Looking for the most democratic countries in Africa 2022, or maybe the least democratic countries in Africa in 2022?
While it might sound strange to some, African countries are more developed and democratic than the Hollywood and the media have pictured for the rest of the world. Some African cities are cleaner than the ones in the US. Using the EIU Democracy Index, in the list below we have gathered the top 10 most democratic countries in Africa, as well as the least democratic African countries.
According to EIU’s website, the EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.
The Most Democratic Countries in Africa
Ranked #1 Africa – #19 World
The National Assembly, the unicameral body of parliament for Mauritius’ Westminster-style government, formally holds the sway. The President and Prime Minister are chosen by it. The Prime Minister is the MP who receives a majority of the house’s votes, as opposed to the President, who is elected by a single majority of votes.
The Head of State is the President, while the Head of Government is the Prime Minister, who is supported by a council of ministers and has complete executive authority. A multi-party system exists in Mauritius.
Ranked #2 Africa – #30 World
formally a multiparty constitutional democracy, is Botswana. Since gaining independence in September 1966, every election has been held on time, with fair and open competition. The tiny white minority in the nation as well as other minorities are free to participate in politics. There are several smaller parties in addition to the two main competitors. At least every five years, there are general elections. The judicial branch is separate from the legislative and executive branches.
Ranked #3 Africa – #32 World
The President of the Republic of Cape Verde serves as the head of state, while the Prime Minister of Cape Verde is in charge of the country’s government. Politics in Cape Verde are conducted within the framework of a multi-party system and a semi-presidential representative democratic republic. The government and the president both have executive authority. The National Assembly and the government both have legislative authority. The legislature and the executive branch have no influence over the judiciary. The foundation of governmental structure is the constitution, which was initially ratified in 1980 and significantly updated in 1992. It states that the government is accountable to the National Assembly and is the “organ that defines, leads, and executes the general internal and external policies of the country.”
Ranked #4 Africa – #44 World
The Republic of South Africa is a parliamentary unitary democracy. Both the head of state and the head of the government are the President of South Africa. The President is chosen by the National Assembly, which is the lower chamber of the South African Parliament, and must continue to have their support in order to hold office. Each of the nine provinces in South Africa is governed by a provincial legislature, which is likewise chosen by the people.
The African National Congress (ANC) has dominated South Africa’s politics since the end of apartheid in 1994. In the national legislature as well as eight of the nine provinces, the ANC is in power (Western Cape is governed by the Democratic Alliance). In the general election of 2019, the ANC received 57.50 percent of the vote. It had won the 2011 municipal election with 62.9% of the vote. The Democratic Alliance, which received 20.77% of the vote in the 2019 election and is led by John Steenhuisen (formerly Mmusi Maimane), is the primary opposition to the ANC’s rule. The Economic Freedom Fighters and the Inkatha Freedom Party, which primarily supports Zulu voters, are two more significant political parties with representatives in Parliament.
The National Party, the successor of the New National Party, which both started and ended apartheid, was abolished in 2005 to become a member of the ANC. From May 9, 2009, to February 2018, Jacob Zuma presided over South Africa as president. Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed to succeed Zuma. On May 8, the nation held its general elections for 2019.
Ranked #5 Africa – #55 World
The President of Namibia serves as both the head of state and the head of government of Namibia, which is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a pluriform multi-party system. The president and the government both have executive authority. The two chambers of Parliament have the authority to enact laws. The legislature and the executive branch have no influence over the judiciary.
Namibia has a network of traditional leadership in addition to its political system, with 51 recognized traditional authority and their leaders as of right now. These laws apply to the entire country of Namibia. The distribution of community land and the creation of the traditional group’s customary regulations are delegated to traditional leaders. They take up some minor judicial tasks as well.
Ranked #6 Africa – #56 World
The President of Ghana serves as both the head of state and the head of government. Ghanaian politics are conducted within the framework of a two-party system and a presidential representative democratic republic. Golden Jubilee House serves as the location of the government. The government is in charge of exercising executive power. Government and Parliament both have legislative authority. The legislature and the executive branch have no influence over the judiciary.
The Fourth Republic’s founding document offered a fundamental framework for republican democracy. It states that Ghana is a unitary republic with Ghanaians as the sole source of sovereignty. It aims to create the idea of power sharing in order to stop future coups, totalitarian rule, and one-party regimes. The text combines laws and institutions derived from the British and American constitutional models and integrates lessons learned from the abrogated constitutions of 1957, 1960, 1969, and 1979. Members and appointees of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) are exempt from accountability for any official act or omission committed while the PNDC was in power under a contentious clause of the Constitution. According to the Constitution, a president, a unicameral parliament, a council of state, and an independent judiciary share authority in a system of checks and balances.
Ranked #7 Africa – #64 World
Lesotho’s politics are conducted within the context of a multi-party system and a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy, in which the Prime Minister of Lesotho serves as the head of state. The government is in charge of exercising executive power. The administration and the National Assembly and Senate, the two chambers of Parliament, each have legislative authority. The judicial branch is separate from the legislative and executive branches.
Ranked #8 Africa – #75 World
A unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, with a president serving as head of state, a prime minister as head of government, a unicameral legislature, and a judicial system influenced by French civil law, is the framework in which Tunisian politics are conducted. Between 1956 and 2011, Tunisia was a de facto one-party state, with the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), led by former Presidents Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Habib Bourguiba, controlling politics. However, a nationwide movement in 2011 resulted in the President’s resignation and the destruction of the RCD, opening the door for a multi-party democracy. The secularist Nidaa Tounes party won the first democratic parliamentary elections following the 2011 uprising, garnering 85 seats in the 217-member house.
Also, Tunisia is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the African Union, and the Arab League. It continues to have cordial ties with the US, France, and the EU, with whom it signed an association agreement in 1995. After years of effective economic collaboration in the private sector and infrastructure modernisation, Tunisia has gained the goodwill of the United States and the European Union. 2020’s “flawed democracy” classification by the Economist Intelligence Unit placed Tunisia among the US and France. The only Arab nation with a democracy is Tunisia.
Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s first democratically elected leader, passed away in July 2019. next to him Following a resounding victory in the October 2019 Tunisian presidential elections, Kais Saied was elected as president of Tunisia. He was known for being impervious to corruption. However, in what his detractors referred to as a “coup,” he suspended Parliament, removed the prime minister, and consolidated power on July 25, 2021.
Ranked #9 Africa – #78 World
The President of Malawi serves as both the head of state and the head of government. Malawian politics are conducted within the framework of a multi-party system and a presidential representative democratic republic. The government is in charge of exercising executive power. The National Assembly and the government both have legislative authority. The President of Malawi appoints members of the country’s cabinet. The legislature and the executive branch have no influence over the judiciary. Since 1994, Malawi’s government has been a multi-party democracy.
Ranked #10 Africa – #79 World
The president of Zambia serves as the nation’s head of state, head of government, and head of the country’s multiparty system. Political activity in Zambia is conducted within the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic. Government is in charge of exercising executive authority; parliament and government are equally responsible for exercising legislative authority. When Zambia gained independence in October 1964 from Northern Rhodesia, it promptly constituted a republic.
Moreover, Zambia initially operated as a democracy after independence, but it quickly changed to a one-party state for 19 years, from 8 December 1972 until multi-party democracy was restored on 4 December 1990, which resulted in multi-party elections on 1 November 1991. Since that time, Zambia has maintained a comparatively stable democracy, peacefully transferring power between its four major political parties (UNIP, MMD, PF, and UPND), and holding nine presidential elections since 1991, seven of which were general elections.
Our list of most democratic countries in Africa is not over yet. After knowing which countries are the most democratic countries in Africa 2022, it is good to know the least democratic countries in Africa as well.
The Least Democratic Countries in Africa
Ranked #50 Africa – #154 World
The collapse of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in 2011 and the ongoing civil war between the House of Representatives in Tobruk and its supporters, the New General National Congress in Tripoli and its supporters, as well as various jihadists and tribal groups in control of some regions of the country, have left Libyan politics in a precarious situation. The Second Al-Thani Cabinet of the House of Representatives and the Administration of National Accord were brought together on March 10 to establish a national unity government, which will be in charge until the next general election in Libya.
Ranked #51 Africa – #158 World
As one of the dictatorships in Africa, Equatorial Guinea has been ruled by the same president for more than 40 years and counting. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, a politician and former military officer from Equatorial Guinea, was born on June 5, 1942, and has been the country’s second president since August 1979. He is the second longest-serving current non-royal national leader in the world and the longest-serving president of any nation to have ever lived. He is officially the longest-serving president in the world.
Ranked #52 Africa – #160 World
The President of Chad is both the head of state and the head of government, and Chadian politics are conducted within the framework of a presidential republic. The government is in charge of exercising executive power. Government and parliament both have legislative authority. One of the most corrupt nations in the world is Chad.
Central African Republic
Ranked #53 Africa – #162 World
Formally, the Central African Republic is a semi-presidential republic, with a presidential system guiding its affairs. In this system, the Prime Minister leads the government, with the President serving as the head of state. The government uses its executive power. Both the executive and parliament have the authority to pass laws.
Violence, talks, and elections have all been used in recent years to bring about changes in administration. Elections were held in March 2005 and were scheduled for 2013; yet, both François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia took office through violent coups. A multipartisan unity government was mandated by a January 2013 ceasefire deal.
The rebel leader Bozizé’s soldiers overthrew the government on March 13th, 2003, with the promise of elections in 18 to 30 months. On April 1, 2003, a new cabinet was established. The voting day was March 13, 2005.
The Séléka rebel coalition, which had sought to topple President Bozizé’s administration, signed a cease-fire on January 11, 2013. This accord provided for the formation of a new unity government. The National Assembly of the Central African Republic would be dissolved, new parliamentary elections would be held within a year, and the President would choose a new prime minister from the opposition parties.
The Séléka rebels, however, believed their demands were not being satisfied two months later, and at the height of the Central African Civil War, they launched an attack and captured Bangui. On March 24, 2013, the president, Bozizé, escaped to the neighbouring Cameroon via the DRC.
A new constitution was adopted on December 14, 2015, and it was ratified on March 27, 2016. Faustin-Archange Touadéra has served as the Central African Republic’s president since March 30, 2016.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ranked #54 Africa – #164 World
The Democratic Country of the Congo is a republic that is in the process of transitioning from a civil war to a semi-presidential republic.
A successful countrywide referendum on a draught constitution was held on December 18 and 19, 2005, paving the way for elections in 2006. The Congolese Independent Electoral Commission, with assistance from the UN mission in the Congo, managed and organized the voting process despite technical challenges brought on by a lack of infrastructure (MONUC). Early UN reports suggest that the election was largely calm, but it sparked unrest in many areas of the Kasais and the war-torn east.
Many Congolese people complained in 2006 that the constitution was confusing and didn’t know what it said. The high levels of illiteracy in the nation contribute to this. In contrast, interim President Kabila urged Congolese to vote “Yes,” claiming that the document offers the nation’s best chance for long-term peace. 25 million Congolese participated in the two-day voting process. Results from the election were made public in January 2006, and 84% of voters accepted the constitution. The enormous country will be split into 25 semi-autonomous provinces under the new constitution, which also seeks to decentralise power along racial and cultural lines.
The nation had its first democratic elections in forty years on July 30, 2006.
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