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  • Bamako, Mali, 1 February 2024. Supporters of the military junta and of the Alliance of Sahel States attend a rally. Photo: Hadama Diakité, EPA.
    Ecowas' dilemma: Balancing principles and pragmatism
    The decision by Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to leave Ecowas reflects the bloc’s failure to address security and humanitarian issues in the subregion. It is also a result of people losing faith in Ecowas’ leadership after years of complacency and inconsistency in championing its democratic principles. Pragmatic dialogue with the member states currently run by military regimes will be crucial if regional collaboration is to be revived. And defending democratic values will be crucial if civilian rule and popular trust are to be restored.
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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa is insisting that his ruling African National Congress party is making progress in addressing problems such as unemployment, energy distribution and corruption. However, polls suggest that the party once led by Nelson Mandela could lose its majority this year. Photo: GovernmentZA
    South Africa’s 2024 elections: The beginning of the end for ANC domination?
    Polls indicate that in 2024’s general election, scheduled for 29 May, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) will get below 50 per cent of the vote – forcing the ANC to seek partners in government.In the first in a series of videos about South Africa’s elections, NAI researchers explore some possible post-election scenarios. And, given the worrying examples from local politics in recent years, how effective could an ANC-led coalition government be on the national level?
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  • A podcast episode on migration from and within Africa
    Value unearthed: Africa's mineral resources strategy shift
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  • A podcast episode on migration from and within Africa
    Researcher: “ECOWAS is now in damage control mode”
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  • Workers maintain the thermal power station at Takoradi, Ghana. Photo: World Bank
    A different mix of creditors – what does it mean for African countries in debt?
    In the past decade, the external debt of many African countries has risen sharply due to falling commodity prices and an economic slowdown related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike previous periods of high debt accumulation, many countries have turned to China and private creditors to borrow money instead of the traditional creditors in the so-called Paris Club. What does the changed composition of creditors mean for African countries in need of restructuring their debts?
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  • Bridging the gap between science and policy
    How does one, as a researcher, best integrate science communication into one’s work?A part of the NAI communications team spent a week with a committed and engaged team of researchers at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) exploring the Whys and the Hows of Science-to-Policy Communication.Listen to Dr Viola Nilah Nyakato and colleagues share their experience of the week.
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  • Linda Masarira.
    Linda Masarira – Zimbabwean gender activist and politician who refuses to be silenced
    As we commemorate International Women’s Day, NAI Postdoctoral Researcher, Shingirai Mtero (SM) sat down to interview Linda Masarira (LM), one of the two women who campaigned and ran for president in Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections. Masarira began her political career as a trade-unionist and transitioned into mainstream politics as a gender activist and champion for gender equality. Masarira has faced significant resistance as a woman in politics. She has endured targeted gendered harassment and political imprisonment External link.. In August 2023, Masarira was excluded from the final presidential ballot after an intense court battle External link.. In this interview she reflects on her experiences and explains her intention to contest in Zimbabwe’s presidential elections in 2028.
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  • Protesters display a banner that reads “Macky, putschist, get out” during a protest in Senegal’s capital Dakar on 9 February, after Senegal's president Macky Sall postponed the presidential elections, originally scheduled for 25 February. Photo: Jerome Favre
    Super-election year in West Africa: what about Senegal?
    After Senegal’s election delay: Macky Sall is playing with the country’s stability and is almost inviting the military to step in. This is how dictatorships and coup d’etats begin, says Kwesi Aning, Director at Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre and NAI Associate.
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  • In the perspective of the past 15 to 20 years, there seems to be a growing acceptance of democracy and elections on the African continent, according to Kwesi Aning, Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. Photo: Mattias Sköld
    Super-election year in West Africa: will juntas stick to the timetable?
    Burkina Faso and Mali, both run by military governments, are scheduled to have elections this year as part of transitional plans to return to civilian rule. When and how these elections unfold will shape the trajectory of governance and security in the Sahel. Across the West African region, determination by, particularly, the youth to demand transparent and inclusive voting processes can play a crucial role in the many elections scheduled for 2024, says Kwesi Aning, Director at KAIPTC and NAI Associate.
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  • A journalist asking questions during the general elections in Sierra Leone in June, 2023.
    Super-election year in Southern Africa: leaders committed to multiparty votes
    In 2024, people in one-third of Africa's countries will be heading to the polls. In a two-part interview series, NAI researchers share perspectives on what the super-election year means for Africa. First out is democracy researcher Liisa Laakso who is focusing on elections in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique.
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  • South African Ambassador Vusi Madonsela speaks on behalf of the South African defense team in the Gaza genocide case against Israel made by South Africa in the Hague, the Netherlands.Photo ICJ
    South Africa’s ICJ win against Israel: A shift in the rules-based order?
    The recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling against Israel over its war in Gaza, has put the “entire rules-based order on trial”, according to an NAI researcher, who argues it could signal a change in the balance of global influence.
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  • A podcast episode on migration from and within Africa
    Field of dreams: the politics and power of the Africa Cup of Nations
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  • Liisa Laakso photographed in the corridors of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden
    New book assesses the freedom and relevance of political science in Africa
    What is the state of the discipline of political science in Africa today? With what level of freedom is it practiced at African universities? These are some of the questions asked – and answered – in the new book Political Science in Africa – Freedom, Relevance, Impact .
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  • Exemplebild
    We need the Non-Aligned Movement for dialogue with the West
    In January 2024, Uganda will assume the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement, steering global discussions for the next three years. Recently in Kampala, The Nordic Africa Institute held a round-table dialogue, co-hosted with the Uganda Council for Foreign Relations. NAM's unique structure, lacking a formal charter or secretariat, empowers member states equally. Uganda's chairmanship coincides with global challenges like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Israel's invasion of Gaza as part of the Israel-Hamas conflict, reshaping alliances and impacting developing nations.Here, Nordic Africa Institute Senior Researcher Angela Muvumba Sellström and Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Adonia Ayebare discuss the challenges and opportunities that come with Uganda helming the Non-Aligned Movement and differing perspectives on building stronger multilateralism.
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  • Baringo, Rift Valley, Northwest Kenya, September 2023. Women farmers discussing their understandings of and experiences with social equity and climate adaptation. Photo: Olivia Ebenstål Almeida.
    From rainstorms to drought – local perspectives on climate adaptation
    In Baringo County, Kenya, agro-pastoral communities are struggling for water and food security in an environment severely affected by climate change. Here is a behind-the-scenes story of a research team from the Nordic Africa Institute doing fieldwork to record local experiences of resilience, (in)equity, and the pressing need for adaptive solutions.
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  • Chain
    CHAIN will deepen knowledge about climate induced migration
    Scholars agree that climate hazards are crucially linked to human migration. The research project CHAIN (Climate Hazards and Migration in Madagascar) investigates the complex relationships between climate change and migration in Madagascar. The results will help governments develop climate resilience strategies, in Madagascar and other countries with similar challenges.
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  • Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, 30 August 2023. A woman walking past a wall with a painted message calling for “Fresh Elections”, referring to the main opposition party's demand for fresh elections that meet regional standards. Photo: Zinyange Auntony, AFP.
    Patriarchal politics, online violence and silenced voices
    In this year's elections in Zimbabwe, the number of women nominated and elected to national office decreased. This decline can be attributed to increased online harassment of women in politics, as well as financial obstacles and patriarchal attitudes. To reverse this trend, it is crucial for the government, political parties and civil society to address gender-based electoral violence effectively. Additionally, the government should genuinely implement gender quotas, focusing on empowering women in politics rather than using quota as a means to improve their international image, attract international donor funds and secure more women voters.
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  • Baringo, Kenya, May 2023. Jane Chepkwony, Jeremiah Kiprotich and Kibet Kipsang are climate activists belonging to two of Kenya's indigenous peoples – the forest-dwelling Ogieks and the agro-pastoralist Endorois. Photo: CEMIRIDE/IRRI.
    Preserving heritage, nurturing progress, raising social equity
    Recognising and including the knowledge and leadership of indigenous peoples in building resilient food systems is crucial for equitable transformation. Kenyan decision makers must empower indigenous peoples to engage in local climate adaptation and agricultural sector planning, and at the same time protect those peoples’ rights.
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  • People rally in Niger's capital Niamey on 1 October 2023. The gathering comes a few days after the departure of the French ambassador from the country. The French president announced on 24 September that France would withdraw its ambassador and military personnel from Niger. Photo: Issifou Djibo
    Researchers: ECOWAS’ options in Niger are limited
    The military coup in Niger in July dramatically shifted conditions for democracy and security in the Sahel, deepening a crisis in legitimacy for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). NAI asked three leading scholars on peace and integration in West Africa to reflect on political and societal challenges exposed by the latest military power grab.
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  • Exemplebild
    How storytelling can help re-shape the image of Africa
    Africa has all too frequently been depicted in the media through a narrow and often misleading lens. Rather than show-casing a vast and diverse continent, media portrayals often resort to generalization and sensationalism, reinforcing stereotypes of poverty, conflict, and despair, says Moky Mokura, head of Africa No Filter, an organization that works to change the narrative about Africa.Here Makura develops her argument on how both research and storytelling can play a pivotal role in re-shaping the narrative about Africa, fostering a more nuanced and accurate perspective of Africa among the public and policymakers alike.
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