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Transatlantic Dialogue

August 13 | 10:00 AM EDT | 16:00 CEST

Africa's New Leaders:

               Changing the Guard or Changing Systems?


Transatlantic Dialogue

Africa's New Leaders: Changing the Guard or Changing Systems?

August 13, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM EDT | 16:00 - 17:00 CEST 

Africa’s “old men” are slowly, but surely, being replaced. For the last few years, the political landscape has been dominated by significant political transitions such as in Ethiopia (2018), South Africa (2018), Sudan (2019) and Zimbabwe (2018), where change promised to bring about not only a new leader at the top, but also a new political and economic direction. Along with peaceful transfers in several other countries, including the most recent case of Malawi, the arrival of leaders who pledged widespread reform also gave a much-needed boost to pro-democracy activists across the continent. But does this new wave really bring meaningful change or is it just "old wine in new wineskins"? This session will discuss what effect the rejuvenation of leadership has had on democratic governance across the African continent and what it takes to bring about real political change.



Nic Cheeseman
Professor of Democracy and International Development
University of Birmingham

Chipo Dendere
Assistant Professor
Wellesley College

Boniface Dulani
Senior Lecturer
University of Malawi, Zomba

Idayat Hassan
Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja

Robert Schwarz (Introduction)
Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Transformation Index
Bertelsmann Stiftung



Anthony Silberfeld
Director, Transatlantic Relations
Bertelsmann Foundation

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Next Transatlantic Dialogue

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September 9, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM EDT | 16:00 - 17:00 CEST 

The BTI 2020 findings regarding economic transformation had already been bleak as they were. The economic and social fallout of the spread of COVID-19, however, will hit many developing economies and emerging markets that are utterly unprepared to cope with such a major shock. Join our conversation with a distinguished panel of economists for an analysis of the current situation and reflections on how multilateral cooperation might cushion this blow.


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