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AD270: Basotho see progress in fight against corruption but fear retaliation if they report incidents

Corruption poses a serious threat to economic development and democratic governance in Africa. In recent years, Lesotho has been shaken by a number of corruption scandals involving high-ranking politicians. Allegations of corruption in the government fleet-service contract with Bidvest featured significantly in the split of the leading Democratic Congress (DC) party and the no-confidence vote that ended the Pakalitha Mosisili government in 2017 (Post, 2017; Matlosa, 2017).

English

AD269: Au Bénin, la radio et la télé toujours en tête malgré une avancée des nouveaux médias

Available only in French.

Les sources d’information, au fil des années, ont évolué technologiquement et se sont diversifiées. Au Bénin, à la presse écrite d’abord coloniale puis indépendante s’est ajouté en 1957 la première station nationale de radiodiffusion, appelée aujourd’hui Radio Bénin, qui à ce jour compte plusieurs démembrements et fait face depuis un quart de siècle à la concurrence des privés. La télévision a vu le jour en 1978, Internet au milieu des années 1990, et les réseaux sociaux vers le milieu des années 2000.

English

AD268: Climate change making life worse in Liberia, but only half of citizens have heard of it

Scientists and policy makers have clearly recognized the threat that climate change poses to Liberia, particularly to its seven in 10 citizens who depend on agriculture for their livelihood (Stanturf, Goodrick, Warren, Stegall, & Williams, 2013; USAID, 2012). Severe flooding experienced in recent years, changes in rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, and other climate changes have serious implications for food security but also for health, education, and other development sectors (Kenneh & Greaves, 2016; Daily Observer, 2018).

English

AD267: With elections a year away, Mauritians are increasingly critical of government performance

With just a year to go until presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2019, electoral campaigning will soon get underway in Mauritius. Incumbents can tout a number of strengths. Mauritius ranks highly on many indicators of good governance and democracy, such as the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and past elections have generally been considered free and fair (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017; Economist Intelligence Unit, 2017).

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AD266: Gambians see sharp decline in emigration, though interest in leaving remains high

Migration is a high-profile issue in the Gambia, especially irregular low-skilled emigration beyond the borders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Zanker & Altrogge, 2017). Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year autocratic regime, characterized by poverty and poor governance, triggered a wave of irregular emigration – especially by young Gambians – to Europe, a phenomenon known locally as “the back way” (Embiricos, 2016).  

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AD264: Amidst drought, only half of Batswana are aware of climate change

Botswana is a semi-arid Southern African country characterized by erratic rainfall, recurrent droughts, low soil moisture, and extreme weather events such as flash floods (African Climate and Development Initiative, 2015) – a foundation of vulnerability for communities in the country. Frequent drought conditions have had significant impacts on domestic food production and other aspects of the national economy in the past (Seekings, 2016).

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AD263: In fight against corruption, Gambians say citizens can make a difference, report without fear, and get official action

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).

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AD262: Freedoms seen as expanding, but fewer Malians back free media, feel free to speak their minds

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.

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AD261: In eSwatini, citizens see reasons for hope despite increase in lived poverty

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).

English

AD260: Les changements climatiques affectent négativement la vie des Camerounais

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). 

English

AD258: La recherche du mieux-être pousse certains Camerounais – mais pas la majorité – vers l’émigration

AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH.

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. 

English

AD259: Cabo Verdeans reject visa waiver for EU passport holders but approve of regionalization

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). 

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AD257: Liberians endorse democracy but are dissatisfied with the way it’s working in their country

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).

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AD256: La majorité des Gabonais estiment que leur sécurité personnelle s’est dégradée

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). 

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AD255: Note to Madagascar’s election winner: Crime, infrastructure, and food insecurity most important issues for government to fix

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)).

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AD254: Land redistribution: South Africans prioritize land taken in forced removals, support ‘willing seller’ approach

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. 

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AD253: Ugandans endorse rule of law, but distrust and perceived corruption mar views on courts

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.

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AD252: Difficultés économiques et chômage incitent les jeunes et les éduqués à quitter le Togo

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).

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AD251: Les Burkinabè assez réticents sur l’abolition de la peine de mort

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.

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AD250: Ghanaians rely on radio and TV, but support for media freedom drops sharply

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.

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AD249: Gambians expect Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission to heal the nation but want human-rights violators prosecuted

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. 

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AD247: Losing the war on graft? Tunisians dissatisfied with government’s anti-corruption performance

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).

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AD246: Les Camerounais, conscients de leur rôle dans la lutte contre la corruption, hésitent à s’y engager

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).

English

AD245: Les Togolais ont davantage foi en leur pouvoir de faire avancer la lutte contre la corruption

AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH.

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. 

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AD244: Liberians approve of President Weah but are critical of government performance on the economy

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).

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AD243: Les Gabonais décrient le manque d’écoute et les performances des élus locaux et parlementaires

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.

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AD241: Seven years in, slimmer majority of Kenyans see military action in Somalia as necessary

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).

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