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Challenges to African incumbents will grow

Monday, December 20, 2021


The continent’s trajectory is not a uniformly bleak one, however, as it also features the only two countries to move towards democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic: Malawi and Zambia. Furthermore, large majorities of people in many countries surveyed by Afrobarometer prefer democracy over other forms of government.


  • Countries that are more democratic will, on average, experience more inclusive economic recoveries.
  • Economic hardships generated in part by COVID-19 will make it harder for incumbents in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe to retain power.
  • Authoritarian governments will continue to see high levels of political and civic protest.
  • Authoritarian countries such as Angola and Zimbabwe will resort to more state repression to maintain the status quo.

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