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AD131: Weak support and limited participation hinder women’s political leadership in North Africa

Politics is still largely a male domain. Gains in women’s political leadership have been real but not rapid (Ndlovu & Mutale, 2013). Globally, the share of national parliamentary seats held by women has nearly doubled over the past two decades, reaching 23% in 2016, but that still means that more than three out of four parliamentarians are men (UN Women, 2016a; World Bank, 2016a).

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Kenyans say economy on right track, Jubilee government the wrong driver - Afrobarometer survey

Kenyans regarded Corruption, Unemployment and Insecurity as the 3 most important problems they wanted addressed late last year, pushing down the Cost of Living which has featured prominently in recent years from among those at the top of the list.

Download the full media briefing.

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AD130: Zimbabweans demand accountability in governance, doubt efficacy of elections

Accountability is often described as a cornerstone of good governance, but a more accurate image might be a whole wheelbarrow of building blocks – the president, government agencies, Parliament, the judiciary, opposition parties, the media, and voters all holding one another accountable to form a foundation for democracy.

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AD129: En Guinée, l’intérêt à la vie politique est faible, mais la perception des libertés est forte

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Depuis 1988, les Guinéens ont progressivement retrouvé leur liberté d’adhérer à toute organisation politique de leur choix et de voter pour leur candidat. En 1990, il y a eu la consécration de ces libertés dans la constitution. Par la suite, le Conseil Transitoire de Redressement National (CTRN) a élaboré des projets de loi qui devaient permettre la formation de partis politiques indépendants, la tenue d'élections nationales, et la liberté de la presse. Les partis politiques furent légalisés en 1992.

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Do Africans still want democracy?

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis. But despite these warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

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Do Africans still want democracy? Afrobarometer findings warn of democratic recession, point to long-term gains

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.

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PP36: Do Africans still want democracy?

Judging by media headlines, democracy appears to be under stress everywhere from leaders like Vladimir Putin in Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda. Yet social scientists know there is often a mismatch between what can be gleaned from news reports or social media and real, underlying trends. To take just one example, media attention to wars in Syria and Iraq suggests rising conflict around the world.

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AD126: South Africans demand government accountability amid perceptions of growing corruption

A report by South Africa’s Public Protector has triggered the latest scandal involving President Jacob Zuma and other state officials, who are accused of improper and unethical conduct in the awarding of state contracts. The report was released as the result of a High Court ruling (Times Live, 2016) and follows court cases related to the 1999 Arms Deal (Corruption Watch, 2014) and the misuse of state funds in the security upgrades of Zuma’s personal home in Nkandla (Mail & Guardian, 2016).

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AD119: Will of the people? Election results and public opinion in Gabon

According to Gabon’s national electoral commission and a subsequent Constitutional Court ruling, incumbent President Ali Bongo won re-election in August against challenger Jean Ping. His razor-thin and disputed victory margin relies in part on extraordinarily strong support and high voter turnout in the president’s home province, Haut-Ogooué. The officially announced results prompted protests in which several people died and many were arrested.

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Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving Africa’s voters or themselves? (Afrobarometer findings)

Key findings

  • Across 36 African countries, fewer than half of respondents say they trust their MPs (48%) and local councillors (46%) “somewhat” or “a lot.” Among 12 public institutions and leaders, MPs and local councillors rank eighth and ninth in public trust.
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AD115: Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving voters or themselves?

Members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are elected to represent their constituents. In a functioning democracy, these office-holders are expected to represent the public interest and to be accountable to those who elected them.

How well do African citizens think their elected representatives are fulfilling their roles? How do constituents perceive their political leaders’ integrity, their responsiveness, and their commitment to serving the public interest?

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AD107: Disgruntled opposition or disillusioned democrats? Support for electoral law reforms in Uganda

Reform of electoral laws has been a mainstay of political discourse in Uganda for two decades. Since the issue came to the fore following the 1996 general elections, stakeholders on all sides – opposition political parties, civil-society organisations, election observer missions, government, and the Electoral Commission (EC) – have called for reform to ensure free and fair elections (International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 1996; Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, 2013a).

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AD105: Citizen response points to appreciation, challenges of Kenya’s devolved governance

The promulgation of Kenya’s Constitution in 2010 and the ushering in of county governments in 2013 generated high public expectations of efficient service delivery without much consideration of the complexity of such a transition in governance. Kenya’s devolution involves both political and administrative changes, requiring the national government and counties to collaborate in building a new political culture and leadership, with citizens as the pillar of reflexive governance. If that pillar is weak, the form of governance that Kenya has embraced is threatened.

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PP33: Evaluating Botswana’s performance on National Vision 2016

On 30 September 2016, Botswana will mark its 50th year of independence from the United Kingdom, a significant occasion for both celebration and reflection. An important part of this reflection has focused on Botswana’s transition from National Vision 2016, the blueprint that has guided the country’s development for the past two decades, to National Vision 2036, in tandem with the global move from the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals (Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, 2016a).

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AD98: Les Nigériens adhèrent aux partis politiques, souhaitent une opposition coopérative

Only available in French.

La démocratie est un système politique dont l’émergence et la consolidation passent par la forte implication des formations politiques. En effet, le pluralisme des opinions et des partis politiques est une caractéristique fondamentale de la démocratie nigérienne car par de grandes majorités, les Nigériens rejettent le parti unique comme système de gouvernance et disent que plusieurs partis politiques sont nécessaires pour leur garantir le choix de ceux qui vont les gouverner.

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Les Nigériens adhèrent aux partis politiques mais demandent que leurs besoins soient satisfaits par le parti au pouvoir

Selon la plus récente enquête d’Afrobaromètre au Niger, la majorité des Nigériens désapprouvent le parti unique et déclarent à plus de 70% que plusieurs partis politiques sont nécessaires pour garantir que les citoyens aient réellement le choix de ceux qui vont les gouverner.

Lorsqu’on considère le parti politique au pouvoir et ceux de l’opposition, un élément constitue la différence la plus importante au Niger: l’honnêteté ou l’intégrité des dirigeants des partis.

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AD95: Les priorités des Gabonais: L’éducation, la santé, les infrastructures routières

Le développement des pays passe par une combinaison à la fois des plans nationaux et ceux des partenaires au développement. Si à ce jour les résultats des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) restent discutables, les Nations Unies ont déjà adopté les nouveaux Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), qui visent, entre autres, à éliminer la pauvreté, parvenir à la sécurité alimentaire, et garantir à tous une vie prospère et un accès équitable en eau, à une éducation de qualité, et à une énergie moins chère et fiable.

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Les Gabonais pensent que le Gouvernement devrait davantage investir dans l’éducation et la santé

Selon la récente enquête Afrobaromètre menée en septembre 2015 au Gabon, plus de la moitié des Gabonaise pensent que les problèmes auxquels le pays fait face sont essentiellement la santé, l’éducation, le chômage et les infrastructures routières.

Aussi, deux tiers des Gabonais déclarent que si le Gouvernement devait faire des d’investissements additionnels, la priorité doit être accordée à l’éducation et à la santé.

Par ailleurs, plus de trois quarts des Gabonais déclarent que la performance du Gouvernement en matière de création d’emplois est mauvaise. 

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Fewer South Africans say opposition parties should focus on monitoring and criticising the government

In the run-up to local elections on 3 August 2016, the two leading opposition parties – the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – are portraying the poll as a political watershed for democracy in the country in the wake of the recent Constitutional Court judgment against President Jacob Zuma regarding the use of state funds at his private residence in Nkandla. The two parties have played a crucial role in pushing for accountability on this matter over the past few years and were the applicants in the court case.

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AD87: Reaching for equality: Zimbabweans endorse gender equity in politics but say citizens treated unequally before the law

Equality is a principle enshrined in Zimbabwe’s Constitution and legal system, which seek to guarantee both gender equity and equal treatment for all – regardless of class, religion, or race – before the law. According to Section 3(1) of the Constitution, “recognition of the equality of all human beings” is one of the country’s founding principles.

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AD86: Beyond ‘no-party’ system: Ugandans support multiparty politics, but trust in opposition weakens

Multiparty politics has had an uphill struggle in Uganda, marked by a 19-year ban on party competition from 1986 to 2005. Voters overwhelmingly reinforced the “no-party system” in a 2000 referendum, then reversed themselves in a 2005 referendum that opened the field to political challengers.

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