On Monday, Malawi’s High Court nullified the country’s May presidential elections. The 500-page ruling includes a laundry list of election irregularities — and faults the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for failing to carry out its responsibilities according to the constitution and electoral law. The court ruled that President Peter Mutharika was “not duly elected” and called for fresh elections within 150 days.
The High Court’s panel of five judges further ruled that the simple plurality standard that has determined the winner of each presidential election since the return to multiparty competition in 1994 has gone against the “majority” principle in Malawi’s constitution.… Seguir leyendo »
Welcome to the sixth annual TMC African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular. Please read along with us this summer!
A book that opens “It began with a rumour” will give me high expectations. That sentence opens this week’s installment in the African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular, Nanjala Nyabola’s “Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya.” And readers, the book exceeded my expectations.
We originally selected Nyabola’s book for this summer’s series because we knew it would offer insights on how digital developments are shaping politics in contemporary Kenya. But “Digital Democracy” delivers more than that.… Seguir leyendo »
Public health authorities have recorded more than 2,000 cases in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo. Last week, a 5-year-old boy died of Ebola in neighboring Uganda, signifying the outbreak has spread across the border. The latest update published by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests the Congolese outbreak is not close to ending — the number of new cases is actually on the rise.
This is the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak on record. In the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, health authorities recorded more than 28,000 cases, and more than 11,000 people died.
Why has the current Congolese outbreak been so challenging for the government and other stakeholders to contain?… Seguir leyendo »
Last month, thousands of scholars, practitioners, activists and policymakers attended the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. The biennial conference highlights advances in research and policy interventions aimed at stemming the tide of AIDS.
More than three decades since the first International AIDS Conference was held, AIDS continues to affect millions of people worldwide. In 2017, UNAIDS estimated that 36.9 million people were living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the same year, 940,000 people died of AIDS.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in Africa. The Global Burden of Disease study estimated that HIV/AIDS accounted for 8.8 percent of deaths in Africa in 2016.… Seguir leyendo »
Pirates. Terrorists. Refugees. There is a long history of negative portrayals of Somalis around the world.
Consider, for example, Kenyan Somalis. According to the most recent census, there are 2.4 million Somalis in Kenya (out of an overall population of 38.6 million in the country). Somalis have lived in Kenya since before colonial rule. By the early 20th century, Somali-speaking nomads established themselves in what is now northeastern Kenya. Still, when you read about Kenyan Somalis in major media outlets, they are portrayed as “others” or as strangers in stories about terrorism or refugees.
How can Somalis be both citizens and strangers in Kenya?… Seguir leyendo »
This week, Nigerian military sources reported that Boko Haram fighters killed nine soldiers and wounded two others in northeast Nigeria. This comes just a week after two suicide bombers killed 43 people, also in northeast Nigeria.
A video released this week by Vox raises the alarm that Islamist militant groups such as Boko Haram are gaining strength in Africa. Most reporting on Boko Haram and other extremist groups in Africa warn that extremism on the continent is on the rise.
Alexis Okeowo’s award-winning book — “A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa” — offers a different perspective on Boko Haram and other extremist groups in Africa.… Seguir leyendo »
As the holy month of Ramadan ended yesterday, a prominent Muslim rights group called on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon 54 soldiers imprisoned for mutiny. In 2014, the soldiers refused to fight the terrorist group Boko Haram, claiming they were not adequately supplied with weapons and ammunition.
The Nigerian soldiers’ grievances and subsequent mutiny are consistent with other mutinies in Africa, as detailed in this week’s book in the African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular: “Soldiers in Revolt: Army Mutinies in Africa,” written by Maggie Dwyer, a research fellow at the Center of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews — 50 with former mutineers — and a systematic review of high-quality reporting outlets (e.g.,… Seguir leyendo »
Welcome to the first week of the 2018 African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular. We begin the series with “Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings,” by Rutgers University-Newark assistant professor of political science Nermin Allam.
Allam’s book examines the 2011 Egyptian uprising. She draws from 118 interviews, most conducted with female protesters and activists. In addition to the interview data, Allam analyzes reporting (both news and commentary) on women’s activism during the 2011 uprising published in two of Egypt’s leading daily newspapers (Al-Ahram and Al-Wafd) and in the New York Times.
I found it most helpful in Allam’s book that she situated women’s activism in contemporary Egypt in a broader historical context.… Seguir leyendo »
Malawi’s most prominent civil society group, the Public Affairs Committee, is organizing peaceful protests nationwide on Wednesday. The protests have been endorsed by multiple faith associations, including the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, the Quddria Muslim Association of Malawi and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Nkhoma Synod.
These religious bodies are calling on their faithful to demonstrate and get the government to reform electoral laws. Malawians will take to the streets shortly after a new report was published that raises alarms about declining freedom of speech. Here’s what you need to know:
Religion is important in Malawians’ daily lives and faith leaders challenging the government is not new.… Seguir leyendo »
Today is World AIDS Day, an annual global health campaign to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic. HIV/AIDS awareness has been a central theme in interventions designed to stem the tide of AIDS, which has killed more than 35 million people since its discovery in the 1980s.
The African continent has shouldered much of the burden of AIDS. Of the 36 million people living with HIV worldwide, nearly 70 percent live in Africa. Although Africa has only 16 percent of the world’s population, it is home to 64 percent of all new HIV infections.
Because of the tremendous impact AIDS has had on the continent, I have spent the last decade studying response to AIDS in Africa.… Seguir leyendo »
In a new video, Afrobarometer shares citizens’ opinions about and experiences with elections in their countries. The video draws on results from 53,935 surveys conducted in 36 African countries. Check it out:
This post is part of our Friday Afrobarometer series, which highlights findings from the pan-African, nonpartisan research network that conducts public-attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues in more than 35 countries in Africa. Read earlier posts in the series:
- Africa’s largest public-opinion survey is under threat, but here’s what you can do about it
- A year ago, most Zimbabweans trusted Mugabe. Here’s why so many are now protesting in the streets.
… Seguir leyendo »
Liberia was finally declared Ebola-free a year ago this month. The 2013-2015 outbreak wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of Liberians, infecting at least 10,675 and killing 4,809. Many more were affected: 4 in 10 Liberians reported having a relative or close friend die during the outbreak.
During Liberia’s epidemic, analysts pointed to multiple obstacles blocking effective response: inadequate health facilities and resources, citizens’ mistrust of government, and the slow international response. There were questions about whether the Ebola outbreak would have severe consequences for Liberia’s already embattled government, leaving citizens even more distrustful of government and its ability to protect and provide for them.… Seguir leyendo »