Project Manager, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press
February 2, 2015
African heads of state recently gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, for the 24th summit of the African Union. While discussions focused on high-profile continental crises such as the Boko Haram insurgency and the Ebola epidemic, an important phenomenon was, unsurprisingly, left off the agenda: the deteriorating situation for political and civil liberties in much of East Africa.
In a departure from the overt violence and election rigging of the past, many authoritarian leaders now prefer to quietly manipulate the legal framework, silencing dissent and limiting civil liberties to ensure that they remain in power.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
Freedom House is working to empower civil society to advance domestic justice and put an end to impunity, while also strengthening intra- and inter-regional networks of advocates working to advance this issue.