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Nic Cheeseman

Five things to watch in the Zambian elections

Zambia will hold presidential elections in three weeks’ time amidst an ongoing economic crisis and rising political tensions. These are the five most important things to look out for in the elections

Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda was the last of Africa’s ‘philosopher kings’

The liberation legend died on Thursday at a military hospital in Lusaka, aged 97

Five reasons Ethiopia’s elections will do more harm than good

The vote is likely to inflame existing tensions in the country

Foregone conclusions: Why bother with elections in countries like Uganda and Tanzania?

Even when only one result is possible, elections can tell us a lot about what’s really going on

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate

Why we must fight to secure places for more women and young people in politics

Too often, governments talk the talk on gender equality, but fail to walk the walk

Campaigning together, but on their own

Social media is driving a new – largely anonymous – form of protest in Zimbabwe and Zambia

What is happening in Mali is a coup. We must call it that

Zimbabwe called its coup a military-assisted transition to sidestep sanctions. Mali is doing the same. But failing to call power grabs by their name makes it harder to defend democracy

State of democracy in Africa: Changing leaders doesn’t change politics

The Bertelsmann Transformation Index Africa Report 2020, A Changing of the Guards or A Change of Systems?, suggests that we should be cautious about the prospects for rapid political improvements

Lies, damn lies and WhatsApp: Why it pays to listen to political rumours in Zim

The rumour mill can shape politics — and reveal uncomfortable truths

Why some anti-corruption campaigns make people more likely to pay a bribe

The reason may be that the messages reinforce popular perceptions that corruption is pervasive and insurmountable. In doing so, they encourage apathy and acceptance rather than inspire activism

Is WhatsApp shaping democracy in Africa?

A study shows that the social messaging platform is both emancipatory and destructive, particularly during election campaigns

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