Accra: Ghana's cliff-hanger presidential election on Friday will test the country's reputation as a bulwark for democracy and economic growth in Africa's so-called coup-belt. The stakes are high with rivals jousting for a chance to oversee a boom in oil revenues that has brought hopes of increased development in a country where the average person makes less than $4 (2.5 pounds) a day. "Ghana getting it right again will provide real mentorship and a signal for others," Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, director of Accra-based consultancy Centre for Democratic Development, said.
Johannesburg: South African can learn useful lessons about the relationship between growth, poverty reduction and urbanisation from the other Brics nations. The economies of China, India, Brazil and Russia accounted for almost half of growth in world output between 2000 and 2010. The role of urbanisation in the economic transformation of these countries has not been widely appreciated — but now a set of reports have been published that compares urban growth in each nation. The timing is apposite, with Census 2011 revealing far stronger growth of SA’s cities than expected.
Dakar: During the 50 years and more of the independence of the majority of African countries as Africans we have had to confront the challenge of achieving peace, security and stability throughout our Continent and indeed recorded some important advances. Sadly, recent and current events would seem to suggest a regression from this important advance. I refer here to the coups d’etat which took place in Mauritania and Guinea in 2008, in Niger in 2010, and in Mali and Guinea Bissau this year. I refer also to the armed rebellion which has split Mali into two, the continued conflict in Somalia despite the sterling efforts of AMISOM in this regard, the persisting conflicts in the Eastern DRC and within the Republic of Sudan.
1. The 19th meeting of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) was held in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on 3 December 2012, with the overall theme of illicit financial flows. It was co-chaired by Belgium, Benin, Ethiopia and the United States. It was addressed by H.E. Dr. Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and Chairperson of the African Union. 39 countries and institutions attended the meeting. [Access four presentations below]
London: Amid reports of endemic corruption, escalating security concerns, and delays restarting crude oil production, South Sudan’s new oil laws offer grounds to be optimistic about the prospects for development and stability, said Global Witness in a report released last week. The report, ‘Blueprint for Prosperity: How South Sudan’s new laws hold the key to a transparent and accountable oil sector,’ outlines the major opportunities and challenges the government faces in ensuring that management of the country’s oil wealth is responsible and open to public scrutiny.
Port Harcourt: A conference to be organized by the Pan-African Parliament on African governance platform and promotion of African Union legal instruments of African charter on the values and principles of public service and administration will be held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from Tuesday 4 December to Thursday 6 December, 2012, at the Rivers State House of Assembly. The Pan African conference will also focus on various charter on democracy elections and good governance.
Windhoek: The capture of Goma by M23 rebel forces is the latest demonstration of the ineffectiveness of the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its army (the FARDC). Whatever the political machinations behind the military’s most recent capitulation may be, the overarching themes are the longstanding institutional and governance weaknesses of Congo’s central authorities – weaknesses that the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has highlighted multiple times in its reports and analyses.
In 2010, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed a senior advisory group to conduct an independent review of how civilian capacity is provided in the aftermath of conflict. The advisory group’s report on civilian capacity (CIVCAP) resulted in the UN and its member states embarking on a global effort to reshape the way that civilian expertise is mobilized in crisis and post-conflict settings. CIVCAP seeks to enlist a broader set of partners in the provision of this civilian assistance, and in particular to work with the Global South as important providers.
Beijing: In China they are known as "princelings" - the privileged children of the revolutionary founders of the People's Republic of China. And in the generational leadership change that just took place in Beijing, it could not have been clearer that having the right family bloodlines is among the most important attributes an ambitious cadre could possess. Of the seven men who now comprise the Communist Party's new politburo standing committee, the apex of political power in China, four are members of "the red aristocracy", led by the new general secretary of the party, Xi Jinping.
Recent democracy assessments in Africa suggest that AU Member States have made slow but steady steps on democratic governance amidst significant challenges since the 1990s ( APRM, AFRIMAP, Afro Barometer, Mo Ibrahim Index; State of the Union; African Governance Report (AGR II). Multi-party politics and elections are no longer an exception, but the norm. Only a handful of AU Member States are not practicing multi-party politics. Regular elections (presidential and parliamentary) have become common on the continent. However, a critical question for deeper reflection is whether the holding of regular elections is a sufficient barometer of democracy consolidation on the continent especially in light of isolated cases of contested elections?