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The State of Freedom
Sub-Saharan Africa experienced a decade and a half of growing democracy, through 2005. Since then, the region has experienced 8 years of democratic backsliding, leaving sub-Saharan Africa with the same levels of freedom as in 2001.
This chart shows the number of Free, Partly Free, and Not Free countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the past five years.
Freedom in the World: Africa Regional Scores
In 2013, Southern Africa was the best performing region, closely followed by West Africa. East and Central Africa continued with their record of poor democratic performance.
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This chart shows the average Political Rights and Civil Liberties scores for each African region. These scores are based the 'Freedom in the World 2014' report. The maximum (worst) average score is 7 and minimum (best) average score is 1.
Historical Levels of Democracy
Over the past 20 years, the growth of democracy has taken two separate paths in sub-Saharan Africa: Democracy has dramatically grown in Southern and West Africa, while East and Central Africa have experienced declines.
This chart shows the historical trend for the combined Freedom of the World scores for each region. The maximum (worst) score is 14 and minimum (best) score is 2.