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Governance, Democracy and Accountability (771)

On 17-18 May, SAIIA and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) together held a regional civil society conference, ‘#ReviveAPRM: Where to Next for Civil Society?’ in Nairobi, Kenya.
Unless good governance is demanded by citizens, it will not be consistently supplied by authorities. For Africa, the nature of the relationship between governments and ordinary people, known as the social contract, has proven to be an enduring challenge in the post-independence period. Revolutionary technological advances over the past decade provide new opportunities for establishing deeper links between citizens and state institutions. Can they help Africans on their quest for better governance?
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 229, April 2016
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.
SAIIA cordially invites you to a SAIIA Roundtable on ‘The Habré Trial: African Justice in Action?’
SAIIA Research Report No 22, February 2016 Download - English 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.
On 9 March, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) turns 13. ‘APRM Day’ commemorates the formal launch of Africa’s innovative governance monitoring and assessment tool in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003.
Last week, as political turmoil in Burundi continued to escalate, the African Union (AU) sent a delegation to the troubled East African state. The delegation was headed by South African President Jacob Zuma, and included leaders from Ethiopia, Gabon, Mauritania and Senegal. Shortly prior to that, UN chief Ban Ki-moon was in Burundi as part of international efforts to bring peace and stability to the country.
Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni has extended his 30-year rule of Uganda by at least another five years as a result of his definitive first round electoral victory over his closest rival, Kizza Besigye, who once served as his medical doctor during the bush war against Idi Amin. Besigye has lost the last three elections to Museveni and in 2011 petitioned the Supreme Court, alleging that the results of the elections were rigged. Museveni’s victory was widely anticipated by most political observers inside and outside the country. These are the undisputed facts of the 2016 elections.
On 16 February 2016, SAIIA National Chairman Mr Fred T Phaswana delivered his annual address. What follows is the full text of the speech.
In Mozambique, interwovenness between political party, state and business has been a concern for a number of years. The crux of the issue lies with the overlapping of Mozambique’s ruling party, Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO), and the state.
Billed as the premier annual event for African mining interests, the 2016 Mining Indaba will take place in Cape Town from 8 to 11 February. But what is being discussed at the Indaba? Are all interests equally represented? And what do research institutes on the ground across Africa think about what is being decided there?
On 29 January 2016, a group of Africa’s Heads of State and Government met in Addis Ababa to determine the fate of one of the AU’s most daring initiatives. At stake was the future relevance of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
The African Union (AU) is convening its January 2016 summit under the guiding theme: ‘African year of human rights with a particular focus on the rights of Women’. Notwithstanding the themes, which in part focus the deliberations at the Summit, the headlines and the pressing issues facing the continent will always steal the thunder from these lofty themes. This current summit is no different.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 146, January 2016
SAIIA, in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada and the US Embassy in Pretoria, invite you to a seminar to be addressed by three very special guests on the topic: 'Support for countries in transition: lessons from the liberation movement of South Africa'.
A new book by SAIIA, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?, focuses on political and social developments to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa.
On 24 November 2015, South Africa’s Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, gave the keynote speech at the launch of SAIIA's book, 'African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn't.'
SAIIA has published a new book, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t? to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa.
SAIIA has launched a new book, African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn't, with South Africa’s Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
It’s that time of the year again: the month that marks 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Familiar terms again dominate the discourse: violence against women, gender-based violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence.
Ahead of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (25 November - 10 December), Ugandan human rights lawyer Laura Nyirinkindi paid a visit to SAIIA. Nyirinkindi has been working on combating violence against women in Africa for the last ten years.
Since independence, most African states have struggled to develop effective institutions that are responsive to the governance and development needs of their respective societies. This challenge is reflected not only in the prevalence of social and political strife in many African countries, but also in the poor socio-economic performance of the continent as a whole. The same could be said of the slow progress towards greater regional and continental integration, which, to a large extent is symptomatic of a weak institutional culture across the continent.
‘Change’ was the word de jour as citizens headed to the polls for the fifth multi-party elections in Tanzania on 25 October 2015. At first glance, Tanzania seems to be a country on a clear trajectory to prosperity – maintaining a GDP growth rate of around 7 percent. Despite this impressive macroeconomic growth, distribution of wealth has been inadequate and poverty levels remain high. So did these polls deliver anything different?
In February 2016, Uganda will go to the polls. It is only the country’s third election held since the constitutional restoration of multi-party democracy in 2005 and it is widely expected to be one of the most contentious. How might Uganda’s participation in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) contribute to better elections?
On 26 October 2015, SAIIA is holding a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Gender and Governance in Africa: Findings from 16 countries’.
After relatively peaceful elections in Guinea-Conakry returned outgoing President Alpha Conde to power last week in the first round of voting, another West African country - Côte d'Ivoire - is heading to watershed presidential elections on 25 October 2015.
‘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.