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AD171: Popular distrust, perceptions of corruption mark Sierra Leone’s court system

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AD170: Kenyans see gains in gender equality, but support for women’s empowerment still uneven

Gender equality is a principle of sustainable development that is globally acknowledged by United Nations and regional agencies, development partners, and national governments. Although the principle is operationalized through policies, legal provisions, and programs in most jurisdictions, implementation and experience vary across regions and countries, and in most cases fall short of the goal. As the United Nations Development Programme notes in its 2016 Africa Human Development Report, “gender equality for African women and girls is still far from satisfactory” (UNDP, 2016). 

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AD169: Economic paradox in Kenya: More favourable perceptions amidst economic insecurity

Kenya and the other member states of the East African Community (EAC) are doing considerably better economically than most countries in sub-Saharan Africa (IMF, 2017). Kenya continues to be rated among the best-performing sub-Saharan economies, with a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.8% in 2016. This impressive performance is attributed to lower oil prices, improved tea and horticulture exports, infrastructure growth, and increased remittance inflows (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2017; Kerry, 2017).

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AD167: Majority of Ivoirians rate government anti-corruption efforts as inadequate, fear retaliation if they report bribery

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

En Côte d’Ivoire comme dans nombre de pays, la question de la lutte contre la corruption est centrale tant son effet négatif n’est plus à démontrer. La création en 2013 de la Haute Autorité pour la Bonne Gouvernance, en tant qu’organe de prévention et de lutte contre la corruption, semblait marquer une réelle volonté politique des autorités à contrer ce fléau. Cependant, force est de constater que pour les Ivoiriens, la corruption a encore de beaux jours devant elle.

English

AD166: In Mali, citizens’ access to justice compromised by perceived bias, corruption, complexity

Access to justice for ordinary citizens is a key component of the rule of law and democracy. Mali was once considered a democratic frontrunner on the continent, but political instability and insecurity in recent years have revealed democracy’s foothold as tenuous. The state’s weakness has raised concerns about the quality and extent of democratic practices and institutions, including the extent to which rule of law and access to justice have taken root in the country. 

English

AD141: Social services rank tops in Ugandans’ priorities, but not in national budget

Ugandans view social services as the most important problems facing the country and the areas in greatest need of additional government investment, according to citizens’ responses in national Afrobarometer surveys. Yet government budget allocations have not reflected the high priority that citizens assign to these problems.  Over the past eight years, budget allocations for health care, education, and water and electricity supply have barely increased, despite observed annual growth in the national expenditure (National Budget Information Library, 2008-2016).

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AD149: Is Malawi losing the battle against ‘Cashgate’?

The negative effects of corruption on development are well documented (Lambsdorff, 2004; Açkay, 2006; Runde, Hameed, & Magpile, 2014; Banerjee, 2016). Malawi’s establishment of an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 1995 underlined the government’s acknowledgement of the problem and determination to deal with it. In 2008, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) was launched to provide a holistic multi-stakeholder front against corruption. At the time, it was estimated that the country was losing one-third of its revenue through corruption (Government of Malawi, 2008).

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AD151: As Liberia’s election approaches, what will citizens be looking for in their next government?

Later this year, after 12 years in office, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will step down as president of Liberia and Africa’s first female head of state, having completed her maximum of two terms. Sirleaf, who came to power after decades of underdevelopment, tyranny, and civil conflict in Liberia, will leave a legacy that has won international acclaim – including the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize – for progress in rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening health care and education, helping to bring warlord Charles Taylor to justice, and seeing the country through the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic (Lane, 2016).

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AD152: In Malawi, gender gaps persist despite popular support for equal opportunity

From a legal perspective, Malawi has made tremendous progress toward eliminating discrimination against women. In addition to passing the Gender Equality Act (2012), the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (2006), and the Deceased Estates (Wills, Inheritance and Protection) Act (2011), the government has demonstrated its commitment by embracing gender mainstreaming in policy decisions, legislation, and development plans and programs (Kalinde, 2013; Amundsen & Kayuni, 2016; Dulani & Kayuni, 2014).

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AD153: Les changements climatiques détériorent la production agricole et la vie, selon les Béninois

AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH.

D’après la plus récente enquête d’Afrobaromètre, des changements climatiques – surtout des sècheresses aggravées – ont détérioré la production agricole et la qualité de vie au Benin.

La majorité des Béninois affirment avoir vu des sécheresses plus graves et des conditions de production agricoles empirées dans leur propre région durant les 10 dernières années.

English

AD155: Le Burkina post-2014: La préférence pour la vérité plutôt que l’oubli mise à l’épreuve

Quand bien même la reddition de comptes est d'une importance capitale en démocratie, il est rare qu'un ancien chef d'état soit poursuivi par une juridiction nationale pour mauvaise conduite dans l'exercice de ses fonctions. Le Burkina Faso se distingue sur ce plan avec les procédures judiciaires enclenchées contre l'ancien Président Blaise Compaoré et les plus hauts dignitaires de son administration pour avoir indûment autorisé l'usage de la force contre des manifestants non armés durant un soulèvement populaire en octobre 2014 (Coulibaly, 2017; Al Jazeera, 2017).

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AD156: Contrary to court ruling, Zimbabweans endorse parental right to physically discipline children

Corporal punishment of children has been a topic of contentious public debate in Zimbabwe since High Court Judge Justice David Mangota’s ruling in March 2017 that the use of physical force to discipline children in school or at home is unconstitutional (Laiton, 2017).

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AD158: Liberia’s race to the next presidency: Low trust in electoral commission, fear of violence raise flags

On Liberia’s road from warlord rule to democracy, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s decade-long tenure, government investment in public goods, and peaceful 2011 elections stand as milestones. In October, the country faces another critical test – its first post-civil-war democratic leadership transition, in a lively contest that has drawn more than 20 presidential candidates to replace the term-limited incumbent.

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AD161: Building bridges? Cape Verdeans value regional ties, U.S. model, China’s influence

As a small-island middle-income country, Cape Verde is seeking closer ties with mainland African countries to sustain economic growth and development (Daily Graphic, 2017; ECOWAS, 2017). And beyond Africa, Cape Verde is tapping into the economic ambitions of China for investment and technical assistance, especially in the “blue economy” of the country's abundant maritime sector (Vreÿ, 2017; Addamah, 2017).  

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AD159: Quelles appréciations les Maliens ont-ils de la citoyenneté?

AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH.

Depuis fort longtemps, au Mali, on assiste à des pratiques dégradant le respect des droits et devoirs de citoyen, ce qui a négativement joué sur l’harmonie durable qui déterminait la vie en communauté. Conscients et soucieux de cette dégradation, les autorités maliennes en collaboration avec des organisations de la société civile, visant à renforcer le sentiment d’appartenance nationale et le patriotisme, ont lancé en 2014 un programme de renforcement de sentiment de la citoyenneté au sein de la population malienne.

English

AD162: Perceived patronage: Do secret societies, ethnicity, region boost careers in Cameroon?

An effective and transparent administration forms the backbone of a well-run democratic state and market economy in the developing world (Grindle & Hilderbrand, 1995.) Recruitment of public-sector staff based on merit plays an important role in ensuring not only that the machine functions smoothly but also that ordinary citizens have confidence in how their country is governed. Patronage or favouritism can undermine both functioning and public confidence (Anderson & Tverdova, 2003; Seligson, 2002; Chanley, Rudolph, & Rahn, 2000; Rothstein & Teorell, 2008).

English

AD164: Despite disparities, Zambians see country on right track toward gender equity

Gender equity is a vital issue in Zambia, the focus of many civil-society organisations as well as government efforts to empower women and eliminate gender disparities (Daily Mail, 2015). The government’s 2014 National Gender Policy and 2015 Gender Equity and Equality Act aim to end discrimination against women, including in access to productive resources, educational opportunities, and quality health-care services (Ministry of Gender and Child Development, 2014; National Assembly of Zambia, 2015).

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AD165: Majority of Zimbabweans want government out of private communications, religious speech

Zimbabwe’s Constitution of 2013 guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms for citizens, including freedom of speech, association, and religion as well as the right to privacy in their communications (Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013). In practice, however, fundamental rights may sometimes be seen as conflicting with other priorities, such as maintaining public security. 

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AD154: Crime and insecurity remain near the top of South Africans’ agenda

Though an economic magnet, South Africa is still grappling with serious problems of crime and violence. Both Statistics South Africa and the government’s 20-year review (Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, 2015) reveal significant progress, but both also confirm continued disturbingly high levels of violence.

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AD146: Au Bénin, les citoyens préfèrent limiter les mandats présidentiels à deux – pas à un seul

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Une grande majorité de Béninois ont constamment soutenu la limitation de leur président à un maximum de deux mandats. Mais ils ont résisté à la révision de la constitution qui visait la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels à un seul. Et les nouvelles données d'Afrobaromètre montrent que cette résistance se poursuit, mais avec une plus petite majorité.

English

AD145: In Zimbabwe, opposition and uncommitted support grand opposition coalition idea

The widely-discussed idea of a grand coalition of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties to improve their chances of defeating the long-ruling Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in next year’s elections has powerful support among partisans of the main opposition party, Afrobarometer’s most recent survey shows. A slimmer majority of politically uncommitted citizens also favour such a coalition, while ZANU-PF supporters reject the idea by a 2-to-1 margin.

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AD144: A price worth paying? How Sudanese balance human rights and the pursuit of security

Post-independence, many states in Africa faced a plethora of challenges, from poverty and ethnic cleavages emphasized by former colonizers to corrupt political elites and nonfunctioning institutions. In numerous cases, this mixture resulted in civil war or violence, further weakening the state.

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AD143: Zimbabweans still dissatisfied with the economy and doubt usefulness of bond notes

Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown remains an enormous challenge affecting citizens from all walks of life. The government’s 2009 introduction of various foreign currencies was welcomed by many Zimbabweans who, after years of hyperinflation, witnessed a stabilization in general consumer prices. But with lagging economic growth and a continuing drought, the country now faces deflation and has even experienced reverse urbanization due to a lack of opportunities in the cities (African Development Bank, 2016, 326).

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