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E. I.2.1.a. Movements for Multi-Party Democracy in English-Speaking Countries

Very different conditions prevailed within the various Anglophone countries in East, West, Central and Southern Africa, and therefore the development of multi-party parliamentary democracy (and how far authoritarian government and/or extensive corruption flourished despite the growth of opposition parties) also varied considerably. There were popular protests and demands for political change in a number of countries around 1990 – five of which are covered below.

In addition, a strong women’s movement, which had a significant impact later in the 1990s in securing greater gender political equality, emerged in Uganda – see:

In Botswana women also began to mobilize, and the San (Bushmen) became active in demanding their rights Botswana had been a relatively stable country, in which the ruling party contested and won multi-party elections, but in 1995, when protests by school and university students were violently suppressed, the Trade Unions, the Coalition of Women’s NGOs and the Catholic Church sided with the students. See:

Good, Kenneth, Towards Popular Participation in Botswana, Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 34, issue 1, 1996, pp. 101-129

Press, Robert, Peaceful Resistance in Contemporary Africa: Nonviolent Social Movements in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Paper presented at the September 2-5, 2010 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association,Washington, D.C., 2010

Press compares peaceful civil resistance in Kenya, Sierra Leone and Liberia to explore the impact of different levels of repression. In Kenya increasing open confrontation with the regime from the 1980s led to a 'culture of resistance' and the ousting of the ruling party in the election of 2002. In Sierra Leone activists faced both repression and the impact of the civil war. In Liberia, where repression was harshest, there was nevertheless resistance by journalists, women, students, the Catholic Church and others to both Samuel Doe and later Charles Taylor.

See also: ‘Civil Resistance of Ordinary People against Brutal Regimes in Africa: Cases of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Kenya’, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

This link offers a 56-minute video and transcript of the webinar led by Robert Press on the same topic.

Tripp, Aili Mari, Women and Politics in Uganda, Kampala and Wisconsin, James Currey, Fountain Publishers and the University of Wisconsin Press, 2000, pp. 336