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Episode #58 - September 2023

Another month, another African coup led by the Presidential Guard, this time in Gabon. This month we talk with Jean Hakuzimana, a journalist and immigration advocate, who provides insights into why this coup occurred, the challenges that face Gabon, and what this means for the wider region. On August 30th, hours after the election results gave a large win to President Bongo for a third term, the Presidential Guard came on national TV and announced the cancellation of the election results, closure of the border, and that the government was now under the control of the military. Listing several factors such as a fraudulent election, a deteriorating security situation, and constitutional violations, they indicated that they were forced to take this action for the protection of the country and its citizens.

Listen today to explore the reasons why these explanations do not hold water and how this recent coup fits into the wider regional trends. Jean provides unique insights, having lived and worked in these countries, which allows you to better understand the importance of this region. Just because the media moves on quickly from this crisis, it does not mean it lacks in importance or the West should not try and understand the trendlines that these coups have stemmed from.

Jean HakuzimanaJean Hakuzimana has over 12 years of experience in community development strategy design, communication, advocacy, and media,. He is the founder and Director of #NHSONGA (NH Moves) and a deputy editor at Amjambo Africa, a newspaper that covers a wide range of news of immigrants and host communities in Maine. He also host the Amjambo Time podcast at WMPG, a community radio station affiliated with the University of Southern Maine, where he brings new Mainers' voices on air and discusses various topics of interest and relevance to them.

Jean graduated in community development policy and practice from the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, and has an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Rwanda. He has worked with the United Nations, European Union funded programs, regional organizations, diplomatic, governmental, and non-profit entities in Africa and USA, focusing on issues such as refugee resettlement, social determinants of health, environment , agriculture, biodiversity, governance, and inclusive finance. He is passionate about using his communication, journalism, and advocacy skills to amplify the voices and stories of marginalized and underrepresented communities, and to promote social justice and positive change.

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