve to rein in the crypto model.

With Nigeria’s economy facing currency devaluation and regulatory dilemmas, Nigeria’s crackdown is unsurprising.

“The bulk of the accounts have been sort of for dubious purposes, i.e non-disclosure of taxation, money laundering, those kind of issues. And so, therefore, the Nigerian government has moved quite decisively to ban cryptocurrency and regulate it. Given the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, the naira, that is very interesting, purely because Nigeria is Africa’s largest or second largest economy. A large population, 200 million, but only 11 million has crypto accounts and apparently most of them are overseas. So that creates another dynamic and dilemma for the regulators, and therefore they are moving in as these other nations are becoming very strict on this kind of neo-liberal, libertarian model of financing, which is very decentralised,” Patel says.

Meanwhile, parts of Africa experience major internet outages, affecting countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. The disruption, attributed to undersea cable damage, highlights the importance of reliable internet connectivity for economic growth and stability.

Listen to the Africa Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.

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