The next show of our amazing sister podcast/discussion space the Resistance Bureau is on Resisting Democratic Decline in West Africa, with an amazing line up of speakers. Don’t miss this one!
Resisting Democratic Decline in West Africa, November 24
12pm New York | 5pm Dakar/London - 6pm Kinshasa/Paris - 7pm Cape Town - 8pm Nairobi
Send your questions and comments to WhatsApp +263 77 623 8199
Following the widespread embrace of multiparty politics during the 1990s, West Africa has been one of the most democratic regions on the African continent. In early 2017, when regional troops helped to force the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh from power following his election defeat, this trend looked certain to continue.
But over the past several years, a number of states have suffered major democratic declines. Presidents have secured highly controversial third terms in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea; Togo’s long-ruling military dictatorship has further entrenched its power; police brutality and misrule has placed Nigeria on international front pages; and a military intervention in Mali has raised credible fears of a return to the era of coups and political instability.
This timely program will examine why West African democracy is faltering, and look at the ways in which civil society and opposition political parties are fighting back. How can the rule of law be defended moving forward? And what lessons can we derive from democratic Ghana, which heads to the polls next month?
Idayat Hassan is one of the leading lights of West African civil society, fighting against corruption and the abuse of power. The Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development in Nigeria, Idayat is currently leading the way in understanding authoritarianism, fake news, and the threat they represent to elections and democracy.
Farida Nabourema is a pioneering writer, human rights defender and pan-Africanist. She founded the “Faure Must Go” movement and called for civil resistance to promote democracy at a time when Togo was suffering under the dictatorial government of Faure Gnassingbé. She is also the cofounder and executive director of the Togolese Civil League.
Nadia Nahman is a trailblazing political operative who is a rising star in Guinea and in the wider region. She is an expert in human rights law and holds several post graduate and law degrees from major universities across Africa and Europe . Currently, she serves as the chief of staff and official spokeswoman for Cellou Dalein Diallo, the leader of Guinea’s main opposition party, the UFDG.
Professor Gyimah-Boadi is a living legend in the fields of democracy, good governance and development with decades of relevant experience in leadership positions. A co-founder and former executive director of Afrobarometer, which now collects survey data in over 30 African countries, he won the Distinguished Africanist Award in 2018 from the African Studies Association for his outstanding scholarship and record of service.
Adeola Fayehun is a provocative and brilliant journalist who specializes in discussing current geopolitical, social and economic issues that affect the lives of Africans living on the continent. The host of Keeping It Real With Adeola, she is best known for using satire to highlight injustice and the abuse of power in Nigeria and beyond.
Jeffrey Smith is the founding director of Vanguard Africa, an organization that partners with pro-democracy African leaders to build campaigns for ethical leadership and free and fair elections. Often quoted by major news outlets and deliberately misquoted by authoritarian leaders, he has been honoured many times for his work, including by the Government of Gambia in 2017 as a Champion of Democracy.
Mantate Mlotshwa is a passionate advocate of gender equality, equal rights and civil liberties. The founder and presenter of The Good News Is, she has earned a reputation for speaking her mind and promoting positive messages of liberation and emancipation in Zimbabwe and beyond.
Nic Cheeseman is the Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham and the author of Democracy in Africa and How to Rig an Election. He is founder and editor of Democracy in Africa and a contributing editor to The Continent, and an election junkie.