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Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa

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Bad #governance is at the root of #demonstrations across #africa over the last few weeks. Countries where #protests have disrupted peace and elicited police response include #southafrica, #nigeria, #kenya, #senegal, #tunisia, and #mozambique #whyafrica #politics #politicalrisk #risks

Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa

Recent protest action accompanied by varying degrees of violence have placed the spotlight on the quality of governance in a number of large economies across Africa

By Leon Louw founder of WhyAfrica   

Bad governance and poor service delivery are at the root of demonstrations across Africa over the last few weeks. Countries where protests have disrupted peace and elicited police response include South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Tunisia, and Mozambique.

It is not only in these countries, however, that opposition parties and citizens are becoming impatient with elected governments not being able to improve the lives of ordinary people, especially at local level. Countries like Zimbabwe and Ghana have also seen an uptick in civilian action where governments have failed to deliver on their mandate.

Contrary to popular belief though, leadership is not the major problem and the election of a new president not necessarily a silver bullet. In Kenya, for example, the economy started slipping long before William Ruto was elected as president.

The repercussions of Covid-19 lockdowns, the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates in industrialised countries and Kenya’s extremely high dept levels have all contributed to the rising cost of living made worse by a continuous slide in the value of the Kenyan Shilling.

Besieged by problems (Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa)                     

In South Africa crippling power cuts, corruption and mismanagement have hamstrung all efforts to rebuild the economy while Nigeria is besieged by a host of economic and security problems in the wake of a disputed election in which Bola Tinubu from the All Progressives  Congress (APC) was elected as the new president.

Economic woes in Tunisia have resulted in President Kais Saied showing signs of a power grab. The risk is that a large majority of people support President Saied and his autocratic reforms. In countries where people feel democracy has not worked, they increasingly turn towards supporting populists or autocratic rulers.

In Dakar, Senegal, peaceful protest turned violent when opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was due to appear in court to face libel charges filed by tourism minister Mbaye Niang. Sonko was hospitalised after clashes with the police and accused President Macky Sall, who is pushing for a third term, as attempting to assassinate him. According to Sall, a third term would not be unconstitutional.

 DRC situation a concern (Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa)                     

Meanwhile, the wanton violence and destruction in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues unabated. The East African Community began deploying troops late last year in the east of the country, which has been struggling with the rise of militias including the rebel March 23 Movement (M23).

Angola is the latest country to send troops to the war-torn area. The DRC government hopes that its new military alliances will bring an end to the mayhem while instability is spilling over its borders.

According to Tanzanian authorities, between 300 and 600 new Congolese refuges have been arriving in the country since the beginning of March 2023.

All eyes will be on Zimbabwe and the DRC with elections scheduled for this year while South Africans head to the polls in 2024.

Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa

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Protest action puts spotlight on governance in Africa

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