Democracy and Elections in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons Learned from 2016 and What to Expect in 2017
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Africa, National Democratic Institute
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House
2016 was a year of both transition and continuity in sub-Saharan Africa. Long-term leaders of Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Uganda further tightened their grip on power. Meanwhile in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila remains in power despite the end of his second - and final - mandate in December. In the Gambia, the threat of violence looms with Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to stand down, despite intensive mediation efforts and the threat of regional military intervention. Ghana on the other hand consolidated its status as a stable democracy with the electorate opting for a change of government and a subsequent smooth transition.
In 2017, Angola will go to the polls and change its president. Elections will also be held in Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, while South Africa will decide on a new leader of the ANC and Somalia will continue efforts to hold a presidential election.
At this event, Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Africa at the National Democratic Institute, examines the implications of last year’s electoral processes and assess the challenges of, and prospects for, democracy in sub-Saharan Africa.