The future of democracy in Africa

How do different levels of democracy affect Africa’s future economic and human development?

Currently, democracy in much of Africa is constrained from delivering on its development potential for three reasons. First, governance capacity is lacking. Second, the quality of electoral democracy is thin. Finally, neopatrimonialism undermines electoral democracy in Africa. A forecast to 2070 quantifies the contribution that different levels of democracy would have on Africa’s economic and human development under two scenarios: a democratic regression and a positive wave of democracy. As countries climb the income ladder and become more socially and economically complex, democracy steadily contributes to good governance, development and growth. This only happens if the key components of electoral democracy are realised.

About the author:
Dr Jakkie Cilliers is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and head of African Futures and Innovation at the Pretoria office of the ISS.

Development partners
This paper was made possible with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The Institute for Security Studies is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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