Articles on The Gambia

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Gambian refugees on a wooden boat. Thousands of Africans make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean each year hoping for a better life in Europe. Emma Farge/Reuters

Returning migrants to The Gambia: the political, social and economic costs

Gambia became a symbol for democratic change earlier this year when former dictator Yahya Jammeh was peacefully ousted through the ballot box. Now Europe wants its Gambian immigrants to return home.
The IMF was blamed after the 2014 Ebola crisis for contributing to the failure of West African health systems to develop. Reuters/Baz Ratner

How years of IMF prescriptions have hurt West African health systems

West African health systems were weak before the IMF got involved. Sadly, the policy reforms demanded by the IMF in exchange for loans have undermined governments' ability to repair these problems.
People cheer as Senegalese troops arrive to take charge of security at the presidential palace in Banjul, The Gambia. EPA/Legnan Koula

What the rest of Africa can learn from The Gambia’s transition to democracy

The adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance five years ago raised hopes for a new democratic Africa. But its ideals remain elusive for many parts of the continent.
A protest against President Joseph Kabila. The poster reads: “Kabila must leave without any conditions”. Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Africa faces a new threat to democracy: the ‘constitutional coup’

Attempts to deepen democracy in Africa by limiting presidential terms to two have not entirely quashed a culture of entitlement to rule. Glimpses of it persist, much against citizens' wishes.
Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Muhammadu Buhari, Macky Sall and former Ghanian President John Mahama at a special meeting of Ecowas on The Gambia. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

What southern Africa can learn from west Africa about dealing with despots

SADC's credibility is at stake. Its lack of political will in acting decisively against despots is at odds with the African Union's goal of promoting legitimate governance on the continent.
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow waves after his inauguration at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal. But will he be able to go home? Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

The questionable legality of military intervention in The Gambia

Military intervention is sanctioned and executed by states. It is thus always a function of state interests rather than the objective enforcement of law. The case of The Gambia is no different.
The Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh is under pressure from regional leaders to cede power. Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

How The Gambia is testing West Africa’s resolve to protect democracy

The Gambian election dispute is not the first that ECOWAS has confronted. Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 presidential election is a case in point. There it resorted to military action to enforce the outcome.
Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow during an interview in December 2016. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

A turning point for The Gambia, the smiling face of Africa?

There is a real sense of optimism in The Gambia: for the first time since Yahya Jammeh came to power, there has been open dissent of the regime and a feeling of ownership of the country’s future.
Supporters of president-elect Adama Barrow celebrate his victory in Banjul, the Gambia. Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

The Gambia keeps dream of deepening democracy in Africa alive

A peaceful transition in the Gambia, taken together with hints of change in Angola and Zimbabwe, will portend hope that Africa’s democratic renewal is still alive.
Uhuru Kenyatta, then Kenya’s Finance Minister (rear) appears at the International Criminal Court in 2011. Kenyatta, now President and off the hook, is weighing his country’s options. Reuters/Bas Czerwinski

What’s at stake as Kenya weighs withdrawal from the ICC

It is a question of when, not whether, Kenya will pull out of the ICC. But it is also clear that there is some incentive for Nairobi not to withdraw immediately
Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre being escorted in to stand trial at the Palais de Justice in Dakar, Senegal in 2015. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 2016 by judges of the Extraordinary African Chambers for crimes against humanity, rape, sexual slavery. EPA/Stringer

Beyond the ICC crisis: is there an alternative path for Africa?

There are fears that the withdrawal of countries from the ICC would mark the end of international criminal justice in Africa. This need not be the case.
Participants in the Finote Hiwot project to end child, early and forced marriage in Ethiopia. Department for International Development/Jessica Lea

How decent data can help African girls overcome second class status

A number of African states are taking positive steps to combat violence against girls and child marriage. But social and cultural barriers can nullify national laws and strategies.

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