Reimagining Civil Society in Sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities for Action

This is an Archive of a Past Event

This event is part of the Spring Series on Civil Liberties and Human Rights Protection in Africa


Nicholas Opiyo, Visiting Ugandan Constitutaional and Human Rights Lawyer, Founding Executive Director of Chapter Four Uganda, Former Secretary of the Ugandan Bar Association

John Githongo, 2015 Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University, CEO of Inuka NiSisi Kenya, Journalist and Former Correspondent for The Economist

Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science and Sociology, Director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

African civil society is grappling with the stagnation of democratization after the highs of the Arab Spring and the crackdowns in its aftermath. Many governments, including several in sub-Saharan Africa, have retreated to repressive laws, big security budgets and expensive patronage that is straining resources and, in some instances, reigniting tensions between communities. More than dealing with bad governance as usual, African civil society is challenged to find new ways to protect the most vulnerable groups. Renowned Ugandan lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, celebrated anti-corruption activist John Githongo, and distinguished scholar of democracy, Larry Diamond, unpack the tool kit for civil society actors to find new ways to confront old dangers to minorities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sponsored by the Stanford Initiative For Religious and Ethnic Understanding and Coexistence, supported by the President’s Fund, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), Religious Studies, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies (CAS), the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), the Haas Center for Public Service, the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & International Justice, the Stanford Forum for African Studies (SFAS), and Stanford in Government (SIG).