The Battered State of Activism in Africa
The Battered State of Activism in Africa
Podcast / Africa 1 minute

The Battered State of Activism in Africa

In the first episode of a new season of The Horn, Alan is joined by Muthoni Wanyeki, Open Society Foundation Africa Director, to provide an overview of the state of civil activism on the continent.

Civil activists in Africa face increasingly strong headwinds. States continue to use tried-and-tested repression alongside increasingly sophisticated forms of legal and financial pressure to limit the influence of the continent’s activists. Despite these obstacles, Africa is brimming with energy, as showcased during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet this political activism does not always follow the path of the formal civil society organisations that Western support has flowed to since the 1990s. 

This week, Alan is joined by L. Muthoni Wanyeki, the Open Society Foundation’s Africa Director, to talk about this mixed picture. They discuss the successes of popular movements in Sudan, the tragic fate of South Sudan, the conspicuous lack of an anti-war movement in Ethiopia and the challenges posed by mounting authoritarianism in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Alan asks whether the model for civil society organising needs to change and Muthoni argues that we can empower activists by reforming African philanthropy and building a better framework for dialoguing with state actors.  

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


Project Director, Horn of Africa
L. Muthoni Wanyeki
Africa Regional Director, Open Society Foundation

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