A different take on Africa's year ahead...

A handout picture taken on 4 January 2012 and released on 11 January 2012 by the African Cup of Nations 2012 press office Image copyright AFP
Image caption Andrew predicts Guinea will win the Africa Cup of Nations - do you agree?

This year, no tea-leaves, no "muti" or traditional medicine, no entrails or astrology and none of the usual stuff about elections, wars and dying politicians.

Instead, my predictions for 2012 deal with more every-day matters. Sorry they are a bit late, but if you like them, or hate them, or have infinitely better suggestions - please write in, and we can get together again in 2013 to compare notes.

Incidentally, how do you think my sangoma's forecasts for 2011 came out?

So, in 2012....

  • A consortium of well-connected Angolans will purchase Portugal's Benfica football club
  • The phrase "African middle class" will appear in more international headlines than "famine"
  • Guinea will win the Africa Cup of Nations (they are my pick in the office sweepstake)
  • An international chain will open a store in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. For several weeks
  • The number of Chinese language schools in Nigeria will quadruple
  • The number of Africans living below the "poverty line" will drop from 61% to 57%, but almost nobody will report the fact
  • Someone will coin a new name for Africa's middle class - which will be 400-million strong by the end of the year. The phrase will come from Mandarin
  • A catchy song about malarial bed-nets will become an unexpected hit in Zambia, and a star of South Africa's undervalued poetry scene will be sampled by US rapper Jay-Z
  • An unemployed Spanish woman, seeking work in Mozambique's capital Maputo, will be disqualified from winning a local beauty pageant
  • Zimbabweans will stop accepting the euro as currency
  • The continent will win more medals at the Olympics than ever before but four African athletes will get lost on the London underground system and miss their heats.

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