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IN FOCUS | Kenya Elections 2022

  NIAS Africa Team

Africa Weekly #29 & 30, Vol. 1, No. 29 & 30
20 September 2022


Kenya Elections 2022: Four Takeaways

By setting economy as an election agenda instead of exploiting deeply polarized ethnic and tribal lines, Kenya has set new standards of transparent, competitive and democratic elections - elements vital to normalize these developments across Africa

Anu Maria Joseph

Elections: A brief background

On 15 August, the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced William Ruto’s electoral victory to be the fifth President of Kenya. Ruto secured a narrow victory with 50.5 per cent of the votes; his opponent Raila Odinga secured 48.8 per cent. The announcement was delayed after scuffles within the IEBC and allegations of vote rigging by Odinga supporters. Even before the results were declared, four IEBC commissioners rejected the results alleging “opaque nature” of the final outcome, which caused widespread civil distress. On 22 August, he filed a case with the supreme court challenging the results calling them “null and void”. He said: “What we saw yesterday was a travesty and a blatant disregard of the constitution of Kenya.”

The Supreme Court Verdict

On 5 September, Kenya’s Supreme Court ruled that William Ruto was rightly elected president, dismissing the opposition’s petition seeking to annul the election results. The Chief Justice, Martha Koome said that the seven-member court found no disparities in the vote tallies and no enough evidence to prove allegations of vote rigging. She said: “It is our finding that the declared president- elect attained 50 per cent plus one of the votes casted in accordance with the constitution. This is a unanimous decision of the court.”

In response to the court’s decision, Odinga said on Twitter: “We respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today.” The new elected president William Ruto said: “The court returned its verdict and I welcome it with tremendous humility.” William Ruto will be sworn in as Kenya's fifth president on 13 September.

Kenya elections: Four takeaways

First, the role of ethnic influence and political dynasties. Ethnicity is no more a factor in Kenya’s electoral process. Since independence in 1963, Kenyan politics have been characterized by ethnic tensions and influenced by political dynasties. The ‘big five’ ethnic groups - Kikuyus, Luos, Kalenjus, Luhya and Kamba- influenced the electoral outcome due to their numerical advantage. The political alliances and campaigns were made along ethnic lines. Besides the ethnic politics, the “political dynasties”- the Moi, Kenyatta and Odinga families dominated the political landscape. The 2022 elections highlight a shift from the role played by ethnicity and political dynasties in Kenyan politics.

The formation of large ethnically heterogeneous coalitions, placing economic frustration as election propaganda instead of ethnic and tribal grievances, was critical. The victory of William Ruto against the Odinga and Kenyatta alliance signifies the dominant political families seem to lose their resonance among Kenyan voters.

Second, the competitive nature of the elections. The record of competitive elections distinguishes Kenya from many of its neighbors. In the 2013 elections, Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee alliance received 50.51 per cent of votes while his major opponent Raila Odinga received 43.7 per cent. Similarly in 2017, Kenyatta secured 54 per cent of votes against Odinga securing 44.94 per cent, though the elections were annulled by the court. The 2013 and 2017 elections were tightly contested between the Odinga and Kenyatta-Ruto alliance. In the 2022 elections, the famous “handshake” between Kenyatta and Odinga, and Ruto falling out of the Kenyatta partnership was the center of discussion, depicted as a tussle between “hustlers'' and “dynasties”. The Odingas and the Kenyattas are considered as the co-founding fathers of the nation who led Kenya to independence. Ruto framed himself as a “hustler nation”- people who are at the bottom of the social pyramid. Still, William Ruto’s narrow victory by two per cent marked the country's most competitive elections in history.

Third, a breakaway from the violent and unstable electoral past. Earlier elections in Kenya were violent. In 2007 elections, 1,300 people were killed and 600,000 were displaced. In 2017, the Supreme Court canceled elections citing electoral irregularities. At least 100 people were killed in the violence. However, in 2022, despite the tight race, there was no violence during the electoral process. Accepting the court's verdict was in sharp contrast to Kenya’s history of volatile electoral processes.

Four, the mixed role of the institutions. Since its establishment in 2010, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya has been questioned for failing its conduct and suffers from a crisis of public confidence. In 2013, the audit of the polls exposed that IEBC failed to verify the registered voters. In 2017, 2.5 million registered voters were disenfranchised due to system failures. Similarly before 2022 elections, in a preliminary audit by the international accounting firm KPMG, found numerous discrepancies, heightened tensions upon IEBC’S apparent unpreparedness. Besides, before the results were declared, four of the IEBC commissioners rejected the results alleging the “opaque nature” of the final steps. The dissenting officers said they were excluded from verifying and aggregating the results. The questions against the IEBC’S performance and its credibility were a reason for many to abstain from voting.

However, the judiciary scrutiny played a stabilizing role in the electoral process. Besides, there was wide public acceptance of the court's unanimous verdict. In 2010, Kenya formulated a new Constitution strengthening the role of judiciary in electoral processes which heightened public trust in the courts and other oversight institutions. Ahead of 2017 elections, the High Court issued a ruling that reconstructed Kenya’s electoral laws introducing new standards of transparency, ownership, integrity and accountability. The new changes limited the IEBC’s power to alone “confirm, alter, vary and/ or verify the presidential election results”.

Kenya, which is seen as an economic hub, the third largest democracy in sub-Saharan Africa and anchor of stability in the Horn of Africa, the successful Kenyan elections have significant implications all over the continent. Setting the economy as an election agenda instead of deeply polarized ethnic and tribal lines, Kenya revised new standards marking a more transparent, competitive and democratic elections- vital to normalize these developments across Africa. Besides the flaws within the IEBC, the active engagement of civil society organizations, ordinary citizens and the political parties which analyzed the live release of IEBC data, facilitated the credibility of the election results. Through comprehensive constitutional reforms as well as an increasingly independent judiciary it brought out a roadmap for African countries to enhance the legitimacy of electoral processes.


7 September – 20 September

By Anu Maria Joseph, Poulomi Mondal and Apoorva Sudhakar


Opposition announces boycott of December elections

On 7 September, Tunisia’s main opposition alliance, the National Salvation Front, announced a boycott of the parliamentary elections scheduled for December. The head of the Front Ahmed Nejib Chebbi said the decision was a response to the electoral law framed by President Kais Saied “alone” in the latter’s “coup against constitutional legitimacy.” If held, the elections would be the first in over a year and a half, after Saied suspended the assembly and dismissed the government in 2021. (“Tunisia opposition to boycott polls, slams electoral law written 'by president alone',” France24, 7 September 2022)


AU welcomes TPLF decision to participate in peace talks

On 12 September, the African Union welcomed the Tigrayan rebels’ announcement on their willingness to take part in peace negotiations. Head of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said it was a unique opportunity to end the conflict and urged the government and the rebels to enforce an immediate ceasefire. Tigrayan rebel leaders were against the AU-led mediation and preferred outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to lead the talks. On 11 September, the Tigrayan leaders said they were ready to participate in the AU-led peace talks. However, there has been no response from the Ethiopian government.  In August, the fighting between the federal forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) resumed disturbing the five months ceasefire. ("AU welcomes Tigray call for Ethiopia peace talks," BBC, 12 September 2022)

Tigray fighters losing control of towns, says TPLF

On 14 September, TPLF army commander said the Tigrayan fighters in northern Ethiopia lost control of a town near the Eritrean border. He told a regional news agency that joint Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have taken the Sheraro town. He also said the federal forces had taken control of Addi Arkay, a town between the borders of Tigray and neighboring Amhara region. Neither government have yet commented on the reports. He added the government forces have plans “to control Axum, Adigrat, Shire and enter Mekelle” and the ultimate goal was “to disarm” Tigrayan forces. Earlier, the TPLF had accused the government of conducting a series of airstrikes in Mekelle that reported civilian casualties. The move came after the Tigrayan forces agreed to take part in peace talks mediated by the African Union. ("Tigray fighters losing ground - TPLF general," BBC, 14 September 2022)

EU says drone strikes risk ‘fragile hope’

On 15 September, the European Union said the series of air strikes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region endanger “a very fragile hope for peace.” The previous week, at least 10 people were killed and 18 were injured in a series of drone strikes in Mekelle city. The TPLF blamed the Ethiopian government for the attack. The EU, in a statement urged both parties to end the violence and negotiate a permanent ceasefire. It also said Eritrea’s role continues to impede peace efforts. The TPLF forces accuse the Eritrean forces of supporting the Ethiopian troops in the renewed fighting. Neither the Ethiopian nor the Eritrean government has commented on the accusations. (“EU says drone strikes risk Ethiopia 'fragile hope',” BBC, 15 September 2022) 

At least 10 die in air strikes in Tigray

On 13 September, Al Jazeera quoted a hospital official who said at least 10 people were killed in a series of airstrikes in Mekelle. The TPLF accused the Ethiopian military for the attack. The attack came a day after the TPLF announced that it is willing to hold peace talks led by the AU. However, the Ethiopian government, which has long insisted on peace talks brokered by the AU, has not yet responded to the TPLF’s announcements. ("Ten dead in second day of air raids in Ethiopia’s Tigray region," Al Jazeera, 13 September 2022) 


Government plans to cut ties with SADR, says President Ruto

On 14 September, President William Ruto said his government plans to cut ties with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). He said the country supports the United Nations framework as the mechanism to find solutions for the issues in Western Sahara. The announcement came shortly after His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco congratulated Ruto for his victory. SADR has been calling for a transition from a semi-autonomous territory to self-rule. However, Morocco strongly opposed the region’s attempt to decide its future through a referendum. ("Kenya cuts links with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic," BBC, 14 September 2022)


Half a million children in the country face worst famine, says UNICEF

On 13 September, the UN’s children agency said more than 500,000 children in Somalia who are under five are expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition and risk death from famine. The spokesperson for the UNICEF said: “We’ve got more than half a million children facing preventable death. It’s a pending nightmare.” In August, the UN had warned that parts of Somalia will be facing famine in coming months as the Horn of Africa region faces severe drought followed by a fifth failed consecutive rainy season. ("Half a million Somali children face hunger in world's worst famine this century," Reuters, 13 September 2022)

More than 100 militants killed in army operations

On 19 September, a press release from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said that the Somali National Army (SNA) had killed over 100 members of Al Shabab. The press release said the casualties were recorded during the SNA’s operations, conducted with the US’s air support, in Yasoman and Aborey in Hiran region. On 18 September, the army said over 75 militants had been killed in a joint operation with clan militia. In response, an Al Shabab spokesperson said the group would retaliate to the involvement of clan militia. (“Somalia says over 100 militants killed in operations,” BBC, 20 September 2022)


Uganda condemns EU resolution calling for halt in extractive activities in a protected ecosystem

On 20 September, Uganda criticised the EU parliament’s resolution asking for a halt in extractive activities in an oil pipeline project near protected ecosystems. The move was a retaliation to the EU parliament’s appeal to the international community “to exert maximum pressure on Uganda and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders,” to stop oil extraction around Lake Albert. The above developments are may create obstacles to the completion of East Africa crude oil pipeline by 2025. Uganda’s National Assembly issued a statement asserting the state’s sovereignty and condemning the resolution. The assembly’s deputy speaker said: “The resolution is based on misinformation and deliberate misrepresentation of key facts on environment and human rights protection. It represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania.” In terms of the project, while it can lift the oil wealth of Kampala by millions, several environmental NGOs and civil societies estimate that nearly 120,000 people will potentially be displaced to make a way for the project which is a cause of significant concern. (“Uganda condemns EU resolution slamming oil pipeline,” Africanews, 20 September 2022)


President replaces PM after suspected coup attempts

On 7 September, President Evariste Ndayishimiye replaced Prime Minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni with Security Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca. Bunyoni and the Chief of Staff General Gabriel Nizigama were sacked in a reshuffle and Ndirakobuca secured all 113 lawmakers’ support. Ndirakobuca is under EU sanctions for his suspected role in the violence against government opponents during the unrest in 2015. Al Jazeera explains that the violence was launched by Ndayishimiye’s predecessor, leaving 1200 dead, and drawing sanctions from the US and the EU. (“Burundi president names new PM after coup plot claims,” Al Jazeera, 8 September 2022)


Joao Laurence sworn in as President, pledges economic reforms

On 15 September, Joao Laurence was sworn in as the president for a second five-year term. During the inaugural speech, he said: “Congratulations for the patriotism and high degree of tolerance and civility shown in what are already considered the most disputed general elections in the history of the young Angolan democracy.” He stressed on greater economic liberalisation and claimed that Angola had chosen “continuity” and would be assured of “stability.” He also promised to reform the private sector, goods and service sector and fight youth unemployment. The major opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola UNITA said in a statement: “This setup aims to intimidate citizens who want to demonstrate against the election results on the day of the inauguration of the president without legitimacy. (“Angola’s Lourenco pledges more economic reforms at swearing-in,” Al Jazeera, 15 September 2022)


Economic issues worsen with rising inflation

On 14 September, BBC reported, the Ghana Statistical Service released a report on the country’s economy which continues to worsen. According to the report, the rate of inflation in the country rose to 33.9 per cent in August, up from 31.7 per cent in July. The cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased by over 46 per cent. Mismanagement and corruption is popularly perceived as attributes of the economic situation. However, the government says the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis is behind the downturn. ("Ghana economic woes deepen with rising inflation," BBC, 14 September 2022) 


At least 50 villagers abducted by gunmen

On 16 September, BBC reported, at least 50 villagers were abducted from Nigeria’s Katsina state. Residents said the attackers rode in on motorcycles, started shooting, leaving one person dead and at least seven others injured. A police spokesperson said the security forces clashed with the gunmen, but failed to prevent the kidnapping. The authorities said actions are being taken to track down the assailants and free the captives. (“Gunmen abduct dozens of villagers in northern Nigeria,” BBC, 16 September 2022)

More than 300 killed in heavy rains since July

On 20 September, BBC reported that since July, over 300 people had died and 100,000 people displaced in torrential rains. The rains had impacted 29 of the 36 states; the National Emergency Management Agency said Nigeria is likely to experience more floods in the upcoming weeks and therefore, called on state governments to evacuate people from flood-prone areas. The news report said that along with heavy rains, the floods were caused by the release of excess water from dams within Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon. (Ishaq Khalid, “Nigeria floods kill hundreds of people,” BBC, 20 September 2022)


Six killed in suspected separatist attack

On 6 September, the head of a regional hospital said at least six civilians were killed and eight were wounded after suspected Anglophone separatists opened fire on a bus. The bus was travelling from Douala to Kumba. A parliamentarian for the constituency confirmed the attack, but did not announce the death toll. (Amindeh Blaise Atabong, “At least six civilians killed after Cameroon separatists open fire on bus,” Reuters, 7 September 2022)


Equatorial Guinea abolishes death penalty

On 19 September, Equatorial Guinea abolished death penalty by the signing of a new law by President Tedoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Capital punishment got “totally abolished: in one of the world’s most authoritarian nations after the signing of the penal code. The last official execution was carried out in 2014, according to Amnesty International. The Vice President tweeted “I am writing in capitals to seal this unique moment: ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA HAS ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY,”. The measure will be coming to force within 90 days of its publication on the official state journal and parliament’s approval in advance.  This is seen as a “historic” moment for the country. (“Equatorial Guinea abolishes death penalty, state television reports,” Africanews, 19 September 2022)

Ivory Coast denounces Mali “unacceptable blackmail”

On 14 September, Ivory Coast top security organ held a meeting chaired by President Alasane Ouattara, to discuss the detention of 46 Ivorian soldiers in Mali since 10 July. In a statement, the National Security Council (NSC) denounced the “unacceptable blackmail” of the Malian authorities for asking for the repatriation of Malians exiled in Ivory Coast in exchange for the release of the Ivorian soldiers. The CNS said it has asked the foreign affairs ministry to refer the issue to the ECOWAS. The Ivorian authorities say Mali’s demands confirm that the detained soldiers are held hostages. On 15 August, the soldiers were accused by the Malian judiciary for attempting to disturb the security of the state. However, the Ivorian authorities said they were on a mission for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (Minsuma). (“Ivory Coast denounces Mali 'blackmail'”, BBC, 15 September 2022)


Dozens killed in jihadist attack

On 9 September, Africanews quoted local officials who said that dozens of civilians were killed the previous week in Talataye, a town in northeastern Mali. The attack was reportedly carried out by EIGS fighters who have ties with the Islamic State. A local official said 45 civilians were killed, while a Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) fighter said the death toll is 30. Since 6 September, militants from the EIGS group, the al-Qaeda-affiliated group JNIM/GSIM and armed organizations including the Tuareg dominated MSA have been allegedly fighting in the region. It is the first time Talataye town has suffered a large-scale IS attack. (“Dozens of civilians killed in eastern Mali,” Africanews, 9 September 2022)


At least nine people died in flooding in northern Jigawa state

On 12 September, BBC reported, the authorities said at least 9 people have been killed and two others missing following severe flooding in Nigeria’s Jigawa state. The local leaders said many homes and farms have been destroyed by the flood which affected at least seven villages in the Ringim area. The floods followed by the torrential rains displaced hundreds. The Nigerian government said more than 500,000 people have been affected by a series of floods across the country. (“Nine killed in northern Nigeria floods,” BBC, 12 September 2022)


Nearly 160 dead and 225,000 affected in Niger’s severe flooding since June

On 19 September, Niger’s Civil Protection Services released records of 159 deaths, 121 collapse of houses and 38 people drowning in severe rains and floods. This rainy season marks a historical record in an otherwise dry climatic country. According to the same sources 185 people were injured and 22,539 people affected. The most affected areas in the country are around the Maradi, Dosso, Tahoua and Zinder cities. The rains have destroyed more than 25,900 dwellings, 700 heads of livestock, six health care centers and 210 grain stores. The Meteorological services in Niger are predicting further “heavy rains” until the end of September which will add fuel to its already existing severe food insecurity for 20 per cent of the population. (“Nearly 160 dead and 225,000 affected in Niger’s rains,” Africanews, 19 September 2022)


WFP charts out food relief for 700,000 people

On 13 September, a UN World Food Programme (WFP) official said it was planning a food relief programme for 700,000 people in Zimbabwe who are affected by a poor harvest and the Ukraine war. WFP told Reuters that it is working with Zimbabwe’s government to provide food aid for 3.8 million people. The government said the staple maize harvest would fall by nearly half this year, to 1.56 million tonnes from last year's 2.72 million tonnes due to failed consecutive rainy seasons. Annually, the country requires 2.2 million tonnes of maize for human and livestock consumption. ("UN’s WFP plans food relief for 700,000 people in Zimbabwe," Al Jazeera, 13 September 2022)


Biden and Ramaphosa pledges to strengthen US-South Africa ties

On 16 September, US President Joe Biden termed South Africa a “vital voice” during the South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Washington for talks with Biden on the climate crisis, trade and Ukraine war. President Biden said: “Our partnership is essential in addressing many of the world’s pressing challenges … and South Africa is a vital voice on the global stage.” Ramaphosa expressed gratitude to the US for its “considerate support” on the Covid-19 pandemic while he met with Vice President Kamala Harris. He added, Washington has a “key role” to play on security issues in Africa. Ramaphosa said: “The visit really is about strengthening the relationship between South Africa and the United States.'' The US Vice President said the leaders discussed strategies to respond to the climate crisis and efforts each country has taken on global health. She said: “They also agreed to cooperate closely on matters of peace and security affecting the continent. (“Biden and Ramaphosa vow to strengthen US-South Africa ties,” Al Jazeera, 16 September 2022)


Nigeria and Morocco sign agreement to construct gas pipeline

On 16 September, Morocco and Nigeria signed an agreement to construct a major gas pipeline from south east Nigeria across the Sahara and through other 15 African countries. The 7,000 km long pipeline originating from Brass Island will connect with the Maghreb European pipeline in Morocco. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) said that the project will improve living standards, mitigate desertification in west Africa as well as provide a new export route to Europe. The project is expected to supply nearly three billion cubic feet of gas per day. (“Nigeria and Morocco sign gas pipeline agreement,” BBC, 16 September)

Number of children missing school increases in Sub-Saharan Africa

On 8 September, BBC quoted UNESCO and reported that Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the number of children and young people dropping out of school is on the rise. Currently, the number of children and young people out of school in Africa stands at 98 million. Nigeria accounts for 20 million of the above figure, followed by Ethiopia at 10.5 million, Democratic Republic of the Congo at 5.9 million and Kenya with 1.8 million. (Brian Osweta, “Children missing school in sub-Saharan Africa rising,” BBC, 8 September 2022)

Uganda pays USD 65 million as reparations to DRC

On 12 September, the Democratic Republic Congo authorities said Uganda had handed over USD 65 million in the first instalment of a fine it was ordered to pay as compensation for losses caused by wars in the 1990s when the Ugandan troops invaded Congolese territory. The Ugandan Finance Ministry spokesperson said: “It's true we have paid USD 65 million as the first instalment.” In February, the International Court of Justice ordered Uganda to pay USD 325 million as reparations. It covers USD 225 million for damages to persons, USD 40 million for damages to property and USD 60 million for looted resources. In 2005, the ICJ said civilians were killed and tortured and villages were destroyed after Ugandan troops invaded DRC. Along with Rwanda, Uganda supported rebels trying to overthrow the late president Laurent Kabila. Two million people were killed and thousands were displaced during the conflict. ("Uganda pays first installment of $325m war reparations to DRC," Al Jazeera, 12 September 2022) 

More than half a million lives lost to drought incidents, says WMO report

On 8 September, the World Meteorological Organization released the “State of the Climate in Africa 2021” report outlining the water stress in the continent. The report raised concerns over droughts, disrupted rainfall, and devastating floods, disappearing of glaciers and shrinking of lakes. The report estimated that by 2030, around 700 million in Africa would be displaced due to the water stress. The report observed that over the last 50 years, more than half a million lives were lost to drought-related tragedies. Increased temperature also led to a 34 per cent fall in agricultural productivity growth in Africa since 1961, the highest across all regions in the world. (“WMO: Climate change in Africa can destabilize ‘countries and entire regions’,” UN News, 8 September 2022)


Global HDI declined for two consecutive years, says UN report 

On 8 September, the United Nations Development Programme released the Human Development Report 2021-2022. The report says the global Human Development Index (HDI) has declined for two consecutive years straight in 2020 and 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine. It says nine out of 10 countries have a decline in their HDI score either in 2020 or 2021. However, countries like South Sudan, Chad and Niger recorded more than 40 per cent decline in both years. According to the report, Switzerland ranks the top with a value of 0.962, nearly tied with Norway and Iceland. The report noted that besides political, financial and climate related crises, a global drop in life expectancy dropped from 73 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021, a major contributor to the global HDI decline. (“Human progress retreats to 2016 levels by COVID, other crises: UN,” Al Jazeera, 8 September 2022)

EU to provide military aid to Mozambique

On 9 September, the head of European diplomacy announced military aid to Mozambique aiming to help the country face “terrorism”. During his two-day visit to Mozambique, he met with President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Veronic Macamo and held a press conference to “express the commitment and solidarity of the EU with Mozambique in its fight against terrorism.” He said the EU had approved an additional EUR 15 million in military aid to support the fight against jihadist instabilities in the province of Cabo Delgado. Nyusi welcomed the EU’s support and Macamo described the Euro-Mozambican relationship as “excellent”. Since 2017, the jihadist attacks have intensified in the country killing nearly 4,000 people and causing 820,000 people to flee. ("EU boosts military aid to Mozambique after jihadist attacks," Africanews, 9 September 2022)

AU chairperson advocates for more seats for the union at G20

On 20 September, Senegal’s President, and Chairperson of the African Union, Macky Sall reiterated his call for a better representation of the African Continent at the world stage during the 77th session of the UN’s General Assembly. He said that “I would like to remind you of your request for the African union to be granted a seat within the G20, so that Africa can, at last, be represented where decisions are taken that affect 1,400,000,000 Africans.” Two other highlights of his address were the appeal for mounting counter-terrorism operations as he said “Terrorism gaining ground on the continent is not just an African matter. It is a global threat that falls under the primary purview of the UNSC, the guarantor of collective security mechanism.” Sall also called for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. The Chairperson also added that Africa “does not want to be the breeding ground of a new Cold war,” owing to the Ukraine crisis and would maintain cordial relations with its Western and Russian counterparts owing to dependency of grain and food imports on Kremlin. (“UN assembly: Sall advocates more seats for African Union at the G20,” Africanews, 20 September 2022)

About the authors

Apoorva Sudhakar is a Research Associate at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Anu Maria Joseph is a Research Assistant at NIAS. Poulomi Mondal is a Postgraduate Scholar at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Pondicherry University.

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