This report uses data from the World Governance Indicators dataset, the Ibrahim Index, Freedom in the World, Afrobarometer and Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) to map political trends in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2010 both in terms of numbers and weighted by population. The population-weighted values are strongly influenced by the performance of Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which together include 36% of the total population of the region.
- Civil liberties, political freedom, participation, the number of democracies, and the number of conflicts all showed improvements during the first half of the decade, but these gains were lost in the second half. These trends were most noticeable in the population-weighted values. Most other indicators showed no change over the course of the decade.
- The peak in political rights, civil liberties and participation in the middle of the decade coincided with the lowest recorded perception of democracy.
- The number of dyadic conflicts decreased from 22 in 2000 to 7 in 2005, before increasing again. The decrease in the number of conflicts occurred at the same time as improvements in political rights and civil liberties, but does not correspond to increased democratisation.
Population-weighted indicators generally showed worse performance (less free, participatory, and democratic) than unweighted averages by country. Indeed, for every indicator examined, “smaller” countries (those with populations less than half the regional average, or 18.3 million) performed better than “larger” countries.