It must be said that democracy in Africa has finally come to stay. While the electoral process in many countries may sometimes appear flawed and imperfect, many nations continue to take advantage of the kind of democracy that works for them. Democracy or civil rule has no doubt matured over the years following independence from colonial rule, and today, the vast majority of African nations have come to embrace representative, multiparty democracy.
Out of the 54 internationally recognized nation states in Africa, only three governments are absolute monarchies and there have been no successful military coups during the past two years. As a matter of policy, sovereign states don’t recognize governments headed by military juntas, nor do they endorse elected presidents who remain in office beyond their term limits.
In all, four African nations conducted presidential elections last year. Five more, in addition to Somalia — which does not exactly practice direct representative democracy — are scheduled to go to the polls in 2017.
Face2face Africa takes a look at what voters across the continent can expect this year.