Policy Briefings | African Initiatives, Democracy & Human Rights, Governance

The African Democracy Charter At 11: Averting Democratic Deconsolidation

Inconsistencies between the objectives of the African Democracy Charter and political practices in African states strain the democratic agenda.

This policy briefing analyses the normative strengthening of democracy in Africa since the inception of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Africa’s stated goal of optimising its democratic processes remains a work in progress, as democracy has not been implemented as a mode of governance at a multi-institutional level. African states’ democratic processes have stagnated in a transitional phase with only a handful of democracies consolidating. The briefing argues that inconsistencies between the stated objectives of the charter and political practices in African states strain the democratic consolidation agenda. Despite the vulnerability of the liberal-democratic model, recent increases in the number of signatories to the charter and the rejuvenation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) indicate normative commitments to democratic consolidation.