Stability and freedom for Africa

Originally appeared on

This article is coming to you from a tiny hotel room in Ebolowa, Cameroon, about a two-hour drive south of Yaoundé, the capital. And I can assure you that the effects of the major changes taking place in the northern part of the continent—Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and in other countries—are being felt here, not to mention the political stand-off not that far away in Côte d’Ivoire. It’s not that there have been political rallies or large demonstrations in the public plazas in Cameroon. But people are talking.

This is the concern: With elections coming up in almost half of African countries this year, including Cameroon, will there be political instability, or worse, after these elections? I sense that many are thinking if a country pushes hard for freedom, it will experience instability. But are stability and freedom incompatible? In fact, they’re more than compatible. One is absolutely necessary to the other. Freedom without stability is volatile and illusory, a mythic chimera. Stability without freedom is a tower just waiting to topple.

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