Africa
African Democracy on the Rise? The End of Authoritarianism in Gambia

African Democracy on the Rise? The End of Authoritarianism in Gambia

‘Gambia has decided’ – the motto of the revolution is omnipresent on the streets of Banjul, the capital of the small West African country that is almost completely encompassed by neighbouring Senegal. For the first time in its history, free and fair presidential elections were held in Gambia on 1 December 2016. In a surprising...
Zim After Bob

Zim After Bob

As Robert Mugabe enters his thirty-eighth year as president, Zimbabwe approaches a critical phase in its politics. Mugabe is adamant that no one but God can remove him from power. At ninety-two years old and increasingly frail, many are predicting that God may choose his moment soon. Why now? Each year pundits predict that Zimbabwe...
Money, Media, and Mugabe: Zimbabwe’s Tech Crossroads

Money, Media, and Mugabe: Zimbabwe’s Tech Crossroads

The latest string of clashes which have simmered in Zimbabwe in the past months is the abduction and beating of six prominent activists by riot police in capital city Harare on Friday 18 November, in advance of a planned protest against President Robert Mugabe and his government. The protest (referred to as #MunhuWeseMuRoad) was intended...
Justice versus Peace: South Africa's departure from the ICC

Justice versus Peace: South Africa’s departure from the ICC

On 19 October 2016, the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation signed and submitted an Instrument of Withdrawal to the United Nations (UN) to decisively mark South Africa’s departure from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Instrument read: [T]he Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful...
The campaign against conflict minerals – causing more harm than good?

The campaign against conflict minerals – causing more harm than good?

Rape, abduction, life threats–these are just a few ways militias recruit workers for their illegal mines, usually in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite campaigns to put an end to the problems surrounding conflict minerals, many academics and Congo experts argue that the campaign may be causing even more severe...
A Big Deal: Elections in Somalia

A Big Deal: Elections in Somalia

As the world waits with bated breath for the outcome of the United States Presidential election, democracy is at work in many parts around the globe. For the first time since 1969, Somalia will hold both Parliamentary and Presidential elections. It seems like a historic step forward for one of the world’s poorest countries with...
On the edge: Democratic Republic of Congo’s Presidential Elections

On the edge: Democratic Republic of Congo’s Presidential Elections

Dead bodies laid strewn across the streets in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Protesters, demonstrating against the President’s delay in holding elections, were met by armed police who fired bullets indiscriminately into the crowd. This recent excessive use of force by the government of the DRC has been condemned...
Islamism in Somalia: the Historical Context of Al-Shabaab

Islamism in Somalia: the Historical Context of Al-Shabaab

Abdirahman Ahmed, petrified, leapt for cover in his hotel as violence erupted in the adjacent street. ‘The blast was so huge and windows [were] broken everywhere… gunfire was outside.’ Having enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the Somali Youth League Hotel, Abdirahman, like so many Somalis before him, was plunged albeit briefly into the bloody epicentre...
Those First 100 Days: Tanzania’s New President and the Rise of #WhatwouldMagufulido

Those First 100 Days: Tanzania’s New President and the Rise of #WhatwouldMagufulido

It has now been over 100 days since Tanzania elected Dr John Magufuli as the fifth president of the United Republic of Tanzania. What a time it has been! Magufuli, the son of a peasant farmer and former works minister, campaigned for the presidency on a platform of hard work. In his words, ‘[he] know[s]...
Sub-Saharan Africa and China: A Fairy Tale Match?

Sub-Saharan Africa and China: A Fairy Tale Match?

It seems that 2015 has been the year of Africa: Africa rising and Africa not rising. Yet, as the public is hearing more about the continent from news outlets, the discourse often centres on China and its role in Sub-Saharan African countries (Table 1). Although this conversation tends to split into two main camps, where...
Birds of a feather? Burundi and Rwanda: the dangers of ignoring Africa’s Great Lakes Region (again)

Birds of a feather? Burundi and Rwanda: the dangers of ignoring Africa’s Great Lakes Region (again)

In 1994, the world stood and watched as Rwanda burned. Granted, there was little that the international community could have done to stem or prevent the violence, short of travelling back at least several years, if not several decades, to avert the pre-cursors of the violence. The international community vowed to never let such a...
Save the Elephants, End Terrorism

Save the Elephants, End Terrorism

The recent attacks in Paris have left the international community with one important question: how could this happen? More importantly, how can we prevent it from ever happening again? To begin to answer this question, we need to ask where terrorist organisations are receiving the funding to carry out such large scale attacks. Widely known...