Author - Teresa Chirwa-Ndanga

Malawi Caught Up in Unhealthy Political Party Pluralism?

Introduction It is certainly encouraging that over the years virtually all African countries have embraced democratic systems. What used to hang on the balance was ruling party’s ‘inability’ to lose elections and as a result step down; however, in recent years, we have seen more incumbent governments step down after losing elections: recall Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana and Malawi being good examples. However, democracies have allowed the proliferation of small parties, which I argue, are failing to make a significant [...]

Is Corruption Engrained in the African Soil?

10 years ago, in the first year of my undergraduate studies, one of the lecturers asked each of the students to brainstorm an idea for a feature story which would also be presented to the rest of the class. One idea for a feature story by one of my classmates particularly stood out. “I want to discuss the benefits of corruption,” one young female student confidently articulated her idea. The class erupted in laughter and before she could complete her [...]

Africa’s Elderly Presidents in a Young Continent

America (as the beacon of democracy) has in the recent campaign trail arguably resembled African politics in some ways. The 2016 campaign for the US presidency was what many would call ‘brutal’, and I argue almost as ‘brutal’ (figuratively) as it gets in some African countries. Why do I say that? Simply because, it was one where on numerous occasions arguments deviated from rational policy debates; to rather focus on individuals’ temperaments. Here we are in 2017 and the campaign [...]

Malawi’s first female president

Africa’s Indecision on Female Presidents

The world had its first elected female leader in 1960 – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike. Africa’s chance of an elected female president only came in 2006 when Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf contested in the presidential election and won. In 2015, Mauritius had its first elected female president, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who was elected through a parliamentary vote. Out of nine female heads of state and government that Africa has had, only these two secured an actual vote to [...]