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.
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For 15 years after independence, Cabo Verde’s one-party regime did not allow for the evaluation of politicians by citizens. The establishment of a democratic regime from 1991 onwards birthed a new form of relationship between elected leaders and voters. Electoral promises created high public expectations that the democratic regime would solve the country’s problems and improve the living conditions of the population.
In 2010 and 2011, Tunisians launched a wave of protests that led to the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ending 23 years of iron-fisted rule marked by the repression of public and individual freedoms. Since then, the country has achieved several democratic milestones, among them the establishment of a Constituent Assembly, the drafting of a new Constitution in 2014, and the organization of four successful elections, including local elections held in May 2018 after being postponed four times.
While Botswana is widely recognized for its unbroken series of successful elections stretching back to independence in 1966, analysts have long pointed to low levels of political participation and a weak civil society as barriers on its path toward a strong democracy (Democracy Research Project, 2002; Mpabanga, 2000; Holm, Molutsi, & Somolekae, 1996; Mfundisi, 2005).
Depuis quelques années, les autorités gabonaises ont placé la protection environnementale comme une priorité de l’action publique. Cette volonté s’est manifestée déjà depuis 2002 par la classification de 11% du territoire national en parcs nationaux, complété en 2017 en créant neuf aires protégées marines et 11 réserves aquatiques couvrant 21% de son espace maritime.
Botswana has long been considered a leader in democratic practice, ranking among Africa’s best performers with regard to good governance, the rule of law, and respect for civil liberties.
Over the past decade, eSwatini has experienced more frequent and intense extreme weather events, including an El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 (Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis and Research Center, 2017). The same period has also seen a sharp decline in crop-production levels and crop diversity due to climate variability. Maize production in the country dropped by 67% between the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 planting seasons, especially in the lowveld.
Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has taken pride in promoting its development based on democracy, good governance, human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. Its Constitution affirms that all Mauritians should benefit from the right to equal protection and assistance of the law against any form of discrimination.
Namibia performs well on many gender-equality indicators, including gender representation in governance. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2017), Namibia currently ranks 12th globally and fourth on the African continent for the proportion of women in Parliament. Getting to this level of gender representation required a number of important changes in recent years, most notably the adoption of a 50/50 alternating party list by the majority party, Swapo, which holds 80% of National Assembly’s voting seats (Gender Links, 2014).
For the first time in a generation, Zimbabweans will vote in presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections on July 30, 2018 without the name of Robert Mugabe at the top of the ballot.
A l’instar de tous les pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, le Mali est frappé par un changement climatique très avarié. A cet effet, l’économie malienne, essentiellement basée sur l’agrosilvopastorale, fait face à des conséquences graves, y compris la baisse de la pluviométrie de 30% depuis les années 1998 et l’intensification de l’insécurité alimentaire (Stewart, 2013; Arsenault, 2015).
As the world’s largest producer of cocoa, Côte d'Ivoire is particularly vulnerable to climate variations and unpredictable weather (Vaast, 2018). Unfavorable weather changes have already negatively impacted the quality and quantity of production (ENCA, 2015), threatening the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well as the national economy.
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Depuis août 2017, le Togo a connu une succession de marches de protestation et de soutien initiées respectivement par l’opposition et le pouvoir, chacun prétendant représenter l’opinion du peuple.
Much of the rhetoric ahead of Mali’s national elections in July has focused on security and reunification in the face of a continuing armed rebellion in the North (Bekow, 2018). Perhaps less obviously, the stakes are also high when it comes to what Malians demand from their government and their democracy.
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La raréfaction de l’eau affecte plus de 40% de la population mondiale (PNUD), une proportion inquiétante qui risque de s’aggraver en raison de la consommation toujours croissante de l’eau et les changements climatiques. Ainsi, l’épuisement des ressources en eau potable est un problème touchant tous les continents.
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L’une des fonctions régaliennes de tout état est d’assurer la sécurité des personnes et des biens. L’insécurité et les crimes apparaissent comme l’une des menaces à la qualité de vie ainsi qu’une des barrières au développement des nations (Moser & McIlwaine, 2004).
La dernière décennie au Togo est marquée par une amélioration des libertés politiques et civiles (Freedom House, 2018). Toutefois, le chemin reste encore long pour passer de son statut de pays partiellement libre au statut de pays libre établis par Freedom House. Les crises sociopolitiques constituent, entre autres, un frein à cette évolution puisqu’elles conduisent souvent aux violations des droits de l’homme.
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Après une pause de plusieurs décennies dans le processus de décentralisation, le Togo reste dans l’espace de la Communauté Economique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) le seul pays où la décentralisation n’est pas encore effective et où les autorités locales dont les maires sont encore nommés par l’exécutif.
For Mauritius, the small island nation that Mark Twain referred to as the model for heaven, rising temperatures and rising sea levels can mean a host of threats, from more severe cyclones and floods to deterioration of coral reefs and beach erosion – an already-occurring phenomenon that the environment minister summed up this way: “Paradise is getting rocky” (Financial Times, 2017).
Corruption is one of the largest impediments to economic growth, human development, and alleviation of poverty in Africa (Transparency International, 2015; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2016; Bratton & Gyimah-Boadi, 2016). Studies have shown that corruption is particularly harmful to the poorest and most vulnerable, who depend most heavily on the state for services and lack the ability to vote with their wallets (Peiffer & Rose, 2014).
Lesotho experienced the third wave of democratization with the end of military rule in 1994, a new Constitution, and multiparty competition. A mixed member proportional (MMP) parliamentary system introduced seven years later was hailed as a remedy for political violence and instability.