South Africa's ANC and Namibia's SWAPO, governing parties, enter crucial leadership elections this year, with presidents Zuma and Geingob both facing challenges.
As we celebrate Africa Day and reflect on how far the continent has come since the Organisation of African Unity was founded in 1963, it's a good time to assess whether democracy is working.
Protests in South Africa are about more than just service delivery of basic services such as water and electricity. They reflect a wider crisis about the failure to build a more equitable society.
The world's media, which has in the past found Zambia uninteresting, are suddenly paying more attention to the impoverished nation, for all the wrong reasons.
Most Africans see courts as legitimate but only a slim majority trust them while one in three people believe judges are corrupt.
The proposed change to Malawi's electoral system is straightforward and makes logical sense. Yet it's more complex and if adopted would revolutionise local politics.
Multiparty democracy came to Tanzania in 1995 but the autocratic rule under the country's first post-independence leader
Julius Nyerere, seems to be echoed by current President John Magufuli.
Opposition parties in sub-Saharan Africa struggle to prove themselves worthy to skeptical voters who, unlike in Western competitive systems, don't trust them over former liberation movements.
The adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance five years ago raised hopes for a new democratic Africa. But its ideals remain elusive for many parts of the continent.
Barack Obama's high standing in sub-Sahara Africa persisted despite grumbling that he never delivered American largess to the degree many initially expected.
Attempts to deepen democracy in Africa by limiting presidential terms to two have not entirely quashed a culture of entitlement to rule. Glimpses of it persist, much against citizens' wishes.
Regional power Ecowas, which has just seen off yet another dictator in Yahya Jammeh, started off with a tame agenda 42 years ago. But it was soon shaped by civil wars, military coups and despots
Although Ecowas and the AU made sure that Yahya Jammeh stepped down after losing the elections in The Gambia, caution is warranted in assuming this heralds a trend against African dictatorships.
SADC's credibility is at stake. Its lack of political will in acting decisively against despots is at odds with the African Union's goal of promoting legitimate governance on the continent.
The Gambian election dispute is not the first that ECOWAS has confronted. Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 presidential election is a case in point. There it resorted to military action to enforce the outcome.
After two decades of political dominance, the electoral performance of the ANC is at its lowest since it became the governing party of South Africa in 1994. But is the party really unraveling?
Donald Trump's disregard for Africa and African affairs is worrying. But it also presents a unique opportunity for progressive black leadership to shape US foreign policy.
A peaceful transition in the Gambia, taken together with hints of change in Angola and Zimbabwe, will portend hope that Africa’s democratic renewal is still alive.
Besides worries that Donald Trump might not make Africa a priority of his presidency, his temperament and views bode ill for democracy on the continent.
There are early signs of the emergence of a third force for good in South Africa in the likes of the Save SA movement and Socio-Economic Future of South Africa convened by the Archbishop of Cape Town.