Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara addresses a rally ahead of the referendum on a new constitution. The placard reads “yes to new Ivory Coast”.
The proposed new constitution would allow Alassane Ouattara to remain as president. Opposition parties see this move as a constitutional “coup” that will also protect his allies.
Polls and elections are considered vital democratic tools – but there’s more to true democracy.
There are several different ways to approach democracy. Polls, elections and referenda all feature, but they're not the only way to deepen democracy.
The charred interior of the Gabon’s parliament after it was burned in post-election protests in Libreville.
National electoral commissions are crucial in shaping public perceptions of how well democracy is working. Poor electoral management can enable fraud and produce political alienation.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is seen as having promoted economic growth at the expense of human rights.
To improve, African countries need to find a balance between political and economic matters. This is where leadership becomes particularly important. But this is currently lacking on the continent.
President of Botswana Ian Khama. He leads a country that’s lost the shine created by his father Seretse Khama.
For a global audience, the movie 'A United Kingdom' provides a topical account of race relations. The love story is also likely to revitalise the popular viewpoint of Botswana as a national success story.
Protesters in Paris against Gabonese President Ali Bongo with placards reading: 1967-2016, 50 years in power is enough!
Gabon has the lowest trust ratings of any election commission among the 36 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer.
South Africa’s elite police unit, the Hawks, block a street during an operation.
Independent Media/Picture:Bhekikhaya Mabaso
The main criticism leveled at the body that oversees the work of South Africa's elite police unit, the Hawks, is that it lacks the power to initiate investigations, making it ineffective.
The Democratic Alliance’s Herman Mashaba celebrates victory as Johannesburg’s new mayor after the ANC’s defeat.
The Star/Boxer Ngwenya
South Africa's watershed local elections have resulted in upsets for the ANC in key metropoles. But will the new, minority coalition regimes live up to their mandate of providing basic services?
Kenyan youth chant in celebration before the arrival of Pope Francis at the Kasarani stadium in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
The African Union has identified youth as critical for development. But, a new survey reveals a wide gap between these aspirations and the reality of youth public engagement on the continent.
South African President Jacob Zuma reacts during the official announcement of the municipal election results in Pretoria.
Various commentators have wrongly over the last 22 years said that black people voted blindly for ANC governments. There's no better example why the academy needs a dramatic post-colonial overhaul.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during President Jacob Zuma’s election campaign in Pretoria.
For more than 20 years the ANC's electoral support has appeared unyielding to the obvious weaknesses of its performance in government. To fall below 60% is psychologically significant for the party.
Science communication puts research under the microscope.
Science communication has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 60 years. It plays a crucial role in democratising science and making it less mysterious.
Supporters of Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire outside the Harare Magistrates’ Court during his trial.
The new forms of protest in Zimbabwe raise the possibility that the country's long-simmering crisis may have reached boiling point. The time could indeed be ripe for a unique form of politics.
Crowds cheer as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe arrives to address the country’s Independence Day celebrations in Harare.
Namibia's new elite has used "affirmative action" for self-enrichment, while the majority of the population remains excluded from its the wealth. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's socio-economic woes continue.
Joice Mujuru, leader of the new opposition Zimbabwe People First party.
Opposition parties have emerged at different stages of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history but none have seriously threatened ZANU-PF dominance.
Riot police detain a supporter of Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda’s leading opposition party, as they break up a campaign procession.
The heavy-handed tactics used by Uganda's authorities during the 2016 elections have raised questions about a return to an oppressive past.
Rwanda has no succession plan to President Paul Kagame.
The reality of Rwanda is that there is no viable alternative to President Paul Kagame, within or outside his ruling RPF. Political rivals have died, are jailed, or have fled the country.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the 2016 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. He has drawn flack for seeking a third term.
Unlike the third-term fever afflicting the Great Lakes region, Rwanda is not mired in corruption and stagnation. Rwandans were fearful and anxious about what might happen after 2017 without Kagame.
A truck bearing the image of Uganda’s President Museveni.
Regular changes of government through free and fair elections that reflect the wishes of the majority of citizens are a critical component of democratisation. But how significant are polls in Africa?
Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, the country’s largest union, march to highlight high unemployment.
With the local government elections set to take place within the next seven months, it is worth considering what impact the recent upsurge in protests will have on the country's political future.