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Once Again Hope Deferred in Zim


The hope that was generated by the removal of Robert Mugabe from power in the November coup in Zimbabwe was always provisional and tainted by the persistence of Zanu PF’s legacy.

By Brian Raftopoulos

The City as a Democratic Common


Albie Sachs is the keynote speaker at the upcoming seminar “The City as a Democratic Common”. He will share is thoughts about ”Representative Democracy and Participatory Democracy”.

A Double Challenge: LGBTI Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South Africa


South Africa remains a major destination for migrants on the African continent. However, as Victor Chikalogwe relates, expectations of a safe new home-away-from-home have been dashed for many refugees and asylum seekers. Queer African migrants who come up against the xenophobic and homophobic attitudes that are prevalent in South African society often experience the same kinds of social and economic marginalisation they had hoped to escape in their home countries.

Stranded in the Middle East: Uganda Must Do More to Prevent Trafficking


The Middle East has become a popular – and notorious – destination, particularly for East Africans. In the face of sharp increases in human trafficking, with young women being lured into exploitation by false promises of employment, Rosebell Kagumire calls on the Ugandan government to adopt an effective and victim-centred approach.

By Rosebell Kagumire

Argentina and Brazil: New Territories for West African Migration


Brazil and Argentina have become part of the ever-changing geography of African migration. Regis Minvielle chronicles the precariousness of African migrants’ lives as the two countries reconsider the generous immigration policies that were created during their boom years.

By Régis Minvielle

The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework: A Perspective from Kenya


In Kenya, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is seeking to break new ground. In a clear departure from the humanitarian aid approach of the past, a new initiative aims to promote self-reliance among encamped refugees and local host communities alike. Although supportive of its ideas, Felicity Okoth is quick to identify a number of policy and political obstacles to its implementation.

By Felicity Okoth

Nigerian Migrants in China: Changing the Narrative


Oreva Olakpe looks past newspaper headlines of illegal migration and drug trafficking to investigate the fascinating and elaborate community structures developed by Nigerians living in Guangzhou, China.

By Oreva Olakpe

Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections: Charismatic Appeals vs. Performance Legitimacy


On July 30, 2018, Zimbabwe will have its first post-Mugabe harmonised election. This article provides an overview of how the two leading contenders for the Presidency, E.D. Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, have gone about winning the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans in the 2018 electoral race.

By McDonald Lewanika

What we do

Inequality, poverty and the failure to deliver quality public services such as health and education threaten to undo democratic gains in the region.  In response, the Democracy & Social Justice programme seeks to strengthen the political voice of marginalised groups advocating for socio-economic rights and the equitable use of state resources to address injustice.

The programme supports citizen groups’ engagement with policy, analysis of budgets and social audits.  It also supports citizen networks and network building that seek to build public ownership of democratic institutions, and hold them to account for their role in building a just society. The programme specifically targets social movements and membership based organisations.

As feminism is a central tenet of all HBF programmes, this programme works towards the vision of a society and institutions which actively respond to – and attempt to correct – the political and socio-economic realities of gender inequality.