Africa: Women from P♂lls to P♀lls

MALAWI: Women’s Education the Path to the Presidency

On an elegant veranda adorned with a red carpet, Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda recalls how her childhood friend Chrissie Mtokoma was always top of their class and how she struggled to beat her. But now decades later Banda is a likely contender for the country's presidency in 2014, while Mtokoma lives in poverty.

Several dozen protestors square off with police in a demonstration in the capital Luanda.  Credit: Louise Redvers/IPS

Angolan Spring – Protests Shaking Up Authorities

Adolfo Andre knows what he wants for his country and says he will fight on until he gets it.

DR CONGO: Election Promises of Peace and Security

The 11 candidates contesting presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo all pledge to improve peace and security in the country - promises received with varying degrees of scepticism by Congolese voters.

DR CONGO: No Real Programme Behind Campaign Promises

"In truth, none of the candidates and none of the parties have a programme for society," asserts Mastaki Mushosi, one of the leaders of the National Union of Catholic School Teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

U.N. armored vehicles enter the compound of the Congress for Democratic Change after the first round of shooting. At least two demonstrators died. Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Runoff Goes Ahead Despite Boycott and Killings

Liberians headed to the polls in what appeared to be modest numbers Tuesday morning for a presidential runoff that has been marred by an opposition boycott and the deaths of at least two demonstrators at an opposition rally.

Former child solider Mulume* (far left) feels hopeless about his future.  Credit:  Einberger/argum/EED/IPS

DR CONGO: Rehabilitating Former Child Soldiers Who “Liked” Killing

Murhula’s* life changed forever when he was nine years old. It was the year that he learned to kill, torture and rape.

DR CONGO: No Hope for Free and Fair Elections

With six weeks to go before the presidential and parliamentary elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, civil society organisations say the elections will not be fair, as many doubt the ability of the country’s electoral authorities to ensure transparency.

LIBERIA: Former Warlord Backs Johnson-Sirleaf for Second Term

Former warlord Prince Johnson, who placed third in Liberia’s election last week, has endorsed the re-election bid of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was named a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize just days before the vote.

Supporters from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Liberians Turn Out in Numbers to Vote

Liberians cast their ballots Tuesday in an election that has so far been described as orderly and peaceful, though concerns persist that a disputed result could anger voters and fuel minor unrest.

Bleblocoula Sylvain (foreground) lost eight members of his family during a March raid in Diboke, Ivory Coast.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: “Security Risk” at Ivory Coast Border Ahead of Elections

As Liberia gears up for Tuesday’s presidential and legislative elections, officials stationed near the border with Ivory Coast have expressed concern that insufficient border security - a problem highlighted by two recent cross-border attacks - could fuel electoral violence.

Opposition party supporters demanded that Nobel Peach Prize winner Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be out of office.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Mixed Reviews for Johnson-Sirleaf’s Nobel Peace Prize

As the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Liberian President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, opposition party supporters were flooding the streets of Monrovia to demand that she be voted out of office in the upcoming election.

Liberian Muslims Allege Disenfranchisement

It seems all of Liberia is paying close attention to the campaign for the Oct. 11 presidential and legislative elections. But Sekou Camara is one exception.

Zambians went to the polls on Sep. 20 and elected a new president. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: New President, New Governance Yardstick

The election of Michael Chilufya Sata as Zambia's new president shows that Zambians are more interested in issues of accountability and transparency than mere service delivery, say analysts.

Zambians went to the polls to elect a new president and government on Tuesday.  Credit: Lwanga Mwilu/IPS

ZAMBIA: Largely Peaceful Elections

Only two incidents of violence, triggered by the late start of voting and the suspicion of electoral fraud, were reported as Zambians went to the polls to elect a new president and government on Tuesday.

Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate, attended the electoral commission

ZAMBIA-ELECTIONS: Perpetrators of Violence Warned: ‘Expect No Mercy’

As Zambians go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new government and president they do so amid fears of election violence.

A poster asking people to vote for Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate.  Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: Social Media to Monitor Elections

When Zambians go the polls on Sep. 20 they will have the most effective team of observers monitoring the electoral process – themselves. Citizens, through social media, will be able to report offences and irregularities during and before the general elections.

Vice-President Joyce Banda (far left) was expelled from the ruling party after being accused of insubordination.  Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

MALAWI: Government Becomes a One-Man Show

For the last two weeks, Malawi’s president has been running the country’s 22 ministries on his own after firing his entire cabinet. But political and economic analysts say that his delay in appointing a new cabinet is detrimental to the country’s development. Some analysts say government has come to a standstill because of this, while others say the situation shows that the president has lost control.

A poster asking people to vote for Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: Outlook Dim for Women Candidates

Although there is a female presidential candidate contesting Zambia's Sept. 20 general elections, her prospects are not strong. And in fact, fewer women overall are likely to be elected into public office this year, analysts say.

Edith Nawakwi is the only female candidate to run for president in Zambia

Q&A: ‘Men Have Failed Zambia, Now Is the Time for a Woman’

In Zambia's highly patriarchal society Edith Nawakwi, 52, has broken a few records on the political scene over the last two decades. And she broke another one on Sunday by being the only female candidate to file for nomination to run for president in Zambia's upcoming elections.

The Mawingu camp for internally displaced persons is a desolate place.  Credit: Peter Kahare/IPS

KENYA: Post Election Violence Victims Still Suffer

The Mawingu camp for internally displaced persons affected by Kenya’s 2007- 2008 post-election violence is a desolate place. Located in the Rift Valley, the camp is a collection of tattered, sagging and forlorn tents.

Information is one of the most important tools citizens need to make informed decisions, especially about education.  Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

SWAZILAND: Impossible for Children to Access Public Information

Many public officials in Swaziland do not think that access to information is a public right, but rather a privilege – which can be withdrawn at anytime.

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