Historical data indicate low citizen participation in voting since Nigeria’s return to democratic governance in 1999. The data reveal that while Nigerians consistently participate in voter registration, they are less enthusiastic about casting their votes on election day. In 2019, for example, the country recorded the lowest voter turnout in Africa, despite the increase in registered voters. Voter apathy is even more evident in the National Assembly representative elections; more Nigerians participate in presidential and gubernatorial elections than in the National Assembly and the local government elections. As the country prepares for the general elections next year, actions need to be taken by stakeholders to improve and ensure active citizen participation in the electoral processes.
The Biden administration recently announced a new US strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy aims to redesign US engagement with the region given the growing global influence of the continent. The announced strategy can be seen as an effort to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the continent at a time where the White House fears an evolution of African countries’ relations with China and Russia.
Ruto and the coalition (Kenya Kwanza) behind him have made it clear that his administration is committed to empowering people at the base of the economic pyramid, who he refers to as – ‘the hustler’. He is keen on establishing a government that supports the political inclusion and empowerment of all Kenyans. Through his bottom-up economic model, he has pledged to bring down the cost of living, expand the tax base, create jobs, and improve foreign exchange balance with the expectation to transform key areas.