21 January 2016

Africa: 2016 - Elections in Africa ARI's Interactive Election Resource


Election map - click on highlighted countries on the map for pop-up fact boxes and links to recommended reading

Timeline - scroll through for a chronological view of the year's elections

Further reading - browse a variety of articles, from survey reports to ambassadorial blog posts, by country

Expert briefings - read insightful background and analysis

At least a dozen sub-Saharan African nations are due to hold presidential or parliamentary elections this year. In Uganda, a divided opposition will struggle to unseat Yoweri Museveni after three decades in office.

Denis Sassou Nguesso appears determined to retain power in the Republic of Congo after a comparable stint (albeit with a hiatus between 1992 and 1997). Zambians will return to polling stations a mere 19 months after voting in a presidential "by-election" following the death of Michael Sata. Will they re-elect Edgar Lungu given the parlous state of the economy?

In Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou is competing for a second term in office; Idriss Déby Itno is seeking his fifth term in office in neighbouring Chad. The decision of Thomas Boni Yayi to stand down as president of Benin after completing two terms provides for an extremely competitive election.

In São Tomé and Príncipe, Manuel Pinto da Costa is expected to stand again for the presidency, an office which he first obtained in 1975, before standing down in 1991, only to be re-elected in 2011. In Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema has announced his intention to stand for a fifth term as president.

In Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba looks to secure his second seven-year term in office, continuing the political dynasty started by his father in 1967.

It is unclear whether Joseph Kabila will compete again in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he assumed the presidency following his father's assassination in 2001. More certain is that Ismaïl Omar Guelleh will again stand for the presidency of Djibouti, having succeeded Hassan Gouled Aptidon, in 1999.

In Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca is seeking a second term as head of state, having defeated Pedro Pires in 2011. Finally, Comorians will have a new leader as the presidency of the republic rotates between the federation's three constituent islands: Anjouan, Mohéli and Grande Comore. The latter will provide the country's next president for the first time since 2002.

Use the resources below to explore analysis on upcoming votes and review the outcomes of concluded elections across the continent. We are updating this page on a rolling basis.


The timeline display the polls according to their anticipated dates. Each entry includes a quote, which offers an interesting angle on potential outcomes and political dynamics. All resources have been chosen with a view to encouraging debate, and neither individually nor collectively reflect ARI's own opinions. Some countries have not yet set firm dates for their polls. We will be updating the visualisation with new information and graphics over the coming months as details are finalised.

Further reading

For more resources, click here.


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