tag: civil society

March 4, 2014

Anxieties of West African Democracy: Six Presidential Elections in 2014-2015


This contribution is the first of a two-part essay by Dr. Gilles Olakounlé Yabi on the anxious environment in West African countries preparing for elections in 2014/2015. The second part will be posted on African Futures in mid-March. This essay was originally written in French and translated by African Futures. All issues of misinterpretation or mistranslation are therefore solely the editors’ responsibility. To ensure the author’s original nuance, please read the French version.

October 7, 2013

Social Protest, an African Perennial


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…

December 19, 2012

The Language of the Political Crowd in Tunisia


The 17th of December 2012 marked the second anniversary since the start of the Arab Spring in Tunisia. The actions of the Tunisian people helped inspire profound transformation across North Africa and invigorated similar discussions and protest movements throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. African Futures wishes to pay tribute to this occasion with an essay by Andrea Khalil, which analyzes the power of collective mobilization and language in Tunisia’s on-going revolution. – eds.
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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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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…

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 […]