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.

Essays | September 22, 2014

Article 46A Bis: A Step Backward in Ending Impunity in Africa

“If this retrogressive provision comes into force, the survivors and victims of atrocities will have no option but to seek justice and reparation from elsewhere—in this case, the ICC, which still has jurisdiction to try perpetrators of mass atrocities, regardless of official position—thereby defeating the principle of ‘African solutions to African problems.’ ”

Photo credit to Flickr user Ben Sutherland. Taken on February 15, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa. No changes were made. This picture is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/8496877807/
Graffiti in Cape Town, South Africa.
Essays | August 4, 2014

Democracy versus Stability: Political Reconciliation and the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar

“Race, political economy, social classes, the struggle for democracy, the question of unity, and proximate factors such as leadership have all been cited by scholars as causes of political instability in Zanzibar. To understand political reconciliation in the region, however, one needs to approach the problem from the perspective of actors, interests, and strategies for peace.”

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A group of men walking along the beach in Zanzibar.
Essays | July 3, 2014

The May 2014 Malawi Elections: A Democratic Success Story?

“These results have been widely embraced by democracy enthusiasts and seen as a significant milestone in Malawi’s democratization project …. However, a critical review of the overall conduct and handling of the polls in May raises a crucial question as to whether or not these elections should be celebrated as the significant achievement they have been made out to be.”

Photo credit to Flickr user masondan. Photo taken February 14, 2014, 2014 by Dan Mason. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. No changes were made. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/masondan/12569032085
Malawians riding on a bus prior to the May 2014 elections.
Essays | May 15, 2014

Kenya 2013 Elections: A Reflection

“The 2013 Kenyan elections should be assessed as a process and not as an event. Although it is not clear what direct impact they had on democracy and peacebuilding in the short term, three factors are identified which seem to have influenced the elections significantly by providing opportunities for democracy and peacebuilding to thrive in the long-term. These three factors are: the legacy of Agenda Four; vigilance by Kenyan civil society, the media, and social media; and the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

Graffiti from the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya.
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