Zimbabwe After the Coup: Prospects for Real Political Change

While Robert Mugabe’s departure after 37 years was widely welcomed, he was replaced by his former vicepresident in what was no less than a military coup. That Emmerson Mnangagwa has long been a member of the political establishment clearly raises doubts about his desire for meaningful political reform.

By McDonald Lewanika

Advocate Thuli Madonsela: Whispering Truth to Power

In South Africa, Jacob Zuma’s presidency posed the most difficult test yet to the country’s young democracy. This article offers a powerful portrait of the country’s public protector, Thuli Madonsela, who fearlessly “whispered truth to power” throughout the Zuma era.

By Shameela Seedat

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

Moving On Up!? Opposition Parties and Political Change in South Africa

In South Africa, Jacob Zuma’s presidency posed the most difficult test yet to the country’s young democracy but also boosted the political opposition. This article considers whether the opposition’s momentum can be maintained against a revived ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
By Sithembile Mbete

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

#RhodesMustFall – It was Never Just About the Statue


The 2015 #RhodesMustFall protests – which started at the University of Cape Town – led to nationwide calls for the “decolonisation” of universities and free higher education. Zethu Matebeni gives her perspective.

By Zethu Matebeni