Tanzania and Zambia’s slide toward authoritarianism reveals the weaknesses of existing checks and balances and undermines their reputation as models of democratic development.
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The Center held symposia in Zambia on AU architecture and insecurity in SADC, national security and security sector reform, and collaboration between the military and police.
The power imbalance between China and Africa poses a challenge for negotiating equitable investment deals. The interests of African citizens can be strengthened through agreements that are transparent, involve experts, and facilitate public engagement.
Africa is slated to hold 13 national elections in 2021. Roughly half of these are in the Horn and the central Sahel. Reflective of the democratic backsliding observed on the continent in recent years, more than a third of these polls are little more than political theater – aimed at garnering a fig leaf of legitimacy for leaders who arguably lack a popular mandate. A fundamental question for this year’s elections, therefore, isn’t just about who will win, but how these leaders will be viewed afterward. Will the same level of legitimacy be conferred on leaders who stay in office via these stage-managed processes? Until these leaders bear a reputational cost for lowering the bar of electoral integrity, this trend can be expected to continue.
The spread of surveillance technology in Africa without adequate checks and balances is reshaping the governance landscape while potentially enabling another tool of repression.
John Magufuli and the ruling CCM’s increased reliance on authoritarian tactics mark a sharp drop in legitimacy from Tanzania’s once proud democratic norms.
China’s party-army model, whereby the army is subordinate to a single ruling party, is antithetical to the multiparty democratic systems with an apolitical military accountable to elected leaders adopted by most African countries.
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.
African elections in 2020 will be a test against efforts to erode presidential term limits and other democratic checks and balances, with direct consequences for stability on the continent.
While João Lourenço has made headlines for high-profile corruption indictments against the dos Santos family patronage network, Angola’s authoritarian political system remains largely unchanged.
The long simmering rivalry between Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame has escalated border tensions into a serious risk of armed interstate conflict.
China's Belt and Road Initiative forges intertwining economic, political, and security ties between Africa and China, advancing Beijing’s geopolitical interests.