The year 2015 has been filled with disasters both natural and economic ones but it remains a memorable year. More than the disasters, great things happened in the year and memories were captured in the process. For Africa, the year would be remembered for a mix of good and not so good things. Several countries witnessed slowing growth as prices of commodities crashed. The year is also ending with more people hungry due to the effect of extreme weather phenomenon El Nino in some parts of the continent. But it should not be forgotten that democracy is getting stronger on the continent as a couple of countries witnessed peaceful polls. Despite the obvious challenges Africa still has, several signs of good things to come were witnessed during the year.
Here are some pictures from the year.
A man, whom the Chadian military say they have taken prisoner for belonging to insurgent group Boko Haram, is seen in Gambaru, Nigeria February 26, 2015. The Chadian military nicknamed the man “the Butcher”. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
Supporters of the presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressive Congress hits another supporter with a motorbike during celebrations in Kano, Nigeria March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Suspects are handcuffed after breaking into a house belonging to married police officers, in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 12, 2015. Siphiwe Sibeko: Some stories have more impact on me than others. This one in my neighbourhood in Johannesburg is a case in point. I got a message that my neighbours’ house was being broken into and they needed help. When other neighbours and I arrived we found one man lying inside the house bleeding. He later confessed that the other robbers had fled and they might still in the area. There had been an increase in robberies locally. A few weeks earlier my car was broken into and all of my photographic equipment stolen in broad daylight. Police patrolling in the neighbourhood helped to apprehend a second suspect. They were both handcuffed outside the house and as we waited there for the arresting officers to arrive, I got out my camera took a few pictures of the suspects handcuffed together. The man who had sustained the gunshot wound was writhing in pain. Both men were crying and pleading with the community not to hit or attack them. People in the neighbourhood were angry because burglaries happen all the time even during broad daylight. The other suspects in this break-in have not been found to this day. Although I was both angry and shaken as this robbery took place next to my home, I was able to keep calm as I remembered my responsibilities as a photojournalist. I remembered my duty as a photojournalist not to get carried away by anger and emotions. I have learned always to be calm and have my camera with me at all times. In a country known for violent crime – the murder rate increased around 5 percent this year from 2014, to nearly 50 every day – home safety is something of an obsession for my family and me. This incident reminded me that, beyond the statistics, crime affects us all in South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Boys walk home for lunch from school in the village of Kogelo, west of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
A hyena eyes a herd of zebra at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, August 19, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Penney
Anna Muganza, a Bantu woman, poses for a photograph with her son in Mukondo village in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 24, 2015. The 40-year-old mother of six fled her village in April 2014 because of the conflict between the Bantus and Pygmies in southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like many other internally displaced people, Muganza is afraid to go back to her village because of the ongoing conflict and works in the surrounding fields to survive. Picture taken November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Habibou Bangre
Kungwa Kaumba, a Bantu woman, poses for a photograph as she sits inside her mud-wall house in Mukondo village, southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, November 24, 2015. The 43-year-old mother of eight fled her village in April 2014 because of the conflict between the Bantus and the Pygmies in the region. Bantus and Pygmies live together in Mukondo village. Picture taken November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Habibou Bangre
Protesters drag a female police officer accused of shooting a protester in the Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, May 12, 2015. Goran Tomasevic: Protesters started throwing stones at a group of police, who then started to run away. The policewoman in the photo, Medikintos Inabeza, 33, got left behind and then some protesters started to push her, saying that she had shot a female protestor in the stomach with an AK47 rifle. I didn’t see anything of that. There were 5 or 10 protesters pushing the policewoman at first, then others came and joined in. Up to 20 or 30 protesters were surrounding her at one point. The protesters kicked and beat her very badly; I also saw a couple of knives. I thought they were going to kill her. The people attacking her were really aggressive. What was really surprising to me was that the other police abandoned her when the stones were thrown. Maybe some were initially too scared to help, other than the two policemen who were doing what they could to rescue her. There was even one protester who tried to protect the policewoman. The whole thing lasted 20 or 30 minutes. It ended when, for some reason that was hard to figure out, the protestors let the policewoman go, handing her over to another group of police further on. I was the only photographer there when this incident happened. I’ve been in situations with angry crowds before but I’ve never seen something like this. Pictures sometimes tell a bigger story than words. This was one of those occasions. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is received by traditional dancers during the launch of the Cross-Border Integrated Programme for Sustainable Peace and Socio-Economic Transformation on the border between Kenya and Ethiopia in Moyale, Marsabit County, December 7, 2015. The leaders of Kenya and Ethiopia promised on Monday to create jobs, reduce poverty and foster trade in their restive borderlands, where conflict has intensified in recent years. REUTERS/Presidential Strategic Communications Unit/Handout via Reuters