Displayed with permission from dpa German Press Agency

Cape Town (dpa) – Multiparty elections have become standard in most countries in Sub-Sahara Africa during the past 25 years.

But, in many cases, elected governments don’t run functioning democracies. Instead, human rights abuses, authoritarianism, corruption and suppression of political opposition are rife.

American non-profit organization Freedom House has ranked the 48 countries south of the Sahara according to their political freedom:

– Only 10 nations are categorized as « free, » including South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia and Senegal.

– 20 countries are considered « partly free, » such as Mali, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

– 18 nations are listed as « not free, » including Gambia, Angola, Ethiopia, Sudan, Congo and Somalia.

– The least democratic country in Sub-Sahara Africa is Somalia, followed by Eritrea, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic.

– Democracy grew in the region for 15 years since 1990, but has declined since 2005.

– Only 12 per cent of the roughly 1 billion people in the region live in functioning democracies. That means 880 million people live in nations that are only « partly free » or not free at all.