Burkina Faso Citizens Reclaim Their Democracy


Richard Joseph and Rachel Beatty Riedl

On October 31, Blaise Compoaré, president of Burkina Faso, was forced to resign after days of mass protest. He had been in power for 27 years and was seeking to change the constitution to run again. But the Burkinabe people said Enough! They wanted change – they took to the street, torched the parliament, and brought an end to Campaoré’s rule. Soon thereafter, the country’s military settled on Lt. Colonel Isaac Zida to lead an interim government. But this action sparked further protests and insistent demands that the military yield power to a civilian transitional government. AfricaPlus presents commentaries based on a radio interview with Richard Joseph and an op-ed by Rachel Beatty Riedl. They both situate the Burkina Faso upheavals in the context of struggles to “claim democracy” in Africa.[1]

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Africa’s Third Liberation: Transformative Growth and Developmental Governance

By Richard Joseph

On March 10, 2014, I gave a lecture on this topic to a large audience at the University of Ghana, Legon, sponsored by the Department of Political Science. It was followed by a seminar presentation at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development on March 13 on the related topic of “Development without Democracy in Africa: Confronting the Revisionist Paradigm”. The text of the lecture is provided here along with a video of the second talk. They should bring these debates to a wider audience and encourage examinations of the diverse outcomes of Africa’s political and economic abertura.

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