African Union and the Promotion of Democratic Values in Africa: An Electoral Perspective

This study critically evaluates the state of electoral governance and the democratisation process in Africa. Relying mainly on the AU’s declaration governing democratic elections in Africa and the declaration on observing and monitoring elections, the paper assesses the AU’s commitments to the execution of these declarations, challenges confronted and possible ways forward. The paper submits that while these declarations have had positive consequences for Africa’s electoral landscape, there is still ground to be covered, most notably with respect to observable inconsistencies in handling similar cases in different countries. The paper is divided into 4 sections. The first discusses elections in democratic theory, the second explores the AU's architecture and standards for democratic development in Africa and the third section analysis the state of democratic development in Africa. The final section underscores the electoral connections to democratic setbacks and how the AU has faltered in the effective application of its own architecture and standards.