Africans discontent with quality of democracy, says Afrobarometer
Africans have consistently shown strong desire for democratic and accountable governance, but are not satisfied with the quality of democracy in their countries, says Afrobarometer.
The Director of Surveys, Boniface Dulani, said this, yesterday, at an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) civil society engagement webinar hosted in collaboration with the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), Data for Governance Alliance and EU-funded project focused on promoting democracy, good governance and human rights in the continent.
Dulani explained: “While the story on the support for democracy is positive, unfortunately, the picture on the supply side is negative.”
According to the pan-African research network director, African citizens think there are problems with the quality of democracy and how democracy works in their countries, and this has been consistent over time.
He said: “Across 28 countries surveyed in 2021/2022, Afrobarometer data show that seven in 10 Africans (69 per cent) prefer democracy to any other kind of government, and three in four (75 per cent) support choosing leaders through regular, open and honest elections. Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Africans are also in support of multi-party competition.
“While the demand for democracy is without question, the supply side is wanting. In 25 countries surveyed between 2014 and 2022, satisfaction with democracy is the lowest it has ever been. Only four in 10 (39 per cent) Africans say they are satisfied with the way democracy is functioning in their country, a drop from 46 per cent in 2014/15, and under half (46 per cent) describe their country as “a full democracy’ or “a democracy with minor problems.”
The Managing Editor at African Legal information Institute (AfricanLII), Inge Papp, introduced participants to the data for governance AGP website, which gives free access to over 5,000 legal and policy instruments, judgments and communiqués, produced by organs of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities.
“The AGP website is intended to be a clearinghouse of African Union legal resources, which are up-to-date, comprehensive and authoritative and which can be referred to and used by civil society organisations, lawyers, researchers or anyone else working in this space,” she said.
APRM’s Head of Communications, Liziwe Masilela, said: “A series of events will be organised across the continent to celebrate APRM’s 20th anniversary and successes, reflect on its challenges and popularise its work in improving governance in Africa.
“The main objective of this commemoration is to raise public awareness and understanding of the APRM as the premier African instrument for the promotion of good governance.”