Dispatches

Subscribe to RSS - Dispatches

Dispatches

English

AD87: Reaching for equality: Zimbabweans endorse gender equity in politics but say citizens treated unequally before the law

Equality is a principle enshrined in Zimbabwe’s Constitution and legal system, which seek to guarantee both gender equity and equal treatment for all – regardless of class, religion, or race – before the law. According to Section 3(1) of the Constitution, “recognition of the equality of all human beings” is one of the country’s founding principles.

English

AD86: Beyond ‘no-party’ system: Ugandans support multiparty politics, but trust in opposition weakens

Multiparty politics has had an uphill struggle in Uganda, marked by a 19-year ban on party competition from 1986 to 2005. Voters overwhelmingly reinforced the “no-party system” in a 2000 referendum, then reversed themselves in a 2005 referendum that opened the field to political challengers.

English

AD85: Strong public support for ‘watchdog’ role backs African news media under attack

More than 100 journalists have fled tiny Burundi to escape repression and danger, according to Reporters Without Borders – a dramatic illustration of the impact of a “deep and disturbing decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels” (Reporters Without Borders, 2016).

English

AD84: South Africans generally tolerant but report racial discrimination by employers and courts

2016 is a landmark year in South Africa’s nation-building process. April 15 marked the 20th anniversary of the first hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which sought “to provide for the investigation and the establishment of as complete a picture as possible of the nature, causes and extent of gross violations of human rights” committed during apartheid (Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, 2009).

English

AD83: Despite decline in lived poverty, South Africans increasingly pessimistic about the economy

Considering the barrage of bad economic news to which South Africans have been subjected, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of 2015 Afrobarometer survey findings on the economy is that on a personal level, citizens seem to be doing slightly better.

To be sure, South Africans are increasingly pessimistic about their national economy: Compared to 2011, more citizens say the country’s economic situation is bad, conditions are worse than a year ago and not likely to improve over the next 12 months, and the country is headed in the wrong direction.

English

AD82: Post-1994 South Africa better than apartheid, but few gains in socioeconomic conditions

Since South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994, the government’s development plans have focused on redressing racial inequalities in socioeconomic outcomes. The National Development Plan 2030 highlights broadened access to education and other essential services, along with rising incomes, as indicators of the country’s “remarkable progress” over the past two decades: “In nearly every facet of life, advances are being made in building an inclusive society, rolling back the shadow of history and broadening opportunities for all” (National Planning Commission, 2013, p.

English

AD81: Lutte contre la corruption au Niger: La désapprobation des citoyens augmente

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Le Niger, à l’instar de bien de pays africains, n’échappe pas au phénomène de la corruption. Chaque jour, les citoyens, dans la demande des services de base (l’acquisition des services d’eau, d’assainissement, et d’électricité) ou encore lorsqu’ils ont recours à l’assistance de la police ou du tribunal, y sont constamment confrontés.

English

AD80: Au Sénégal, la pauvreté vécue est en recul

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Bien que la pauvreté monétaire n’épargne aucune catégorie sociale, la proportion de Sénégalais qui ne parviennent pas à satisfaire leurs besoins de base est en baisse depuis 2008, selon l’enquête organisée par Afrobaromètre au Sénégal en novembre-décembre 2014. Ce recul de la « pauvreté vécue » pourrait être corrélé avec la perception par les Sénégalais de l’amélioration de la situation économique du pays  en général et de leurs conditions de vie en particulier.

English

AD77: Fighting corruption in Uganda: Despite small gains, citizens pessimistic about their role

Uganda’s widespread corruption is highlighted in the country’s poor ranking (139th out of 167 countries) in the Corruption Perceptions Index as well as in the recent Africa edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (Transparency International, 2015a, b). Pernicious effects stretch from substandard public services through elections and the judiciary to stunted economic development. In 2012, four in 10 respondents (41%) in an Afrobarometer survey reported that they had been offered money or a gift in return for their votes during the 2011 elections.

English

AD76: Lack of safe water, sanitation spurs growing dissatisfaction with government performance

If water is fundamental to life and human dignity, no issue is more pressing for 663 million people for whom access is still lacking (United Nations, 2015). As World Water Day (March 22) reminds us, safe and readily available water is a human right and an important contributor to public health, whether it is used for drinking, washing, food production, or recreational purposes.

English

AD75: Off-grid or ‘off-on’: Lack of access, unreliable electricity supply still plague majority of Africans

Rolling blackouts may make headlines; a complete lack of electricity infrastructure usually doesn’t. Both are part of Africa’s electricity deficit, a major obstacle to human and socioeconomic development with pernicious effects on health (think of clinics without lifesaving equipment and refrigerated drugs and vaccines), education, security, and business growth.

English

AD74: Bons vizinhos? Africanos expressam elevados níveis de tolerância para muitos, mas não para todos

Os académicos têm argumentado que a tolerância é "a endorfina do corpo político democrático," essencial para o livre intercâmbio político e cultural (Gibson & Gouws, 2005, p. 6). Seligson e Morino-Morales (2010, p. 37) reflectem esta opinião quando afirmam que uma democracia sem tolerância pelos membros de outros grupos é "fatalmente imperfeita.”

Undefined

AD74: Good neighbours? Africans express high levels of tolerance for many, but not for all

Scholars have argued that tolerance is “the endorphin of the democratic body politic,” essential to free political and cultural exchange (Gibson & Gouws, 2005, p. 6). Seligson and Morino-Morales (2010, p. 37) echo this view when they contend that a democracy without tolerance for members of other groups is “fatally flawed.”

English

AD73: Majority of South Africans want a workers’ party as alternative to ANC

Twenty-one years after the African National Congress came to power in South Africa’s transition to democratic institutions and rules, a majority of South Africans would support the creation of a workers’ party to contest elections and fight for workers’ rights, according to findings of the latest Afrobarometer survey.

English

AD71: Support for democracy in South Africa declines amid rising discontent with implementation

In April 2015, South Africa marked the 21st anniversary of its inaugural elections under full universal suffrage, the country’s formal transition from apartheid to electoral democracy. South Africa’s political system is well-regarded by international experts and is one of only 11 on the continent that Freedom House currently classifies as “free” (Freedom House, 2015).1 Despite this success, 2015 is best remembered for its political turmoil, including corruption scandals, a combative atmosphere in Parliament, and nationwide student protests against higher education tuition.

English

AD53: Les Ivoiriens considèrent que la compétition politique va de pair avec la violence

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Les différents évènements qui se sont déroulés en Côte d’Ivoire ont fait régner un climat d’insécurité dans la vie des Ivoiriens. Les forces de l’ordre, plus précisément la police et la gendarmerie, n’arrivent plus à mettre en confiance la population.

Les hommes politiques se servent de la population, surtout de la jeunesse, afin d’atteindre leurs buts. Cela conduit souvent à des violences et dans le pire des cas à une guerre civile, à laquelle les Ivoiriens ont déjà été victimes.

English

AD68: Escalating political crisis belies Burundians’ strong support for democracy

Burundi is in the midst of a violent political crisis sparked when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek, and then claimed, a controversial third term. Hundreds have been killed and more than 200,000 have fled (Office of the UNHCR, 2015) since Nkurunziza’s decision in April 2015 to ignore term-limit provisions of the Arusha peace agreement and the Burundian Constitution, as well as strong criticism from civil society and the international community.

English

AD67: Where to start? Aligning Sustainable Development Goals with citizen priorities

On 1 January 2016, the United Nations’ new development agenda will take effect. Titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” it extends and supplements the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges facing citizens around the globe.

English

AD66: South Africans have lost confidence in Zuma, believe he ignores Parliament and the law

The African National Congress (ANC) has won every national election since South Africa’s transition to universal suffrage in 1994. But while the ANC’s victory in 2014 – its fifth in a row – confirmed the party’s electoral dominance, its share of the vote declined from 66% in 2009 to 62%. New public opinion data from Afrobarometer indicate that the party’s leader, President Jacob Zuma, has lost significant citizen support since 2011.

English

AD65: South Africans increasingly dissatisfied with their elected leaders’ performance

2015 has been a tumultuous year for South Africa’s democracy. A number of key government officials have been embroiled in corruption scandals, most notably the alleged mismanagement of state funds in the construction of President Jacob Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. An investigation led by the Public Protector found that state funds were employed for non-security installations and determined that the president should repay “a reasonable percentage” of these costs (Public Protector of South Africa, 2014).

English

AD64: South Africans disapprove of government’s performance on unemployment, housing, crime

For two decades, South Africa has been grappling with the agonizing triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in February 2015 called upon the nation to be united in advancing economic freedom. Most South Africans would acknowledge that despite gains in political freedom, much remains to be done to overcome poverty and bring economic justice to the Rainbow Nation.

English

AD60: World Toilet Day: Eradicating open defecation still a challenge in Ghana

Ghana has been observing Toilet Day since 2009, four years before the United Nations designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. The purpose of the observance is to raise awareness about the challenges and deadly health consequences of poor sanitation in some parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and to encourage the formulation and implementation of policies that increase access to improved sanitation. (For more on sanitation, its implications for health, and the World Toilet Organization, see www.worldtoilet.org.)

English

Pages