Africa: Hard-Fought Rights Are Slipping Away, Says Afrobarometer

Ugandan soldiers beating up Reuters photojournalist James Akena as he covered the protests over the detention of several Opposition MPs in Kampala (file photo0.
23 April 2019

Cape Town — Civic and political space is closing as governments clamp down on citizen's freedoms, says Afrobarometer in a new report. The pan-African research network, based in Accra, conducted surveys in 34 countries between 2016 and 2018. The surveys looks at how the attitudes, experiences and perceptions of citizens have change over a period of 10 years.

Some of the key findings are:

- African governments have increased actions and policies that look to restrict the rights and freedoms of their citizens

- There has been a decline in popular demand for freedom, in particular the right to associate freely

- Citizens are willing to accept restrictions of their freedom if it is for the stated aim of public security

- Their is widespread support for freedom of association - at 62% across 34 countries - but this shows a decline of 20% over 10 years

- 53% stand for the right to private communications, while 43% are willing to accept government monitoring in the interests of security

- 67% of Africans say they are "somewhat" or completely" free to say what they think - this is a 7% decline across 31 countries tracked since 2011-2013

For the full report, click here.

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