International Dialogue

Democratic Governance

Civic Voices on the State of Eritrea

Report

Hbs Nairobi supported the convening of a diverse group of 16 Eritrean professionals and intellectuals in December 2018 to discuss the implications of the sudden amelioration of the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia earlier in the year. Over the 6 months which followed the workshop, participants engaged in intense consultations and decided to publish their joint reflections just a day ahead of Eritrea’s Independence Day on 24 May 2019.

Sudan’s Civil Society - Aspirant Revolutionaries Once More

Article

Civil society has always played a key role in Sudan’s long ongoing struggle for political reform and the National Congress Party, which has ruthlessly clung to power for nearly 30 years, is cognisant of this.

Very few political analysts could have predicted what has transpired in Sudan over the past four months. On 19 December, a small protest ostensibly over a treble price hike in bread triggered a domino effect of protests across the country, including in former ruling party strongholds. It soon became clear the initial protests lit a powder keg within Sudanese society, frustrated at 30 years of authoritarian rule with mass corruption and an unwieldy security apparatus --Sudanese citizenry have had enough.

Celebrating Whispers 15 Years On: How Satire Can Further Civic Discourse

This year, 2018, marks 15 years since the death of Wahome Mutahi (1954 – 2003), who was one of Kenya’s most prolific fiction writers, as well as a playwright, columnist, political satirist, pundit and public opinion leader. He was popularly known as Whispers after the name of the column he wrote for The Daily Nation from 1982 to 2003, offering a satirical view of the trials and tribulations of Kenyan life. According to George Ogola in The Idiom of Age in a Popular Kenyan Newspaper Serial, at a time when the state had all but monopolized public sites of expression in the country, Whispers kept the Kenyan popular media porous, opening up spaces for the discussion of social and political issues that could otherwise only be ‘whispered’. It became the most visible site of social, cultural and political expression for the last two decades at a time when freedom to such expression was highly constrained by the state.

Extra-Judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya: Balancing the Respect for Human Rights and Maintaining National Security

The Annual All Kenyan Moot Court Competition was held on the 23rd and 24th March 2018 at the Kenyatta University School of Law, supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation with 200 students participating from 12 different universities across the country.  This year’s theme was: “Striking the Balance between Respect for Human Rights and Maintaining National Security.

While Kenya signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED), it has not ratified the Convention, and consequently the existing legal framework falls short of international human right standards, and is thus unable to comprehensively deal with the problem

Dossier: For Democracy

Democracy must be fought for, revitalized, and renewed. Institutions, like the Heinrich Böll Foundation, have been struggling against a significant headwind for some time now, as the authoritarian developing state has gained massive momentum. With the publication “For democracy” and this online-dossier, we analyze the state of democracy worldwide as well as the possibilities of democracy assistance. At the same time, we provide insights into the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s political work for democracy. Concrete examples and regional analyses present a vivid account of our engagement. We take stock and examine the challenges that will face us in the future.

Our Publications on democratic Governance

Perspectives #03/2018: Through the Looking Glass: Images of African Futures

The Hollywood action movie Black Panther captured the imagination of audiences around the globe. In several African countries, it quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. The tale is set in Wakanda, a technologically advanced African kingdom that avoided the shackles of colonialism and slavery by isolating itself behind a guise of poverty and deprivation. Although what it presents as “African”, in terms of narrative and images, is far from uncontested, the film catapulted Afrofuturism – a discipline or aesthetic that enlists science fiction and technology to imagine black identities and futures unconstrained by past and present circumstances – from the avant-garde circles of artists and intellectuals into the mainstream.

Where Women Are: Gender & The 2017 Kenyan Elections

Book

Edited by Nanjala Nyabola and Marie- Emmanuelle Pommerolle, this collection captures some of the stories and experiences of women who particiapetd in the heated 2017 general election in Kenya. The stories shed light on the nuances and complexities facing women who choose to enter electoral politics in Kenya.

Perspectives #02/2018: Not Always on a Boat to Europe: Movements of Africans within and beyond the continent

The current public debate on African migration to Europe is largely fuelled by visions of boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea, filled with desperate people in search of a better life. The narrative positions Africa as a “continent on the move” whose people are surging into Europe on a seemingly endless tide. Although media images of desperate African refugees fleeing to Europe do portray the daily reality and the often-tragic consequences of the treacherous crossing, the framing conceals more than it reveals. 

Dossier: For Democracy

The present publication “For Democracy” outlines and analyzes the state of democracy worldwide as well as the possibilities of democracy assistance.

The Ocean Atlas illustrates the important role played by the ocean and its ecosystems – not only for people living on the coasts but for all of us. It aims to give a current insight of the state and the threat of the seas, that are our livelihoods.

Catch up with all our latest publications.

The Evolution of Kenyan Art and the Kenya Arts Diary

Supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and coordinated by Nani Croze of Kitengela Glass, the Kenya Arts Diary has become a popular annual art exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya and identified with the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The diary has built a new physical but portable space whose multi-functionality allows local artists to display their craft, advertise their skills, join a regional network, and find belonging.

First published in 2011, the Kenya Arts Diary is a catalogue - complete with descriptors - of photography, installations, oils, acrylics, patch-work quilts, wood, cement and scrap metal sculptures, some from “stitched found objects”. The Diary also carries artists’ bios and a directory that provides artists’ contacts and announces the range of collectives and studios where contemporary artists pursue their passions.

 

 

Energy Futures in Eastern Africa

Publication
Whereas the momentum of economic development in the 20th century depended on abundant fossil fuels and centralized electric power, countries are now revisiting their energy strategies to reduce the risks of unpredictable climate change. Our countries are not exempt from this dilemma. Should they continue to power their transition from agricultural to industrial societies by exploiting fossil fuels and centralized power? Or is a different energy system possible? Which investments will get priority? Who will benefit from whatever energy system is put into place, and who will be the biggest losers? 
 
Produced by the Society for International Development (SID) with the support of  Heinrich Böll Stiftung, East and Horn of Africa Regional Office, this booklet presents and explores possible scenarios that could unfold in four Eastern African countries. The analysis and three stories presented imagine practical future scenarios for energy and how these would affect energy poverty in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

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