The Occasional Paper Series

A series of shorter papers, providing concise and timely event briefs of important issues relevant to contemporary political, social or economic issues in Africa. These papers showcase commentary and research from leading policymakers, academics and prominent business figures.

Issues in this Series

Assessing the Nigerian Elections: Can Democracy Emerge from a Badly Flawed Process?

Amy Van Buren
Because of the significance of Nigeria to the entire African continent, and because of growing concern that the United States had paid insufficient attention to the signs of growing tensions and instability within Nigeria on the lead-up to the 2007 national elections, a consortium of primarily Washingtonbased institutions (the Wilson Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Africa Program at John Hopkins’ School for Advanced and International Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations) organized a series of programs designed to engage both Nigerian and American policymakers in an examination of “The Pending Nigerian Elections: A Step Toward Democratic Consolidation or Descent into Chaos?”

Africa: The Development Challenges of the 21st Century

Callisto Madavo
The fourth installment in the Africa Program's Occasional Paper Series assesses past struggles and future prospects for economic, political and social development on the continent.

Resolving the Three-Headed War from Hell: Seizing an Opportunity for Peace in Southern Sudan, Northern Uganda and Darfur

John Prendergast
In the third of the Africa Program Occasional Paper Series, noted Africa expert John Prendergast analyzes the interrelated crises plaguing Sudan and Uganda, and assesses what would be necessary to bring peace to the troubled region.

From Moi to Kibaki: An Assessment of the Kenyan Transition

Johnnie Carson
In the first of the Africa Program Occasional Paper Series, Johnnie Carson, Senior Vice President of the National Defense University analyzes the recent political transition in Kenya, and its significance for the future of U.S.-Kenya relations. Johnnie Carson was U.S. ambassador to Kenya from 1999 to 2002.

Election Observation Missions: Making them Count

Joe Clark, Marianna Ofosu , and Elizabeth Voeller
International election observation is a work in progress, much like the international democratic system it aims to promote and develop. Today election observation is disproportionately focused on the pre-election and election periods at the expense of the post-election period. International organizations, national governments, and civil society are familiar with what is expected both before and during an election. Election “practices” exist and an international set of principles is now emerging to guide international elections observers both before and during elections.

Women, Muslim Laws and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Keynote Address

Ayesha Imam
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?

Experts & Staff