Soldiers and Citizens: Military Coups and the Need for Democratic Renewal in Africa

24 October 2023
Event Details

23 October 2023

14.00 - 15.15 CEST

Stockholm, Sweden


The Sahel and West Africa region is fast being referred to as constituting a new 'coup belt', after experiencing a resurgence in unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) in recent years. The recent military coups in Niger and Gabon, following events in Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan, and Guinea, underline a crucial need to delve deeper into the root socio-economic causes behind this alarming trend.

UNDP's new report, 'Soldiers and Citizens: Military Coups and the Need for Democratic Renewal in Africa,' explores these issues, emphasising insecurity, economic stagnation, exclusionary governance, and low development indicators as coup risk factors.

This seminar features a panel of distinguished speakers discussing actionable insights on causes and solutions, with a focus on prioritizing development for lasting stability and coup resilience, beyond sanctions and military interventions.


  • Ulf Källstig, Head of Africa Department, Sida
  • Ambassador William A. Awinador-Kanyirige, African Union Commission (AUC)
  • Jesper Bjarnesen, Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)
  • Jide Martyns Okeke, PhD, Regional Programme Coordinator for Africa, UNDP
  • Moderator: Fatma Ahmed, Specialist – Africa Facility to Support Inclusive Transitions, UNDP


The seminar is a part of the UNDP Sweden seminar series #ReimaginingDevelopment which aims to contribute to a deeper conversation about the future of development by exploring how we can reimagine the ways in which we address the major challenges of our time.