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AD119: Will of the people? Election results and public opinion in Gabon

According to Gabon’s national electoral commission and a subsequent Constitutional Court ruling, incumbent President Ali Bongo won re-election in August against challenger Jean Ping. His razor-thin and disputed victory margin relies in part on extraordinarily strong support and high voter turnout in the president’s home province, Haut-Ogooué. The officially announced results prompted protests in which several people died and many were arrested.

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AD118: Even weak demand for democracy not met by supply in São Tomé and Príncipe

Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe has experienced 15 years of one-party rule and, starting with a new constitution in 1990, 26 years of fast-moving multiparty competition marked by frequent changes in government and two attempted coups.

August 2016 brought another transition with the election of former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho as president over incumbent and former strongman leader Manuel Pinto da Costa.

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AD117: China ranks high as development model for Tunisia but trails France, U.S. in perceived influence

Tunisians look up to China, the world’s largest economy, as a model for the future development of their country but consider it far less influential in Tunisia than France and the United States, according to Afrobarometer survey results.

Public perceptions are divided as to whether China’s economic and political influence on Tunisia is positive or negative. As for China’s economic development assistance, a plurality (47%) of Tunisians say it helps meet the country’s needs, while about half as many (19%) disagree.

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AD116: Liberians on Ebola: Foreign aid most effective, but government performed well, is now better prepared

Liberia is one of five West African countries hit by the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. Between March 2014 and May 2015, the epidemic in Liberia produced 10,675 suspected, probable, and confirmed infections and killed 4,809 people, including about 200 health-care workers (Doctors Without Borders, 2016).

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AD115: Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving voters or themselves?

Members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are elected to represent their constituents. In a functioning democracy, these office-holders are expected to represent the public interest and to be accountable to those who elected them.

How well do African citizens think their elected representatives are fulfilling their roles? How do constituents perceive their political leaders’ integrity, their responsiveness, and their commitment to serving the public interest?

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AD114: Facing drought, can Zimbabwe improve on history of food shortage, poor management?

Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries are facing one of their worst food shortages in decades (Oxfam, 2015; Plan International, 2016). In February 2016, President Robert Mugabe declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country severely hit by a drought largely blamed on the impact of El Niño (Guardian, 2016; Herald, 2016; Reuters, 2016).

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AD110: Les Guinéens désapprouvent la gestion des problèmes prioritaires par le gouvernement

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

En lançant ses objectifs de développement durable (ODDs), l’Organisation des Nations Unies relève que la mise en oeuvre de son nouveau programme exigera la participation de « tous les pays, toutes les parties prenantes et tous les peuples », en tenant compte « des réalités, capacités et niveaux de développement de chacun et dans le respect des priorités et politiques nationales » (Organisation des Nations Unies, 2015, pp. 2-3).

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AD113: Zimbabweans strongly favour free cross-border movement but hold mixed views of SADC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) counts among its 15 member states1 the region’s richest country (South Africa) as well as some of its poorest; landlocked as well as island states; and states with some of the largest populations in Africa (the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)) as well as some of the smallest (Seychelles).

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AD112: Do trustworthy institutions matter for development? Corruption, trust, and government performance in Africa

In a memorable address to the Ghanaian Parliament on July 11, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama asserted that “Africa doesn't need strongmen; it needs strong institutions.” He went on to refer to “strong parliaments, honest police forces, (and) independent judges” as institutions that help to ensure that governments “respect the will of their own people (and) govern by consent and not coercion.” Citing good governance as a key to prosperity, he added: “This is about more than just holding elections. It's also about what happens between elections.”

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AD109: Malgré un recul de la pauvreté, les Guinéens décrivent mal leurs conditions de vie

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

L’amélioration des conditions de vie des populations passe nécessairement par un meilleur accès aux premières nécessités et la mise en place des stratégies pouvant permettre de réduire efficacement la pauvreté. C’est dans ce cadre que les gouvernements qui ont succédé à la tête de la Guinée ont conçu et mis en oeuvre des axes stratégiques de réduction de la pauvreté depuis 2002.

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AD108: Zimbabweans support free media as watchdog, question media’s effectiveness and integrity

Although Zimbabwe’s Constitution explicitly stipulates that every citizen is entitled to “freedom of the media,” press freedom has had a tenuous existence in Zimbabwe. While recent decades have not seen the direct censorship common before independence (Press Reference, 2016), the public's right to free and unfettered information has suffered from government interference with the print and broadcast media, harassment and arrests of journalists, self-censorship by editors, and media laws that are widely viewed as impeding media freedom (Mudadigwa, 2016).

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AD107: Disgruntled opposition or disillusioned democrats? Support for electoral law reforms in Uganda

Reform of electoral laws has been a mainstay of political discourse in Uganda for two decades. Since the issue came to the fore following the 1996 general elections, stakeholders on all sides – opposition political parties, civil-society organisations, election observer missions, government, and the Electoral Commission (EC) – have called for reform to ensure free and fair elections (International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 1996; Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, 2013a).

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AD105: Citizen response points to appreciation, challenges of Kenya’s devolved governance

The promulgation of Kenya’s Constitution in 2010 and the ushering in of county governments in 2013 generated high public expectations of efficient service delivery without much consideration of the complexity of such a transition in governance. Kenya’s devolution involves both political and administrative changes, requiring the national government and counties to collaborate in building a new political culture and leadership, with citizens as the pillar of reflexive governance. If that pillar is weak, the form of governance that Kenya has embraced is threatened.

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AD104: Les Camerounais se sentent libres, mais ils critiquent le fonctionnement de leur démocratie

Si la démocratie est fondé sur le principe que la souveraineté appartient aux citoyens, parler du fonctionnement de la démocratie au Cameroun, c’est analyser la perception que les Camerounais ont de la manière dont la démocratie est pratiquée dans leur pays.

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AD101: Youth political engagement in South Africa: Beyond student protests

South Africa’s Youth Day 2016 (16 June) marks the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprisings, during which thousands of high school students marched to protest the introduction of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in the public education system. The demonstrations proved to be a watershed in the fight against apartheid by bringing South African youth to the forefront of the liberation struggle (South African History Online, 2016).

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AD100: Threat of violent extremism from a ‘grassroots’ perspective: Evidence from North Africa

In June 2015, militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) raided a beach hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, killing 38 people (CNN, 2015a). Four months later, ISIL claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian airliner, with 224 fatalities, although the official cause remains undetermined (CNN, 2015b). Similarly, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) killed 18 people on the beaches of Grand Bassam in Côte d'Ivoire in March 2016, and days later attacked an oil and gas facility in southern Algeria (Al Jazeera, 2016).

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AD99: Les Nigériens approuvent l’efficacité de la réponse gouvernementale à l’extrémisme

Au Niger, la situation sécuritaire ces deux dernières années est prise en tenailles par le groupe djihadiste et terroriste Boko Haram installé à ses frontières. A plus de la moitié, les Nigériens se sentent exposés au risque des actions terroristes. En effet, selon le plus récent sondage d’Afrobaromètre, 59% des citoyens justifient l’exposition à une telle menace par la faible présence de l’état dans certaines parties du territoire.

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AD98: Les Nigériens adhèrent aux partis politiques, souhaitent une opposition coopérative

Only available in French.

La démocratie est un système politique dont l’émergence et la consolidation passent par la forte implication des formations politiques. En effet, le pluralisme des opinions et des partis politiques est une caractéristique fondamentale de la démocratie nigérienne car par de grandes majorités, les Nigériens rejettent le parti unique comme système de gouvernance et disent que plusieurs partis politiques sont nécessaires pour leur garantir le choix de ceux qui vont les gouverner.

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AD95: Les priorités des Gabonais: L’éducation, la santé, les infrastructures routières

Le développement des pays passe par une combinaison à la fois des plans nationaux et ceux des partenaires au développement. Si à ce jour les résultats des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) restent discutables, les Nations Unies ont déjà adopté les nouveaux Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), qui visent, entre autres, à éliminer la pauvreté, parvenir à la sécurité alimentaire, et garantir à tous une vie prospère et un accès équitable en eau, à une éducation de qualité, et à une énergie moins chère et fiable.

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AD94: La corruption au Cameroun: Perceptions publiques et moyens de lutte

This document is only availble in French.

Selon les citoyens camerounais, la corruption est un phénomène bien ancré dans l’administration publique ainsi que dans le secteur privé. Pire, près de la moitié des Camerounais affirment que le niveau de la corruption a augmenté pendant l’année écoulée, et la majorité trouvent inefficace la politique de lutte contre la corruption du gouvernement, y compris l’ « Opération Epervier ».

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AD91: Regional integration for Africa: Could stronger public support turn ‘rhetoric into reality’?

Regional integration has been a development strategy for Africa for decades. The African Economic Community’s founding treaty in 1991 provided a framework targeting full political and economic integration by 2019. Many African countries have signed on to foster political and economic cooperation.

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AD93: Most Swazis say free cross-border movement desirable but not yet a reality

As a result of its strong economic position on the continent, Southern Africa experiences high volumes of migration. Development and employment opportunities in the mining, manufacturing, and agricultural industries draw both skilled and unskilled labour. Southern Africa is also a springboard for regular and irregular migration to Europe and the Americas (International Organization for Migration, 2015).

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AD90: In South Africa, citizens’ trust in president, political institutions drops sharply

In assessing the health of democracies, it is impossible to ignore the concept of citizen trust in public institutions. Trust is a cornerstone of democratic legitimacy, triggering citizens’ willingness to contribute to a strong and robust democracy: Citizens who trust their government are more willing to listen and render support to government policies aimed at improving the country (Government Communication and Information System, 2014).

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