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African Great Lakes: Political Trends and Reconstruction

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African Great Lakes: Political Trends and Reconstruction

The Great Lakes region in Africa has evolved to be one of the most vulnerable and tumultuous regions of the world. From civil war to riots, genocides and cross-border conflicts, the inhabitants of African Great Lakes have experienced it all at its worst. Despite democratic reconstruction being at consideration, this region is frequently periled by a shrinking political space. However, a positive constructivist move can be noticed in the effort of many people of that area. At, independent news and media are encouraged to foster peace and democracy in the entire Great Lakes region.


With the emergence of elites and authoritarian government, the Great lakes region is repeatedly falling prey to rising political fragmentation, conflicts and genocides.

Some of the central areas of reconstruction are mentioned below:

  • Regional set-up: The Great Lakes region is comprised of six African countries of Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The economy of the regions is severely impeded with its cast difference with the rest of the developed world. Repeated civil wars and internal conflicts have marred its regional stability and equilibrium. The wide-stretched poverty is also an eyesore. Measures are being taken to make the region economically self-sufficient and regionally stable. Regional reconstruction can be brought about by resource mobility and both internal an external regional security.
  • Cross-border peacebuilding: Cross-border peacebuilding is an effective reconstruction measure to eradicate the increasing cross-border conflicts in the Great Lakes regions. The regional dimensions of the Great Lakes region emphasize for a prolonged collaborative analysis in order to functionalize peace-building in the entire region. Several armed conflicts have led to severe cross-border violence in the past. Cross-border peacebuilding aims at keeping political fragmentation at the minimum so that a common ground of regional and political cooperation can be ensured.
  • Trade and commerce: Even though the Great Lakes region is enriched in industrial raw material reserves, but it is not yet exploited to its full potential. Faulty and undemocratic trade patterns have prevented the area from being economically enriched. Serious reconstruction measures like work camps and trade tours are being undertaken at the present to develop business mechanism in this region. Without trade exchange, the region’s economy would continue being backward and underdeveloped.
  • Land and natural resources: The availability of wide scale natural resources have been repeatedly wrecked by regionalization of local spaces and undue fragmentation of lands. The extreme exploitation of land and mineral resources of the Great lakes region is an upshot of the unconstrained infiltration of armed and gender-based violence and ethnic conflicts. Proper and judicious distribution of the natural resources can only be brought by a serious restoration of the societal strata.
  • Two chief political trends: The two central political trends refer to political fragmentation and electoral authoritarianism. Both the trends are gradually leading to an irreparable jeopardy in the socio-economic and political process of the region. The existence of autocratic regimes is a major cause behind the rising trend. To counter these negative trends, a prominent civil society movement is on the rise. Economic expansion, security development and a stable and responsive leadership are the main requisites of regional construction in the African Great lakes.
  • Dialogue process: A dialogue process legitimizes a regional settlement undertaken for the rebuilding of a community. The dialogue process is initiated with a peace accord or treaty that boosts overall regional and community development.

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Great Lakes Voice (GLV) is an independent news network that aims to provide Africa's Great Lakes Region with a source of uncensored news.

Great Lakes Voice is owned and registered as The Voice, Ltd. and has an office at Press House (No. 37, KG 17 Avenue, Kigali).

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