Democracy Works: Rewiring Politics to Africa’s Advantage

June 18, 2019 - 3:30 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

In 2019, more than 300 million Africans will have the opportunity to go to the polls, and many of them will vote in countries that are considered partly free at best. Dr. Greg Mills and former Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti will explore the obstacles to free and fair elections as they present their new book, Democracy Works, an exploration of how we can learn to nurture and deepen democracy in Africa to ensure economic growth and political stability. Drawing on the considerable policy experience of the book’s four authors—who also include former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Jeffrey Herbst—it identifies a ‘democratic playbook’ to meet the threats to free and fair elections. But substantive democracy demands more than simply regular polls. Democracy is fundamentally about the inner working of institutions, the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, and leadership in government and civil society, as much as it is about values and the welfare and well-being of its citizens. It also demands that local leadership has a plan for the country beyond simply winning the popular vote. Democracy Works is directed toward leaders and citizens who want to address the extreme demographic and other challenges that Africa faces.

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