Essays

African Futures essays reflect on African protest and democracy movements, with original contributions from both scholars and practitioners.


April 17, 2012

When Mandela Dies and Mugabe Goes

This month sees the anniversaries both of the first free general elections in South Africa (27 April 1994) and independence from white minority rule in neighbouring Zimbabwe (18 April 1980). And in coming months the sun could likely set in each country on the lives of two major African leaders whom history will remember very […]

March 21, 2012

Values vs. Interests: The US and African Elections

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) held national elections beginning on 28 November 2011. The Carter Center, European Union observers, Congo’s Catholic Bishops, United States, other Western states, United Nations, and many others stated that these elections were badly flawed. Yet, in early March 2012, the UN, Western, and African governments are striving to […]

March 8, 2012

The Congo: A Revolution Deferred

In the run-up to last November’s presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cassandras were easy to find on the streets of Kinshasa. “Ça va péter,” a parliamentarian told me, “It’s going to blow up.” It wasn’t hard to see why. Both the incumbent Joseph Kabila and his main opponent Etienne Tshisekedi toasted […]

February 15, 2012

For Next Steps in Congo, Listen to the Congolese

It’s difficult to make sense of the reactions of many Western governments and international actors to the disastrous elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on November 28, 2011. Initial responses from the United States and the European Union were muted, and Belgium later congratulated President Joseph Kabila on his reelection. As the […]