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).
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.
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).
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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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.
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).
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).
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).
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)).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.