funding

The changing political landscape in our region requires a robust response from civil society. In 2014, OSISA developed a new five-year strategy that speaks to our changing context and has opened its first call to receive grant applications for the 2016 strategy year. We are open to receive applications under this call until the 31 March 2016. OSISA supports innovative programmes working towards open society ideals and which advocate for these ideals in southern Africa.

The changing political landscape in our region requires a robust response from civil society. In 2014, OSISA developed a new five-year strategy that speaks to our changing context and has opened its first call to receive grant applications for the 2016 strategy year. We are open to receive applications under this call until the 31 March 2016. OSISA supports innovative programmes working towards open society ideals and which advocate for these ideals in southern Africa.

Three years ago, political pundits were confidently penning the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s obituary. Having ruled Botswana since 1965, the BDP was undergoing a major split – a split that was so serious and so messy that many thought it would be close to impossible for the party to regroup, let alone win the 2014 general elections.

Botswana is often referred to as one of the few shining examples of democracy in Africa. But scratch the surface and things are sometimes less than shiny – such as discovering that there is no public funding for political parties, which gives the ruling party a huge (and perhaps unbeatable) advantage.

Indeed, a recent study by the Institute for Democracy in Southern Africa concluded that, “The lack of state funding of political parties [in Botswana] has created an uneven political playing field for aspiring candidates, with a particularly negative impact on opposition parties.”

So Malawian President Joyce Banda is the latest SADC leader to benefit from the riches of ‘well-wishers’, who have been happily – and secretly, of course – helping to fund her foreign jaunts by paying for her to fly around in private planes.

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Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
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