In the twenty years after the end of the Cold War, African countries participated in a remarkable global wave of democratization. Whereas in 1989, two-thirds of African states were “not free,” as measured by Freedom House, by 2009, two-thirds were considered “free” or “partly free.”
However, there has been a gradual, but significant, democratic decline in the last decade, with the percentage of African states considered "free" or "partly free" slipping to 56% in Freedom House's 2022 report. And among those countries considered partly free, increasingly populist governments are suppressing opposition groups, postponing elections, eliminating term limits, and abusing human rights to maintain power. This growing trend is driving democratic backsliding on the continent.
Join the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire as we focus on the particular challenges confronting the future of democratization in Africa with Darren Kew of the University of Massachusetts, Boston.