Overcoming decades of dictatorship is a process that will likely take a generation to complete. Thus, while Burkina Faso's election is very good news, it comes with warnings about what is needed in the future to avoid a repetition of the past.
New coup plotters aren't finding acceptance on the continent as easy as their predecessors once did. It is becoming increasingly difficult for a coup d'etat to succeed in Africa.
Here's the story behind the dramatic turn of events in West Africa.
Burkina Faso was due to hold elections on Oct. 11 that many hoped would strengthen democracy.
Late last month, longtime Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore resigned under public pressure and fled to neighboring Coite D'Ivoire. Compaore's abrupt expulsion was a significant achievement for the hundreds of thousands of Burkinabes who took to the streets to demand his ouster and a democratic transition.
Sustained anti-government rallies in Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela have captured the attention of millions. But large pro-democracy demonstrations in Burkina Faso last month largely escaped the Western media's radar.