African Governance Report 2013: Elections and the Management of Diversity in Africa
This third edition of the African Governance Report (AGR III) adopts a thematic approach with the focus on: Elections and the Management of Diversity in Africa. Elections are central to democratic governance and the political management of society. While Africa has recorded remarkable progress with the regularity of elections, however, the content and quality of those elections remains suspect in many countries. Elections have become conflict triggers with violence, tensions and acrimonies and sharp elite divisions trailing election outcomes. This constitutes a worrying trend in Africa's democratic future. This report investigates the challenge of elections in its interface with diversity management in Africa. The report traces the genealogy of elections in Africa; the political and constitutional infrastructure on which elections are constructed; the forms of political transitions through which current electoral governance is foisted; the various types of election management regimes and their deficits; electoral systems in relation to diversity management; competitive politics and electoral conflicts; the economics of elections; and major political and constitutional reform issues involved in better electoral governance. The main message of the report is that many African countries have to undertake major electoral, institutional, political and constitutional reforms (of varying degrees and types) for elections to promote social harmony and political cohesion, while respecting the basic democratic tenets of freeness, fairness and transparency, which underpin a credible electoral process. Regional and international efforts must also complement national initiatives at improving electoral performance as an instrument of diversity management and democratic progress and consolidation in Africa.
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