Defending Democracy and Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa – Strongmen and the Closing Civic Space
Date & Time: April 22, 2021 at 10am EST (3pm West / Central Africa)
Venue: Zoom Platform (Register Here)
Over the last 15 years there has been a notable “backsliding” on democracy worldwide. The recent publication by Freedom House this year revealed only eight (8) countries (includes several smaller countries) rated as “free” and full democracies in Africa in 2021. This notable regression has clearly resulted in growing concerns about the future of democracy especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The backsliding on democratic norms, prior to COVID-19, was championed by out-of-touch elites in autocratic regimes using all means possible to perpetuate their rule.
Across sub-Saharan Africa the last four years has seen accelerated declines in democratic gains, partly attributable to policies of the Trump administration. There have been constitutional changes to perpetuate incumbent rule (Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea), a recent coup d’état in Mali, worsening conflict in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Central African Republic amongst others. There are indications that Macky Sall of Senegal is following a familiar playbook to extend his rule. Many regimes have used the COVID-19 pandemic to further repress their citizens.
Within this difficult terrain, what can be done to defend democracy and civil liberties in Africa? What can we anticipate from the Biden administration’s proposed Summit on Democracy? What lessons have been learned on protecting civic space across the continent? These are some of the questions to discuss in this one-hour panel discussion.
2. Date and Venue
April 22, 2021 at 10am EST (3pm West / Central Africa). Event will be held on ZOOM and streamed live (Register)
3. Panelists /Speakers
Jon Temin, Director – Africa Program, Freedom House
Ms Kemi Okenyodo
Executive Director – Partners West Africa Nigeria
Mr. Francis Tazoacha
Director of Peace and Security at Nkafu Policy Institute
Dr Denis Foretia (Moderator)
Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation
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