Woman harvesting mangos, taken from Farm Acquisition and Management Consultants in Ghana, a site that encourages Ghanaians abroad to invest in mango farming. I know nothing about the company, but I like the picture.

I am heartsick over what is happening in Kenya. The vast numbers of people queuing to vote was quite inspiring. There was obviously a huge desire for change, and a huge desire for participatory democracy. I had hoped the returns would be counted with some semblance of honesty.

Abba Mahmood wrote about Nigeria that Yar’Adua presidency is:

. . . signaling the retirement of a whole generation of the leadership . . . both civilian and military, who owe their starting point in the 1960s. They have been over-recycled. They are tired but they don’t want to retire. How they take their loss of influence will have profound effect on the nation’s polity.

Many other countries are facing similar leadership challenges, and inevitable change. The peaceful turnover of power is one of the most difficult things for any country to accomplish. It looks like President Kibaki has failed this critical test of his leadership, with devastating effect on the country.

In a odd piece of news the AP reports, reproduced at GhanaWeb, two US sailors from the USS Fort McHenry, also called the African Partnership Station, have been found dead in a hotel room in Tema. I find it impossible to guess what happened. There is crime in Ghana, but mostly it is a safe place to be. So what was going on?

Update Jan. 3: WASHINGTON (CNN)

Two U.S. sailors who were found dead in a Ghana hotel room may have died of alcohol poisoning, a Navy official told CNN on Wednesday.

There were no signs of foul play in the incident, said the Navy official, who asked not to be identified due to the ongoing investigation.

An unidentified naval official told The Associated Press that the two were among a trio of sailors who checked in at La Palm Beach Hotel in the capital of Accra on December 31 “and on the next day, the third sailor found the two dead in their rooms and duly reported this to the hotel authorities.”

The official told AP there was no evidence of a robbery or an attack on the sailors.
. . .
Although preliminary indications point to the possibility the sailors drank a lethal amount of alcohol, the official said the Navy is awaiting toxicology test results before determining cause of death.

And, because I would like to begin the year on a positive note, I included the handsome picture above of the woman harvesting mangos. An article at GhanaWeb titled Mango day celebrations encourages Ghanaians to create a mango holiday, and to grow and invest in mangos.