African Politics Conference Group Newsletter, 8(1)

As Editor, I am pleased to announce our new issue, complete with a dataset review by Matthew Gichohi on African Parties.

Democracy in West Africa

A couple stories to watch:

In Nigeria, elections in the southeastern Anambra state, were marred by allegations of fraud and claims of disenfranchisement.  The concern is what this might signal for next year’s Presidential election. Fortunately, the election itself was largely peaceful… this time.

Meanwhile, in Cote d’Ivoire, many are claiming they are being disenfranchised from upcoming presidential elections.

These are two of the most important countries in West Africa. The region as a whole could prosper were greater political stability to come to these two countries.  What happens in the 16 months in those two countries may set the political trajectory for the region for the next five to ten years.

News stories I have been following

The impact of the finanicial crisis on Africa:

The Financial Times notes that Sub-Saharan African growth will continue, albeit at a much slower rate than in recent years. Recent news from southern Africa has been cautiously optimistic.  And China plans to increase its investments in Africa. However, ActionAid reports that the crisis will cost African economies as much as US$49billion this year. And in Nigeria, some banks have asked employees to take early retirement, reportedly as a result of the crisis.

The Financial Times also reports that African states are trying to increase their voice in on-going G20 talks about the crisis.

The crisis in Madagascar:

Global Voices has a round-up of news about what appears to be a very fluid situation.