Sub-Saharan Africa

Despite being home to several of the world’s worst performing countries in terms of respect for human rights, the region saw overall if uneven progress toward democratization during the 1990s and the early 2000s. However, recent years have seen backsliding among both the top performers, such as South Africa, and the more repressive countries, such as The Gambia and Ethiopia. Lack of adherence to the rule of law, infringements on the freedoms of expression and association, widespread corruption, and discrimination against women and the LGBT community remain serious problems in many countries. Across the continent, Freedom House works to strengthen elections and civic mobilization, good governance, defense of human rights, rule of law, and independent media.

Asterisks in the country list below indicate a territory rather than a country.

Countries & Territories: 50
925 million people
12% free
Press:
3% free

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

The government of Zambia should ensure that presidential succession occurs in accordance with the constitution and that the election to choose President Sata’s successor is free, fair, and transparent.

Issues: 
Democratic Governance, Elections, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa

Freedom House released the following statement in response to the thousands of demonstrators in the capital of Burkina Faso.

Issues: 
Democratic Governance, Freedom of Expression
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa

In response to the government of Burkina Faso asking parliament to authorize a national referendum ending term limits for the country’s president, Freedom House issued the following statement:

Issues: 
Democratic Governance
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa

In response to the announcement that Simone Gbagbo—the former first lady of Côte d’Ivoire, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during post-election violence in 2010-2011 – will appear before an Ivoirian court on October 22, 2014, Freedom House issued the following statement:

Issues: 
Democratic Governance, Human Rights Defense, Transitional Justice
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
21 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
34 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
9.4 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.9 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
17 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
11 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
510 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.6 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
12 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
773 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.2 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
69 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
923 thousand people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
740 thousand people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
5.6 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
87 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
79 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
1.6 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.8 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
26 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
11 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.6 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
43 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
28 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
2.2 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.2 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
22 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
16 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
42 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
16 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
3.6 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.3 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
24 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
2.4 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
16 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
170 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
31 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
11 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
48 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
183 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
13 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
93 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6.1 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
10 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
51 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
26 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
33 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
63 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
1.2 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
48 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
36 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
34 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
14 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
13 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
54 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
Scores Overview
9.4 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating

Programs

Freedom House held a series of practitioners dialogues in 2013 where practitioners, experts, and human rights defenders and victims shared best practices and their lessons learned in the transitional justice processes they have taken part. The series linked practitioners and provided space to strategize about how to advance access to truth and justice. Each dialogue results in a report of the findings to present in international, regional, and national forums and programs.

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society. 

The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.

Freedom House administers several funds which offer emergency assistance to organizations and individuals around the world who are under threat because of their human rights work. The targeted, rapid-response aid we provide enables those at risk to protect themselves and continue their important work.

In September 2012, Freedom House led an International Freedom of Expression Mission to South Africa in order to address ongoing concerns about the passage of the repressive Protection of State Information Bill and the implementation of a government-controlled Media Appeals Tribunal. T

In September 2010, Freedom House led a four-day International Joint Partnership Freedom of Expression mission to Uganda to examine the country’s freedom of expression environment in light of a prop

Since 2009, Freedom House supports civil society in Swaziland to ensure that a stronger citizen voice can be generated and then properly translated to the national and regional stage where political reforms will be negotiated by a cohesive and effective civil society.

In September 2010, Freedom House launched an initiative aimed at enhancing the ability of Namibian civil society to function as effective advocates for, and monitors of, good governance.

Since 2006, Freedom House has worked with upwards of 60 civil society organizations in Zimbabwe, providing a broad range of support from trainings in strategic planning and organizational security, to programs that effectively mobilize popular civic engagement.