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.
If the Donald Trumps of the world want to find out how the masters of manufacturing elections work, they had better visit Zimbabwe before their internecine struggles close them down
The proposed new constitution would allow Alassane Ouattara to remain as president. Opposition parties see this move as a constitutional “coup” that will also protect his allies.
There are several different ways to approach democracy. Polls, elections and referenda all feature, but they're not the only way to deepen democracy.
National electoral commissions are crucial in shaping public perceptions of how well democracy is working. Poor electoral management can enable fraud and produce political alienation.
To improve, African countries need to find a balance between political and economic matters. This is where leadership becomes particularly important. But this is currently lacking on the continent.
For a global audience, the movie 'A United Kingdom' provides a topical account of race relations. The love story is likely to revitalize the popular viewpoint of Botswana as a national success story.
Gabon has the lowest trust ratings of any election commission among the 36 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer.