Please note the start time for this event is 9:00-10:00AM ET and 2:00-3:00PM GMT

With over twenty elections expected across the African continent this year, democracy is on the ballot in 2024. Over the past four years, Africa has seen coups and military transitions across Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Sudan, Mali and Sudan. These events have resulted after flawed elections, attempts to change constitutional term limits, or failure by civilian governments to effectively address security and development challenges. Critics on double standards about democratic practices have also led to question France’s influence in West Africa. Most recently, Senegal’s unique democratic model has been tested by the delay of the country’s presidential elections,

Most recently, Senegal’s unique democratic model has been tested by the delay of the country’s presidential elections. However, its democratic culture and institutions have proven strong, with Macky Sall respecting the decision of the top election authority to void the election’s postponement and releasing hundreds of political prisoners.

Across the continent, African democracy is moving forward as successful elections and transitions take place, such as in Nigeria or Liberia. From Le Balai Citoyen to Lucha, the strong grass roots activism reflects the dynamic commitment of African youth and their power in helping oust authoritarian regimes. According to a report by Afrobarometer, seven out of ten Africans say they prefer democracy over any other kind of government.

The event will engage with the audience in a unique way by soliciting opinions about the African vision of democracy. Tune in on Thursday, February 29 at 9 a.m. ET/2 p.m. GMT to watch experts and leaders delve into the state of democracy in Africa. This event is part of an Africa Center special series highlighting Africa’s geostrategic importance and how trends on the continent impact the rest of the world. 

Welcome remarks

Fred Kempe
President and CEO
Atlantic Council

Opening remarks

Mo Ibrahim
Founder and Chair
Mo Ibrahim Foundation


Christopher Fomunyoh
Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa
National Democratic Institute

Souleymane Ouédraogo
Mouvement Balai Citoyen

Daniel Twining
International Republican Institute

Lahra Smith
Director of the African Studies Program, School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

Moderated by

Constance Berry Newman
Senior Fellow, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

The Africa Center works to promote dynamic geopolitical partnerships with African states and to redirect US and European policy priorities toward strengthening security and bolstering economic growth and prosperity on the continent.

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