Utafiti: Journal of African Perspectives


Call for Papers: Utafiti is inviting you to submit your manuscript – any topic in the humanities - for consideration in the next issues.




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A couple of West African countries experienced military take-overs in 2021. Presidential elections took place in some countries under conditions that did not guarantee free and fair elections and thus resulted in recriminations and dispute. The Covid-19 pandemic wrought more havoc than in the previous year due to new and highly transmissible and virulent variants of the virus that accounted for high infection rates and fatalities. The acquisition of vaccines and the vaccination of more people, coupled with border closures and impositions of travel restrictions, helped to curtail the damage. By the end of the year, there was evidence that the emergency was easing. Economies were badly affected, but nevertheless some countries’ economies rebounded, and some began to record positive growth rates. There was no let-up in jihadist and insurrectionist activities, which continued to beset some Sahelian states, aggravating displacement and creating serious problems both for those made into refugees and the states that hosted them.


West Africa faced severe challenges and demonstrated remarkable resilience at the same time during the year under review. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian–Ukrainian war, and instability emanating from the activities of jihadist groups in the Sahel region continued to undermine collective and individual efforts to secure a living. The year under review also witnessed a number of elections in the sub-region and the stagnation of corruption perceptions. Fights against corruption, drug trafficking, human rights violations, and continuous violence, conflict, and disasters used up state resources and capacity which could otherwise have been used to promote socioeconomic development. However, the economies of member states in the sub-region also showed a level of flexibility, recovery, and growth, at least in some instances. Most of these achievements and set-backs were underpinned by domestic and international political factors worthy of attention.