A Situational Analysis of the Transition in Guinea Conakry: Two Years After the Coup
This report provides a situational analysis of the aftermath of Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya's 2021 coup that ousted President Alpha Conde. The report explores the transition period, highlighting both promising developments and challenges. It discusses the initiation of an inclusive dialogue, institutional reforms, anti-corruption efforts, and development projects.
Close, contested but credible? Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections
Incumbent President Julius Maada of Sierra Leone Bio won the June 2023 presidential election with 56.2%, continuing a trend since 2002 where incumbents secure first-round wins. This margin just exceeded the 55% threshold for outright victory, substantially beating his main rival, Samura Kamara of the APC, by 15%. In parallel parliamentary and local council elections, the SLPP won 81 of 135 seats and controlled 12 of 22 districts. The APC contested these results, backed by international observers questioning credibility. The APC chose not to legally challenge but boycotted national and sub-national legislatures, demanding new elections after key resignations, including from the ECSL. Despite unlikely outcomes, this undermines Sierra Leone's democratic credibility. Across West Africa, military coups ousted elected leaders, and Senegal limited opposition. The 2023 Nigerian elections remain contested. Uncertainties about the June 27 results persist due to no legal challenges. The APC's non-participation hampers accountability, deepening ethno-regional divisions and eroding institutional independence perception, endangering legitimacy. Sierra Leone's peaceful power transfers since 2002 offer hope. Yet, a shrinking civic space challenges this. Sierra Leone's 2023 Freedom in the World index fell, reflecting reduced room for protest and criticism in 5 years.
Reviving Nigeria’s Electoral Integrity: Lessons from the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Report
Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of every democracy and the primary mechanism for exercising the principle of sovereignty of the people. Through such elections, citizens choose their leaders and participate in the governance of their country. By their choices, citizens confer legitimacy and authority on those who govern, making it easier for elected leaders to mobilize public support and cooperation for the implementation of development programmes. Free, fair, and credible elections are therefore a crucial prerequisite for good governance in any democracy.
Reviewing the Nigerian 2022 Electoral Act: What it Meant for the 2023 Elections
For the first time in many electoral cycles, Nigerians were optimistic about the prospects of the 2023 general elections being credible. While there are various reasons behind this unusual optimism, the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022 stood out as a key factor. Its enactment increased the credibility ratings of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the electoral process resulting in a record number of new voter registrations ahead of the elections. Arguably one of the most anticipated pieces of legislation in Nigeria's Fourth Republic, the Electoral Act 2022 was expected to enhance INEC's autonomy, both functionally and financially, and amplify the transparency of electoral proceedings. Yet, as the 2023 election cycle unfolded, it became clear that the Act wasn’t living up to these expectations and the broad-based optimism. Contrary to expectations, the Act's implementation did not translate to a higher voter turnout, seamless elections or a reduction in post-election litigation. Given this backdrop of high expectations juxtaposed against increased discontent, this paper delves into the Electoral Act 2022 and its influence on the 2023 elections.
Analysis of Security Dynamics in West Africa from October 2022 to June 2023
The West Africa region has been impacted by violent conflict, often characterized by insurgencies, terrorism, intercommunal clashes, and criminal activities. Several factors contribute to the violent conflict in the Greater Sahel, including socio-economic challenges, political instability, weak governance, and competition over resources. The region faces numerous development challenges, such as poverty, high unemployment rates, limited access to education and healthcare, and food insecurity. These conditions, coupled with a lack of strong institutions and poor governance, create an environment conducive to conflict and exploitation by various armed groups. Jihadist and extremist groups have gained prominence in the Greater Sahel, aiming to establish Islamic states, implementing strict interpretations of Sharia law, and challenging state authority. Some of the prominent armed groups operating in the region include Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), affiliated with al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). These groups have conducted attacks on military and civilian targets, committed human rights abuses, and engaged in smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, and other criminal activities. The violent conflicts in West Africa have had devastating consequences for the affected populations. This situation led to mass displacement, loss of lives, human rights violations, and hindered socio-economic development. The conflicts have also exacerbated existing intercommunal tensions, leading to cycles of revenge and further instability.
Coup d’État in Niger: How Did We Get Here? What is Next?
Mohammed Bazoum, the staunchly pro-Western president of Niger, fell victim to the latest coup d'état in West Africa. In the early morning of July 26, reports on social media from Niamey, the country's capital, hinted at a mutiny, but many inhabitants reassured others that there was no cause for concern. However, by midday, the rumors were confirmed, and President Bazoum found himself detained by his presidential guard, with General Omar Tchiani implicated as the instigator. General Tchiani has since July 28 assumed the leadership of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP in French), the new Niger military government.
TURBULENT REGION: AN ANALYSIS OF TRENDS AND ACTORS OF CONFLICT IN WEST AFRICA
West Africa experiences a significant number of incidences of political violence each month. Each country across the region has their own distinct challenges which are reflected in the trends of incidences and fatalities. As a region, it is important to monitor these events to better understand these occurrences, their causes, the effects they have on their communities, countries, and regions, and to create predictions regarding possible future developments. The following report analyzes six months of the ACLED data and provides an overview of regional trends supported by individual country analyses to provide context for the trends observed. While many of the incidences tracked in the database stem from political motivations, not all incidences analyzed in this report are strictly political. For example, banditry may be an economic decision instead of a political one. Nonetheless, incidences of banditry have a political effect on the community in which they occur, For the purposes of remaining consistent with the ACLED database, this report refers to all incidences captured within the database and used for this report as being political in nature.
Prospects for Transitional Justice Initiative in the Northeast Nigeria
The decline of Boko Haram attacks in North East Nigeria indicates that the country is gradually drifting towards the post insurgency era. In March 2017, the Nigerian army hosted the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship in the Sambisa forest (previously a Boko Haram stronghold) to reflect its control of the Sambisa Forest. In the same vein, some communities in Madagali Local Government Area, Adamawa State have started to celebrate victory over Boko Haram and the return to normalcy in their communities with cultural dances and the ’durba' (horse display). Nonetheless, other communities in the North East are less enthusiastic about the projected victory over the insurgents.
Summary Of Discussions On Emerging Issues That Will Shape The 2023 General Election In Nigeria
The 2023 general election will be a defining moment not just for Nigeria but also for West Africa. The region has suffered democratic decline and experienced coups and counter-coups in the past three years. However, beyond the hopes of the emergence of transformational leadership that will change the country's fate, there are existing challenges that threaten the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections in Nigeria. Nigeria's 2023 election will be the seventh to be conducted in the fourth republic. It will be unique for two reasons. First, it will not have an incumbent running. Second, the country has promulgated the 2022 Electoral Act, bringing new changes to election guidelines and regulations. However, the 2023 election is one that many analysts speculate will be fraught with severe challenges. Nigeria's six geopolitical zones are currently embroiled in different conflicts, ranging from farmer-herder clashes witnessed in all the zones to banditry and terrorist threats in the northwest and north-central and secessionist agitations in the southeast. These conflict situations are likely to deteriorate further with increased political violence that could affect the safety of election materials, personnel and even voters. In addition, the security situation could affect voter turnout – despite ongoing voter registration already surpassing 85 million registered voters - and even the legitimacy of the results.
Votes, Violence and Validity: Our Understanding of Nigeria's 2023 Sub-National Elections
CDD-EAC reviews the 2023 governorship elections
After Boko Haram: Prospects for Transitional Justice in North East Nigeria
New research undertaken by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) indicates that the level of violence in northeastern Nigeria has declined substantially in many areas since the height of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2015. In a survey encompassing sites in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, 85% of respondents reported witnessing a reduction in the level of violence and human rights abuse in their communities.
Increased Violence and Vote Buying Recorded in Governorship Elections
Increased Violence and Vote Buying Recorded in Governorship Elections
Sulhu-Alheri Ne: Replacing Evil with Something Better: Promoting Alternative Peacebuilding Narratives
The Sulhu Radio Program forms part of the Centre for Democracy and Development's (CDD) efforts to promote initiatives that resolve unaddressed grievances, support forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, and reintegration at the community level across affected communities in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
Understanding the 2023 Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Elections
Nigeria’s next elected president will lead the country into celebrating 63 years as an independent nation on 1 October 2023. In that time, Nigerians have seen attempts at democracy interrupted three times, but democracy has been the system of
Voicing Discontent: Media, Elections and Constitutional term-limits
This edition of West Africa Insights looks ahead to forthcoming elections in Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire and Guinea and explores the ways in which new and old media are continuing to shape discourses about elections and democracy in Ghana and Nigeria.
The Five I's Determining the 2023 elections
The Election Analysis Centre (EAC) is a response to the groundswell of citizens demands for credible elections. Through the EAC, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has regularly convened experts to brainstorm and interrogate key issues in Nigeria’s electoral process. Since 2015, the EAC has observed elections general and off cycle elections, generating a number of valuable reports on key aspects of Nigerian elections. For the 2023 general elections the EAC will keep a close watch on the key processes in the build up to, during and after the elections. For the presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February 2023 and the gubernatorial and State House of Assembly, CDD will deploy over 4,000 trained and accredited observers, data clerks, fact-checkers and social media monitors.
Special Issue: Statelessness, Identity and Citizenship in West Africa
This special issue explores issuesof statelessness, identity and citizenship in West Africa. Bronwen Manby offers a comprehensive overview of some of the key issues that continue to shape discourses about nationality, statelessness and legal identity in the sub-region. In asking who is, and what it means, to be stateless and highlighting legal gaps that persists she offers some reflections on efforts to implement the Abidjan Declaration on the Eradication of Statelessness.
Partisan Political Party Attitudes towards the Electoral Commission of Ghana
The New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress in Comparative Perspective
This paper examines partisan political party attitudes towards the Electoral Commission of Ghana. The commission has organised elections that have been considered to be successful since 1992 but these successes have done little to dent partisan
The Buhari Meter:
Matching Campaign Promises, Public Expectations and Government Actions in Buhari's First Year
The 2015 Presidential Election no doubt ranks among the most issue-determined contests in the history of elections in Nigeria. There was a clear divide between the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the main opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the most critical challenges confronting the country.
Ecowas Counter - Terrorism Strategy Tracker
In response to the challenges of terrorism West Africa is facing, ECOWAS developed the Counter terrorism Strategy and Implementation Plan as a means of countering terrorist activities in the region as well as putting in place large scale measures against terrorism.
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