Mali Matters›By Vivian Lowery Derryck // Monday, May 20, 2013
By Vivian Lowery Derryck
President and CEO of The Bridges Institute
Mali burst onto the international scene in January 2012 when disgruntled fighters returning from Libya renewed their interest in a separate state carved from territory in northern Mali. Their success in destabilizing the north led to a March coup, UN resolutions, the formation of an ECOWAS force, a French intervention, kidnapping and chaos in Amenas, Algeria, internal displacement of more than 204,000 persons, plus refugee flows of more than 200,000 to Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger—and that’s not the half of it.
Watching from Washington, I thought that those in the Africanist community who cared deeply about Mali should form a “watch” to involve civil society in monitoring the situation. In Addis, at the 2012 African Union Summit, I asked Malians if a watch would be helpful, but Malian friends and colleagues said that a watch would be premature because they had not determined their own goals. So I waited.MORE
March’s Last Word›By Steve McDonald // Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Steve McDonald
Director, the Africa Program and the Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity
This month has seen some remarkable events on the continent, all with wide ranging implications. They include the death of the “novelist laureate” of Africa, Chinua Achebe, the seizure of Bangui by rebels and flight of the president in the Central African Republic (CAR), the arrest of former Zambian President Rubiah Banda, the constitutional referendum in Zimbabwe, and the first round of the Kenyan elections.MORE
Five Simple Points To Take Away From The 2013 Kenyan Elections›By leadership project // Thursday, March 14, 2013
Politics is more than elections
A few hours before an official winner was declared in Kenya’s election, New York Times correspondent Jeffrey Gettleman tweeted: “Raila REJECTS Kenyatta victory in Kenya election. A 2007 type scenario could be shaping up. See story at http://nytimes.com.” This rhetoric is not unique: Throughout the week after the vote the media warned of a 2007-like crisis. But what this election has demonstrated is that comparing elections without looking at the process and politics of what happens between obscures more than it explains.
Analysts, journalists and even political scientists tend to treat elections as fixed events. Elections are compared to other elections; electoral violence is compared to previous instances of electoral violence; and all other institutional progress (and digression) is swept aside. But in new democracies a lot happens between elections, both good and bad. Power arrangements are re-shaped, societal transformations occur, and political institutions are strengthened and weakened. In Kenya, there is a new constitution; there are new leading candidates; there is a new electoral commission; there is an integrated international community; there is a stronger and more ubiquitous press; there is a new national land policy.MORE
February 21, 2013 News›By leadership project // Friday, February 22, 2013
Continue reading for stories including Pan-Africa Insurance shares reaching new heights, Egyptian president calling for parliamentary elections in April, Kenyatta and Odinga tied in polling, and learning Chinese as a lucrative investment in Zimbabwe.MORE
November 14, 2012 News›By leadership project // Wednesday, November 14, 2012
November 14, 2012MORE
The Escalating Crisis in Mali Requires Decisive Leadership›By David Zounmenou // Monday, September 17, 2012
It has been seven months since Mali descended into the abyss of instability and, to date, a solution still seems elusive. The March 2012 Malian crisis started in a region that has been historically marred by four major civil wars: Liberia 1989-1996 and again in 1999-2006; Sierra Leone 1992-2007; Guinea Bissau 1998-1999; and Cote d’Ivoire 1999-2011. Indeed, the challenges in this Sahel region are a historic manifestation of stalled and failed democratization processes, exacerbated by serious deficiencies in anticipating and addressing the structural bases of conflict.