By 2015, lagging economic growth and the collapse of Africa's major currencies had begun to undermine the 'Africa rising' narrative. Add to that the vast toll of the Ebola virus and resurgence of conflict in places like Mali, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Northern Cameroon and Burundi.
But 2015 brought positive news as well. While international experts forecast a renewal of election-related violence in Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria, both presidential elections were conducted in a peaceful manner. And in neighboring Burkina Faso, citizen mobilization brought down strongman Blaise Compaore, ushering in a new era of democratic governance and popular participation.