Bringing Gender Dimensions Back from Obscurity

Governance, Peace and Security in Africa

AWDF Policy Working Paper

By Prof. ’Funmi Olonisakin


Efforts to address the gender dimensions of governance, peace and security in Africa have registered some success. At the same time, fundamental challenges remain. These challenges continue to relegate gender issues to the periphery of peace and security. Among other things; this policy paper discusses the disconnect between policy, scholarship and activism; and the reality on the ground. It argues, among other things, that there is not yet a narrative that moves Africa towards transformation in gender relations in peace and security processes in Africa. The paper makes a set of observations which, in part, explain the absence of a qualitative shift toward gender equality in these fields. It offers some proposals for relocating gender considerations in mainstream governance, peace and security discourse and practice.

Download the AWDF Policy Working Paper Here

January 26, 2016

By Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire

Republished from ThisisAfrica

Ugandans go to the polls on February 18, 2016 to decide who will lead the country for the next five years. TIA contributor, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire, asks whether this year’s poll is any different from previous elections.


Since the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Kaguta took over power in 1986, Uganda has held four elections (1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011) and Museveni has emerged as the victor during each of those elections. Even before the new constitution was ushered in 1995, a year before the first election, Museveni had been running the country for close to a decade. It’s now been 30 years and in all that time Ugandans have had one man in the presidential seat.

The 1996 election was held under the individual merit Movement system (which later was described as a one-party state system by another name by the courts), but the results of that election were never challenged. In 2001, Kizza Besigye, hitherto a cadre of the Museveni-dominated Movement system contested for the top seat. He later challenged the results and the Supreme Court agreed that there were irregularities in the electoral process but could not annul the election.

January 5, 2016

By Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire

Republished from ThisisAfrica


As the new year begins, TIA’s contributor Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire takes us through a list of the most outstanding books released in 2015.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Photo: av-magazine

2015 has been another good year for African literature as a number of outstanding books hit the shelves this year. The year has not, however, seen a large number of highly anticipated books in the way the year 2013 did – NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names (May 2013); Taiye Selasi’s debut Ghana Must Go (March 2013); and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (May 2013) all came out that year.

Photo Courtesy of Georgetown University

November 18, 2015

By Vicky Karimi

Republished from Georgetown Univerisity Blog

The Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region is facing new security challenges. Foremost among these is terrorism and violent extremism. The regional nature of existing conflicts in the area, porous borders, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, migration and displacement, as well as youth exclusion and vulnerability all contribute to this emerging security threat. As is the norm in situations where peace and security are compromised, women constitute a majority of the victims of these attacks, be it through injuries or deaths. Underlying structural gender inequality, marginalization and societal ties also place women squarely in the spaces where terrorism and violent extremism are nurtured and demonstrated.

Image via UK Telegraph

November 17, 2015

By Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire

Republished from Africa is a Country

The predicted El Niño rains start in September. Kampala is wet in the afternoons and sometimes in the nights too. The traffic jams are jarring. It is wise to stay home. It is wise to stay home because you resigned from your three part-time university teaching jobs in Kampala to move to London for a fellowship at the African Leadership Centre. Does it matter to the British visa and immigration official who will allow or deny you entrance?

It is wise to stay home because you do not want to explain the shame and embarrassment of having to wait for three weeks to be judged fit to live in London, to friends who are demanding on social media for a photo of you in Trafalgar Square. You are stuck here waiting, for your passport to be returned to Kampala from Pretoria where UK visa and immigration decisions are made, so you can fly into the term that is already two weeks underway.

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