The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Declaration vs policy practice

"This Policy Brief unravels the evolution of the African Charter which, if effectively implemented, may radically transform Africa’s governance architecture and in the process improve the livelihoods of ordinary people on the continent. The democratisation process in Africa has been bedeviled by various endogenous and exogenous challenges. The Charter aims to tackle the challenges confronting political and socio-economic governance in the continent. This paper argues that the Charter is a progressive step in the right direction in terms of the advancement of democratisation in the continent especially in light of the all-pervasive phenomenon of ‘democratic stand-still’ (Sørensen 2008) and/or ‘democratic backsliding’ (McMahon and Baker 2006; McMahon 2008) in some African countries. However, the adoption of the Charter on its own may not be enough."