Is Botswana Advancing or Regressing in its Democracy?

by Themba Michael Sokhulu

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2004

There is wide consensus among academics and political analysts that Botswana has been hailed as one of the “old democracies” in Africa, but that there have been reports of political wrangling in the country. Landsberg maintains that the southern African region, of which Botswana is part, is relatively more democratic when compared with the rest of the continent. It is exactly thirty-eight years into Botswana’s democracy and although Botswana has a relative enabling constitutional and legislative framework, there are signs of isolated infringements upon the constitution by the ruling party.

Dangers of Splitting a Fragile Rentier State

Getting it Right in Southern Sudan - by Kenneth Omeje

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 1, 2010

The anticipated January 2011 independence referendum in Southern Sudan with its possibility of inaugurating a new state in Africa has engaged and excited local, regional and international attention in recent time. It is not surprising that most commentators and direct stakeholders have tended to focus more on the immediate mundane issues of whether or not the referendum should be held as scheduled; whether or not President Omar Bashir’s government is likely to honour the outcome of the referendum; who gets what in the post-referendum asset-sharing; and issues of boundary demarcation.

Being similar, different and coexistent

By Jannie Malan

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 3, 2011

Remarkably meaningful sayings that have emerged out of real life in Africa highlight our inherent interrelatedness as fellow human beings. In the life situations where we happen to find ourselves, there are similarities that bind us together, but also differences that tend to drive us apart. When a group of us becomes concerned about who we are, and who others are, such an 'identity' search may tempt us to think that our own group is better than other groups. Various pressures from our cultures, groups and personalities can create and strengthen feelings and habits of being against other groups. It is possible, however, to be liberated from such polarisation and to become turned towards others. The valid belongingness to one's own group can be retained and promoted, but dominating and discriminating own-groupishness should be rejected.

A Pocket of Stability

Understanding Somaliland - By Daniel R. Forti

Occasional Paper Series: Issue 2, 2011

This paper provides a comprehensive examination of Somaliland's unusual development and current standing as a self-declared sovereign nation. Unlike Somalia, a state devastated by a perpetual twenty-year conflict, Somaliland boasts a growing civil society along with a relatively vibrant democracy and accountability to the Rule of Law. Since 1991, the region has become a pocket of security and stability, in absence of formal recognition, by creating government and societal institutions that strongly suit the values and needs of its people.

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2014/1

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2014/1

"Last year, the African Union (AU) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding as the Organisation of African Unity, at the 2013 AU Summit. Our continent’s leaders took a crucial decision that Africa and her people must write their own narratives. True to form, the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has taken the lead and written an ‘email from the future’, highlighting her vision of a united, prosperous and peaceful continent in 2063. This vision, buttressed by continent-wide economic integration, large-scale infrastructure development and an ‘African Renaissance’ in areas of education, energy, health and trade, paints an optimistic and tangible expression of our continent’s future...

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2013/4

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2013/4

"The United Nations (UN) Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013 was held in New York on 19–20 September, as a precursor to the UN General Assembly meetings. The summit reinforced two important truisms about peace in the 21st century: first, there is a crucial peace– development nexus; and second, the triad of government, civil society and the private sector working with each other, or to complement each other, are positioned as the key actors for securing peace and development...

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2013/3

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2013/2

"Syria has become the great tragedy of the century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history." These words were spoken by António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Guterres stated this following the release of a UNHCR report indicating that the number of refugees in Syria has passed the two million mark, with almost one million of these refugees being children. Alarmingly, this statistic of two million represents a rise of 1.8 million refugees in 12 months, up from 230 671 refugees reported in the preceding 12 months.

Download PDF

Conflict Trends 2013/2

ACCORD Conflict Trends 2013/2

the international community has progressively realised the importance of gender perspectives in peace processes, not only because of the gendered nature of conflict – which has a differential impact on women and girls, men and boys – but also due to the added value of women’s agency in these processes. As such, an issue that has become pivotal in peacekeeping is that of gender mainstreaming.

Download PDF