27 May Thursday
Democratization in Africa: What progress by what means?
Göran HYDEN, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, USAAbstract: Is Africa, here understood as sub-Saharan Africa, making progress toward democracy? If so, how and on what grounds can we establish it? How similar and how different is the situation in various countries on the continent? Which countries are doing well and which are not? How do the trends in Africa compare with similar ones in Eastern/Central Europe and Latin America? These are the questions that the keynote presentation will address using data provided by credible international instruments aimed at recording performance with regard to (a) elections, (b) respect for human rights, (c) governance, and (d) political stability. It will provide explanations for why some countries fare better, which these countries are, and how the conditions in Africa influence the process of democratization in ways that are similar or different from what is going on in Eastern/Central Europe and Latin America.
28 May Friday
Why Africa? And what it might be…
Richard DOWDEN, Director, Royal African Society, UKAbstract: Why is Africa the way it is? The continent where humans began is rich in resources and people. Everyone agrees it has huge potential. But since it was freed from European rule it has not fulfilled that potential. What are the deeper causes — geographical, social and political and are there new factors that might bring change to Africa?