Reunification Monument - Yaoundé. Photo by Mark Fischer. Taken on September 22, 2013. CC BY-SA 2.0. No modifications have been made. Original photo available:
Reunification Monument - Yaoundé. Photo by Mark Fischer. Taken on September 22, 2013. CC BY-SA 2.0. No modifications have been made. Original photo available:

August 23, 2017

by Abimbola Opanike

Republished from Kujenga Amani

A new episode of what is commonly known as the “Anglophone problem”1 in Cameroon has been spurred by the demonstration of English-speaking lawyers, teachers, and students against the systematic marginalization of Anglophones in the legal and educational sectors in a supposed bilingual and bi-cultural country. The government’s response was initially characterized by Gestapo-style harassment and detention of leaders of Anglophone civil society groups, shutdown of the internet, and continued denial of any real “Anglophone problem.”2 It should be noted that other responses included a National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism created by Presidential Decree in January 2017. Also, following some negotiations, the shutdown of the internet has been lifted, alongside reforms in the judiciary and educational sector aimed at increased inclusion of Anglophone Cameroonians in those institutions.

July 31, 2017

Article by Zekarias Beshah Abebe, African Leadership Center Peace and Security Fellow (2016–17).

Republished from Edinburgh University Press.

One of the issues that the current proliferation of international courts and jurisdictions raised in the international legal order is overlapping jurisdiction. On 27 June 2014, the Assembly of the African Union adopted a protocol on the Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights which extends the jurisdiction of the court to cover international crimes. The decision of the AU to clothe the African court with a criminal jurisdiction has brought, once again, the issue of overlapping jurisdiction to the surface. This article is an attempt to answer the questions: to what extent does the criminal jurisdiction of the African court overlap with the jurisdiction of the ICC, and is the issue of overlapping jurisdiction a common occurrence or an imminent concern? Taking the crimes under the jurisdiction of the courts and the fact that large numbers of African states are state parties to the ICC into consideration, many tend to argue that overlapping jurisdiction is inevitable and is likely to cause friction for the primacy of jurisdiction. However, this article argues that a close scrutiny of the substantive and territorial jurisdiction of the ICC and the African Court suggests that the issue of overlapping jurisdiction is both rare and of remote concern.


Courtesy of Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)

By Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli

July 10, 2017

Republished from Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)

Many congratulations to ALC Alumni Nox Ntuli, who has had a recent publication article "The Impact of Regional and Sub-regional Norms and Standards on Democratic Governance in Promoting Constitutionalism in Africa", published in the EISA publication Checks and Balances: African constitutions and democracy in the 21st century.


The effectiveness of regional and sub-regional organisations in promoting constitutionalism in Africa is oftn called into question. Yet, when the history of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its evolution into the African Union is explained the significant role played by these organisations becomes clear. Although there have been challenges, normative and institutional frameworks have been implemented to address the deficiencies in constitutionalism, including serious human rights violations. Thus, Africa in 2016 was far more conscious of, and complaint with, the principles of constitutionalism than it was in the 1960s after independence. There is no doublt that democratic governance has improved over the years and regional and sub-regional organisations have contributed to these improvements. Nonetheless, there is still considerable work to be done if the continent is, as Agenda 2063 states, to 'create the Africa we want'. The fact that the destination has not yet been reached does not mean that the journey has been a failure.

Nokukhanya Nox Ntuli is an alumna of the Africa Leadership Centre and currently works at the  World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation based in Washington DC.

Read More: Checks and balances: African constitutions and democracy in the 21st century


June 23, 2017

by Albert Mbiatem

Republished from IPI Global Observatory

Women stand by a standpipe provided by the Agricultural and Tree Products Program established in Cameroon. (Flickr)
Women stand by a standpipe provided by the Agricultural and Tree Products Program established in Cameroon. (Flickr)

Central Africa’s possession of the second-largest global reserve of dense rainforest attests to the relative abundance of water in the region. Yet inappropriate management of these resources has hampered the ability to respond to the demands of the growing populations of countries such as Cameroon. This has often been a major source of public grievances. In recent years, however, local Cameroonian populations have developed a range of grassroots water projects to seek positive change. These efforts are ultimately helping to respect basic human rights and sustain long-term stability and peace in the country.

By Penda Diallo

March 21, 2017

Republished from


  • In the absence of state support, artisanal mining has become the main source of revenue for rural communities.
  • Artisanal diamond mining has been able to gainfully occupy a large number of rural, unskilled workers.
  • Social insecurity led to the emergence of a circumstantial permissive social contract.
  • Stability and social insecurity can only coexist if there is a circumstantial permissive social contract.

The period of protracted conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia brought the politics of alluvial diamond mining in West Africa to the forefront of academic and policy-oriented discussions. Using social contract theory, this paper moves away from discussions on how minerals have perpetuated conflict in the region, and interrogates how the governance of diamond mining in Guinea impacts regime stability and social insecurity. More importantly, it attempts to illustrate how artisanal diamond mining contributes to stability. The paper situates this discussion within the broad spectrum of the social contract between state and citizens and an analysis of how these are at play in diamond mining areas. It illustrates how artisanal diamond mining enables specific social contracts to emerge and how this in turn contributes to stability in the regions where they are extracted.

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