Accountability forms a central pillar of democratic governance. While free and fair elections help promote government of, by, and for the people, what happens between election days can be equally important. Respect for the rule of law and other government branches are as essential in the day-to-day business of governing as they are for ensuring high-quality elections.
Given its undisputed importance for almost any aspect of development – from health and educational achievement to economic growth and poverty reduction – access to electricity may have earned the status of a basic human right (Hughes, 2018). At a minimum, it is widely acknowledged as a prerequisite for progress on most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where it is highlighted as SDG7, “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (United Nations Development Programme, 2019; Stern, 2016; Lloyd, 2017).
Fighting corruption was one of the main campaign planks of Ghana’s current government. During his inauguration speech in 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo cited the war on graft as his top priority, pledging to protect the public purse and rejecting the idea that the public service is an avenue for making money (BBC, 2017; Forson, 2017).
Ghana has made giant economic strides over the past decade. In 2011 the country climbed from lower-income to middle-income status, and both per-capita income and gross domestic product roughly doubled between 2008 and 2018 (World Bank, 2019a, 2019b).
Ghana’s banking sector is the second-largest in the West African Monetary Zone (Frankfurt School, 2015) and recorded a 33.9% increase in total assets between June 2016 (GHS 66.29 billion) and June 2018 (GHS 100.35 billion) (Bank of Ghana, 20188. But during the past two years, the country’s financial industry has seen a massive shake-up, resulting in the revocation of licenses of nine universal banks, 347 microfinance companies, 39 microcredit companies/money lenders, 15 savings and loan companies, eight finance house companies, and two non-bank financial institutions (Ghanaweb, 2019a).
Tax revenues play an essential role in financing government expenditures, which can benefit citizens through effective public services, infrastructure, and development (Bird, 2010). This requires that citizens pay their taxes and that the government administer taxes effectively and efficiently – requirements that represent significant challenges in many countries (Saad, 2014).
For the sixth time since independence, Namibians are going to the polls to choose a president and members of the National Assembly – in free and fair elections whose outcome has never varied.
Although Namibia uses a closed party-list system with “largest remainders” provisions that optimize parliamentary inclusion even for very small parties, the ruling SWAPO Party has managed to increase its share of votes and parliamentary seats consistently since the founding elections of 1989.
In Guinea, elections have rarely been routine. Delays, disputes, and violence have marked many elections as scores of political parties slug it out and security forces confront protesters in the street.
During the first weekend of October, the Mauritian prime minister dissolved Parliament and called a general election for November 7 – a surprise announcement that left both the electoral commission and political parties scrambling (Weekly, 2019).
« Assurer l’accès de tous à une éducation de qualité, sur un pied d’égalité » fait partie du quatrième Objectif de Développement Durable et demeure l’un des besoins fondamentaux de la jeunesse. Pour promouvoir une meilleure éducation, le Togo pour sa part, a élaboré des stratégies gouvernementales définies dans le Plan Sectoriel de l’Education (2014-2025) (Partenariat Mondiale pour l’Education, 2019).
Since May, for the first time in its history, half of South Africa’s Cabinet ministers are women (World Economic Forum, 2019). And assessing women’s economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment, the Global Gender Gap Index ranks South Africa 19th out of 149 countries (World Economic Forum, 2018).
In search of economic growth, employment, and tax revenue, some governments have looked to one of the world’s oldest and most lucrative – but often illegal – cash crops: cannabis (Gardner, 2019; Meyer, 2019). Known to most people for its recreational use as marijuana, cannabis also has non-intoxicating forms (known as hemp) that are fast-growing and water-wise and can be used to make fabrics, ropes, papers, and oils, among other uses.
Efficient and effective public service delivery is a necessity for citizens’ well-being (Armah- Attoh, 2015). However, in Africa, access to quality public services remains a challenge. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation )2018), “the average African public service displays a lack of capacity, … with higher costs than in other regions and large country disparities.” In the Gambia, prominent human-rights activist Madi Jobarteh (2017) has criticized public service delivery as “incredibly inefficient.”
Benin has long been seen as a stable democracy, consistently rated as free by Freedom House and achieving several peaceful electoral transfers of power since democratization in the 1990s (Paduano, 2019). However, Benin’s recent legislative elections have called this image into question. New eligibility requirements left only two political parties on the ballot, both allied with President Patrice Talon. The government violently suppressed large protests and restricted Internet access, and widespread boycotts led to the lowest voter turnout on record (Paduano, 2019; BBC News, 2019).
« Malgré les améliorations, force est de reconnaître que des insuffisances majeures persistent relativement à: (i) la qualité des routes, (ii) la faible couverture du pays en route et (iii) la surcharge sur les routes ». Cet extrait du Plan de Développement Economique et Social 2017-2021 du gouvernement du Niger en dit long sur les défis à relever (République du Niger, 2017).
O Cabo Verde destaca-se no continente Africano como um paradigma de tolerância e respeito pelos direitos humanos e liberdades fundamentais. O país ratificou todas as principais convenções internacionais de direitos humanos; suas leis garantem liberdades democráticas; e seu governo é geralmente considerado eficaz no respeito e proteção desses direitos (Comissão Europeia, 2018; Departamento de Estados dos EUA, 2016).
Cabo Verde stands out on the African continent as a paradigm of tolerance and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The country has ratified all major international human-rights conventions; its laws guarantee democratic freedoms; and its government is generally considered effective in respecting and protecting these rights (European Commission, 2018; U.S. Department of State, 2016).
The political, economic, and social inequality of women in Africa has been part of international discourse since the 1950s, when the United Nations began interrogating the effects of harmful traditional norms and practices on women across the continent. Human-rights groups have worked with and challenged African governments to promote women’s access to education, health care, economic opportunities, and participation in governance and politics (Murungu, 2017). While progress has been made, persistent gaps are the focus of Sustainable Development Goal No.
In August 2017, as part of a broader reform agenda, Gambian President Adama Barrow launched a security sector reform (SSR) process to overhaul the country’s security institutions in line with democratic norms and practices. The reform initiative is premised on the notion that the Gambia’s security institutions, particularly the military, were politicized and “polluted” under former President Yahya Jammeh (Jaw, 2018; Jawo, 2018).
governamentais, muitos países em desenvolvimento enfrentam obstáculos na implementação de sistemas fiscais eficazes e eficientes (Tanzi & Zee, 2000). Impostos diretos, como o imposto de renda pessoal, são particularmente difíceis de administrar, pois exigem processos e estruturas complexas para identificar os contribuintes e facilitar e reforçar a conformidade (Kangave, 2005). Dadas estas dificuldades, muitos países em desenvolvimento dependem fortemente de impostos sobre o consumo que não podem ser evitados mesmo por aqueles no setor informal.
While tax revenues are a critical part of financing government services, many developing countries face obstacles in implementing effective and efficient tax systems (Tanzi & Zee, 2000). Direct taxes, such as personal income taxes, are particularly difficult to administer as they require complex processes and structures to identify taxpayers and facilitate and enforce compliance (Kangave, 2005). Given these difficulties, many developing countries rely heavily on consumption taxes that cannot be evaded even by those in the informal sector.
Avec 84% de sa population vivant en zone rurale, dont la plupart a du mal à avoir accès à l’électricité, le Niger montre la domination continue de la radio comme source d’information de sa population, révèle la dernière enquête Afrobarometer.
La violence est l’utilisation de la force physique ou psychologique pour contraindre, dominer, causer des dommages ou la mort. Elle peut provenir d’une incompréhension, de l’ivresse ou de la drogue, d’une agression à domicile ou dans la rue, d’un extrémisme politique ou religieux – les circonstances et les ca uses de la violence sont légion.
Le phénomène de la corruption est assez ancré au Niger, à en croire Transparency International (2018), qui classe le pays 114ème sur 180 pays. Face à ce fléau, la Haute Autorité de Lutte Contre la Corruption et les Infractions Assimilées (HALCIA) a été mise sur pied en 2011. Mais malgré ce mécanisme, la corruption gangrène encore le pays, avec 62% des Nigériens qui pensent qu’elle a augmenté, selon la plus récente enquête Afrobaromètre effectuée dans le pays.
La décennie qui s’achève a été le théâtre d’un des fléaux les plus cruels de notre ère. Les migrations, expression qui renvoyait aux mouvements majoritairement libres des hommes sur l’ensemble du globe, font davantage référence aujourd’hui à des mouvements contraints. Des contraintes qui trouvent leur source dans des situations économiques précaires, des catastrophes naturelles, des conflits.
Bridging gender gaps is a global priority, embodied in the United Nations (2019) Sustainable Development Goal No. 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Its importance is underscored by the insight that countries cannot develop their full potential if gender inequality prevents women from fully engaging in political and socio-economic activities (Gabola et al., 2018; Churchill, Nuhu, & Lopez, 2018).
Despite significant gains on basic health indicators, Togo’s health system remains fragile (Africa Renewal, 2010). Periodic disruptions became particularly trying for the public during a 2018 strike when even essential services were unavailable (Tounou-Akué, 2018; L-frii, 2018; alome.com, 2018; VOA, 2018; Kamako, 2018). Striking health-care workers have sought better working conditions and technical platforms as well as better salaries (Republicoftogo.com, 2018; lomeinfos.com, 2018).
Transparent, free, and fair elections are a cornerstone of a functioning democracy. But can there be too much of a good thing?
Lesotho has had three general elections in the past six years (in 2012, 2015, and 2017). Each failed to produce an outright winner and resulted in a coalition government. During the same period, the number of parties contesting elections grew sharply while voter turnout decreased.
Que pensent les Sénégalais de la gouvernance économique de leur pays? Quels en sont les points forts et les points faibles? Les Sénégalais perçoivent différemment la gouvernance économique du pays bien qu’ils y portent beaucoup d’optimisme. Il existe encore des inégalités liées à la zone de résidence, indique le plus récent sondage Afrobaromètre.
Selon l'enquête, malgré le fort taux des citoyens qui pensent que l’orientation économique du pays est dans la bonne direction, certaines zones peinent à accéder aux services sociaux. Elles sont plus confrontées aux manques.