September 04, 2015

by Akinbode Fasakin

Republished from: Taylor & Francis

The article interrogates the relationship between democratization and people power in Nigeria. It argues that the broadening of the Nigerian public sphere has not led to reciprocal development of democratic principles and practice. As civilian rule reigns and economic growth is reported, Nigeria’s democratization is fraught with many challenges. Democratization remains questionable in Nigeria; it is rudimentary and distorted by irregularities. These have had implications for national development and human securities as the poverty level worsens and acclaimed economic growth and “democratic dividends” fail to enhance Nigerians’ quality of life.

The trivialization of democratization raises critical questions about its state and relevance to Nigerians and the Nigerian state. Is Nigeria democratizing or de-democratizing? How does the democratization process bring the Nigerian people closer to state (power)? How has it helped their developmental quests? The article contends that Nigeria’s democratization process is indeed on trial. As Ake argues, Nigerian state democratization does not only trivialize the essence of democracy—it also continues to reverse the democratization process. Against this background, the article concludes that the democratization process in Nigeria requires elite political will and people’s consciousness to advance to the next stage for better democratic consolidated and economic development relevant to Nigerians.

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September 01, 2015

by Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood

Republished from: ScienceDirect


The Gulf of Guinea and maritime boundary disputes.

Maritime boundary dispute resolution between Guinea Bissau and Senegal.

The role of arbitration and the ICJ in Maritime boundary dispute resolution in the Gulf of Guinea.

The role of colonialism in boundary delimitation in the African continent.

Joint development agreement.


This article discusses the role of negotiation, arbitration, and that of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in resolving maritime boundary disputes in the Gulf of Guinea region. Primarily using the cases of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, the paper highlights that joint maritime development agreements could be a better option for resolving existing maritime boundary disputes in the region rather than outright delimitation requests.

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Kenyan security officers inspect the site of a bombing suspected to have been carried out by al-Shabaab. Mandera, Kenya, July 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Corbis)

August 24, 2015

by Margaret Williams

Republished from: IPI Global Observatory

Neglecting the needs of Somali communities in the northeast of Kenya leaves room for extremist groups such as al-Shabaab to radicalize them, said Moses Onyango, Director of the Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the United States International University—Africa.
“If you look at the issue of radicalization, there are many factors that are involved, but basically the main factor that you find in the Kenyan situation is the issue of marginalization,” said Mr. Onyango,  also a Fellow of the African Leadership Centre, Kings College London.

“We are looking at northeastern Kenya, which is mainly inhabited by the Kenyan-Somalis and has been neglected for many years in terms of development … the response has been that most of these extremist groups have looked at that particular gap and identified it, and have infiltrated the Kenyan communities in terms of offering development where the state has failed.”

Speaking with International Peace Institute Policy Analyst Margaret Williams, he said the Kenyan government had responded in three main ways to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country.

At the municipal level, the government has profiled the Kenyan Somalis in Nairobi, and arrested them, and some of them have been deported back to Somalia. At the international level, the government has initiated construction of a wall between the border of Kenya and Somalia. And most recently, the government has also given a softer approach of offering amnesty to some of the Kenyans,” Mr. Onyango said.

He said the effects of these tactics had often been to increase marginalization, and offered support for alternative strategies such as increasing youth employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

August 13, 2015

by Bappah Habibu Yaya

Republished from: IPI Global Observatory

After the death of over 11,000 people, and a year of intense remedial efforts, the global response to Ebola in West Africa is shifting from emergency to recovery mode. This follows the successes in containing the spread of the virus in the region, and the possibility of “getting to zero and staying zero,” as recently demonstrated by Liberia.

As part of the recovery process, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted an international Ebola Recovery Conference in New York in July, to focus attention on the need for targeted investments to support recovery priorities over a 24-month time frame.


President Paul Kagame on voting day, August 2010. Photo: Paul Kagame (published under fair use policy for intellectual non-commercial purposes)

August 4, 2015

by Anisha Hira

Republished from Strife

The debate over extending the executive term limit to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term in the Republic of Rwanda has been framed as a clash between exemplary leadership and constitutionalism. On the one hand, the Rwandan constitution was carefully constructed in order to rebuild the institutions of the country and, therefore, should not be amended. On the other hand, Kagame has propelled Rwanda forward, both socially and economically – in the 21 years since the genocide Kagame has rebuilt Rwanda’s institutions and developed a sense of national unity.

But a third term for Kagame will not necessarily contradict the constitution. Indeed, the only way that the fundamental goals laid out in the consitution can be achieved is through a third term for Kagame, precisely because he is the only person who can act as the guardian of the Constitution and guarantee national unity.

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