Struggles for Citizenship in Africa

Published: 1/Oct/2009
Source: Open Society Foundations / Zed Books

By Bronwen Manby

Millions of people living in Africa find themselves nonpersons in the only states they have ever known. Because they are not recognized as citizens, they cannot get their children registered at birth; they cannot access state health services; they cannot obtain employment without a work permit; and if they leave the country they may not be able to return. Most of all, they cannot vote, stand for public office, or work for state institutions.

Ultimately, such policies can lead to economic and political disaster, or even war. The conflicts in both Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo have had at their hearts the right of one part of the national population to share with others on equal terms the rights and duties of citizenship.

Struggles for Citizenship in Africa brings together new material from across Africa of the most egregious examples of citizenship discrimination, and makes the case for urgent reform of laws and practices.

Download from Open Society Foundations.

Purchase from Zed Books.

French translation from Editions Karthala.

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Gender, Dual Nationality, Internal Citizenship, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality, Nationality of Politicians, Nationality and Refugees, State Succession, Statelessness
Regions: Pan Africa
Year: 2009