Ghana’s vibrant media has played an important role in the country’s democratization. From its strong advocacy during the country’s struggles for independence and democratic rule to its current watchdog role for society, the Ghanaian media has continually set the agenda on matters of critical importance, sustained the discourse, and effected change. This has earned Ghana a reputation as one of the most media-friendly countries in the world, rising steadily on the World Press Freedom Index from 67th in 2002 to 23rd in 2018, from 19th among African countries to No.
The departure of Yahya Jammeh in 2017 marked a new beginning in the Gambia. But the legacy of his two-decade authoritarian rule, characterized by gross human-rights violations and a society strained by political and ethnic divisions as well as poverty (Tambadou, 2018), continues to challenge efforts of the new government to consolidate democracy.
South Africa is getting ready for its fifth general election, expected to be held by August 2019. Over the coming months, political parties will be campaigning for national and provincial leadership.
Public outrage over official corruption was one of the main reasons for the wave of protests in 2010-2011 that led to the overthrow of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Just one day after Ben Ali’s departure, the provisional government established a National Commission of Enquiry into Misappropriation and Corruption (Yerkes & Muasher, 2017).
Comme dans la plupart des pays africains, la corruption est un frein pour le développement du Cameroun. Pour juguler sa progression, l’état camerounais a mis en place un certain nombre d’institutions dont les plus connues sont le Contrôle Supérieur de l’Etat (CONSUPE), l’Agence d’Investigation Financière (ANIF), et la Commission Nationale Anti-Corruption (CONAC).
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Au Togo, la corruption est l’un des facteurs majeurs compromettant la lutte contre la pauvreté, selon la Banque Mondiale (2018). Étant donné les effets néfastes de la corruption sur le développement économique, le gouvernement togolais a mis en place la Haute Autorité de Prévention et de Lutte contre la Corruption et les Infractions Assimilées (HAPLCIA) en avril 2017.
After the 12-year rule of Africa's first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a runoff vote brought George Weah to power in Liberia’s first democratic transition in 73 years (Aljazeera, 2017). In his inauguration speech in January 2018, Weah promised to grow the economy, expand the revenue base, and improve the lives of the Liberian people through new institutions and pro-poor public governance (Malawian Watchdog, 2018).
Le Gabon a vécu de 1967 à 1990 sous le régime du parti unique. Mais en 1990, avec les évolutions politiques qu’ont connues les pays africains, les acteurs politiques gabonais se sont retrouvés lors de la conférence nationale qui a acté le passage à la démocratie et au multipartisme immédiat.
Depuis lors, le Gabon a tenu cinq élections présidentielles, cinq élections législatives, quatre élections locales (municipales et départementales), et autant d’élections sénatoriales.
Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948), how many countries can claim to respect and enforce the rights and freedoms to which it entitles everyone in the world?
In October 2011, after years of conflict with extremist groups on its eastern and northeastern borders, Kenya sent about 2,000 Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops into Somalia. Close on the heels of high-profile kidnappings and deaths of foreign tourists and aid workers, Operation “Protect the Nation” was launched with public fanfare and vague pronouncements about ridding Somalia of al Shabaab, creating a buffer zone against extremists, and protecting Kenya’s longer-term development plans (Downie, 2011; Branch, 2011; Zenko, 2011).
As Zimbabwe struggled to contain a deadly cholera outbreak in September-October 2018, questions focused again on failures of infrastructure and leadership that continue to leave the country vulnerable to such a preventable, “medieval” disease (Burke, 2018; Eyewitness News, 2018). Zimbabwe has suffered repeated cholera outbreaks, including one in 2008 that claimed more than 4,000 lives and infected more than 98,000 people (World Health Organization, 2009).
The principle of accountability, described as early as the 19th century by Alexis de Tocqueville, is central to the functioning of democratic rule. Citizens bestow legitimacy upon representatives to govern on their behalf through the process by which representatives are chosen and the “rules” they must adhere to (Behn, 2001; Ferejohn, 1999; Schedler, Diamond, & Plattner, 1999). Accountability ensures that if elected representatives breach this mandate, they will face consequences in court or at the ballot box (Chambers, 2003)
The government of Togo has taken recent steps to protect the rights of women and minorities. One is a new penal code, adopted in November 2015 after years of advocacy by human-rights organizations, that strengthens protections against gender-based violence and discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, and other factors. However, the new law reinforces sanctions against people in same-sex relationships (Journal Officiel, 2015).
Gender makes headlines in Tanzania, as when the president attacks birth control and endorses kicking pregnant girls out of school or when fake fingernails and eyelashes are banned from Parliament (Guardian, 2017, 2018a, 2018b).
Elections form a central pillar of democratic rule, yet many elections in Africa have been marred by unfair campaign conditions, rigged votes, or term-limit adjustments to help incumbents retain office (Bratton, 1998; Levitsky & Way, 2002; Lindberg, 2006; Collier & Vicente, 2012).
The government of the Kingdom of eSwatini recognizes gender inequality as an impediment to sustainable national development and has backed its constitutional guarantees of equality with a number of statutes, policies, and strategies. These include its 2004 ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations, 2012), its National Gender Policy (2010), and its 2018 Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill (Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse, 2018).
Durante 15 anos após a independência, o regime de partido único de Cabo Verde não permitiu a avaliação dos políticos por parte dos cidadãos. O estabelecimento de um regime democrático a partir de 1991 deu origem a uma nova forma de relacionamento entre os líderes eleitos e os eleitores. As promessas eleitorais criaram grandes expectativas dos cidadãos de que o regime democrático iria resolver os problemas do país e melhor as condições de vida da população.
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For 15 years after independence, Cabo Verde’s one-party regime did not allow for the evaluation of politicians by citizens. The establishment of a democratic regime from 1991 onwards birthed a new form of relationship between elected leaders and voters. Electoral promises created high public expectations that the democratic regime would solve the country’s problems and improve the living conditions of the population.
In 2010 and 2011, Tunisians launched a wave of protests that led to the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ending 23 years of iron-fisted rule marked by the repression of public and individual freedoms. Since then, the country has achieved several democratic milestones, among them the establishment of a Constituent Assembly, the drafting of a new Constitution in 2014, and the organization of four successful elections, including local elections held in May 2018 after being postponed four times.
While Botswana is widely recognized for its unbroken series of successful elections stretching back to independence in 1966, analysts have long pointed to low levels of political participation and a weak civil society as barriers on its path toward a strong democracy (Democracy Research Project, 2002; Mpabanga, 2000; Holm, Molutsi, & Somolekae, 1996; Mfundisi, 2005).
Depuis quelques années, les autorités gabonaises ont placé la protection environnementale comme une priorité de l’action publique. Cette volonté s’est manifestée déjà depuis 2002 par la classification de 11% du territoire national en parcs nationaux, complété en 2017 en créant neuf aires protégées marines et 11 réserves aquatiques couvrant 21% de son espace maritime.
Botswana has long been considered a leader in democratic practice, ranking among Africa’s best performers with regard to good governance, the rule of law, and respect for civil liberties.
Over the past decade, eSwatini has experienced more frequent and intense extreme weather events, including an El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 (Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis and Research Center, 2017). The same period has also seen a sharp decline in crop-production levels and crop diversity due to climate variability. Maize production in the country dropped by 67% between the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 planting seasons, especially in the lowveld.
Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has taken pride in promoting its development based on democracy, good governance, human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. Its Constitution affirms that all Mauritians should benefit from the right to equal protection and assistance of the law against any form of discrimination.
Namibia performs well on many gender-equality indicators, including gender representation in governance. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2017), Namibia currently ranks 12th globally and fourth on the African continent for the proportion of women in Parliament. Getting to this level of gender representation required a number of important changes in recent years, most notably the adoption of a 50/50 alternating party list by the majority party, Swapo, which holds 80% of National Assembly’s voting seats (Gender Links, 2014).
For the first time in a generation, Zimbabweans will vote in presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections on July 30, 2018 without the name of Robert Mugabe at the top of the ballot.
A l’instar de tous les pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, le Mali est frappé par un changement climatique très avarié. A cet effet, l’économie malienne, essentiellement basée sur l’agrosilvopastorale, fait face à des conséquences graves, y compris la baisse de la pluviométrie de 30% depuis les années 1998 et l’intensification de l’insécurité alimentaire (Stewart, 2013; Arsenault, 2015).
As the world’s largest producer of cocoa, Côte d'Ivoire is particularly vulnerable to climate variations and unpredictable weather (Vaast, 2018). Unfavorable weather changes have already negatively impacted the quality and quantity of production (ENCA, 2015), threatening the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well as the national economy.