I – CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION
The Centre de Recherche Politique d'Abidjan (CRPA) falls within the framework of the consolidation of democracy and the promotion of civic values in Africa.
Indeed, the continent is plagued by several evils; we can cite among others bad governance, rebellions, disregard for democratic values, lack of political power, autocratic regimes, rigged elections, political and post-election violence.
Among others, these abuses are chiefly rooted in the lack of social justice, in the exclusion of populations in decision-making, the economic downturn linked to the unequal distribution of the economic wealth between individuals. All that increases their sense of being forgotten by the Republic.
These evils significantly slow the development of the continent and negatively impact the well-being of populations.
Democratic and civic culture is necessary as a solution to overcome this unsavory situation. It is through the learning of that democratic culture, that African will be able to construct right and strong institutions needed by the political regimes as appropriate; stable political regimes turned to the needs of the majority.
The CRPA is fully in this process. Its aim is to contribute to the training of fresh men and women who will construct the peaceful Africa and a stable and democratic future. It is a tool in the service of political influence in Africa.
To achieve these objectives, the CPRA engages in the following areas: political analysis, political council, and political training and mediation.
II GENDER ISSUES
The CPRA attaches particular importance to gender issues. Therefore, the activities and programs offered at the Centre are aimed at both men and women without distinction.
III - OBJECTIVES
1 -Main objectives
The general objective of CRPA is to contribute to the political development in Africa.
2- Specific objectives
The specific objectives of CRPA are the following:
-To popularize the political analysis: To bring listeners to identify issues of national and international political competition, to identify the strengths and shortcomings of African political systems, and make local and effective solutions, to teach them to develop or to join a viable political project, capable of meeting the aspirations of citizens.
- Promote the board and policy consultancy: - To the politicians, institutions and ordinary citizens to improve their image, communication or presence, to develop a political strategy that can offer them the best chance to carry out their political project. -The political council that the CPRA proposes to offer is for governments, political actors, citizens as the result of research findings. Here, political council and consultancy are not to understand as instruments at the disposal of politicians in a private sense.
- Provide quality political training: training auditors to ideas and political methods, promoting anchoring democratic values and citizenship, training human resources to work dressed to the development of African countries.
- Mediation: Training auditors to the techniques of peaceful settlement of conflicts, promoting peace and security; sensitization to non-violence; and promoting citizenship. Awareness inclusive dialogue, promote cooperation between public authorities. Objectives: reduction of political violence; promotion of peace and peaceful conflict management; prevention, management and resolution of conflict transformation. Sustainable political stability.
IV - EXPECTED RESULTS
Unquestionable impacts on citizens and society. The auditors should be:
- Trained to theories and political ideas for their implementation on the ground for a rich and peaceful political life.
- Able to accurately analyze political actions and facts, recognize the profound issues to commit themselves in a highlighted way.
- Able to identify structural dysfunctions of our political systems and to contribute to their resolution
- Dispassionate political actors, highlighted by the values of democracy and social justice in the interest of the majority.
- Actors of the entrenchment of a culture of discussion, and credible and transparent elections.
- Capable to practice effective political marketing in order to collect the most votes during elections.
- Able to manage and transform conflicts by effective mediation techniques
V – CONDUCT
- Doing research
- Analyze the facts and political phenomena to identify issues
- Organize conferences, seminars, round tables (focus groups)
- Organize screenings of political films followed by discussions
- In the end, establish a library consisting of political books
JUSTIFICATION AND MOTIVATION OF THE CREATION OF THE CRPA
POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA
HOW IS A POLITICAL ANALYSIS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR AFRICAN COUNTRIES’ DEMOCRATIC ANCHORAGE?
1. What is political analysis?
2. Why practising the political analysis in a country?
3. How can political analysis contribute to the development of Africa?
4. The role of the political analysis in the determination of political perspectives
5. Political analysis and the development of the political council
6. Political analysis and the improvement of training quality
7. Political analysis and the establishment of mediation
1. What is the political analysis?
To give a definition of the political analysis, we will simply say that it is a discipline that allows a critical look at "the life of the community" in general: that means various themes such as national and international news, public interest matters, governance, the political life, international relations etc... We should say that the political analysis is a crossroads discipline whose control calls for various knowledge or prerequisites depending on the subjects to be analyzed and the reflections to be made.
To circumscribe our statement on the political field, we say that it allows to throw a critical look at the political events, that is to say the various events occurring in the political arena, but also on political action, that is to say, the concrete and pragmatic implementation of the political will of a well determined actor, a leader or an institution. In addition, it allows to make a political prospective that is to say, the projection into the future, to be able to predict more or less accurately political major events from the current empirical political data.
From these brief definitional elements, it is therefore logical to deepen reflection in order to know the interest earned by a country, namely an African country to perform the political analysis.
2. Why practising the political analysis in a country?
First, we must answer this question by saying that the political analysis provides powerful tools for understanding the political developments: the political analysis, made calmly and with loftiness, permits to understand the functional reality of the political life, its disruption, its actors’ role and ambition, their motivations, their goals and the means they give themselves to achieve their goals. This is an analysis of the underscored forces of the political life; to identify its functional strengths and weaknesses in order to improve them whenever possible, to find out viable solutions to the diagnosed problems before coming to the political surface game.
Then, the political analysis helps to understand the functioning of political systems, with a calm observation of constitutional practices, and the ways and customs etc... As we said earlier, this understanding will permit to establish the democratic basis of our African countries, to establish "case-law" rules which will certainly serve as safeguards.
In addition, the political analysis will make it possible to understand the political leader’s action: to determine the factors related to the personality of the leader, the mental reactions, the moods and the temperament that frame the State man’s action and its impact on the national policy.
The analysis will also permit to understand the issues that surround the struggle for the political power: the political, economic, geopolitical, geostrategic, financial and cultural stakes etc.
Finally, it will enable us to make the political projection (assessing, predicting the political or the societal changes in the medium or long term) and to effectively get ready for these coming changes. For a nation, understanding the current and future challenges provides a step ahead on other States in a global competitive environment.
3. How the political analysis may contribute to the development of Africa?
This discipline will abet the influence of the continent by promoting peace, by preventing and transforming conflicts peacefully. It will boost citizens’ values and it will consequently favor their effective political participation in elections (elections, referenda, etc...). It will help to cross the chasm separating the politician and the citizen; that will consequently enable the citizen not to "passively undergo" fate but to realize that he has a role to play in the consolidation of democracy in his country.
For the scientists, the academics and the political thinkers, a vulgarization of the analysis will tacitly allow an increase of credit and State resources allocated to research and the political prospective, providing consequently better working conditions for the latter.
In the twenty first century, Africa is faced with problems of poverty, poor management of public resources and socio-cultural changes. It is often presented as the continent of problems so that Africans, well or bad trained, think they have nothing to do there.
They should realize by themselves that they have a role to play. The development of the political analysis will therefore permit to Africans to make good diagnosis of their political system (the mode of acquisition and the exercise of power in Africa) to identify its strengths and weaknesses, to solve the defects and to train responsible citizens, to moralize politics, to promote good governance and political stability in transition, to resolve conflicts peacefully and to achieve development without major upheavals (electoral violence, coups).
4. The role of the political analysis in the determination of political perspectives
The policy projection is at the heart of the planning political systems to the extent that it allows materializing a vision or a political project, converting goals into qualifyable scenarios (through different political projects).
It is therefore a planning process in the medium or long term based on reliable statistical studies.
In addition, through statistical studies, one can easily describe, that is to say, summarize or represent the available data when they are numerous. Statistical studies are essential in the implementation or application of a political project.
One can for example make a census of the population, provide its immediate and future needs, know the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) accurately and the living conditions of populations (HDI), knowing the poverty rate of unemployment and other important barometers related to governance.
One cannot ignore that it is at the heart of good governance, because why making political research if one cannot improve the overall governance of our African societies through global, realistic and quantifiable objectives?
5. The political analysis and the development of the political council
The political marketing or the political council is one of the forms of the political communication which aims to promote a project, a candidate, a leader, a political cause on the model of commercial marketing techniques through an appeal to the use of campaigns "advertising" in the media, leaflets or canvassing, as opposed to historical forms of political communication that are, for example, public debates or meetings. In this sense, the nature of the political marketing corresponds to a strategy of communication.
Within the overall framework of the political analysis, the political council calls for the strategy implemented to achieve political objectives. Unfortunately, in Africa we notice that politics is not done rationally. It makes appeal to emotions and violence, rather than emphasizing the contradictory debate which is the basis of the most advanced democratic systems.
The development of the political council in Africa allows a richer and more rational political life, focusing on the debate of ideas and will therefore diminish the political violence. The political competition will be sanitized.
The political council will provide specialized expertise, objectivity, confidentiality, credibility and work skill lacked by our African political leaders.
In addition, the political council would supply a definition – much at the upper stage – of objectives, programs, themes deemed "beneficial" and likely to draw attention and / or votes. To sum up, it would permit to insert politics in the highest demands of the democratic framework.
The political council is consistent with the political consultancy. A consultant in general is a service provider in council. Consultants are often grouped within consulting firms, or operate independently. The development of the political analysis in Africa is associated with the consultancy. The influence of the political consulting in Africa will promote citizenship.
6. The political analysis and the improvement of the quality of training
Training is a major challenge for democracy: it concerns all citizens and political actors, and can take various forms: conferences or specialized workshops, round tables, debates, films and political documentaries. The requirement of training derives not only from a lack of knowledge of theories and political processes by citizens, but alsoby the political authorities.
It is therefore:
On the one hand, to train citizens to project positively and collectively in the future, in accordance with democratic rules to prevent this ideal from degrading in favor of forms of retrenchment and the most totalitarian political regimes.
On the other hand, to every political system corresponds an educational system that incorporates the major axes of the society’s political project; de facto to education. Today, our reference is still largely the School of the Republic.
The training plays an educational role and supports individuals’ socialization in order to lead them to make a decisive contribution to the social and political changes and ensure that the collective civil action ultimately nourishes the public policy. The challenge is to build a new educational initiative whose main objective is to strengthen democracy.
Training helps to know and understand the world in which we live.
The appropriation of fundamental knowledge, the awareness and understanding by the citizen of the main demographic, economic, political and scientific mechanisms (etc.) involved in the organization of the world in which he lives, are important elements for the practice of democracy. It considers the individual as a free being and tries to promote the development of individual free thought. This especially requires the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
It is necessary to make our statement clear.
Though it always may remain subject to a fight at all times, mastering this basic knowledge is not enough to guarantee the practice of democracy and institutions’ stability.
We must tirelessly train the youth (graduates or not, educated or not, all socio-professional categories) to political ideas and methods.
We need to train young people committed to freedom to responsibility and to the primacy of the person. We must provide young people the means to deepen their political culture and turn their values into action.
Well educated citizens are the guarantee of the stability and the development of Africa.
In a democratic society, training is consubstantially an education for democracy: it shapes citizens capable of understanding the world, capable to define the common interest together and to work to achieve more solidarity between men and between nations alike.
Academic learning should also train students to "think by themselves" and to resist to all forms of influence of clans, tribes and groups of all kinds. Academic learning should generally allow the development of critical thinking. Academic learning must be done with methods that respect the dignity and freedom of the child in the context of the republican political vision and the respect of the ideal for a high quality education for all.
7. The political analysis and mediation
Every society is plagued by conflicts by definition because of the antagonistic interests of its members. The development of African mediation frameworks will prevent conflicts, transforming them peacefully and sustainably where appropriate. Mediation and negotiation are the preferred framework for resolving conflicts in a democratic country.
The political analysis will therefore clear conflict of their substance in the framework of the "democratic peace" because democracies do not fight each other.
In Africa, coups and destabilization crises are not countable. It is therefore important to disclosure mediation techniques and conflict management. In this regard, Africa undeniably has the (sad) record of the continent that experienced the largest number of coups in the last fifty years. Beyond particular internal factors of each country and specific contexts that lead to taking power by force, it is worth reflecting on this phenomenon, source of chronic instability in many countries for entire regions, and finally, for the safety of the whole continent.
More than 80 coups in fifty years
The African continent has experienced between 80 and 85 "successful" coups over the past five decades. This figure obviously covers many more or less successful attempts (such as the "air - air " coup against King Hassan II in August 1972 in Morocco). Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has experienced eight coups between 1966 and 1993, some of them succeeded each other in the same year ... As to Ghana, another important country in the region, it recorded five coups within fifteen years ( the last occurred in 1981), as well as the Comoros and Burundi. West Africa is the region of the continent where these abrupt changes occur although some countries have been spared. Burkina Faso (4 coups between 1960 and 1987), Niger (4 ) and the Guinea Bissau ( 3) in addition to those already mentioned in Nigeria and Ghana, as well as other countries in which this phenomenon has been more punctual.
In this context, mediation is meaningless.
In the twentieth century Mediation has become a practice or discipline that aims to define anybody’s intervention to facilitate the flow of information and to clarify or to establish relationships. A neutral person, independent and impartial is called mediator. The definition of this activity varies according to its application contexts. However, constants exist whenever someone intervenes to facilitate a relationship or the understanding of a situation, and pedagogical elements and relational quality are reflected in the practice of mediation.
Mediation must transform the way of dealing with conflicts, and to move from confrontation toward cooperation. We should therefore consolidate peace, security and development across the continent with mediation. The promotion of peace and security must be supported by an overall approach that promotes the fight against the root causes of conflicts. This approach is based on good governance and on the State of law, the respect of human rights and the reduction of poverty.
In view of the foregoing, it appears that the analytical discipline offers many opportunities to African countries in the context of their democratic consolidation. It helps instill a culture of democracy not only to the populations, but mostly to the leaders through the African youth.
It is ultimately worth supporting the promotion of this discipline in order to be closer to the democratic ideal dear to all.
The Centre de Recherche Politique d’Abidjan (Cell of reflection on the Political Development of Africa) is to effectively contribute to the development of Africa to the humble level through the political analysis, the consulting und the mediation.