Many in the international media watched Ghana’s election in December 2008 head into a run-off with grim expectations. With more than a touch of melodrama, the press had declared these to be the most important polls in recent African history, with Ghana acting as a Litmus test for the continent’s democratic future.

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The constitutional transition of power in Guinea, following the death of the country’s president, Lansana Conté, has been interrupted by a military coup, led by a number of junior officers calling themselves the National Council for Democracy and Development.

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By Elizabeth Donnelly

Discussion about and with Africa has become a recurrent part of the agenda at G8 summits, particularly since outreach with African leaders was instigated at Okinawa in 2000. The 2009 G8 summit to be hosted by Italy in Maddalena will be no exception, with Africa and its challenges to be front and centre in discussions.

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