Press release

AU Summit: Halt the Decline in Democracy


As African heads of state gather in Addis Ababa for the 24th summit of the African Union, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The year 2014 marked the ninth consecutive year of overall democratic declines in Africa, effectively erasing the gains the region made in the early 2000s,” said Vukasin Petrovic, regional director for Africa. “Stopping this trend will require the democratic leaders of the African Union to play a much more assertive role in pushing all member countries to uphold the democratic principles they themselves developed and ratified. The starting point for the African Union should be ensuring that the many national elections taking place this year in Africa are free and fair and genuinely reflect the will of citizens.” 

Key Africa Findings from Freedom in the World 2015:

  • 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are considered Free, 18 Partly Free, 21 Not Free.
  • The region now has the same number of ‘Partly Free’ and ‘Not Free’ countries as 1997.
  • The region saw marked declines in freedom of expression and belief. 
  • In 2014 no East African state improved overall basic freedoms.