Green = Democracy
Red = Dictatorship
White = Somewhere in between
How many democracies are there in Africa? Our map shows 21 out of a
total of 50+ states.
(1) Only characteristics relating to the Head of State or Head of
Government are assessed.
(2) To be a democratic Head of State or Government, you must have come
to power and
remained in power through multi-party elections. You also must have
served no more than two terms.
(3) If you come to power through a coup and then organize elections
which you win, such as Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt, you are not a
(4) If you succeed your father, who himself was a despot, you are
almost certainly not a democrat, e.g. Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon.
(5) Absolute monarchs are by definition not democrats. Ceremonial
monarchies could possibly be democracies.
(6) If you are or were any kind of fighter (soldier, rebel, coup
plotter etc), your
democratic credentials are immediately suspect, however good the cause
for which you were fighting.
(7) If you were indirectly elected by a small group of electors, such
as Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Somalia, your democratic credentials are
(1) Although the two-term limit could be regarded as unduly severe,
especially by those comparing with the European experience (Angela
Merkel etc), it should be noted that some of those who have exceeded
this limit have done so by very lengthy periods, with little indication
of their stepping down any time soon, e.g.
Teodoro Obiang Masogo,
Jose Eduardo dos
Paul Biya, Cameroon
31 years, non-continuous