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Le Mali, la France et nous

By Blog, Conflict, Coup, Politics, PublicationsNo Comments

Depuis quelques mois, un nombre croissant d’organisations de la société civile et de classes
politiques et intellectuelles africaines manifestent fréquemment leur désapprobation des
politiques de la France dans ses anciennes colonies, singulièrement le Mali qui, depuis une
décennie, est en proie à une menace terroriste et irrédentiste existentielle.
Cet article présente un examen de la toile de fond, des circonstances, causes, dynamiques, et
enjeux de l’acrimonieuse épreuve de force qui oppose le Mali et la France depuis Mai de l’an
dernier lorsque leurs relations se dégradèrent brusquement. Il est suggéré que, tout compte fait,
les promoteurs de la « démocratie et du développement » en Afrique se doivent d’accorder le
bénéfice du doute aux dirigeant de la Transition dont la décision de secouer le statu quo des
relations sécuritaires avec la France semblent avoir secoué dans ses fondations, et est susceptible
de saborder, la Françafrique. Cependant, cette solidarité doit s’accompagner d’une vigilance
méticuleuse afin que la Transition aboutisse à un État sécurisé, stable et véritablement en voie de
démocratisations.

Mali, France, and Us

By Conflict, Coup, PoliticsNo Comments

In recent months, a growing number of civil society organizations and African political and intellectual classes have frequently expressed their disapproval of France’s policies in its former
colonies, particularly Mali which, for a decade, has been in the grip of an existential terrorist and
irredentist threat. This article presents an examination of the backdrop, circumstances, causes,
dynamics of, and stakes in the acrimonious showdown that has pitted Mali and France against
each other since May last year when their relationship suddenly deteriorated. It is suggested that,
on balance, the advocates of “democracy and development” in Africa should give the benefit of
the doubt to the leaders of the Transition, whose decision to shake up the status quo of security
relations with France seems have shaken to its foundations, and is likely to scuttle, Françafrique.
However, this solidarity must be accompanied by meticulous vigilance so that the Transition
results in a secure, stable state that is truly on the way to democratization.

Read the full article below

Personal Data and the Influence Industry in Nigerian Elections

By Publication, Publications

An election officer verifying a voter using the Smart Card Reader. Photo credit: BBC

In Nigeria’s 2015 election, Cambridge Analytica (CA) spread targeted disinformation to suppress opposition votes and allegedly released sensitive medical and financial information about then opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari. In 2018, the Nigerian government formed a committee to investigate, amongst others, CA’s 2015 activities and promised criminal prosecutions if necessary.

However, two years on, there has been no update from the government committee. Furthermore, beyond a flurry of articles in 2018 that largely regurgitated what international media outlets posted, Nigeria’s media houses have largely left CA’s activities and the government committees promised investigations uncovered.

The lack of attention given to the CA scandal is worrying. If we assume that their notoriety derives in part from how egregious some of their tactics were, it is likely that other actors with morally questionable but less scandalous techniques are operating under the radar in Nigeria. It is therefore urgent that we have an overview of the use of data in Nigerian elections, as the first step to increasing awareness and activism. This report is an attempt to fill this gap. Using the framing introduced in Tactical Tech’s publication, Personal Data, Political Persuasion, this report combines interviews with various actors in the political influence industry and secondary evidence from journalistic sources to map the data-driven campaign techniques used in Nigeria. This mapping focuses on the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections but incorporates examples from earlier
and lower-level elections as needed.

The report then addresses a puzzle that the first section unearths: why does it seem that the formal political consulting industry in Nigeria is so small? To answer this, the report looks at the different actors in the influence industry, focusing on the kinds of political actors that hire them, the kinds of elections they tend to be involved in, and the techniques that they use in serving their clients.

The report finds that the use of data-driven campaigning in Nigerian elections is growing in prominence. Generally, political actors use data and digital technologies to fundraise, test for the resonance of campaign messages, target messages to specific geographic locations, and send out
bulk SMS, audio, and WhatsApp messages.

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE

It is time to start taking West Africa’s legislative contests more seriously

By Blog

By Kojo Asante

Parliamentary elections were scheduled in as many as 16 African countries in 2020 but due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic four of these polls were postponed. In 2021, a further ten countries are scheduled to hold legislative votes. Despite the frequency of these elections, rarely do they attract significant international media coverage or scrutiny from election observation groups. In fact, legislative polls seldom feature in the planning of domestic or international election observation missions. Even though parliamentary processes are used as indicators for tracking fraud or the potential for conflict in presidential polls, particularly when the two are held concurrently.

Recent elections in Uganda are a good example. The international media was almost exclusively focused on the presidential contest between President Museveni and Bobi Wine. There was little mention of the process that produced 529 parliamentarians. Whilst in Uganda the majority of MPs elected were members of the ruling National Resistance Movement, in other recent elections in Africa the president’s party has not been able to secure a legislative majority. 

Ghana’s hung parliament

For the first time since the Fourth Republic began in 1993, Ghana has a hung parliament. Despite its failure to win back the presidency in the December 2020 polls, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did claw back a 63 seat deficit in the parliament. Both it and the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) won 137 seats, in the 275 member parliament. The single independent member has so far chosen to align with the NPP. But the Speaker of the House, Alban Sumana Bagbin, is a member of the NDC; elected after two members of the NPP broke rank and voted for him during the secret ballot process.

The current situation has already generated several contentious issues for Speaker Bagbin to resolve, including who should be the majority side, how should the allocation of committee members be done and who should chair which committee. The Speaker recently ruled that NPP shall be the majority side because of the independent MP’s formal request to seat with the NPP. But with the NPP and the NDC challenging 12 parliamentary results, the make-up of parliament could still change significantly.

There are parallels between Ghana’s current reality and the outcome of Sierra Leone’s March 2018 general election where, initially at least, the All People’s Congress’s candidate lost the presidential race, but the party was still able to maintain its parliamentary majority. Subsequent legal challenges changed those dynamics, handing the Sierra Leone People’s Party a slender majority in the legislature to go with its control of the executive. But these two recent examples, both in dominant two-party systems, raise important questions about voter choice and have implications for elections and governance in West Africa.

Sending a message?

A pre-election survey led by academics from the University of Ghana predicted that the incumbent NPP was going to face a strong challenge from the opposition in the parliamentary elections, but no one predicted just how strong. Several factors contributed to the unexpected result. First, many NPP candidates and supporters emerged from the party primary process deeply dissatisfied. In some cases, candidates with greater popular support were bullied or priced out of the contest by those with greater resources and the backing of the president or senior party officials. In other constituencies, ministers of state and existing MPs were shielded from a party primary challenge and were elected unopposed. Scholars working on electoral politics in Ghana have shown that parties suffer at the polls when they try to impose candidates on constituents and that voters become more sophisticated the more they participate in elections. In short, the NPP paid the penalty for the way it conducted its primaries.

However, this is not the full story. In several cases where the NPP parliamentary candidate was rejected by voters, the party’s presidential candidate was still favoured. Similarly, in some constituencies, voters voted for the NDC presidential candidate but elected an NPP MP. For example, in the Kintampo South constituency in Bono East Region, former President Mahama, the NDC presidential aspirant, took 52.99% of the vote but the same constituents elected an NPP MP with 49.44% of the vote. In Agona East constituency in the Central Region, President Akuffo Addo received 51.99% of the vote but a NDC candidate was elected as MP, with 50.5% of the vote.  This phenomenon of ticket-splitting – referred to in local parlance as ‘skirt and blouse’ voting – is becoming more prevalent. In 2008, there were 19 skirt and blouse seats, that rose to 26 in 2012, 28 in 2016 and 33 in 2020.

If the current configuration of Ghana’s parliament avoids governance gridlock and instead functions to promote stronger accountability and transparency, this type of voting may increase still further in Ghana in 2024. Speaker Bagbin’s remarks at the first sitting of the 8th parliament signalled his intention to steer the legislature away from excessive partisanship and gridlock; to ensure it can exercise its oversight responsibilities and assert its independence. If realised, the impact of this could be greater scrutiny exercised by a legislature that is not simply a rubber stamp approving the will of the executive. 

Parliamentary scrutiny

Credible elections remain an important mechanism for sustaining and strengthening democracy in Africa. Over the years, election watchers have been consumed by presidential elections, in part because of the dominance of the executive in many countries on the continent. As a result, parliamentary polls have not received the serious attention they deserve. But recent elections in Ghana and Sierra Leone underscore the growing importance of the outcome of legislative races for the way in which democratic institutions function in the periods between polls.

In Ghana’s most recent vote, as results began to trickle there was an increased focus on the parliamentary outcome among election observers. But moving forward, this focus in Ghana and elsewhere, should be embedded into the initial approach. Domestic election observation groups should mount special observation of selected parliamentary races in addition to the general presidential election watch, whilst international observers should send missions to watch parliamentary polls even when there are no presidential polls. Results at this level indicate an increased level of sophistication in how voters cast their ballots and offer a more nuanced indicator of people’s evaluation of a government. It is time to start paying more attention to what they tell us about the state of a country’s electoral democracy.

Kojo Asante is Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a nine-part series in which leading thinkers and practitioners explore key questions and themes about the current state of electoral democracy in Africa. You can read the first piece here.

The Futility of Elections: Rethinking Democracy in East Africa

By Blog

By Su Muhereza and Eshban Kwesiga

Despite their frequency and venerated place in the functioning of democracies, elections in East Africa are increasingly violent, plagued by coercion and widespread irregularities and tend to exacerbate existing socio-political tensions without resulting in meaningful political change, improved quality of governance or citizen participation. Recent polls in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda have all been heavily criticised. But with the elevation of elections as the most sacred anchor point for a functioning democracy, electoral “winners” can claim their victories as legitimate despite the dubious circumstances under which they are earned.

Democratic decline

In the 1990s and 2000s, participatory politics in Africa grew exponentially as the percentage of African countries holding democratic elections increased from 7% to 40%. In 2010, Freedom House classified 18 countries on the continent as electoral democracies. During the past two decades, the general trend in Africa has been towards demands for greater accountability from political leaders, whose domestic legitimacy is largely linked and limited to elections. However, the 2020 Freedom in the World report documented the 14th year of global decline in democratic governance and respect for human rights, with Africa contributing to the backsliding. Freedom House now ranks just seven countries on the continent,  none of which are in East Africa, in its ‘free’ category. The lowest figure since 1991. As elections have become more commonplace, the quality of public participation has declined.

While elections have advanced political participation in some African states, they have also been one of the major causes of instability and economic setbacks. Instability that has gone beyond the harassment and detention of opposition leaders, to outright clashes between voters, and between voters and security forces. In 2005, Ethiopia suffered 200 election-violence related fatalities. Over 1,000 Kenyans died during and after the country’s 2007 elections and triple that figure were killed in election and post-election clashes in Ivory Coast in 2010-11. In the run-up to Uganda’s recently concluded elections clashes with security actors, during riots sparked by the detention of opposition candidate Bobi Wine in November 2020, resulted in the deaths of 54 people.

There are economic electoral consequences too. 11 of the 13 elections held in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya over the last two decades have been accompanied by a fall in GDP during the election year or in the year after, with the raiding of central banks to fund increasingly expensive election campaigns a key driver of socio-economic pressures. Political instability and uncertainty also impact small and big businesses. Uganda’s 2021 election driven internet shutdown saw companies lose an estimated 66 billion Uganda shillings daily (US$17.9 million) according to the country’s Financial Technology and Service Providers Association. In this regard, elections risk undermining the very forces that help consolidate a democracy, such as access to economic opportunities and better standards of living.

The threat of election related violence, and the accompanying instability and economic uncertainty, bring into question the value of elections to a region grappling to consolidate democracy.

Elections in vain?

Elections as the basis of democracy is a strongly held global norm, defended and enforced by a wide array of individuals and institutions even though governments produced by credible polls can also be corrupt, short sighted, dominated by special interests and inefficient. Afterall, it was an electorate that chose Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro to preside over the United States and Brazil, respectively. But ensuring free, vibrant and informed mass engagement in political life and governance choices – key tenants of democracy – should not be conflated with the holding of regular elections.

In January 2021, Uganda held its sixth consecutive election – four of which have been held in a multi-party dispensation – but each resulting process has happened within a context of restricted political competition and limited changes towards an open political culture. Ahead of the 2021 poll, analysts and citizens alike questioned the value of holding an expensive election in the middle of a global health pandemic when the outcome was all but predetermined.

President Museveni’s 58% share of the vote – his nearest challenger Bobi Wine secured 35% – was announced amidst a five day internet shutdown. Procedural irregularities and claims of fraud by the opposition centred around failing biometric voter verification machines, videos on social media of ruling party agents ticking ballot papers in favour of Museveni and a lack of clarity about the way votes were tallied at the districts and announced by the Electoral Commission. Administrative hurdles, along with the internet blackout, prevented both international and domestic election observers and media from observing these processes across the country. Widespread claims of kidnappings and extrajudicial arrests of opposition agents and supporters charged with planning riots have been reported before, during and after polling day, whilst the house arrest of Bobi Wine from 14-26 January, continuing a pre-election pattern of detaining political opponents.

But despite violence and coercion consistently revealing themselves as the most relied on and direct means for changing power in Uganda, there is an almost unshakeable belief in, and need for, elections by all sides. Yes, elections provide an opportunity for yesterday’s losers to become today’s winners, but they also have downsides. While acknowledging that it is not elections that make bad leaders – it is leaders that make elections less than desirable and it is easy to blame political actors that have failed to play by the rules – we must also ask ourselves if ‘electoral fundamentalism’ prevents us from seeing the problems they produce.

According to David Van Reybrouck, author of “Against Elections: The Case for Democracy”, ‘electoral fundamentalism’ is an unshakeable belief in the idea that democracy is inconceivable without elections and elections are a necessary and fundamental precondition when speaking about democracy. Electoral fundamentalists refuse to regard elections as a means of taking part in democracy, seeing them instead as an end in themselves, as a doctrine with an intrinsic, inalienable value. They argue that at the very least elections produce some qualified politicians who act as democratic punching bags; representatives that can be held accountable and blamed for a lack of service delivery. But in Uganda, even this bare minimum has struggled to be realised. Most parliamentarians know they will likely only get one term in office and as such use that time to recover funds lost during expensive campaigns and to build connections to advance their own personal interests, rather than to improve service delivery.

Renewing democracy

Resistance to re-imagining political participation beyond elections does a grave disservice to the many ways in which citizens have found to participate in civic and political life within their communities beyond queuing at polling stations once every few years. In fact, it is electoral fundamentalism that has led to the destruction and delegitimising of alternative means for regular, iterative civic and political participation of ordinary citizens.

There are many examples of active citizen participation in political and civic life at the village level that go beyond the narrative of declining voter turnout across East Africa. Ugandans remain actively involved in village and municipal level politics, and interact regularly with leaders of local councils. Prior to the 2016 elections, 62% of respondents to a Twaweza public opinion poll said they sought information from their local council office, the smallest administrative unit in Uganda. In Rwanda, national and district youth councils channel the voices of young people into annual budget conferences and allocation cycles. In Kenya and Tanzania, citizens were an active part of constitutional review processes.

Despite the limited devolvement of decision making power and funding from central governments there is a real possibility for democratic decision making and citizen participation at village and municipal levels across East Africa. Examples exist of community innovation, participation and voice in transitional restorative justice practices and land dispute resolution mechanisms across Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. Unfortunately, these types of civic organising and participation are overlooked by donors, civil society organisations and political parties working to advance democracy who favour a narrower focus on elections.

Beyond the ballot

What does it say for East Africa that recent elections have, by and large, failed to be conducted fairly, transparently, and peacefully? Or to produce outcomes that foster meaningful civic participation, improve the quality of governance and usher new voices and ideas into the arena of political participation? Acknowledging the limitation of elections as the primary institution of democracy would be a good start. Beyond that we must start to see them as a transient system in the organisation of human affairs.

Political analyst, Chris Ògúnmọ́dẹdé recently tweeted that “institutions are not organisms with supernatural, self-correcting powers. Institutions simply are collective agreements people come to. In other words, they can change over time and produce good or bad outcomes.” Even though the words “election” and “democracy” have become synonymous, elections alone cannot, and do not, adequately reflect the will of the people. Over the last decade citizens of 13 of 15 countries regularly polled by Afrobarometer have expressed a decline in support for elections.

The tendency to focus on citizen participation in elections has pushed aside local democratic and proto-democratic institutions such as village meetings, traditional conflict mediation or established jurisprudence even though they are valuable in encouraging a peaceful and collective discussion on the issues that affect people’s daily lives. Although they have not always done so, these institutions are perfectly capable of reflecting more inclusive values that acknowledge the equal status of women, youth and other excluded demographics.

Ultimately a democratic society should not be identified by whether or how it conducts winner-takes-all elections but rather how it allows for liberal freedoms such as political inclusivity, freedom of speech, media, expression, and association, access to property rights and judicial independence. Ensuring a combination of these elements supports greater everyday political participation and the building and consolidating of democracy, as opposed to a decisive vote once every few years in a sham election. To safeguard the democratic experiment in the region, we should begin to consider elections as a feature of, and not the basis for, democracy.

Su Muhereza is a Ugandan political analyst and tweets @suemuhereza.

Eshban Kwesiga is a development analyst and tweets @EshbanKwesiga.

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a nine-part series in which leading thinkers and practitioners explore key questions and themes about the current state of electoral democracy in Africa. 

FACT-CHECK: Kano APC Chairman Has Not Been Sacked By Party

By Fact Check

Verdict: False!

Claim:

On Friday, December 4, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim by Labarai24 and ArewaBlog that the Kano State Chairman for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Abbas, has been sacked by the party.

The online blogs reported that Abbas was sacked as chairman of the party in Kano State.

FACT:

As at the time of writing this fact check – at 2 pm on Sunday, December 6, 2020, – CDD’s investigation shows that the party has not handed a sack letter to Abbas.

It was also gathered that no information was or statement was released by the party in that regard.

Speaking to fact-checkers at the CDD, the spokesperson for APC in the state, Mustapha Karaye, described the claim as false.

Karaye said, Abbas is still the Chairman of the APC in Kano State.

He said: “Hon. Abdullahi Abbas remains the APC chairman in Kano, none of the party’s exco wrote or informed the party about the chair’s sacking.”

“We heard over the radio that the chairman has been sacked, but I am the party’s spokesperson and I don’t have this information from the party, now how could this be true? This is absolutely a lie and we have no idea where this false news emerged from”

“I am assuring you this is fake news as nobody officially informed or wrote to the party about sacking the chair,”Karaye added.

CONCLUSION:

The report that the Chairman of the Kano State chapter of the APC, Abdullahi Abbas has been sacked by the party is false.

As of Sunday, December 6, Abbas is still the Chairman of the party in the State. The spokesperson of the party in Kano State confirmed he (Abbas) has not received a letter in that regard.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.


You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica @CDDWestAfrica_H

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa

Mali’s 2020 Coup: How did we get here?

By PublicationNo Comments

Mali has been facing a serious socio-political crisis that has threatened to tear the country apart since March when the constitutional court overturned 31 provisional parliamentary election results, many in favour of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s (IBKs) party. The overturn exacerbated pre-existing political tension across the country and led citizens to protest.

The main opposition group M5-RFP, the June 5 movement – a Rassemblement des Forces Patriotiques du Mali, a coalition of civil society and other opposition groups have repeatedly called for the resignation of President IBK since the formation in June 2002. They blame Keita for Mali’s chronic corruption, economic instability, and for failing to adequately address the eight-year-long jihadist conflict in the north. A protest led by M5-RFP figurehead Imam Mahmoud Dicko in July, resulted in the death of two people and dozens of injuries as violent clashes broke out between law enforcement officials and protesters, who blocked off streets and attacked the parliament building.

ECOWAS calls for a unity government in Mali

In a bid to solve Mali’s political crisis ECOWAS pressured Keita to agree to a 6-member government that would be tasked with solving the country’s issues. The new government was expected to resolve ongoing tension between the president and M5-RFP. The regional body warned of sanctions to be imposed on those who opposed the resolution. ECOWAS, also called for a partial rerun of the parliamentary election and asked the 31 parliamentary members and the speaker of the national assembly to resign.

However, the regional bloc was unsuccessful in gaining widespread support for this deal, particularly from the opposition group. In fact, the coalition indicated their lack of trust in ECOWAS to resolve the issue and maintained their core demand; that President Keita must step down before they would consider a deal.

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Le CDD condamne le coup au Mali et appelle au rétablissement de l’ordre constitutionnel

By Press ReleaseNo Comments

Le Centre pour la démocratie et le développement (CDD) condamne sans réserve la prise de pouvoir inconstitutionnelle au Mali. C’est le moment de prendre des mesures immédiates pour rétablir un ordre démocratique, fondé sur l’État de droit, le respect des droits de l’homme et un système de gouvernance ancré dans la volonté du peuple malien.  Le CDD considère le respect des droits de tous les fonctionnaires détenus, y compris le Président Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita, comme une voie non négociable pour résoudre la situation politique au Mali.

Le renversement des gouvernements constitutionnellement élus est un anachronisme qui n’a jamais résolu les défis nationaux. Le Protocole de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) sur la démocratie et la bonne gouvernance (CEDEAO) (A/SP1/12/01) stipule clairement dans son article 1(b) que toute accession au pouvoir doit se faire par des élections libres et transparentes. De même, l’article 1(c) énonce explicitement la tolérance zéro de la Communauté à l’égard des pouvoirs obtenus ou maintenus par des moyens anticonstitutionnels. Le CDD appelle donc le peuple malien, à ne pas légitimer l’action anti-démocratique des soldats mutins, mais à exercer une pression maximale pour le rétablissement du gouvernement constitutionnel.   

Bien que les dirigeants de la mutinerie aient affirmé qu’ils ne souhaitaient pas s’accrocher au pouvoir, le CDD demande que ces assurances soient évaluées, non pas au niveau de la rhétorique, mais sur la base de mesures immédiates pour restaurer la démocratie. Il est pertinent de noter que l’article 36 de la constitution malienne stipule que si le Président de la République est empêché de façon temporaire de remplir ses fonctions, ses pouvoirs sont provisoirement exercés par le Premier ministre. Le CDD appelle la communauté diplomatique, y compris les Nations Unies, l’Union européenne, à exercer une pression maximale sur le régime jusqu’à ce que l’ordre constitutionnel soit rétabli au Mali.

CDD Condemns Mali Coup, Calls For Restoration of Constitutional Order

By Press ReleaseNo Comments

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) unequivocally condemns the unconstitutional takeover of power in Mali. This is the time for immediate steps to restore a democratic order, founded on the rule of law, respect for human rights and a governance system anchored on the will of the people of Mali.  

CDD is of the position that respect for the rights of all detained officials, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita is a non-negotiable pathway to resolve the political situation in Mali.

Overthrow of constitutionally elected governments is an anachronism which has never resolved nationally challenges. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (A/SP1/12/01) is clear in Article 1(b) that every accession to power must be made through free, fair and transparent elections.

Similarly, Article 1(c) explicitly states the community’s zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means.

CDD, therefore, calls on the people of Mali, not to legitimize the anti-democratic action of the mutinous soldiers, but to exert maximum pressure for the restoration of constitutional government.   

Although the leaders of the mutiny have claimed that they do not wish to hold on to power, CDD calls for such assurances to be assessed, not on the level of rhetoric, but on the basis of immediate steps to restore democracy. It is pertinent to note that Article 36 of the Malian constitution stipulates that if the President of the Republic is temporarily prevented from fulfilling his functions, his powers are temporarily exercised by the Prime Minister. CDD calls on the diplomatic community, including the United Nations, European Union, to exert maximum pressure on the regime until constitutional order is restored in Mali.

Nigeria’s ‘fake news’ eco-system

By PublicationsNo Comments

Fake news is not a new concept in Nigeria, but the exponential growth in the use and availability of mobile phones with access to the internet, as well as the sheer amount of information accessible in the age of digital media, has made the task of filtering out false information far more difficult. To gain a deeper understanding of the problem, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) conducted a study of the online information landscape in order to paint a clearer picture of how information flows. This aims to understand the precise nature of disinformation (information shared with the intent to mislead), misinformation (information not necessarily shared with intent to mislead), hateful or dangerous speech, propaganda and other harmful forms of content available to Nigerians.

 
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Nigeria’s ‘fake News’ Ecosystem

Lack of gender parity responsible for underdevelopment in Nigeria- Bar Ifendu Ebere

By BlogNo Comments

Barrister Ebere Ifendu who is the President of the Women in Politics Forum spoke on Women Political Platform, our Weekly radio show aimed at engaging Nigerians on National discourse – topical issues and serve as advocacy mechanism for inclusion of women in politics and implementation of 35 percent affirmative action (quota system as it is being practiced in other climes.
Bar Ebere said Nigeria does not take women issues and representation serious. According to her, ‘’Nigerian women are not equitably represented in the political space; this is because most political parties pay lip service to women issues and women representation. We seem not to understand that a country where women are not allowed to participate fully will never develop economically and otherwise. There is no way you will shut out more than 50% of the population and think the economy of the nation will move forward’’.
Responding to questions on the role of her organisation; the WIPF in fighting for Women’s right, Bar Ifendu said the Forum is a multi-party organisation with the interest to have more women participate in politics. She explained that they do this ‘’by working with women who are even not interested in politics but who policies also affect. Like the market women’’
She also spoke on the oncoming W4W and He4She rally that will hold in Abuja later in the month. Calling on all Women to come out and support the movement as there are no barriers to who can participate.
In addition, she said ‘’we hope to achieve voices of women being heard. We have issues with low girl child education especially with what is happening in the North East. Parents are no longer anxious to send their girls to school, violence against women, be it political, be it rape. Different issues affect women. The market women are not politicians but policies made by politicians affect them.
The show which is in its 26th edition is aired every Tuesday on Nigerian Info FM Abuja with the support of the Ford Foundation. While contributing to the show, two callers expressed their willingness to support any initiative geared towards increasing women’s participation in political leadership in Nigeria.
Callers on the show expressed optimism in the ability of women to bring the needed change in the country. They said women’s full participation in governance and other sectors will be better for the country. Sunshine from Wuse in Abuja said’ ‘’we need more women in the security set up because when women are in such position, they perform better’’
 
 
 
 

APPLICATION OPEN FOR TWO DAYS: CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

Since, the country’s return to democracy in 1999, the national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria has remained 6.7 percent in elective and appointive positions, which is far below the global average of 22.5 percent, Africa regional average of 23.4 percent and West Africa sub-regional average of 15 percent. For instance, out of the 36 ministerial appointments made by the incumbent administration, only 6, representing 16.7 percent, are women. At the legislative chamber, women constitute only 5.6 percent and 6.5 percent of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
In contributing to address the low representation of women in elective and appointive positions, The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-West Africa), with support from Ford Foundation, United States, is accepting application from suitable qualified female candidate for a fully funded Capacity-Building Workshop for Women Politicians in Nigeria. The objective is to strengthen the capacity of women on political communication, campaigns and voter mobilization, Advocacy and lobbying, policy design and building network of women group across the federation. A total of 50 women politicians (25 per cohort) will be selected to participate and benefit from the training workshops holding in Abuja between 10 and 20 September 2017.
Participants for the workshop will be drawn from an expansive range of the Nigerian political landscape, putting into consideration the ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
Interested women politicians can access the application form (Deadline, August 29, 2017) online on our website www.cddwestafrica.org or follow this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-fTjt3GysZYx0ViTPF-Zs91G9ubmqoPArMJowP6zgvg/edit (copy and paste link on browser).
For more information and clarification, please contact Austin Aigbe  on aaigbe@cddwestafrica.org or Phone: +234 (0) 9 290 2304.
About CDD
CDD was established in the United Kingdom in 1997 and subsequently registered in Lagos – Nigeria in 1999 as an independent, not-for-profit, research, training, advocacy and capacity building organization.
For more information, visit: www.cddwestafrica.org
 
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