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Civil Society Space in Africa

by Bhekinkosi Moyo

Jan 1, 2012
If there is an event or a series of events that demonstrate the need to protect democracy and reclaim the space for civil society; it is none other than the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East. These have reaffirmed the crucial point in democratic and transitional studies; that is; that economic development without political and social progress is not sustainable. By all standards and indices, North Africa was always rated highly in terms of economic performance, yet simmering underneath was a revolution as a result of the closure of the public sphere. So when in 2011, popular uprisings spread like bushfire in that region, many in academia, media, civil society and governments were caught unprepared. Change came from unexpected circles, challenging assumed doctrines and theories associated with the functionality of organised formations.

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