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  • Author: Paul Osei-Kuffour, Kofi Asare
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The lack of adequate qualified teachers in rural schools, inadequate financing of basic education at the school/district level and delayed release of the Capitation Grant, lack of teacher accountability, lack of transparency, accountability, and value for money in education spending and low parental support for basic education continue to plague equitable progress in basic education.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Public Sector, Rural, Public Service
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Tim Glawion
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Central African Republic (CAR) could be a case of hope. After years of violence, the main armed groups and the government signed a peace agreement last year. At the end of 2020, elections are set to take place that could strengthen the democratic credentials of the country and grant its institutions the legitimacy needed to rebuild the state. As surveys have shown the populace is tired of the armed groups scattered (and fighting) throughout the country and demand the return of the state. The state is building up its army and deploying troops across a growing part of the country’s territory with the help of international actors. However, the restoration of state authority in the CAR remains unlikely. The state’s history is one of neglect, meaning there remains little to be “restored” and much to be built in the first place. Whether the state is willing and able to live up to the population’s demands is questionable. The military approach to state authority restoration and the integration of armed actors risks marginalizing the calls for an emphasis on public services. Locals hope for the return of the state—and one that is robust and caring. The reality of a militarized and inefficient state would shatter these hopes.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Governance, State, Society
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central African Republic
  • 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: Chuks Ede, Nokukhanya Noqiniselo Jili
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: One of the bequests of the current democratic dispensation in South Africa is the choice by the citizenry to express their feelings without let or hindrance. Since 1994, the people of South Africa have recouped much power as to expressing their grievances towards their government in some of the worst viciously known manners ever recorded among black Africans within the continent-. Since recent times, South Africans have aggravated their protest revolts over what they perceive as government’s failure in the delivery of vital (basic) services, such as electricity, water and sanitation, with some other protests flanking on the provision of quality higher education at affordable cost or possibly no cost at all. With incidents of violent protests almost becoming frequent occurrences, the main aim of this article is to explore the main question that is still remaining “Do South African mega cities really stand to lose much more for not doing enough for their constituencies”? Attempts at providing answers to this question have resulted in an in-depth reviewing of literature into the antecedents of service delivery protests in South Africa. The article reveals that the cost of unaccountability by the failure of megalopolises’ authorities to render adequate municipal services to their people, outweighs by far the very cost of remedying the situational consequences accruing therefrom. Therefore, South African cosmopolitan authorities must be able to deliver based on the expectations of their masses who elect them into power; they also need to put adequate security measures in forceful place to clampdown on civilian protestors in their megalopolises.
  • Topic: Government, Social Movement, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: David Nielson
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Considering a Soil Initiative for Africa JANUARY 31, 2020 By: David Nielson In Sub-Saharan Africa, 65 percent of arable land suffers from soil degradation. The most extensive data on soils in Africa is grounded in soil mapping done in the 1950s and 1960s—60 to 70 years ago—which suggests that the problem could be even worse than currently known. This destruction is stifling agricultural productivity and income growth while prohibiting the soil from carrying out its climate control functions such as carbon sequestration and water filtration. This paper diagnoses the challenges faced by governments, international organizations and research institutions in mitigating and reversing the decline of soil quality in Africa. It highlights the dearth of human capital and resources that undermines these efforts and employs the lessons learned towards outlining a framework that is based on global partnership, stronger farmer engagement and robust investment. The paper argues for a new soil initiative that is organized around workstreams that prioritize establishing soil information systems, understanding the economic costs and consequences of soil degradation, and enhancing human and institutional capacity towards soil science. This multipronged approach will reinvigorate the fight against soil degradation and destruction both globally and on the African continent.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Government, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 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
  • Author: Florence Banda-Muleya, Mbewe Kalikeka, Zambwe Shingwele, Philip Ngongo, Shebo Nalishebo
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Zambia’s current legal framework for public debt management is inadequate. The high level of external debt standing at US$11.2 billion and domestic debt at K80.2 billion due to fast pace of debt contraction; the resulting heightened risk of debt distress; and the weak implementation of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Debt Strategy (MTDS), raise questions on the adequacy of the laws that govern public debt management. Now more than ever, with Zambia quickly headed to its first bullet repayment on its Eurobond debt, the country needs to enhance its legal framework on Public Debt Management (PDM).
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Economy, Public Debt
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zambia
  • Author: Jonas Mbabazi, Fred Kasalirwe, Phoebe Atukunda, Walter Akena
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This policy brief presents proposals that will cushion local governments from the impact of COVID-19. Undeniably, responding to Covid-19 challenges at any level is associated with heavy demands on human, financial and logistical resources. Globally, Covid-19 emergence response is multi-sectorial to enable a holistic solution to the concomitant challenges. District councils, a creation of the Local Government Act are mandated to oversee health services. Other than frontline health workers, each district has a community-based services department with officers’ in-charge of probation and social welfare, social rehabilitation, children and youth affairs, gender, disability and elderly, culture, labour and many others. Since the mandate of personnel in this department is to operate in communities, these should be enlisted to respond and manage the community-component of Covid-19.
  • Topic: Government, Local, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa