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South Africa

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David J. Kramer and Arch Puddington outline what President Obama's democracy agenda should be in his second term in the following Washington Post op-ed.

The International Partnership on Freedom of Expression in South Africa, a delegation of regional and international rights groups, raised their opposition to a proposed secrecy bill and threats of state regulation of the press during a joint mission to South Africa from Sept. 8-14. The Partnership met with stakeholders from the media industry, the ANC and opposition parties, and civil society to discuss the proposed Protection of State Information Bill and media regulation developments.

Nearly two years after a wave of popular uprisings began in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a lack of substantive institutional reform has left states struggling to maintain democratic achievements, according to a new Freedom House report. The findings illuminate reform failures that have contributed to recent violence across the MENA region.

Meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, on August 18, the leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) extended indefinitely their 18-month suspension of the SADC Tribunal. Delivering a major blow to hopes for the rule of law in the region, the 15 SADC member states also determined that a successor court, if ever constituted, would have no authority to hear cases brought against national governments by individuals, businesses, or organizations on human rights or any other matter. Instead, only governments would have access to the tribunal, and only for the purpose of resolving intergovernmental disputes over the terms of the SADC treaty.

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Experts

Project Director, Southern Africa

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Strengthening participation of young people in South Africa's electoral and democratic processes

The political parties vary in impressions as to the specificity (or not) of issues that concern the youth. The issues are both substantive (concerning aspects of public policy and government action) and procedural (relevant to participation in elections and politics). Parties strive to expand their use of social media. However, the diverse demographic backgrounds of their supporters dictate that they will use a mix of traditional media (pamphlets, newsletters, speeches, door-to-door grassroots visits), intermediary electronic media (SMS and email), and social or new media (Twitter, Facebook, Mxit, WhatsApp, Google broadcasts, podcasts).

Programs

Freedom House undertook rapid conflict assessments in 16 at-risk communities in six provinces throughout South Africa. 

Issues: