tag: democracy


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…

May 30, 2014

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

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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…

March 4, 2014

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

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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.

August 21, 2013

Human Rights, Development, and Democracy in Africa: What Role for the Arts?

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This essay written by Mike van Graan, the Executive Director of the African Arts Institute (AFAI) based in Cape Town, is the first of a mini-series we hope to publish on the role of arts in democracy, protest, and human rights movements in Africa. It aims to explore how arts are used to advance freedom of expression and representation throughout the region, and highlight these important stories of pro-democracy arts activism – Eds.
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August 2, 2013

Popular Mobilization and the New Politics of Resource Sovereignty in Tanzania

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In 1972, a resident of Tanzania’s impoverished southeastern region of Mtwara penned an angry missive to the editor of a national newspaper. “In Tanzania, there are two groups of people,” he began. “Those in northern and central regions are the ones who enjoy the country’s fruits of independence and those in southern regions are left behind without any progress.” He cited the government’s geographically lopsided investment in infrastructure and industry as evidence of this inequality, and concluded by posing a poignant question that cut to the heart of the young East African country’s aspirations of national unity: “Why are the southern people ignored?”
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July 31, 2013

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

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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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October 2, 2012

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

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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 27, 2012

Africa as a Mirror of Democratization

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Africa as Subject v. Africa as Object

Too often, academic approaches to the subject of democracy in Africa confine themselves to static and quantitative approaches that emphasize ordinal rankings, national units of analysis, and institutional presence or absence, rather than grapple with inevitably messy and complex subjective and interpretive approaches to the topic. Read More…

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…