Articles on African politics

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A protester smokes marijuana during a march calling for the legalisation of cannabis in Cape Town. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Below the radar, South Africa is limiting the right to protest

Despite protests in South Africa being largely peaceful, municipalities are placing unreasonable restrictions on the right to protest, which sometimes amounts to a veto of that right.
Twentieth-century political thinker and fighter against colonialism and imperialism, Frantz Fanon, left an indelible mark on history. Tony Webster/Flickr

Revisiting Frantz Fanon: memories and moments of a militant philosopher

For the revolutionary Frantz Fanon it was not enough to celebrate the achievements of decolonisation. It was necessary to educate, to strain at the limits of national freedom and to provoke debate.
An Eritrean refugee at ‘The Jungle’ camp in the port of Calais. Thousands of Eritreans flee repression at home to seek a better life elsewhere. EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

A quarter of a century after independence Eritreans still yearn for freedom

Eritrea achieved independence 25 years ago amid high expectations for its future. Today, the country's youth make up a large portion of the refugees risking their lives for a better future in Europe.
African leaders meet at the African Union Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

Peace and prosperity continue to elude Africa five decades on

Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 will require a Herculean effort on the part of the AU Peace and Security Council, whose remit is to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts.
Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), greets supporters at the launch of the party’s local election manifesto in Soweto. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

Why Julius Malema’s EFF doesn’t offer South Africans a way out of poverty

Understandable anger about the excessive inequality in South Africa lies at the heart of the rise of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters. The problem is how the party wants to address these issues.
South African President Jacob Zuma, flanked by ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe (left) and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s politicians will have to adjust to many more coalitions

A key question ahead of local government elections in South Africa is whether the African National Congress will retain control of seven of the country's eight metropolitan municipalities.
Ethiopians reading newspapers in the capital Addis Ababa. The country’s media is among the most repressed on the continent. Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

Press freedom violations undermine African Union’s vision of transparency

Press freedom has changed little in the past decade. If the African Union is to commit to the principles of democracy, it needs to do more to uphold freedom of expression and protects its journalists.
A woman cheers during Freedom Day celebrations in South Africa. Reuters/Mujahid Safodien

South Africans take stock as the country celebrates Freedom Day

South Africa's transition to democracy was based on the values of inclusive politics, reconciliation, human rights and constitutionalism. Twenty-two years on, how has the country fared?
There are shortcomings in celebrity led campaigns against “conflict minerals” such as the one in which US actress Robin Wright is involved. Robin Wright's instagram

The problem with Western activists trying to do good in Africa

The relationship between advocacy organisations based in Western capitals and their marketed constituency of marginalised and disadvantaged African groups is tenuous. What then, is the goal?
Heads of state at an African Union session in Addis Ababa. They have signed up to a plan that envisages strengthening institutions and governance. EPA/Solan Kolli

Why Zuma’s ‘African way’ is at odds with the African Union’s vision

If the governing ANC ignores the calls for Zuma's resignation,it may undermine South Africa's leadership on the continent. It creates the idea that he can undermine the constitution with impunity.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. Mugabe has been in power since 1980. Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

How liberators turn into oppressors: a study of southern African states

It is normal for resistance movements to adopt rough survival strategies and techniques while fighting an oppressive regime. Unfortunately that culture takes root and is permanently nurtured.
Allegations that President Jacob Zuma’s friends, the Gupta family, corruptly dictate cabinet appointments have plunged South Africa into a political crisis. Shutterstock

Why state capture is a regressive step for any society

Lobbying political actors to achieve particular outcomes is an acceptable practice in a democracy. But state capture, as is allegedly happening in South Africa, denotes holding the state to ransom.

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