The rise of African women
This year saw three African women take on key leadership roles.
Malawi appointed a female president, Joyce Banda, as Liberia re-elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Since taking over the task of stabilizing a shaky economy, Banda has earned plaudits for financial reforms, including selling the presidential jet, downsizing the government's car fleet and cutting her own salary.
In another milestone, South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was inaugurated as the chief of the African Union. The former minister took the reins of a male-dominated organization facing funding woes and challenged it to reduce its reliance on aid. Her election could ease tensions between the body and the International Criminal Court, which also picked an African woman as its top prosecutor.
Critics have accused the court of focusing on African nations and overlooking opportunities to investigate abuses in other countries.
Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda took over as the court's top prosecutor, a move welcomed by critics as a major step in healing relations between the two organizations...