Sub-Saharan Africa was long seen as relatively immune to the call of Islamist militancy because of its unorthodox religious practices — rooted in Sufism, a more mystical mode of Islam that focuses on individual spirituality — and its traditional cultures, which are far removed from strict Middle Eastern ways. But today – following the recent violence in Burkina Faso – the area has become the fastest-growing front of global jihad — and perhaps its deadliest, The Wall Street Journal notes.
Expert panelists will contextualize the significance of the recent attacks in Ouagadougou, and the impact of the state of insecurity in the Sahel on Burkina’s nascent democracy going forward. They will discuss the successful organization and holding of the November 29, 2015, presidential and legislative elections — the first in Burkina Faso since the end of Blaise Compaoré’s 27-year reign.
Discussants will provide insight on the contributions made by NDI under a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) -funded program to empower Burkinabe citizens and civil society organizations to undertake nationwide election monitoring initiatives, including supporting the country’s first parallel vote tabulation. Panelists will also highlight efforts made by key stakeholders such as the National Independent Electoral Commission (Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante) to ensure the elections were conducted with a high level of professionalism, transparency, and accountability.
What: Burkina Faso and the Sahel: Turning Points in Elections and Security
Who: Hosted by the National Democratic Institute and Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Where: NDI Boardroom; 455 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20001
When: Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 9:30-11:30 am. Coffee and tea will be served, with a light lunch to follow.
The National Democratic Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.