Civil Society and Development in West Africa

Civil Society and Development in West Africa

In the wake of the “Jasmine Revolution” which convulsed large parts of the Arab world in the spring of 2011, questions have been asked about the feasibility of transplanting the germ of discontent into the political soil of Sub-Saharan Africa. Not unexpectedly, a focal point of such exciting discussions has been the assumed agency of civil society. For instance, early analyses of the role of social media in popular mobilizations in the affected countries appear to have settled on the consensus that they are important denominators of an ebullient civil society. While not expressly articulated, it is nonetheless implied that a strong civil society has been the driving social force behind With the passage of time, others have disputed this line of thinking, pointing out the incongruity of speaking about civil society, never mind a healthy one, in a region of the world where, until recently, civil society was actually judged incapable of setting down roots.


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