Since the inauguration of Adama Barrow after 22 years of authoritarian rule, Gambia's democratic reforms have benefited from political will, national ownership, and international backing. However, the country's dark legacy continues to pose risks to the process.
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ECOWAS leadership in the Gambia crisis offers lessons for future regional security cooperation in Africa.
Gambia narrowly averted a regional crisis when Yahya Jammeh stepped down. The coordinated action of neighboring countries and regional organizations could provide a model for future governance crises.
Despite important differences, colonial Africa’s experience confronting the Spanish flu a century ago provides historical lessons for the COVID-19 response today.
President Alpha Condé’s maneuvers to adopt a new Constitution despite popular opposition are another step toward subverting democratic checks and balances in order to secure a third term as president.
ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.
Despite opposition counts showing they won 61 percent of the vote, Faure Gnassingbé was declared the winner of Togo’s presidential election, advancing his bid to continue his family’s 53-year rule.
Popular demand to end the 50-year rule of the Gnassingbé family puts the spotlight on Togo’s authoritarian practices and ECOWAS’s vow to uphold democratic norms.
Given its fragile public health systems and close ties to China, Africa is vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, highlighting the continent’s centrality to global health security.
After breaking away from decades of autocratic rule, democratic progress in Guinea is now at risk as President Alpha Condé maneuvers to revise the constitution and stay in power for a third term.
Benin’s recent no-contest legislative elections are an attempt to consolidate executive power at the expense of democratic gains.
The African Union will need to overcome a lack of political will and address structural challenges if it is to be effective in responding to security crises on the continent, consistent with its founding mission.