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AD280: Lived poverty on the rise, economic assessments on a slide in South Africa

Africa’s second-largest economy has been struggling. High unemployment (27.1% overall) has reached frightening levels among South Africa’s youth (54.7%). Rising prices for fuel and basic commodities have eroded consumers’ purchasing power. The kickstart provided by the 2010 World Cup is a fond memory, as gross domestic product (GDP) growth sputtered and all but stalled, at 0.6%, by 2016 (International Monetary Fund, 2018; IOL, 2018).

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AD279: Les changements climatiques empirent la vie au Togo mais sont moins connus par les agriculteurs

La problématique des changements climatiques constitue actuellement l’un des débats qui alimente la scène politique internationale. Le réchauffement du monde provoqué par les émissions de gaz à effets de serre a des répercussions importantes sur l’environnement et donc sur l’agriculture. Les pays en développement sont davantage dépendants des ressources climatiques pour leur agriculture et ont une capacité d'adaptation plus faible que les pays industrialisés (Pereira, 2017; Hernes et al., 1995; Schelling, 1992).

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AD278: Tanzanians express strong support for elections, multiparty competition, presidential term limits

Elections are considered a core element of democratic rule (Przeworski et al., 1999). However, in many African countries, the introduction of regular elections has not resulted in liberal democratic reforms and the guarantee of civil and political freedoms (Gyimah-Boadi, 2004; Teshome, 2008).

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AD277: Most Mauritians want free news media, private communications free of monitoring

Mauritius’ image as a model of media freedom in Africa has acquired a few blemishes, most recently in November when the National Assembly amended the country’s Information and Communication Technologies Act (ICTA) to punish online communications that are deemed likely to cause “annoyance, humiliation, inconvenience, distress, or anxiety” with up to 10 years in prison (Reporters Without Borders, 2018a).

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AD276: Les Togolais sont majoritairement pour une sortie du franc CFA

Le franc des colonies françaises d’Afrique, ou franc CFA, a été créé par la France en décembre 1945 et est devenu lors des indépendances de 1960 le franc de la Communauté Financière Africaine pour les pays de l’Union Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UMOA) et le franc de la Coopération Financière en Afrique Centrale pour les pays membres de l’Union Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (UMAC) (BCEAO, 2018; Petteng, 2016).

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AD275: Nigerians support elections and multiparty competition but mistrust electoral commission

Nigeria’s upcoming elections may be as momentous as they are mammoth: More than 20,000 candidates from 91 registered political parties will square off in presidential, gubernatorial, and parliamentary contests that observers hope will strengthen the country’s democracy and ensure economic development and peace (Gana, 2019; International Crisis Group, 2018). All eyes will be on the presidential race pitting incumbent Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). 

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AD274: Most Togolese mistrust electoral commission, would prefer non-partisan, technical alternative

Since August 2017, Togo has been shaken by waves of protests by a coalition of opposition parties known as C14 demanding constitutional, institutional, and electoral reforms resulting in parliamentary and local elections as well as a constitutional referendum in a more consensual atmosphere (Togo Times, 2018). The success of such an electoral marathon would depend in part on how much the various stakeholders trust the institutions involved in the electoral process, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI in French).

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AD273: Franchissement des frontières internationales: Quels défis pour les populations ouest-africaines?

L'intégration régionale a été pour l'Afrique une stratégie de développement des décennies durant. Le traité de fondation de la Communauté Economique Africaine en 1991 a fourni un cadre visant une intégration politique et économique totale avant 2019. Beaucoup de pays africains se sont engagés pour stimuler la coopération politique et économique. 

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AD272: Zambians see progress on education despite persistent inequalities

While Zambia has achieved steady growth in primary-school enrollment and completion, critics say poorly trained teachers, inadequate learning materials, and poor school governance undermine the quality of education (Global Partnership for Education, 2018). To address these challenges, the Zambian government has committed to educational reforms designed to make teaching and learning more responsive to the needs and demands of the population.

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AD271: Public service delivery in Tanzania: Fewer problems and bribes, improved satisfaction

Access to basic public services is regarded as a major determinant of human development and productivity, a prerequisite for ensuring the welfare of a country’s citizens (Armah-Attoh, 2015). But access to basic public services remains a major problem in many developing economies (Ofori-Mensal, 2017).

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AD270: Basotho see progress in fight against corruption but fear retaliation if they report incidents

Corruption poses a serious threat to economic development and democratic governance in Africa. In recent years, Lesotho has been shaken by a number of corruption scandals involving high-ranking politicians. Allegations of corruption in the government fleet-service contract with Bidvest featured significantly in the split of the leading Democratic Congress (DC) party and the no-confidence vote that ended the Pakalitha Mosisili government in 2017 (Post, 2017; Matlosa, 2017).

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AD269: Au Bénin, la radio et la télé toujours en tête malgré une avancée des nouveaux médias

Available only in French.

Les sources d’information, au fil des années, ont évolué technologiquement et se sont diversifiées. Au Bénin, à la presse écrite d’abord coloniale puis indépendante s’est ajouté en 1957 la première station nationale de radiodiffusion, appelée aujourd’hui Radio Bénin, qui à ce jour compte plusieurs démembrements et fait face depuis un quart de siècle à la concurrence des privés. La télévision a vu le jour en 1978, Internet au milieu des années 1990, et les réseaux sociaux vers le milieu des années 2000.

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AD268: Climate change making life worse in Liberia, but only half of citizens have heard of it

Scientists and policy makers have clearly recognized the threat that climate change poses to Liberia, particularly to its seven in 10 citizens who depend on agriculture for their livelihood (Stanturf, Goodrick, Warren, Stegall, & Williams, 2013; USAID, 2012). Severe flooding experienced in recent years, changes in rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, and other climate changes have serious implications for food security but also for health, education, and other development sectors (Kenneh & Greaves, 2016; Daily Observer, 2018).

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AD267: With elections a year away, Mauritians are increasingly critical of government performance

With just a year to go until presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2019, electoral campaigning will soon get underway in Mauritius. Incumbents can tout a number of strengths. Mauritius ranks highly on many indicators of good governance and democracy, such as the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and past elections have generally been considered free and fair (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017; Economist Intelligence Unit, 2017).

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AD266: Gambians see sharp decline in emigration, though interest in leaving remains high

Migration is a high-profile issue in the Gambia, especially irregular low-skilled emigration beyond the borders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Zanker & Altrogge, 2017). Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year autocratic regime, characterized by poverty and poor governance, triggered a wave of irregular emigration – especially by young Gambians – to Europe, a phenomenon known locally as “the back way” (Embiricos, 2016).  

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AD264: Amidst drought, only half of Batswana are aware of climate change

Botswana is a semi-arid Southern African country characterized by erratic rainfall, recurrent droughts, low soil moisture, and extreme weather events such as flash floods (African Climate and Development Initiative, 2015) – a foundation of vulnerability for communities in the country. Frequent drought conditions have had significant impacts on domestic food production and other aspects of the national economy in the past (Seekings, 2016).

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AD263: In fight against corruption, Gambians say citizens can make a difference, report without fear, and get official action

The Gambia ranks 130th out of 180 countries and territories in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (2017), an improvement from 145th in 2016. High-profile corruption convictions in the past have included those of a former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, inspector general of the police, justice minister, and president of the Gambia Court of Appeal (U.S. Department of State, 2014).

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AD262: Freedoms seen as expanding, but fewer Malians back free media, feel free to speak their minds

For democracy to be “lived” by ordinary citizens, their ability to engage with others and the state must be protected. While civil freedoms and rights are thus considered core elements of democracies, their mere existence on paper does not mean that citizens will use or benefit from them.

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AD261: In eSwatini, citizens see reasons for hope despite increase in lived poverty

Poverty and inequality, exacerbated by poor economic growth, continue to be challenges for the government of the Kingdom of eSwatini. The World Bank (2018) reports that economic growth in eSwatini declined to 1.9% in 2017, from 3.2% in 2016, reflecting a slow recovery in agriculture and mounting fiscal challenges. Six in 10 citizens (60.3%) live in poverty, including 38% in extreme poverty, which disproportionately affects children, the elderly, the unemployed, as well as female-headed and single-headed households (World Bank, 2018).

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AD260: Les changements climatiques affectent négativement la vie des Camerounais

Le secteur agricole est l’un des principaux moteurs de l’économie camerounaise. En 2012, ce secteur a contribué à hauteur de 21,1% au produit intérieur brut (PIB). Employant 60% de la population active, il assure un rôle essentiel dans la création des revenus dans les campagnes de même qu’il garantit la sécurité alimentaire des populations (Institut National de la Statistique, 2016). 

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AD258: La recherche du mieux-être pousse certains Camerounais – mais pas la majorité – vers l’émigration

AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH.

A la suite de la suppression progressive des barrières entre les différents pays contribuant à une intégration plus poussée dans certaines zones, le monde est aujourd’hui considéré comme un « village planétaire ». Une des conséquences visibles de cette intégration est sans doute le phénomène des migrations internationales. 

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AD259: Cabo Verdeans reject visa waiver for EU passport holders but approve of regionalization

For decades, Cabo Verde has faced the challenges of modest economic growth, imbalanced development among its islands, and high unemployment, particularly among youth. To increase economic growth from a projected 4.1% for 2018 to about 7% in 2021, the government has put in motion two major proposals (Nshimyumuremyi, 2018; Monteiro, 2017). 

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AD257: Liberians endorse democracy but are dissatisfied with the way it’s working in their country

Liberia’s recent presidential and legislative elections were widely considered a success and ushered in the country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power in 73 years. The National Democratic Institute’s election observation mission in Liberia called them “an historic achievement for the country and its citizens,” noting active voter-education campaigns, a strengthening of political parties, and improved transparency allowing citizens to observe various aspects of the electoral process (National Democratic Institute, 2018).

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AD256: La majorité des Gabonais estiment que leur sécurité personnelle s’est dégradée

La question de la sécurité est extrêmement prégnante au Gabon, et cela depuis longtemps. En effet, il ne se passe pas un seul jour sans que les populations ne se plaignent des actes d’insécurité liés aux larcins, aux braquages, aux assassinats et autres actes délictueux. Selon les médias, cette situation semble grandissante et non maîtrisable au point où les forces de sécurité donnent l’impression d’être impuissantes (Koleba, 2018). 

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AD255: Note to Madagascar’s election winner: Crime, infrastructure, and food insecurity most important issues for government to fix

Earlier this year, political tensions in Madagascar threatened to boil over when President Rajaonarimampianina tried to push through election reforms that opposition candidates said in effect blocked them from running (Trevor, 2018; Rabary, 2018; Bozzini, 2018; Manaleng, 2018)).

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AD254: Land redistribution: South Africans prioritize land taken in forced removals, support ‘willing seller’ approach

In 1913, South Africa’s Land Act set aside 87% of the country’s land for exclusive use and ownership by white people, helping to divide the nation into a relatively prosperous white heartland and a cluster of increasingly impoverished black reserves on the periphery and within cities (Walker, 2017). More than a century later, South Africa is still struggling to redress this historical injustice and the inequality it continues to foster. 

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AD253: Ugandans endorse rule of law, but distrust and perceived corruption mar views on courts

Uganda’s legal system is in the spotlight following a recent surge in election-related violence, some involving high-profile members of Parliament (Al Jazeera, 2018). While these cases have reinvigorated the conversation about judicial integrity and autonomy in Uganda, this is hardly the first time the country’s judiciary has been accused of being under political influence.

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AD252: Difficultés économiques et chômage incitent les jeunes et les éduqués à quitter le Togo

L’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (2016) a estimé que le nombre d’émigrants togolais à travers le monde est entre 1,5 et 2 millions, soit environ le tiers de la population à l’intérieur du pays. Cette forte diaspora est également palpable dans les transferts monétaires au pays – 1009,2 milliards de francs CFA pendant la période 2000-2010, 16,35% du produit intérieur brut de 2014 (OIM).

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AD251: Les Burkinabè assez réticents sur l’abolition de la peine de mort

Au Burkina Faso, la peine de mort par fusillade est la première des peines afflictives et infamantes prévue par la loi. Cependant, depuis 30 ans (décembre 1988), le pays n’a plus connu d’exécution de la peine de mort, même si les juridictions continuent de l’appliquer, ainsi que le montrent les condamnations prononcées par les assises criminelles de 2015.

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