2020 was anticipated to be a year of landmark elections across Africa, including general elections scheduled in Somalia and Ethiopia – countries at critical junctures in their transitions to electoral democracy – as well as a re-run of annulled presidential elections in Malawi.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for African countries seeking to hold elections or further democratization – including the practicalities of adapting containment measures to electoral processes in the context of strained financial and logistical resources. It may also be used as a pretext for the pursuit of repressive legislation and constitutional amendments to preclude elections or bolster authoritarianism, compounded by new constraints on accountability mechanisms such as election observation missions.
 
At this event, Dr Christopher Fomunyoh discusses the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on elections and democracy in various African countries, as well as responses and measures to meet the multifaceted challenges posed.

Participants

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa, National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Chair: Elizabeth Donnelly, Deputy Director, Africa Programme, Chatham House