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Friday, 17 March 2017

My Brother’s keeper

A prominent thread in the conversation about Africa’s development since the end of the Cold War has been the need for good governance. The continent’s resource and economic constraints have posed serious problems but a consensus has emerged that Africa’s success would hinge on getting its policies, institutions and public administration in order. This need for good governance was underscored by the tide of democratisation in the 1990s.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 252, March 2017

Published in Occasional Papers

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 251, February 2017

Published in Occasional Papers

This year's African Union (AU) January summit, appropriately themed around the potential of the continent’s youth, sought to position the continental body to meet the challenges of the coming decades – an era during which the continent, having fallen behind its global peers, is pursuing a decisive developmental breakthrough.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

A telling feature of South African municipal elections is the near seamless manner in which they blend into the country’s national political narratives. Whether this involves appeals to socio-economic transformation, combatting corruption, redistributing land, party brand-loyalty or invoking the images of party leaders – whose names will not appear on ballots on 3 August – an important subtext is that these elections are speaking to something altogether ‘bigger’ than local governance and the management of service provision. Cynics might even consider these polls mere warm-ups as we approach the main tournament of national elections in 2019.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

The drought that has hammered Southern Africa over the past years is a potent reminder (if ever it was needed) of the foundational importance of agriculture to the continent’s fortunes. Agriculture remains a mainstay of Africa’s economy, accounting for around a third of GDP and two thirds of employment.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Policy Briefing 149, May 2016

Published in Policy Briefings

The ‘Land Question’. From legislation under consideration – such as the new Expropriation Bill – to a reopened land claims process, to violent evictions in Hammanskraal, to emotive rhetoric around current landholding patterns, the politics of land is shaking South Africa. In this, South Africa is not unique.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 229, April 2016

Published in Occasional Papers

Human Rights Day celebrates a precious proposition: each individual is a full member of society, with entitlements to opinion and behaviour that cannot be denied. It speaks directly to the ideal of human and civic freedom. For many people in South Africa and the continent at large, this is intimately linked to conceptions of democracy.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Research Report No 22, February 2016

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Governance and APRM Programme 

Africa’s turn to electoral democracy over the past three decades has rightly been hailed as a significant achievement, but it has not rid the continent of restrictive and authoritarian governance impulses. This report attempts to interrogate the concept of ‘freedom’ and how it is faring in Africa. To do so, it conceptualises freedom in terms of ‘constitutional liberalism’, and discusses this conceptualisation in relation to two broad themes: constitutionalism and civil liberties.

Events globally, across Africa, and in South Africa – urban riots in France in 2005 and Britain in 2011, the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, student protests in South Africa last year – have thrust the youth into the centre of political attention. Nowhere is this more important than in Africa, where one in five of its people are between the ages of 15 and 24, and whose population is the youngest on earth.
Published in Opinion & Analysis

SAIIA Policy Briefing 146, January 2016

Published in Policy Briefings
‘African unity’ has been one of the most consistent themes in African political thought. Since independence, the vision of a continental order stretching from Cape Town to Cairo and from Dakar to Dar es Salaam has been an entrancing one. Africa, rather than being a geographical descriptor, would be a geopolitical identity.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
South Africa has seldom approached Heritage Day with a more fractured sense of what constitutes our heritage and what should be celebrated. Angry exchanges over the character of our universities, language policy, public memorials and so on have exposed the divides that run through our society and have even called into question whether we are one nation.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
SAIIA Policy Briefing 140, July 2015
Published in Policy Briefings
Since its institution in 1989, World Population Day on 11 July has drawn attention to the Earth’s rising population, and the demographic and social trends accompanying it. These serious and complex matters address the opportunities and hurdles confronting countries’ development aspirations. Nowhere is this of more profound – even existential – importance than in Africa.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 130, March 2015
Published in Policy Briefings
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