tag: African Spring


December 9, 2014

Citizens’ Revolt in Burkina Faso

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Even the long months of demonstrations and strikes that came before did not fully prepare the people of Burkina Faso for what they would accomplish during the last week of October 2014. In Ouagadougou, the capital, hundreds of thousands—organizers claimed a million—packed the central square on Tuesday, 28 October, to protest President Blaise Compaoré’s “constitutional coup,” as they called his plan to force through an amendment enabling him to run for reelection yet again, after more than a quarter century in power. Read more…

October 7, 2013

Social Protest, an African Perennial

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Early one morning in March 2013, residents of Bujagali in eastern Uganda, upset by the deplorable state of the road through their village blocked it with logs and large stones. The protesters expressed anger that President Yoweri Museveni had not kept a promise to pave the road, which becomes virtually impassable during heavy rains and throws up dust clouds in dry weather. Although the residents seemed determined to keep the road closed—some youths jokingly planted banana suckers and maize across it—riot police eventually came from nearby Jinja, arrested several demonstrators, and dispersed the remainder. Read More…

February 21, 2013

New Media in Africa and the Global Public Sphere

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In analyzing the relationship between a “global public sphere” and social media on the African continent, the generalizations hide a far more interesting set of observations. Debates and discussions about what passes for a global public sphere often overlook and obscure dynamics of power or take themselves too seriously.
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July 14, 2012

Democracy and Change: What are the Prospects for an “African Spring?”

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High unemployment and expectations among a bulging youth population, cost of living pressures, aging long-time rulers and government that is unresponsive and unrepresentative. The coexistence of these factors helped drive the 2011 uprisings in North Africa. In varying degrees and combinations, they are also evident across much of the rest of the continent, generating, over the last year, a mini-literature on the prospects for equivalent protest movements and moments in sub-Saharan Africa. Read More…