Democracy | Wilson Center


Kenya after Moi

In a roundtable cosponsored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, renowned Kenyan human rights advocate, Dr. Gibson Kamau Kuria, spoke about the evolution of Kenyan democracy and the country’s human rights environment. Gibson focused on the problems of the newly installed Kibaki government in changing the face of Kenyan politics after the end of the Moi regime.

Sudan: Last Steps in the Peace Process

Sudan is a country that has seen almost non-stop civil war for close to fifty years, from 1954-1979 and again from 1983 until today. Over the years, tensions between Northern and Southern Sudan have led to the deaths of millions of Sudanese citizens and the internal and external displacement of millions more. The two main opposing groups are the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and the Southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The Machakos Protocol of July, 2002 seemed to be a major step towards the end of the period of violence that began in 1983.

Luncheon: Presentations of Africanist Doctoral Candidate Fellowship Recipients

James Tyler Dickovick and Dorothy Grace Davie, both African Doctoral Candidate Fellows who are completing their dissertations, presented their research findings and discussed the implications of their research. Dickovick has been undertaking a comparative cross-cultural analysis of decentralization, while Davie has been studying the approach that has been taken to the study of poverty in South Africa in different historical periods.

The Current State of the Burundi Peace Process

Former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya began with an overview of the power-sharing provisions of the Arusha Accord, which called for the establishment of a 36-month transitional period divided into two halves – with the president to be drawn from the Tutsi G-10 group of political parties for the first eighteen months, and the Hutu G-7 party group to provide the president for the second eighteen months.

The Burundi Leadership Training Program: The First Six Months

The program began with an overview of the Burundi conflict by Dr. Wolpe, who was President Clinton's Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region and represented the United States during the Arusha negotiations. The discussion then turned to the background, methodology and content of the Burundi Leadership Training Project (BLTP). Dr. Wolpe led management and training team members in explaining the project's rationale and origins.

A South African Perspective on Zimbabwe and Southern Africa

Soal offered a South African perspective on the deepening Zimbabwe political and economic crisis.

Soal outlined the dismal economic situation confronting Zimbabweans. Once considered the “breadbasket of Africa”, Zimbabwe’s GDP has dropped 35% in four years. A collapsed Zimbabwean dollar, falling exports and imports, lack of necessary fuel, and severe unemployment are but a few of the indicators of Zimbabwe’s economic distress. “What was a prosperous country some years ago has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy by corruption and mismanagement.”

Director's Forum with Bill Clinton

President Clinton focused his talk on his recent two-week trip to Africa, during which he visited five nations: Mozambique, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. Given his stated interest in economically empowering poor communities around the world, Clinton visited Africa to continue his work to promote HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, democratization, and economic development. Other areas he has actively pursued since leaving office that were among the themes promoted on his Africa trip included racial and ethnic reconciliation; citizen participation; and education.

The New South Africa: Reflections on Politics in the Private Sector

Mr. Sexwale began by stating the declaration of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, convened in August 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the endeavor to create a humane world. He went on to state that the next phase after the summit focuses on implementation programs to fulfill the affirmed goals. Relating South Africa to the summit, Sexwale stated that the country's challenge is to create an economic democracy to couple with its already firmly rooted political democracy.

African Development: Opportunities and Challenges

In his introductory remarks, Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Howard Wolpe lauded Uganda's political and economic recovery of the past 16 years under President Museveni's leadership. Though still a poor country, Uganda has experienced steady economic growth annually. Though Uganda has no multiparty political system, it boasts an independent, privately owned media and open political discourse. Wolpe noted that Uganda has been a model country for curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS—one of only two African nations (Senegal being the other) with a declining AIDS rate.

Political Stability, Conflict Resolution, and Development in Southern Africa

Director's Forum with Joaquim Alberto Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique.

President Chissano emphasized the fact that peace and stability are prerequisites for economic development in Southern Africa. Mozambique, in its role as leader of the Southern African Development Community (SACD) Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security is leading the charge of creating the structures, mechanisms, and procedures for conflict prevention, resolution, and management, in accordance with the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defense, and Security.