The death on Monday of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi has been the occasion for fulsome tributes from world leaders, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, European heads of government, and a number of African dignitaries. However, Meles leaves behind a complicated record that includes notable achievements as well as consequential errors, particularly with respect to democracy.
We have compiled an abridged version of the Freedom in the Worldchapter on Ethiopia for the year 2011 in light of Zenawi's death.
The progress that sub-Saharan Africa has achieved in building democracy over the past generation is coming undone. After two decades of significant gains, the continent has experienced a steady decline in democracy over the last several years.