2011 is a key year for constitutional and electoral democracy for Africa. Referenda and elections in Nigeria, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Gambia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, are testing the continent’s commitment to genuinely democratic processes with peaceful outcomes.
In April, Nigerians go to the polls for legislative and Presidential elections. Nigeria’s role as a major African power is undisputed, and there is global interest in the forthcoming elections as to how they will impact not just internally, but regionally and across the continent. General Owoeye Azazi, the National Security Advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan, will offer his perspectives on the Nigerian elections, security in Nigeria, and the current challenges facing the ECOWAS/ECOMOG regional grouping. In addition General Owoeye will discuss Nigeria’s relationship with the UK.
In Sudan, the ongoing Referendum in the south has also attracted global attention, particularly the question of the disputed region of Abyei. Ambassador Al Dirdeiry, Head of the Khartoum government negotiators on Abyei, and Dr Ibrahm Ghandour will discuss the Sudan Referendum, Abyei, the future of Sudan and the region.
This roundtable discussion group will also cover a number of cross-cutting themes, including security in West Africa, the Sahara-Sahel and Horn of Africa regions; electoral outcomes; and ethnic-religious challenges and successes in Africa.
General Owoeye Azazi is the National Security Advisor to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan. He is also the former Chief of the Defence Staff.
Ambassador Al Dirdiery heads the Khartoum government’s Abyei negotiations with South Sudan.
Dr Ibrahim Ghandour is head of the Political Department of the ruling NC party in the government of Sudan. He is also Chairperson of the African Trade Union.