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The Voice of the People: Public Participation in the African Continent

This article was accepted for inclusion in Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design by an authorized administrator of Digital Repository @ Maurer Law

Public participation is becoming a more common characteristic of constitutional drafting processes around the world, and Africa has not been an exception in this regard. This paper seeks to survey several of the public participation processes undertaken in a number of African nations, in order to examine the methods followed and the effects produced by such processes. For that purpose, I have analyzed the constitutional drafting efforts in South Africa, Uganda, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, and Egypt. These processes all show different circumstances and approaches, with variations in terms of their top-down or bottom-up nature, and, more importantly, in terms of the genuineness behind the attempt to educate and consult the public.