Browsing: High cost of living

According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, North Africa has been rocked by protests more than any other region on the continent, even though it recorded the greatest improvements in wealth. The continent started experiencing unrest during the 2007-2008 global financial crunch. In North Africa, human development is dwarfed by the demand for greater political, civil and economic freedom. Governments in these regions have been accused of being authoritarian.

Have the protests been successful? In Tunisia, for instance, the country has transitioned to democracy. However, people’s expectations have not been met fully as the new democracy is more electoral than substantive and real institutional reform is yet to occur. Notable reforms have taken place in Algeria and Egypt, but Libya, brought down to its knees by the Arab spring, has yet to recover and has fallen into civil strife.

In Sierra Leone, the New York Times reported that demonstrations over the high cost of living had turned deadly.
In July, food street vendors organised peaceful demonstrations over the crisis but have since been joined by political protesters. They demanded the resignation of the country’s president Julius Maada Bio over his government’s failure to address the rising food and fuel prices. They clashed with the police leading to the death of 11 officers and an unknown number of protesters.