A growing number of authoritarian powers have weaponized corruption and information operations to influence elections, policymaking and civic discourse in other countries to benefit their political or geostrategic objectives. From Moldova to Myanmar, interference and disinformation in elections and national politics have become the rule rather than the exception.
Ana Usharek, or “I Participate,” is an umbrella suite of programming that provides young Jordanians and marginalized groups with knowledge and skills to be more active in Jordanian civil and political life.
In November 2020, Zambia made headlines when it became the first African nation to default on its debt repayment to foreign lenders during the COVID-19 global health crisis. While many African nations made significant progress in reducing their debt burdens in the 1990s and 2000s, in recent years, countries such as Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique have steadily taken on more and more loans to finance large infrastructure projects and government spending. In 2021, Zambia’s overall debt burden reached 123% of the country’s GDP according to the International Monetary Fund.
Africa’s young people are a strong political force, as demonstrated by a rise in social movements and political protests across the continent, such as the movement for democracy and term limits in Uganda, the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria, and demonstrations protesting the military coup in Sudan. However, young people continue to be excluded from decision-making. The erosion of the rule of law across the continent, exemplified by attempts to amend or eliminate presidential term limits, will undoubtedly have the largest impact on the current generation.
Africa has seen significant democratic backsliding in recent years, driven in large part by leaders who undermine constitutional norms, bypass presidential term limits, and shrink political space to gain or maintain power. To stimulate a discussion on how to reverse this trend, NDI partnered with the Government of Botswana to organize an Africa-wide Summit on Constitutionalism and Democratic Consolidation, in Gaborone from July 6 to 8, 2022.
On October 25, 2021, the Sudanese military took over government institutions and arrested the civilian prime minister, upending the tenuous transitional agreement that had been in place since the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The military’s takeover has spurred widespread popular protests on a near-weekly basis calling for civilian rule, which have been met by heavy-handed repression by security forces.
Libyan youth face multifaceted challenges, including high unemployment rates, an under-resourced education system and an unstable political environment. Encompassing almost 67% of the population, Libyan youth represent an opportunity for positive democratic change despite the difficulties they bear. Young women in particular face high barriers to entry in civic engagement. However, a 2020 United States Agency for International Development survey found one notable exception: debate clubs.