On 29 November 2015, Burkina Faso will conduct its first presidential and parliamentary elections since popular protests in October 2014 ousted long-serving President Blaise Compaoré. Initially planned for mid-October 2015, the elections were delayed by a coup in September, which was overturned amid street demonstrations and diplomatic pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and the United Nations.
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La plupart des Burkinabè désirent la démocratie et rejettent toute forme de gouvernance non-démocratique. Toutefois, la proportion de la population satisfaite du fonctionnement de la démocratie au Burkina Faso a baissé par rapport à 2008, selon la dernière enquête d’Afrobaromètre.
Ghanaians express high levels of tolerance for people of different religions and ethnicities. Eight in every 10 survey respondents say they would “somewhat” or “strongly” like to have people of different religious faiths (80%) and people of different ethnicities (81%) as neighbours (Figure 1).
In addition, 14% would not care if their neighbours were of a different religion or ethnicity. Only one in 20 (5%) say they would “somewhat” or “strongly” dislike living near people of different religions or ethnicities.
Crime and insecurity are major challenges in African countries, threats to both national development and individual quality of life. According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, which assesses countries’ safety and security as part of national wealth and well-being, only 11 African countries rank in the top 100 countries worldwide in safety and security; the top-ranked African country (Benin) is at No. 50 (Legatum Institute, 2014). The U.S government rates crime in most African countries as either critical or high (U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council, 2015).
According to the 2013 Global Corruption Report by Transparency International (TI), the police are perceived as the most corrupt institution in Africa. Of 36 countries worldwide where police are seen as the most corrupt institution, 20 are in Africa. According to the report, the police are the most often bribed institution, followed by the judiciary; 31% of people who came into contact with the police report having paid a bribe. Bribery rates of the police were 75% or higher in seven countries, including six African countries.
Most Zimbabweans believe that a good citizen in a democracy is obliged to pay taxes and that the government always has the right to make people pay taxes, Afrobarometer's most recent survey shows.
At the same time, public perceptions of tax officials as corrupt are high, and a majority of citizens demand accountability for how taxpayers’ money is spent. While more than half of respondents support taxation in order for the country to develop, a substantial proportion challenge the government to find other revenue sources to support development.
Selon la dernière enquête Afrobaromètre, la plupart des Malgaches constatent une hausse alarmante du niveau de corruption en 2014 par rapport à 2013 et décrient l’insuffisance de performance du gouvernement à mener à bien la lutte contre ce fléau. De 2005 à 2014, les citoyens perçoivent ainsi de moins en moins bien l’effort du pouvoir en place dans le combat contre la corruption, le problème qui amenuit la crédibilité des institutions étatiques.
On 25 October 2015, Tanzania will have its fifth multiparty election since the restoration of the multiparty system in 1992. The incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, is ineligible to be elected due to the constitutional limit of two five-year terms for the presidential office. Following a highly contested nomination process, the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), selected John Magufuli as its presidential nominee, unexpectedly eliminating several heavyweights from the race.
On 25 October 2015, Côte d'Ivoire will conduct its first presidential election since the disputed 2010-2011 contest and civil war. The election pits President Alassane Ouattara against Pascal Affi N’Guessan and other challengers. In recent weeks, several candidates have voiced concerns about electoral institutions and the election environment, and former National Assembly President Mamadou Koulibaly withdrew his candidacy, citing doubts about the fairness of the election.
On 25 October 2015, Tanzanians will go to the polls to choose the government that will lead the country for the next five years. Once elected, the new administration will have its party’s election manifesto as the blueprint for delivering results, in addition to existing government policy documents, most prominently Vision 2025 (dating back to 1995), the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (known by its Swahili acronym MKUKUTA), rolling five-year development plans, and the recent Big Results Now (BRN)1 initiative.
La question de limitation des mandats présidentiels revêt un intérêt particulier dû au contexte historique togolais. En effet, introduit dans la Constitution de 1992, ce verrou a été sauté en 2002 pour permettre au Président Eyadéma Gnassingbé, père de l’actuel président du Togo, de briguer d’autres mandats. La peur semble donc grande pour l’opposition que sans la réintroduction de cette limitation l’actuel Président Faure E.
Au Bénin, les efforts du gouvernement dans la lutte contre la corruption au sein de l’administration publique sont décriés et, comparativement au Ghana, au Togo, et à la Côte d’Ivoire, le Bénin gère pire la lutte contre la corruption, selon le plus récent sondage Afrobaromètre.
A cette ère d’une mondialisation galopante, les choix de modèle de développement ainsi que les relations avec le reste du monde revêtent une importance particulière aussi bien pour les dirigeants que pour les citoyens africains. Ces choix sont d’autant plus importants que les pays africains, à l’instar du Togo, restent parmi les pays les plus vulnérables aux facteurs externes.
Guineans are heading toward their second competitive presidential election since the end of Gen. Lansana Conté’s 24-year reign in 2010. The election contest pits incumbent President Alpha Condé and his Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) against seven challengers, including opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo and his Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). In the 2010 general election, President Condé narrowly won in the second round, 52.52% to Diallo’s 47.48%.
Some of the key findings:
As one of the first post-independence countries in Africa to effect leadership change through peaceful and competitive elections, Zambia has a history of multiparty politics dating back to 1991, when the United National Independent Party (UNIP) party was removed from power by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). After ruling for 20 years, the MMD lost the elections in 2011, and the Patriotic Front (PF) was ushered into power.
Starting from five major political parties at independence, the history of multiparty politics in Zimbabwe is marked by a fragmented opposition that reached a peak in a power-sharing Government of National Unity (GNU) but has never broken the ruling party’s 35-year hold on power. Does this history reflect what Zimbabweans want in their politics?
Image credit: Courtesy of UN Photos on Flickr
In public debate about the resurgence of xenophobic violence in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces in March-April 2015, which killed at least seven people and displaced more than 5,000 (Smith, 2015), a considerable amount of ink has been spilled on trying to map out why the attacks took place. Broadly speaking, one can group the various explanations into three categories.
The international community is watching with intense interest as Nigeria’s new government settles in and begins to pursue its development priorities, which are centred on fighting corruption; creating employment, especially for young people; and improving security. How do Nigerians, in turn, perceive the international community and its role in their country’s development?
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A majority of African youth are interested in public affairs and discuss politics with those around them, but relatively low levels of civic engagement and political participation suggest a disconnect between the continent’s “youth bulge” and democratic processes.
Most Zimbabweans express discontent with the overall direction of their country, deteriorating economic conditions, rising corruption, and the performance of their elected leaders – except for President Robert Mugabe.
According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, popular assessments of the country’s direction and of how members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are doing their jobs are considerably more negative than in 2012, but a majority of Zimbabweans continue to approve of the president’s performance.
Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) honours the ideals that underpinned Madiba’s actions – freedom, universal enfranchisement, and participatory democracy. As Mandela once said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” More than a quarter-century after grass-roots pro-democracy movements began replacing authoritarian regimes in many African countries, and despite marked progress toward democratic governance, many new democracies continue to suffer from a number of democratic deficits.
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An overwhelming majority of Zambians say they are opposed to physical violence as a way to discipline women and children, Afrobarometer’s most recent survey reveals. Disapproval of wife battering is so widespread in Zambia that there is little or no difference in views across genders, urban/rural locations, or education levels.
Opposition to corporal punishment of children, both at home and at school, is also the majority view, though less widespread than disapproval of physical discipline of wives.
Kenya has seen a dramatic rise in violent extremism: Between 1970 and 2007, the country experienced 190 terrorist attacks, an average of five per year; since 2008, the average has escalated to 47 attacks a year. The overwhelming majority of these incidents have been attributed to Al-Shabaab. Originating in Somalia in 2005, the group has since regionalized its operations and established an active presence in Kenya, where it has successfully recruited and radicalized Kenyan nationals and carried out numerous attacks on a variety of local targets (Botha, 2014).
In 2015, the Republic of South Africa ratified its National Youth Policy 2015-2020 (NYP). One of the policy’s four primary objectives is “to strengthen the capacity of young people to enable them to take charge of their own well-being through building their assets and ultimately realising their potential to the fullest” (Presidency, 2014, p. 12). This is a crucial objective, given that about half of the country’s unemployed workers are youth ages 15-24 years (Statistics South Africa, 2015).
South Africa celebrates Youth Day every June 16 to commemorate the students who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising in 1976. An estimated 3,000-10,000 students marched to protest the apartheid government’s directive to make Afrikaans a compulsory medium of instruction in public education, alongside English. The violent police response to this peaceful protest led to a widespread revolt against the government and exposed the brutality of the apartheid state to the international community.
Les Togolais sont célèbres pour leur hospitalité. Ce constat est-il encore vrai de nos jours? Qu’en est-il de la tolérance envers les personnes de religion différente, d’un autre groupe ethnique, d’une autre nationalité, d’orientation sexuelle différente, et de ceux qui vivent avec le VIH/SIDA?