What Does Ghana Have to Celebrate on Its 59th Year of Independence

The terrain has shifted considerably since Nkrumah’s heyday as the prophet of African national liberation. Still, some aspects of his revolutionary vision appear remarkably clairvoyant, starting with the politics of the foreign extraction of Africa’s natural resources and the need for new industries. This independence anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on how this controversial past continues to have an effect on the present – and on possibilities for charting a new way forward.

How the US Can Help Africa Fight Terrorism by Supporting Local Activists

The urgency of promoting social justice in Africa as the best firewall against the spread of extremism grows daily, as we witness increasing terrorist attacks on soft targets in African cities – Bamako, Ouagadougouand Grand-Bassam. US President Barack Obama would do well to refocus America’s conversation on Africa to support this peaceful activism. Niger provides a good case study for this.

Cameroon's Anglophone Crisis Threatens National Unity. The Time for Change is Now.

The crisis came to a head in late 2016 when lawyers, joined by teachers and others with similar grievances, led protests in major western cities demanding that the integrity of their professional institutions be protected and their minority rights respected. President Paul Biya responded by deploying troops to the region and blocking internet access. When peaceful demonstrations were met with violent repression it exacerbated tensions and escalated the conflict to a national political crisis.

Why Niger's Presidential Election Matters

On February 21, Niger will vote in the first round of a presidential election. This has barely been a blip in the western media--the New York Times published its last article on Niger in August 2015 and while The Washington Post ran a blog post this week, it has no reporters on the ground. Yet, whether the election is fair or not matters to Nigeriens and it should matter to the rest of the world, because of democracy fails in Niger, the country could become the next breeding ground for radical Islamic terror.

Why Should We Care About Democracy in Africa? What the Recent Election in Bukina Faso Can Teach Us.

The Balai Citoyen (Citizen Broom) movement, co-founded by reggae star Sams’K Le Jah and rapper Serge Bambara (“Smockey”), combined the simple symbolism of the broom and the idea of citizenship as they mobilized the people to clean up the country through progressive civic engagement. We have all heard about Boko Haram and pirates off the coast of Somalia. But who has heard of the Balai Citoyen movement? It is time to make room in America for more informed reporting on peaceful progress in Africa.

2015-2016: I was a Tucson Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project.

With my public voice I seek to establish connections between my scholarship and our public discourse on Africa today.

What the DRC's Flawed Election Means for the Emerging Democratic Culture in Africa

On December 30, 2018, 46 million citizens cast their votes in a historic election in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There hasn’t been a peaceful transition of power in this country since the end of Belgian rule in 1960. If this election produces a result that’s widely viewed as credible, it will cement a new era of representative government in Africa.

Making Sense of the DRC's Struggle for Democracy

In our view, confidence in democracy in the country will be built through incremental steps. Understanding the complicated dynamics at work now will solidify the foundation in the future.One important factor to bear in mind is that citizens’ movements in the DRC are now more powerful than conventional political parties. They anticipated political and strategic issues and assisted political parties in raising public awareness in the run up to the elections.