Home Our Events Defending Democracy and Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa – Strongmen and the Closing Civic Space

Defending Democracy and Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa – Strongmen and the Closing Civic Space

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Date & Time: April 22, 2021 at 10am EST (3pm West / Central Africa)
Venue: Zoom Platform (Register Here)

1. Overview

Over the last 15 years there has been a notable “backsliding” on democracy worldwide. The recent publication by Freedom House this year revealed only eight (8) countries (includes several smaller countries) rated as “free” and full democracies in Africa in 2021. This notable regression has clearly resulted in growing concerns about the future of democracy especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The backsliding on democratic norms, prior to COVID-19, was championed by out-of-touch elites in autocratic regimes using all means possible to perpetuate their rule.

Across sub-Saharan Africa the last four years has seen accelerated declines in democratic gains, partly attributable to policies of the Trump administration. There have been constitutional changes to perpetuate incumbent rule (Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea), a recent coup d’état in Mali, worsening conflict in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Central African Republic amongst others. There are indications that Macky Sall of Senegal is following a familiar playbook to extend his rule. Many regimes have used the COVID-19 pandemic to further repress their citizens.

Within this difficult terrain, what can be done to defend democracy and civil liberties in Africa? What can we anticipate from the Biden administration’s proposed Summit on Democracy? What lessons have been learned on protecting civic space across the continent? These are some of the questions to discuss in this one-hour panel discussion.

2. Date and Venue

April 22, 2021 at 10am EST (3pm West / Central Africa). Event will be held on ZOOM and streamed live (Register)

3. Panelists /Speakers

Jon Temin, Director – Africa Program, Freedom House

Ms Kemi Okenyodo

Ms Kemi Okenyodo

Executive Director – Partners West Africa Nigeria

Francis Tazoacha

Mr. Francis Tazoacha

Director of Peace and Security at Nkafu Policy Institute

Dr Denis Foretia

Dr Denis Foretia (Moderator)
Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation

4. Participants

The event will bring together public policy experts, policy makers at the national, continental and international levels, and leaders of civil society organizations. It will be open to the general public with a session for Q&A.


The event is finished.


Apr 22 2021


Zoom Online
Nkafu Policy Institute


Nkafu Policy Institute
+237 654 86 72 54
[email protected]

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