Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report paints a bleak picture of democracy and human rights in Africa overall, with 88 percent of the population living in countries designated either Not Free or Partly Free. Nevertheless, there were a number of small victories on the continent during 2013, even in countries where the prevailing trend remains negative.
The recent pressure on civil society and independent media in Kenya is not only a significant threat to democracy in a geopolitically important country, but also the predictable outcome of the international community’s failure to punish earlier, comparable state-driven repression in Ethiopia, another African nation that is viewed in Western capitals as a strategic partner.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
Freedom House is working to empower civil society to advance domestic justice and put an end to impunity, while also strengthening intra- and inter-regional networks of advocates working to advance this issue.