Kenya’s Judiciary: Agent of Justice under Difficult Circumstances


Kenya’s Supreme Court declared the August 8 presidential elections invalid due to irregularities and ordered a new vote. Constitutional expert Yash Ghai unpacks how this episode highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of the judiciary in consolidating constitutionalism and political accountability in Kenya.

By Yash Ghai

Uganda: Political Organising in a De-facto One-Party State

Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986. This article outlines how individual activists like academic Stella Nyanzi and musician Bobi Wine have, despite the general repression of dissent, been able to challenge power both from within and without the ballot box.

By Lydia Namubiru

Breathe, for the Battle Will Be Long: Changing Nigeria’s Body Politic


Even after the 2015 elections supposedly marked a democratic consolidation in Nigeria, a toxic mix of voter apathy, identity politics and money continues to raise questions about the necessary reforms that would instill credibility in the country’s elections. A political campaigner shares his recent experiences.

By Patrick O. Okigbo III

The Gambia: One Year After Jammeh, What Has Changed?


After more than two decades of authoritarian rule under President Yahya Jammeh, the people and opposition parties, with the help of the diaspora and the regional body ECOWAS, leapt into a new era in January 2017 when opposition candidate Adama Barrow was inaugurated as their new president. This interview unpacks how it all became possible and reflects on the democratic gains achieved one year later as well as the challenges ahead.

By Sheriff Bojang Jr

Housing Women Who Have Experienced Abuse: Policy, Funding and Practice [Mpumalanga]

This publication is the second of a series of shadow reports that the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa have produced in relation to their ‘Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender Based Violence: Paying the True Costs’ project. The publication was partly produced with the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence against Women.
This report was produced with the financial support of the European Union.

Perspectives #03/2017: The (Un-) Making of Icons in Africa


Which African leaders qualify as an icon? Perhaps this is always a controversial question, but it was much easier to answer, say, 25 years ago, when the public memories of Pan-Africanist champions such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere were still fresh, Nelson Mandela had just walked out of prison, and Robert Mugabe was a widely respected leader.

Covering Sexual and Gender Minorities & Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Reporting Guide for Journalists


In Sub-Saharan Africa, as in much of the world, reporting on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) can be tricky. Cultural taboos, entrenched stereotypes, social hostilities, legal prohibitions and editorial censorship often distort coverage of these sensitive topics. Add religion to the mix and producing responsible journalism on sexual and gender minorities can seem impossible.

Shelter Services to Domestic Violence Victims – Policy Approaches to Strengthening State Responses


This policy brief considers the provision of shelter services to victims of domestic violence and is done in relation to the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa‘s (NSM) “Enhancing State Responsiveness to GBV: Paying the True Costs” project. Funded by the European Union, this project aims to support state accountability for adequate and effective provision of domestic violence survivor support programmes, specifically those associated with the provision of shelter for abused women.