Raila Odinga’s take following the election of Ramaphosa as African National Congress leader

NASA leader Raila Odinga with African National Congress leader Ramaphosa

The news of our comrade Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as the leader of the African National Congress will thrill democrats in South Africa, across Africa and indeed throughout the world.

From this pivotal ANC position, and drawing on South Africa’s recently diminished but still vibrant global standing, he will restore the high respect that his nation as well as the continent enjoyed under the fabled leadership of Nelson Mandela in particular. ANC is of course Africa’s best-known and oldest liberation party and movement.

Mr Ramaphosa’s background as democratic liberationist, trade union leader and high-level business executive, and his lifelong Pan Africanism, will also give new energy to Africa’s economic dynamism and the restored democratic transformations that are indispensable to it.

In a discussion a year ago about running for the leadership of our respective political parties in Kenya and South Africa, we both emphasized the imperative of a renewed African democratization that alone can build the continent economically, engender equitable growth and contribute to the global movement for moral and ethical leadership.