African Futures digests analyze and point to external debate on the possibilities of political change in Africa.

May 30, 2014

El-Sisi’s Election in Egypt: an Overwhelming Victory or an Electoral Farce?

On 29 May 2014, hours after the conclusion of an additional third day of voting, an expected outcome was confirmed. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Field Marshal and Ex-Military Chief, will be the next president of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Although official results expect to be announced in the coming days by the legally mandated Presidential Elections Commission (PEC), unofficial results reported by the judges supervising the polls, revealed an overwhelming victory for El-Sisi with 93% percent of the votes cast. Read more…

April 28, 2014

Rwanda’s Twenty-Year Transformation

This April marks twenty years since the horrifying 1994 Rwandan Genocide, though government coordinated commemoration ceremonies, dubbed Kwibuka 20, have been underway since January 2014. Amidst the remembrances, official and private, theatrical and sincere, Rwandans and international observers will be forced to consider the extent to which the situation in Rwanda has changed in the past two decades. Read more…

July 31, 2013

Women and the 2013 Zimbabwe Elections: A Voice from the Field

Editor’s Note: This digest, written by Ashley Rudo Chisamba, an Information and Membership Officer with the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe provides a local perspective and voice from the field on the day of this important national vote. African Futures wishes to highlight the work of this organization and the countless other civil society groups working to support a peaceful and representative electoral process.
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May 29, 2013

Museveni and the Monitor: Succession Politics in Print

On March 28, 2013, the ninth day since the headquarters of the Daily Monitor have been closed, the standoff was escalated as journalists were tear-gassed and struck by batons by Ugandan police outside the vacant office. Members from the Uganda’s Human Rights Network for Journalists organized a peaceful sit-in, but the guarding officers, after some provocation soon intervened, rapidly dispersing the hundred or so journalists, and arrested two for questioning.
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February 22, 2013

Not Even the Sky Limits Pro-Democracy Activists in Egypt

While the much anticipated time-frame for parliamentary elections in Egypt has been set for 27 April 2013, frustration with the Morsi regime remains and opposition is being expressed in new and creative ways. In a particularly unorthodox form of protest, the April 6 Youth Movement, a key movement within the Egyptian Revolution, posted on their official Facebook page that they have entered President Mohammed Morsi in an online competition to win a trip to outer space.
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December 6, 2012

Making the Link: Rwanda’s Domestic Policies and Interests Abroad

Lately, Rwanda has received considerable media attention for its role in the M23 crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After two reports by the UN Group of Experts on the DRC tied Rwanda to providing financial and technical support to the armed group, the international community began to take action. This past July, after the release of the first UN report, the U.S., Germany, and The Netherlands all cut portions of their aid to Rwanda. Rwanda’s biggest donor, the UK announced on the 30th of November that it finds the available evidence against Rwanda and its role in the DRC “credible and compelling” and subsequently cut £21m of aid intended to be disbursed this month.
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November 28, 2012

2012 Somaliland Elections: Internal Gains but External Obstacles to Statehood

Today, Somaliland votes. In their fifth election since 2002, the self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland will decide the composition of their local municipal councils, and which three political parties can represent the nation for the next ten years. Today’s outcome will not only set the stage for the nation’s political future, but also display to the rest of the world their claim for international recognition, and the strength of their democratic system.
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October 2, 2012

Puntland, Multi-Party Politics, and its Place in Somalia

While the world was rightly fixated on the new President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s election, al-Shaabab’s attempt at his assassination, and his inauguration over the last few weeks, another electoral process began in Somalia’s semi-autonomous northern state of Puntland; and it’s not off to a good start.
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September 18, 2012

Mauritania: Dreaming about the Fall of the Military State

Mauritania has witnessed large protests this year calling for an end to the military regime of General Ould Abdel Aziz (for a useful though slightly out of date overview, see @LISSNUP’s discussion of the protests). Mauritanian activist and blogger Ahmed Ould Jedou offers an insider’s perspective on the drivers of protest and the role of the February 25 youth movement. Read More…