Tag Archives: Africa: The Battle for the Ballot Box

BBC doc explores African democracy

Africa: The Battle for the Ballot Box debuts on May 4

The BBC World Service has produced a documentary exploring the state of democracy across Africa and will launch it this weekend.

Africa: The Battle for the Ballot Box is due to premiere on May 4. It examines the historical and socioeconomic context of democracy across Africa, alongside recent challenges of reported coups, corruption and worsening security situations.

It also looks at the historical context of colonialism, including decades of resistance against apartheid, and highlights the significance of South Africa’s first elections for the world, especially for Africans.

The BBC’s South African correspondent Nomsa Maseko presents the documentary, interviewing experts and citizens as well as addressing pressing issues such as access to public healthcare, economic opportunities and inequality in the country.

Having experienced the first SA democratic elections, Maseko said: “On the 27th of April in 1994, we started queuing from 6am, filled with both hope and anxiety. I was too young to vote back then, but I saw what it meant for black South Africans to be free, finally to choose their own government.”

The documentary will be introduced by BBC presenter and host Waihiga Mwaura, followed by a panel discussion featuring Halima Aden, model and campaigner; Elham Saudi, co-founder and director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya; Immaculate Akello, eco-feminist and lawyer; and Ibijoke Faborode, co-founder and CEO of ElectHER.

Executive producer Sola Tayo said: “Thirty years on from the first democratic elections, South Africa has reached a pivotal point. Different generations are grappling with very complex feelings about the governing party and the way their society is evolving.

“This year, a third of African countries will be engaged in elections and dealing with their own challenges. This documentary is a timely exploration of the democratic landscape in the world’s fastest growing continent, seen through the eyes of its people.”

Fellow exec producer Vara Szajkowski added: “This documentary reflects a range of voices across Africa, from everyday citizens to experts and academics. They share their first-hand experiences with democracy, exploring their hopes and concerns about voting, leadership and the future. We believe these stories offer a powerful and nuanced perspective on the challenges and possibilities facing African democracies.”

Africa: The Battle for the Ballot Box will be accessible via BBC News, BBC iPlayer and the BBC World Service YouTube channel from May 4.

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