Countries across Africa are struggling to consolidate democracy.

Elections often serve to deepen divisions rather than build social cohesion. There is pressure to change term limits for presidents and election-related violence persists.

The Regional Dialogue on ‘Emerging Trends and Challenges of Electoral Democracy in Africa’ was held over two days (25–26 May 2016) in Abuja, Nigeria. The dialogue was organized as a partnership event, under the overall stewardship of the Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission. The event partners were International IDEA, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, the Electoral Institute  of Nigeria, the Economic Commission of West Africa, and the Centre for Democratic Development of Nigeria.

Dialogue participants included academics, civil society individuals, and representatives of electoral management bodies in the region. The dialogue provided participants with the opportunity to express perspectives and exchange information on electoral related trends and realities, as part of the search for solutions to overcome challenges experienced in the region. The dialogue was organized around a set of focused panel sessions, which incorporated inputs from invited individuals and discussions from participants. 


Publication date
15 September 2016
Number of pages


Executive summary


Opening session

Keynote address

Panel One: Overview of emerging trends

Panel Two (A): Terms and tenures of political leaders

Panel Two (B): Tenure of elected office holders

Panel Three: Media and communication on elections

Panel Four: Contestation on electoral processes and outcomes

Panel Five: The reform of electoral management bodies

Panel Six: The role of regional organizations and mechanisms

Closing Session


About International IDEA 

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Emerging Trends and Challenges of Electoral Democracy in Africa

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