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Laws in Africa failing to prevent rape; keeping tabs on Guinea’s president

By Daniel Finnan

Spotlight on Africa this week looks at how laws against sexual violence are failing to protect women and finds out about a new project which aims to keep Guinean President Alpha Condé to his word.

A report released this week analyses 82 different legal systems across the world and reveals how they are failing to prevent sexual violence. The investigation by human rights organisation Equality Now coincides with International Women’s Day on 8 March. As well as not preventing rape, many legal frameworks, especially in Africa, fail to provide justice or proper punishment.

Antonia Kirkland, Program Manager, Equality Now

“Sometimes there might be a decent law, like the Sexual Offences Act in Kenya, but then it’s a question of implementation and whether it’s actually being enforced from the police level to the judicial level - perpetrators not being arrested, the prosecutors not prosecuting at first until there was pressure to do so and then finally punishment not being reflective of the crimes committed.”

A new project is aiming to assess Guinean President Alpha Condé and whether he lives up to his election campaign promises. Lahidi, which means promise in the local Guinean Susu language, has identified 400 pledges made by Condé’s government and published its initial findings on whether those have been implemented. The project is being run by Guinean blogging collective ABlogui and hopes to hold the government to account, tracking the implementation of policies analytically. It will periodically review Condé’s promises throughout his mandate.

Tracking promises in the Sport, Culture & Heritage sectors. Lahidi

Alhoussein Fadiga, ABlogui

“It's obviously normal for people to follow the promises because that's the reason they've [the government] been elected. So this platform was put in place to follow those promises ... the call we want to make to the government is to allow freedom of information because without that we cannot track the promises. Without that, the people of Guinea won't know what is being done for them since 2015.”

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