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Governance, Democracy and Accountability (741)

In the age of Western powers reorganising their priorities in the global arena, along with their diminishing relative economic and political weight, BRICS’ growing influence cannot be denied.
''If you are not at the table, you are probably on the menu.''
On 8 August Kenyans head to the polls to elect a president, parliament and local officials. The world will be watching closely as the two main candidates face each other for the second time. Uhuru Kenyatta (55) defeated Raila Odinga (72) in 2013 with 50.5% of the vote against 43.7%. Latest opinion polls agree that this contest will be tight, but differ on who is leading. IPSOS Kenya gauges 47% for Kenyatta and 43% for Odinga. Infotrak has Odinga narrowly ahead: 47% vs 46%. However, given the failures of opinion polls during the Brexit vote and the US Presidential elections…
Paul Kagame has been re-elected as president of Rwanda – a position he has held since 2000.
The South African Institute of International Affairs cordially invites you to the book launch of 'Fate of the Nation: Scenarios for South Africa's Future' by Jakkie Cilliers.

SAIIA Occasional Paper No 264, July 2017

In June, South Africa’s public protector announced there would be a new investigation into the #GuptaLeaks allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government. It’s a symptom of South Africa’s broader problems.
G20 leaders will launch a Compact with Africa as the major new initiative of their 7/8 July summit in Hamburg, Germany.
On 30 June South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, kicked off its week-long policy conference in Johannesburg. Party cadres will meet under the (now ironic) call “The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Let us deepen unity!” in memory of one of the ANC’s most formidable and respected leaders.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 261, June 2017
In 2016, one of the defining terms when it came to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) political situation was 'le glissement'. Meaning 'slippage', this word was popularly used to refer to President Joseph Kabila’s efforts to stay in office by repeatedly delaying elections The strategy worked. Kabila’s mandate officially ended in December 2016, yet he is still president and there are still no signs of an upcoming vote.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 47, June 2017
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) aims to create societies who hold the governments responsible for ensuring effective and responsive governance structures. Civil society engagement on topics surrounding open governance are direly needed, specifically engagement from a youth lens. Being from a founding member country, South African youth are in a special position to hold their government accountable and voice their opinions surrounding the OGP.
In 1979 Iran underwent an Islamic Revolution, surprising ‘experts’ around the world and transforming its country from a United States-supported monarchy to an Islamic Republic. The ideology of the revolution was rooted in teachings spread by Ayatollah Khomeini. His firm belief in the need for jurists who were experts in Islamic law and could act as guardians of the people came to shape not only the revolution but the new constitution, system of government, and the electoral system.
Sonke Gender Justice and SAIIA researchers Matebe Chisiza and Yarik Turianskyi explore how Rwanda has managed to be the world’s leading example in terms of female representation in politics.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 161, May 2017
On 7 May 2017, the French people spoke and elected Emmanuel Macron as their next President of the Republic. Gathering 66.06% of the votes against 33.94% for his opponent Marine Le Pen from the far-right Front National, this second round concludes an unprecedented presidential race in several respects. Beyond the victory of a newcomer in French politics, these elections marked a harsh side-lining of the two main parties – the Parti Socialiste and Les Républicains – as well as the significant rise of populist movements. While France faces a drastically altered political landscape, this election also matters for Africa.
The World Economic Forum on Africa met on 3-5 May in Durban, and discussions included the need to enhance nations’ development through technological advancement.
On 24 March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first order awarding financial compensation – on an individual basis – to the victims of the Bogoro village attack in 2003 in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The court sentenced Former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga in March 2014 to 12 years in prison (later reduced to eight years), on four counts of war crimes and one count of crimes against humanity for these atrocities. Breaking new ground, a symbolic compensation of $250 has been awarded to each of the 297 identified victims of those…
The Council of Councils (CoC) Report Card on International Cooperation evaluates multilateral efforts to address ten of the world’s most pressing global challenges, from countering transnational terrorism to advancing global health. No country can confront these issues better on its own. Combating the threats, managing the risks, and exploiting the opportunities presented by globalisation require international cooperation.
  Sunday 23 April saw French citizens vote in the first stage of their presidential elections, with a second run-off stage for the two lead candidates Emmanuel Macron (of En Marche!) and Marine Le Pen (of the National Front) on 7 May. While Macron won a majority of the vote (65.8%) in the second round, the pertinent conversation to be had is not one of victories and losses, but one of opinions rather than outcomes – opinions that veer strongly towards the favourite new buzzword in politics: populism.
With the passing of struggle stalwart Ahmed “Uncle Kathy” Kathrada this week, we are freshly reminded of his legacy in the anti-apartheid movement as well as that of other struggle heroes who fought for freedom. Among them are ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo and Steve Bantu Biko, the liberation activist murdered by security police 40 years ago, both of whom were commemorated on human rights day last month.
In his oration at Nelson Mandela’s official burial ceremony in December 2013, Uncle Kathy as Ahmed Kathrada was affectionately known, said that his friend had joined “the A-team” of the ANC, which included Chief Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, Helen Joseph and Bram Fischer among others. Now the 87-year-old activist and struggle veteran has also left us to join them in a place that is more serene and less fraught than life on earth. 
SAIIA Policy Insights No 41, March 2017
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.
The recurring xenophobic violence is no new matter in South Africa. In 2006 an assessment on South Africa's state of democracy by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), urged the government to address the perception that migrant workers are unfair competition for locals.
Monday, 27 February 2017

The Future of Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe turned 93 last week, making him both one of the oldest and longest-serving presidents on the continent.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 251, February 2017
In February 2015, South Africa experienced an upsurge of xenophobic attacks throughout the country.  In response to this horrendous act, SAIIA Chief Executive, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, wrote this article and former senior researcher Tjiurimo Hengari wrote a related paper on the subject ‘Xenophobia Trivialises South Africa’s Ambitious Africa Policy’. Earlier this week the violent acts flared up again in Pretoria West. The institute again calls for an end to the violence and the stereotyping of certain groups as more crime-prone than others. South Africa must address the ‘demon’ of xenophobia and violence once and for all if it is to remain…
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