Misanet / Mmegi, 22 March - On Monday, Namibia marked the end of an era, when the country's founding president Sam Nujoma handed over the reins of office to his chosen successor Hifikepunye Pohamba. Mr Nujoma has led the ruling SWAPO for 45 years - 29 of those as a liberation movement with cadres and officials spread throughout the world.
It was a challenge to hold the movement together during the troubled Cold War years, when SWAPO led a liberation struggle against the occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa. It is credit to leaders like Mr Nujoma and South Africa's Oliver Tambo, who had an equally daunting task of leading the African National Congress (ANC) in exile, that the hopes of the people of this sub-region, and Africa at large, for freedom, stability, peace and economic prosperity were kept alive.
At independence, Namibia, with Mr Nujoma as President, showed Africa the way when the country crafted the continent's most liberal constitution that limited a term of office for the president, included a bill of rights, and even outlawed capital punishment.
The whites were not pushed into the sea. Neither were they dispossessed of their property, as they had been led to believe. Through the government's policy of racial reconciliation and harmony, the previously advantaged whites were accepted as equal citizens in a democratic dispensation.
It was important for the Namibian experience to work to reassure the whites in neighbouring South Africa that, indeed, they had nothing to fear from an inevitable black majority government.
Today, Namibia continues to record some impressive strides in economic development, healthcare and education with literacy rates comparing favourably with the best on the continent. On the downside, poverty and unemployment persist. These should present a major challenge to President Nujoma's successor.
For all the positive contribution he has made to the development of his country, Mr Nujoma is no angel. In fact, he is guilty of serious lapses of judgment that at times led people to question his democratic credentials.
Take his amendment of the constitution to award himself a third term in office. This was an act that embellished President Nujoma's record. His dislike for the independent press, especially 'The Namibian' newspaper - which stood by SWAPO during the dark years of the liberation struggle - is almost impossible to understand.
In a nutshell, President Nujoma allowed himself to be seduced by the Big Man syndrome, and its attendant love for power. This would probably explain why he fought so hard to have his chosen man as his successor.
He recently made himself the butt of sick jokes when it was announced that he would enrol for post-graduate studies in Geology at the country's national university - this for a man whose highest academic qualification is a Junior Certificate acquired through correspondence.
This - and other gaffes - has left people wondering what happened to the hero who arrived triumphantly from over 30 years of exile - and rode a horse down Windhoek's Independence Avenue to celebrate SWAPO's victory in Namibia's first democratic elections?
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.