Good governance: Africa coming ...
categorizes governments in four groups: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.
Full democracies score high on good governance practices, particularly civil liberties and free and fair elections. Flawed democracies consist of relatively free and fair elections but are characterized by low political participation and a weak political culture. Hybrid regimes may conduct elections but fall short on civil liberties, while authoritarian regimes have sit-tight leaders with no interest in elections.
Mauritius was the only African country with full democracy, according to
Democracy Index 2015. Countries listed as hybrid democracies included Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The majority of African countries were categorized as authoritarian.
In 2015, elections were held in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia that were seen as relatively peaceful, free and fair. In Nigeria, there was a smooth handover of power when the opposition All People’s Congress defeated the ruling People’s Democratic Party, marking the first time an opposition party unseated a ruling party in the country’s history. But a controversial constitutional amendment in Burundi allowed President Pierre Nkurunziza to get a third term, plunging the country into crisis.
In Ethiopia, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front reported a 100% victory, capturing all the 546 parliamentary seats. Africa’s 2016 electoral calendar includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Niger, Somalia, Uganda and Zambia. Successful elections could boost good governance in these countries.
Overall, Africa’s good governance picture shows steady progress, despite hiccups. Data generally indicates that good governance is trending in the right direction. The AU, the ECA, regional economic groupings and many governments recognize that citizens are yearning for good governance, and are responding with appropriate policies, as shown by the continental adoption of Agenda 2063.
As well, vocal civil society organizations are holding authorities accountable. The judiciary, media, electoral bodies and other institutions are helping to strengthen good governance in many countries, even if under pressure to do better.
One can say with a degree of certainty that Africa is on a slow but steady march forward.