Democracy in Africa is in a constant flux state, ever changing country to country and leader to leader. When it comes to democracy, the African continent has been subject to immense backlashes in the international fora. However, this stereotyping surrounding Africa is not an entirely true reflection of the socio-political space in the continent since there are several countries which rank positively on the democracy index. Here are the top 5 African countries with a better democratic score.
The most democratic state in Africa can be found in the waters of the Indian ocean. Ranked the most peaceful country in Africa by the Global Peace Index, Mauritius is also the only African country classified “in the very high” in the Human development Index. Welcome to Mauritius a country where the government provides for more than just basic social amenities. But also, free education up to tertiary level. It has been classified as a “High-income Economy” by the World bank. It is the only free and fully democratic state in the Africa and ranks 16th on the global index.
2. Cape Verde
Despite having no natural resources yet the economic growth and the high standard of living are what have been baffling outside observers, Cape Verde has been one of the best stable democracies in Africa. On the Democracy index, the country scores 7.88 and is ranked in the top 30 of the global democracy ranking. However, unlike Mauritius which is a fully-fledged democracy, Cape Verde fits in the category of flawed democracy given its government system.
When it comes to democracy in Africa only few countries can compete with this Southern African country. Botswana is a country with a sound political pluralism and participation, credible electoral process (as seen from their last election in 2019) and political tolerance. Although there are still traces of corruption here and there in the government, judging on the African standards, Botswana can be said to be fair.
4. South Africa
South Africa was classified as a flawed democracy, meaning the country is weighed down by weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture, gross inequality and low levels of political participation. The current corruption level, civil unrest and xenophobia has dented the Southern African nation. South Africa used to be the 1st or 2nd best well-governed state in the continent. But the present conditions have pushed her backward. At 4th position and with lo civil liberties, South Africa is classified as a flawed democratic state.
With an overall score of 7.24, Ghana which was once a full democratic state, has gradually slipped into a flawed democratic state. Ghana style of democracy takes a “western majoritarian form” whereby the majority side always carry the vote, rights and action. However, bit by bit, this style of government has given certain people the freedom to enact the policies on which they solicit for since they are the majority. This has led to epileptical events such as the sight of soldiers in Ghana parliament and a more shrinking democratic space. If the status quo subsists, countries like Lesotho have the potential to upstage Ghana in the democratic ranking since the latter slightly falls short with a ranking of 7.22.