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  • Author: Łukasz Maślanka
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron initiated a Franco-Russian dialogue aimed at improving bilateral relations, as well as EU-Russia relations. This effort could be confounded by the growing Russian engagement in Africa, mainly through their military, business, and propaganda activities. These are increasingly harmful to France, which traditionally engages in the politics and economies of African states. The French government hasn’t yet prepared any coherent strategy vis-à-vis the Russian challenge, preferring to wait it out.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Europe, Eurasia, France
  • Author: Dina Fakoussa, Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Although Tunisia has made great strides over the past seven years, its democratization process remains fragile. Disillusionment with and distrust in the government, particularly high among the young, also manifest themselves in low voter turnout. Young voters were strikingly absent in the 2014 parliamentary elections, and in the first municipal elections in May 2018, only 33.7 percent of Tunisians cast their votes. To a great extent, this disillusionment stems from the various, persistent socio-economic problems which had led to the uprisings and the ouster of the former autocratic regime in 2011. Especially in Tunisia’s historically marginalized regions, these issues remain a key challenge.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Democracy, Fragile States, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Gerrit Kurtz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Germany has helped lead efforts to mobilize international support for Sudan’s transition process since President al-Bashir was ousted last year. To be successful, Germany and its partners must deliver on their promises to support the transitional government’s economic reforms with substantial aid. They should keep Sudan’s diverse partners aligned while broadening their outreach. Sudan is thus a test case for how much political capital Germany will spend on its stated objective of conflict prevention.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Government, Partnerships, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sudan, Germany
  • Author: Anwar A. Bashir
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Since Abiy become the new prime minister of Ethiopia, Ethiopian politics has taken a new turn. He has released political prisoners, promoted media freedom and increased inclusion of women into the political arena. He has also invited the opposition to the discussion table, and reduced tension in the 18-year feud between Ethiopia and Eritrea. As a result, some politically-oriented Ethiopians believe Abiy has taken exquisite and peerless actions. There are also several reprehensible issues, which have started under his tenure. Communal violence has peaked whilst agreements with opposition groups was met with skepticism. Moreover, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ethiopia has reached a zenith due to the ethnic violence, for which human rights organizations have heavily criticized Ethiopia’s leadership. Several political analysts note that Abiy’s transformations are only a veneer, because his agreement with oppositions groups are yet to be implemented, especially with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the oldest opposition in the country. This skepticism from the opposition has resulted in a new coalition party aimed at undermining the incumbent government in the upcoming Ethiopian 2020 election. Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF), the second oldest opposition has complained of mistreatment by the leadership of the Somali region. Outspoken opposition politician Lidetu Ayalew of the Ethiopian Democratic Party has asserted, “Ethiopia as a nation is not ready to hold general parliamentary elections.” On the other hand, Abiy disbanded the longest ruling party in the country, the EPRDF, an action that has resulted in a widening dichotomy within his inner-circle. Jawar, an Oromo media tycoon, has tremendous support from the youth, especially since the Oromo region has boycotted Abiy’s policies. With all these various issues and considerations, there is much anticipation as to how the upcoming elections will unfold.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Conflict, Borders
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: This report presents findings from a TechWomen program evaluation conducted in 2018 by IIE’s Research, Evaluation, and Learning team. The evaluation assessed change in participants’ professional skills and capacities. The evaluation team utilized Social Network Analysis methodology to measure development of the participants’ professional networks with each other and with STEM professionals in the U.S. The report also outlines how the program impacted participants’ and mentors’ cross-cultural understanding and exchange of professional best practices. Finally, the report highlights program’s impact on participants’ and mentors’ communities and specifically on women and girls. TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs implemented by IIE. Launched in 2011, the program supports the United States’ global commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by enabling them to reach their full potential. TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Science and Technology, Culture, Women, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jędrzej Czerep
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: May’s parliamentary elections in South Africa, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), will change the directions of its foreign policy. The victory by the African National Congress (ANC) was made possible by the popularity of the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who will emphasize the international dimension of policy. In his new term, he will focus on regaining the trust of foreign investors, strengthening the country’s pro-Western course, supporting multilateralism, and reform of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, International Law, Politics, Elections, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report provides insights into building a gender sensitive climate smart agriculture while reducing the vulnerability of women, youth and refugees to the adversity impacted by climate change. It shows that successful mainstreaming of climate change in the agricultural sector and implementation of gender sensitive climate resilient agricultural policies, programmes and practices require strong and reliable climate information services and early warning systems, enhanced technical and institutional capacities, enabling legal framework, and strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms. A strong commitment to innovative climate financing and increasing budget allocation for climate change to the sectors especially Local Governments (LGs) is also essential.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents the proceedings of the National Conference on Decentralisation held at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda, on August 13, 2019. The theme of the conference was: Decentralisation: Trends, Gains, Challenges and the Future of Local Governments in Uganda. It was collaboratively held by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), and the Governance, Accountability, Participation and Performance (GAPP) Program with support from USAID and UKAID. The Conference assessed the impact of decentralisation policies and trends on financing for local governments, and highlighted measures [that can be] put in place by relevant stakeholders to support and strengthen decentralisation as per Article 176 of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution. Uganda’s decentralisation experiment was hailed as exceptional in the developing world. Its scale, scope of transfer of powers (devolution), responsibilities given to subnational units, and powers granted to citizens, were unprecedented. However, challenges of limited capacity of local government authorities, financing gaps, inter-governmental relations, and new problems of maintaining sub-national cohesion, continue to hamper the effectiveness of this governance reform. Accordingly, the August 2019 Conference was informed by the findings of two recent studies that took stock of trends and progress and also examined financing challenges to local governments under Uganda’s devolution form of decentralisation. It attracted different stakeholders including: national legislators/ members of parliament and policy makers, local government political and technical leaders, researchers and academia, civil society, media and development partners. It was also broadcast live on television and channeled through social media, which created space for the public to interact and appreciate the proceedings.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Democracy, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Gilfred Asiamah, Awal Swallah, Kojo Asante, Samuel Baaye
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) with funding support from the Department for International Development (DFID) under its Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) program has initiated a project to track the implementation of the government's flagship Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP).
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Inequality, State Actors, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Vladimir Chlouba
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: Do African traditional leaders weaken state legitimacy at the local level? Past scholarship raises the possibility that unelected chiefs might undermine trust in national-level institutions. Relying on an original map of areas governed by chiefs and survey data from Namibia, this study examines whether respondents governed by traditional leaders are less likely to trust state institutions. I find that compared to individuals not living under traditional authority, chiefdom residents are more likely to trust government institutions. To partially alleviate the concern that chiefdom residence is endogenous to trust in national-level institutions, I use a genetic matching strategy to compare relatively similar individuals. I further find that the association between chiefdom residence and trust in state institutions is considerably weaker and less statistically significant for individuals who do not share ethnicity with their chief. This evidence suggests that traditional leaders’ ability to complement state institutions at the local level is compromised by ethnic diversity.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Leadership, Fragile States, Emerging States, Legitimacy, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Namibia