An Analysis of the Sustainability of Peace Agreements in West Africa: The Cases of Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia›
This policy brief summarizes some of the results of a study based on empirical data carried out in Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia with financial support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Careful interrogation of the key sustainability factors of peace agreements through the recent experiences of countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is crucial to effectively managing those agreements. Given the very transient nature of the various peace agreements signed following military-political conflicts in Africa, important questions arise:MORE
Media Narratives on Female Violent Extremism Open Up a Rich Field of Scholarly Inquiry›By Fredrick Ogenga // Tuesday, December 27, 2016
There is an emerging trend of female violent extremism in Kenya, embodied by three women who botched an attack on the Mombasa police station on September 15, 2016. To say the least, the attack was publicly shocking, as Kenya has never witnessed anything like it before, in terms of women’s direct involvement in terrorism. This incident points to a worrying trend of female violent extremism, but scholarly inquiry is required to fully make out what it means.MORE
Local Media on the Right Direction in the War against Extremism in Kenya›By Fredrick Ogenga // Friday, December 23, 2016
On September 11, 2016, three women bluffed their way into Mombasa’s police station before stabbing an officer, setting off a petrol bomb, and being shot dead in the ensuing firefight. One of the women was wearing a suicide vest that did not detonate. The attack, which has been widely covered in Kenyan media, serves as an excellent test case for the kind of reporting required on issues of extremism and terrorism in Africa, particularly terrorism carried out by women. It was a perfect laboratory to begin bisecting the salience of Africa-centric methodologies of reporting terrorism that I have argued for.
Terrorists rely on publicity and news coverage of their actions, and the kind of reporting we have witnessed in the local and global media time and again in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Kenya and elsewhere, only works to create fear, anxiety and hysteria. That is why it is important to deny terrorists the publicity they seek.MORE
Drawing Lessons from an Anti-Incumbent Spurt in West Africa and Jammeh’s Electoral Defeat›By Isaac Ofosu Debrah // Friday, December 23, 2016
Once again the sudden and forceful stream of anti-incumbent fervor has resulted in the unexpected defeat of an African leader, this time an authoritarian one who held power for 22 years. The defeat of Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh follows the electoral wins of Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria, and Patrice Talon in Benin. More recently, Ghana’s President Mahama, an incumbent seeking a second term suffered a humiliating defeat to the main opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo. A familiar current which runs through these electoral victories was the resounding vote against incumbent regimes.1MORE
The APC Primary for the Ondo State Governorship and Its Implication for Nigeria›By Benjamin Adeniran Aluko // Thursday, December 22, 2016
Though the governorship election in Nigeria’s Ondo State has been held and the winner, Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been certified as the governor-elect of the “Sunshine State,” it is worth analyzing the election and the crisis related to Akeredolu’s nomination, and what it means for the nation’s democratic process. The character of a nation’s political parties, especially the ruling party, frames the form and content of the national democratic project. A political scientist commenting on party systems in the third wave of democratization aptly put it: “political parties created modern democracy and modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of the parties.”1MORE
Toward Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria: The Role of Civil Society in Strengthening Popular Participation›By Benjamin Adeniran Aluko // Wednesday, December 21, 2016
On May 29, 1999, Nigeria, rejoined the group of nations under democratic rule, following the inauguration of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. The current democratic experiment in Nigeria was a product of both internal and external forces. The “third wave” of democratization began sweeping through the world in the 1990s, providing an example and expectation that change could come to Nigeria. That external pressure combined with internal forces, namely the poor material conditions experienced by the mass of the Nigerian people under military rule and the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. These forces were leveraged by civil society organizations, through persistent struggles and mass popular mobilization, in a process that culminated in the nation’s return to democratic rule.MORE
Africa’s Progress on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Is Notable but Gender Inequality Persists›By Violet Murunga // Wednesday, December 21, 2016
It is widely acknowledged that “investing” in women and girls translates to broader social and economic impact, an approach referred to as “smart economics,” the “Double Dividend of Gender Equality,” or the “efficiency approach” to women in development.
Most African countries continue to lag behind the rest of the world on women’s participation in development, in large part due to deeply entrenched, discriminatory views about the role and position of women and girls in society, which relegate women to an inferior position relative to men and result in unequal power relations between men and women. Referred to as “harmful traditional practices,” these discriminatory views legitimize and perpetuate various forms violence against women including female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C); forced feeding of women to make them pleasing to men; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; preference for sons over daughters; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price among others.MORE
Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Sub-Saharan Africa: Political Commitment or Rhetoric?›By Eunice Mueni // Wednesday, December 21, 2016
There is a growing interest among African policymakers in the demographic dividend, the economic growth unleashed when a society shifts from an age structure dominated by child dependents to one with a greater proportion of working-age adults. This interest in the demographic dividend is one factor for why there is a new optimism for fertility decline in Africa. Voluntary fertility decline is a critical factor in creating a demographic dividend, as I have written about. However, the difficult discussion on the need for fertility decline has been sidelined in favor of other, related issues like investment in youth. While these are important topics, if African countries really want to harness the demographic dividend, they must acknowledge fertility as the number one challenge to sustainable development and direct their investments accordingly.MORE
Land Privatization and Climate Change are Costing Rural Kenyans›By Jonathan Rozen // Monday, December 19, 2016
This article originally appeared on newclimateforpeace.org a blog and space to share analysis, research and emerging thinking on climate change impacts and climate change responses in fragile contexts. It is reposted from the site of the Institute for Security Studies, a member organization of the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding.
Eddah Senetoi lives with her son in the small pastoralist community of Elangata Waus. They keep cows, goats, sheep, and donkeys to buy food and pay school fees. For her and other pastoralists living in southern Kenya’s Kajiado County, climate change is compounding challenges from land subdivision and privatization, magnifying social tensions, and community conflicts over access to resources.MORE
“If It Bleeds It Shouldn’t Lead”: Reporting in the Age of Terrorism in Africa›By Fredrick Ogenga // Sunday, December 18, 2016
When terrorists attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 21, 2013, the country was shocked and the media was confused. The Sunday edition of one of the leading mainstream newspapers, the Daily Nation, was caught up in the confusion by publishing bold headlines and gory close-up images of a woman in pain with a blood-covered face. That coverage might have sold well, but it provoked questions on the ethics of journalism in Kenya. On social media, anger at the gory, sensationalistic coverage manifested in a campaign with the hashtag “#BoycottDailyNation.” Soon after, the Nation Media Group’s CEO Linus Gitahi apologized to the nation via Twitter and on Nation Television (NTV) for the newspaper’s poor judgment in using the photos.MORE
What We’re Tweeting
- The Media and Election-Related Violence in Africa: Lessons from Kenya March 27, 2017
- CANCELED: A Conversation with the Foreign Minister of Nigeria, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama March 15, 2017
- Sudans Working Group: A Private Discussion with His Excellency Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of the Sudan March 1, 2017