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October 30, 2014


Mark LeVine

For sure these explanations by africa experts seem to mirror exactly what our 'experts' were saying about tunisia and egypt at the start of the arab 'spring'. the main issue about ghana is that, however corrupt it is, it is still a functioning democracy, which none of the arab spring countries were in 2010-11. also, i wonder about the lack of a common indigenous language across the region. you have english and french as imperial languages, but no indigenous language spoken across the entire region of west africa as is arabic. i wonder if there is a transnational african public sphere comparable to the arab(ic) one. most people i speak with say that in fact there is not...

Stephen Zunes

There has been a long and underreported history of largely nonviolent civil insurrections which have toppled dictators and forced free elections and/or other significant legal/constitutional/institutional liberalization in sub-Saharan Africa: Mali and Benin in the early 1990s, Sudan in 1985, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, twice in Madagascar, and, of course, South Africa. Some were incomplete (Nigeria) or reversed (Sudan). Some took place gradually over a period of years (Kenya). But it's not a new phenomenon.

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