Elections & Governance

Representing a range of engaging perspectives on elections and governance in Africa, these Kujenga Amani essays highlight various democratic reforms, institutional analyses, and various strategies for achieving good governance in Africa.

South Africa | January 5, 2017

Fees Must Fall: Lessons from Student Struggles in South Africa

South Africa is currently undergoing a resurgence in student protests, with students agitating for free, decolonized education. The most prominent of these movements are Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall. What, exactly, are RMF and FMF? In a nutshell, they are an expression of a deep problem haunting “post-colonial” Africa in general and South […]

Photo credit to Paul Saad, Flickr User Paul Saad. Taken on October 23, 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo https://www.flickr.com/photos/kartaba/22409701965
Fees Must Fall Protest in Pretoria, South Africa.
Essays | October 23, 2015

The Path to the Ivoirian Presidential Elections: Past Strife and Current Challenges

“The next few weeks will see heightened political tensions in Côte d’Ivoire, and key actors, particularly the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), will have to pay close attention to unfolding events. The threats to political stability will also not disappear with the election of a president.”

Photo credit to Flickr user Ben Houdijk. Taken on October 29, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benzies/6318981462/in/album-72157627942059699/
Photo credit to Flickr user Ben Houdijk.
Essays | September 30, 2015

Mediating Electoral Violence in a Polarized Society: The Case of Zimbabwe

“Although the media…are expected to observe, investigate, and subsequently report news as objectively as possible, these institutions are powerful political and cultural actors, influenced by political and economic forces to take subjective positions. In a polarized environment such as Zimbabwe, they are not neutral arbiters of electoral information and images. Rather, the media carry the most basic characteristics of the journalism of war and violence: their reporting is propaganda oriented, elite oriented, and victory oriented.”

Photo credit to DoC via Flickr user GovernmentZA. Taken on February 17, 2015. CC BY-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/governmentza/16281309174/
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
Essays | September 11, 2015

Peace at Stake in Burundi: Could the Crisis Escalate, and Is There a Way Out?

“The commitment of a section of the opposition to unseating Nkurunziza’s regime, coupled with divisions within the military and the police, could turn the conflict into a civil war, while state responses to repress the opposition could lead to the spreading of violence across the country…Hope remains that peace can be achieved in Burundi, but the window of opportunity is closing fast.”

Photo credit to REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic via Flickr user Globovisión. Taken on May 13, 2015. CC BY-NC 4.0. No changes were made. Original photo:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/globovision/17013053074/
Protesters clash with Burundian security forces following a failed coup d’état.
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