A critical look at the charter on democracy, elections and governance in Africa

A critical look at the charter on democracy, elections and governance in Africa

An anlysis of the African Union Charter and its role in promoting stability and democracy

This paper provides a critical analysis of the recently adopted African Union (AU) Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Africa (the Charter). It identifies issues that pose a threat to stability and democracy in Africa and focuses on an analysis into the root causes of unconstitutional changes of government.

The author argues that there are various provisions and references to African realities that could make the Charter a stronger defender of human rights and one that protects peoples rather than regimes.

Key points discussed include: 

  • the success of the Charter will be determined by the political will of Member States to participate in a more effective African human rights system 

  •  whether the charter has condemned unconstitutional changes of government and promoted the ideals of democracy with an inclusive approach to political dialogue, one can suggest with caution that it does reflect a better understanding of African realties and the need for political transformation 

  • it is obvious that the Charter is an initiative by African leaders to provide African solutions to African challenges whilst ensuring that they do no not unwittingly portray themselves as part of the African problem.
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.