Parliaments are one of the most important building blocks of democracy. In Africa, they are commonly dismissed as ‘rubber stamps’ despite mounting evidence that they shape states’ political and developmental trajectories in critical ways. It is clear that African legislatures are institutions that matter. This makes it critical to understand who makes up African parliaments, how they get there, and what legislators do once elected.
From 15 to 17 September 2019, fourteen scholars from eleven countries convened on the Campus of Ghana University, Legon in Accra, in order to discuss the governance of energy systems from a Global Southern perspective. The presentations covered a broad range of regional contexts with case studies mostly from West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire) but also from East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya) and South Africa. The scholars also drew on a wealth of different theoretical perspectives.
From 18 to 20 March 2018, the workshop ‘Parliaments and Democracy’ took place in Dakar. It brought together three types of scholars: members of the “Do legislatures enhance democracy in Africa?” Project Group, future fellows of the second MIASA Interdisciplinary Fellow Group on ‘Parliaments and Democracy’, and other scholars working on legislatures, political parties, and democratization. Participants came from all over the world, about half of them were African scholars.