Can Mali and Niger also hope for elections after Senegal’s success?

The postponed presidential elections in Senegal confirmed that the West African country remains a beacon of democracy in a region facing increasing instability. RFI spoke to experts about how the peaceful victory of Bassirou Diomaye Faye and mentor Ousmane Sonko could influence the politics of their Sahel neighbors such as Niger and Mali.

This edition of Spotlight on Africa looks at the vast and diverse region of West Africa, from Senegal to Benin to Niger and Mali.

It is an important election year for Africa in general, with no fewer than sixteen countries going to the polls.

These include a complicated parliamentary election in Togo on April 19, a general election in South Africa on May 29, a presidential election in Algeria in September and a presidential election in Ghana in December.

But for the Sahel countries of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, elections seem a distant dream as the military juntas in power delay the processes for a return to civilian rule.

Many hope that the inspiring outcome of the Senegalese elections can energize the region.

Former Senegalese diplomat Babacar Ndiaye and Nigerien researcher Seidik Abba speak to RFI about the polls.

Meanwhile, Yvonne Ndege, from the International Organization for Migration, looks at the migration issue on the continent.

And finally, Azu Nwagbogu, curator of the Benin Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, speaks to RFI’s Ollia Horton ahead of the opening of the event on Saturday.

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Episode mixed by Erwan Rome.

Spotlight on Africa is a podcast from Radio France Internationale.