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Volume 23 Number 3
1 September 2014

This issue covers a lot of ground, spanning the processes involved in the democratisation of states in Africa, the macrostructures of human security in Africa (from pan-African organisations to the role of nation-state governments), the growing threat of cyber crime to the continent, and the impact of security threats on individual countries and the citizens therein.

Obert Hodzi and Jonathan Powell look at the process of democratisation in Africa from two different angles. Powell examines the concept of the ‘democratic coup’, a debate reignited by the Egyptian military’s unconstitutional removal of President Mohamed Morsi during the Arab Spring. Hodzi, on the other hand, examines the political transition to democracy, and argues that the crisis of electoral democracy in Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire is a result of underlying structural and institutional deficiencies within national and regional multinational institutions.

Malte Brosig presents us with survey data on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) which reveals the current stage of development, as well as its achievements and challenges.

The impact of resource governance and exploitation on the local populations and environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe and Ghana is interrogated in an article by Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, Olumuyiwa Babatunde Amao, Sakiemi Idoniboye-Obu and Ayo Whetho.

Jan Kallberg and Steven Rowlen explore the emerging security threat posed when African nations act, unwittingly, as proxies in the covert cyber operations of third parties, especially when those third parties are nation states. This threat is made possible due to the rapid growth of the Internet in Africa, and a correspondingly slow effort to secure these networks.

#BringBackOurGirls has become an international rallying campaign following the abduction in April 2014 of almost 300 girls from a school in north-eastern Nigeria by the terrorist organisation Boko Haram. Numerous international governments, as well as private citizens around the world, have pledged their support for finding and rescuing the kidnapped girls.

The role played by civil society in peacebuilding during Zimbabwe’s coalition government is at the heart of Cornelias Ncube’s paper. Ncube examines the various bottom-up peacebuilding initiatives in Zimbabwe under the Church and Civil Society Forum framework, which aimed to rebuild broken relationships in a context of deep political polarisation.

The two Africa Watch contributions attempt to analyse the current situation in the Central African Republic: Mouhamadou Kane looks at the religious aspects of the conflict, while Gino Vlavonou examines the failure of the Séléka rebellion in the light of its poor leadership over an already fragile coalition of disparate rebel militias.

Romi Sigsworth (Editor)

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