The failure of last year's election to achieve political unity in Libya was most evident when Fajr Libya, or "Libya Dawn" -- a diverse coalition of armed groups that includes an array of Islamist militias -- rejected the election's outcome and seized control of Tripoli.
Nigerian voters have also sent a strong message to ordinary Africans throughout the continent. If Nigerians can vote for a candidate of their choice, even unseating an incumbent president, voters in other African countries can do the same.
Multi-tasking is de rigueur these days, so it comes as no surprise that renewable energy expert and conflict resolution specialist Steve Smith has his hands full. His specialty comes from years of practice.