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Articles on African politics

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South Africa and Ethiopia are part of a wave of protests sweeping across parts of Africa that are known as Africa Uprising. Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

The death knell of Zuma’s rule echoes transitions elsewhere in Africa

The growing revolt against South Africa's president, amid state capture allegations, is not an isolated event, but part of a much wider pan-African uprising led by the continent's disaffected youth.
Protestors call for the removal of South Africa President Jacob Zuma outside court in Pretoria, the capital city. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Tide begins to turn against South Africa’s president and his supporters

For the moment President Zuma's supporters control the governing ANC's levers of power. But an unprecedented number of people in the ANC are turning against him. How long will the centre hold?
Head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, Shaun Abrahams, dropped a fraud charge against the finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africans learn that the law can be a double-edged sword

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority charged the country’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan and two of his former colleagues at the tax authority, Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashule, with fraud last…
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”. Luc Gnago/Reuters

Controversial constitutional referendum sparks distrust in Cote d'Ivoire

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.
Presidents Jacob Zuma and Uhuru Kenyatta. Their countries are at the forefront of efforts to have Africa leave the ICC. GCIS

Exiting the ICC: South Africa betrays the world and its own history

Ironically the campaign to withdraw from the ICC was mainly initiated by the very same governments and heads of state that had earlier referred cases to the ICC when it suited their own interests.
South Africa’s planned withdrawal from the ICC is considered a detraction from Nelson Mandela’s “inspiring legacy”. Jim Bourg/Reuters

Why South Africa’s withdrawal is not a death-knell for the ICC

The ICC has made important advances by investigating cases outside Africa and completing ones that further define what is not allowed in war. South Africa’s withdrawal is concerning, but not fatal.
Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly. He never went home for a month afterwards. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Power battles keep Malawians guessing why their president disappeared

One needs to understand Malawian politics to appreciate the bizarre episode in which a state president was unaccounted for a month, leaving a nation rudderless and puzzled.
Burundian refugees fleeing conflict at home gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma region in western Tanzania. Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Africa has some work to do before it starts its own humanitarian agency

The initiative to establish an African Humanitarian Agency is a welcome one. But political, technical and financial support will matter. This will require the AU to take a pragmatic approach. Can it?
For women studying and working in Eurocentric institutions, wearing natural hair can be a symbol of resistance. Shutterstock

Kinky, curly hair: a tool of resistance across the African diaspora

Natural hair has become a political rallying point for women across the African diaspora. For these women, wearing natural hair is way to resist Eurocentric norms and "post-racial" political thought.
The charred interior of the Gabon’s parliament after it was burned in post-election protests in Libreville. Edward McAllister/Reuters

African citizens have very low levels of trust in how elections are run

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. Ruben Sprich/Reuters

There is good as well as bad news about the state of governance in Africa

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.
The new secretary general of the United Nations should drive substantive reforms, particularly accountability of the international body. Shutterstock

What Africa should demand from the next United Nations secretary general

Africa should focus on the feasible reforms of the UN and de-emphasise its demand for improved representation on the Security Council voting reforms, given the complex politics around these issues.
Members of the Non-Aligned Movement meet at the session of the 17th summit of heads of state and government. DIRCO

Explainer: the Non-Aligned Movement in the 21st century

The Non-Aligned Movement member states enjoy cohesion on few issues. Historically, their heterogeneity ranged from absolute monarchs to socialist presidents.
President of Botswana Ian Khama. He leads a country that’s lost the shine created by his father Seretse Khama. EPA/Alejandro Ernesto

Botswana at 50: The end of an African success story?

For a global audience, the movie 'A United Kingdom' provides a topical account of race relations. The love story is likely to revitalize the popular viewpoint of Botswana as a national success story.
Americans’ ignorance about Africa persists despite efforts by presidents Kennedy and Obama to forge stronger ties with the continent. Jason Reed/Reuters

America’s legendary ignorance about Africa persists

The time has come for developed nations to eliminate the large pockets of ignorance which exist in their societies about Africa and other peoples. Globalisation demands that people think differently.
South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa has described the ANC government as being at war with itself. EPA/Mike Hutchings

Why patronage and state capture spell trouble for South Africa

South Africa has reached a critical point. If patronage politicians win the battle within the ruling ANC and complete the capture of the state, the country will slip from stagnation into the abyss.
Des van Rooyen, cooperative governance minister and new treasurer-general of the MK Military Veterans Association. eNCA.com

Comrades in arms against apartheid are now at one another’s throats

MK, the army of the then banned ANC, electrified millions of oppressed people to rise against the apartheid regime. Today, its veterans are being used in factional battles within the ruling party.

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