Political participation

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Political participation

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Youth Day: Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political engagement lags among Africa’s youth

Political and civic engagement by African youth is declining and is particularly weak among young women, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.

The findings, which are being released on International Youth Day 2016 (August 12), show African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders. Young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men.

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PP34: Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political participation lags among African youth, especially women

African Youth Charter outlines young citizens’ rights and responsibilities, affirming that “youth are partners, assets and a prerequisite for sustainable development and for the peace and prosperity of Africa” (African Union, 2006, p. 2). Article 11 of the charter gives every young citizen “the right to participate in all spheres of society” and mandates that states encourage youth activism and ensure gender equity in political representation and participation (p. 6). Among responsibilities, the charter cites full participation in civic duties such as voting in elections and volunteering.

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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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Majority of Swazi’s of the opinion that political parties are divisive and therefore unnecessary

Two out of three Swazis were of the opinion that political parties were divisive and therefore  not necessary in Swaziland’s democracy.  Only (31%) felt that they should exist in order to give them choice when selecting candidates during elections, according to the most recent Afrobarometer survey held in Swaziland.  This shows a six percentage point increase in support for the banning of political parties compared to 2013.

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Les Togolais sont en faveur d’une plus grande inclusion politique et économique de leur diaspora

Une grande majorité des Togolais se sont prononcés pour le recensement et le vote aux élections nationales des Togolais de la diaspora : c’est ce que révèle la dernière enquête Afrobaromètre qu’a réalisé le CROP en octobre 2014.

Sur le volet économique et pour neuf Togolais sur 10, le gouvernement devrait mettre en place des mesures incitatives pour encourager et soutenir l’investissement des Togolais vivant à l’étranger. Par ailleurs, Il faut noter que 16% des Togolais déclarent recevoir des subsides d’amis ou de parents vivant à l’étranger.

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Which African democracies are vulnerable to political instability?

Most of us were taken by surprise when Mali – a budding democratic success story after three open elections and two peaceful transitions of power – imploded with a separatist insurgency, a military coup, and the breakdown of state control in 2012.

What did we miss? Were there signs of impending instability that political observers overlooked in the pre-crisis period? And if so, can such early-warning indicators help us predict political risks for other African governments and political regimes?

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AD40: Zimbabwe seen headed in the wrong direction, but president's leadership approval steady

Most Zimbabweans express discontent with the overall direction of their country, deteriorating economic conditions, rising corruption, and the performance of their elected leaders – except for President Robert Mugabe.

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, popular assessments of the country’s direction and of how members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are doing their jobs are considerably more negative than in 2012, but a majority of Zimbabweans continue to approve of the president’s performance.

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AD39: Political freedom and interest have yet to translate into Mandela's vision of participatory democracy in Africa

Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) honours the ideals that underpinned Madiba’s actions – freedom, universal enfranchisement, and participatory democracy. As Mandela once said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” More than a quarter-century after grass-roots pro-democracy movements began replacing authoritarian regimes in many African countries, and despite marked progress toward democratic governance, many new democracies continue to suffer from a number of democratic deficits.

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Reigniting youth citizenship in South Africa

South Africa celebrates Youth Day every June 16 to commemorate the students who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising in 1976. An estimated 3,000-10,000 students marched to protest the apartheid government’s directive to make Afrikaans a compulsory medium of instruction in public education, alongside English. The violent police response to this peaceful protest led to a widespread revolt against the government and exposed the brutality of the apartheid state to the international community.

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AD35: South African youth patriotic, optimistic about national cohesion, but low on civic engagement

South Africa celebrates Youth Day every June 16 to commemorate the students who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising in 1976. An estimated 3,000-10,000 students marched to protest the apartheid government’s directive to make Afrikaans a compulsory medium of instruction in public education, alongside English. The violent police response to this peaceful protest led to a widespread revolt against the government and exposed the brutality of the apartheid state to the international community.

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African women lag behind men in activism, fear campaign violence

Africans’ support for women’s equality on the continent is widespread and growing, but the day-to-day reality for many women remains characterized by disadvantage and discrimination. And while most African governments get generally good marks for their performance in empowering women, the battle for equal rights and opportunities for women is far from won especially for women in North Africa.

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In Malawi, women lag in political participation; support for women’s leadership declines

Despite being led by a female president for almost two years, Malawian women are less likely to be involved in political discussions and show less interest in public affairs than their male counterparts, according to a 2014 Afrobarometer survey.

Women in Malawi are also less likely than men to attend a political rally or campaign meeting, to persuade others to vote for a candidate, and to work for a political candidate.

Survey results show a sharp decline in public support for women’s political leadership.

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