Power from the Margins: Opening up African Political Systems to Women, Youth and Other Disrupters

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University of Ghana


More than half of the world’s population growth will occur in Africa between now and 2050, making the continent the fasting growing region of the world. Yet African economies are not projected to keep pace with the rising population, largely due to failures by governments and mismanagement of resources. I argue that, if they can become part of the political process, women, youth and other marginalized groups can bring transformative change to African governance and are therefore key to the future of the continent’s democracies. In discussing how political outsiders can come into the political process, this lecture draws on case studies from recent elections in Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria. Recommendations for integrating political outsiders into future democratic processes are also discussed.




African economies, African Political Systems, Women, Youth