A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.
One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.
The Afrobarometer findings, which are being released today (22 November), are based on interviews with about 54,000 citizens in 36 African countries. The report, titled “Do Africans still want democracy?” (Afrobarometer Policy Paper No. 36), is available in English and French.