“Are Africans’ freedoms slipping away?”

May 16, 2019

Afrobarometer’s most recent pan-African survey finds that many Africans “see their individual freedoms diminishing, and many are willing to give up at least some liberties in the name of security.” The report acknowledges that support for several freedoms remains strong. For example, across the 34 surveyed countries, 62% of Africans support freedom of association. However, the report finds only six countries in which support for freedom of association has grown in recent years.

Regarding freedom of expression, 67% of respondents feel “‘somewhat’ or ‘completely’ free to say what they think.” However, the perception of the extent to which individuals enjoy freedom of expression has declined overall in 31 countries over the past decade. Although the report indicates another year of declining support for individual freedoms, it highlights several surprising findings. For example, “residents of authoritarian Gabon are the strongest advocates of associational freedom across all 34 countries (90%).” Read the report here.