for Democracy Conference 2022
aimed at renewing commitment to the promotion of democratic ideals nationally, regionally and continentally.
About the Africa Drive for Democracy Conference
The Africa Drive for Democracy Conference 2022 (D4D2022) took place on July 20 - 21, 2022 at MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation, Arusha.
The conference was a distinctive platform for public intellectuals, lawyers, artistes, politicians, religious leaders, journalists and pro-democracy activists interested in appreciating Africa’s democratic performance, its limitations, and growth. For comparative and reference purposes, the public dialogue was also open to individuals involved in the promotion of democracy at the global stage. The conference intended to stir in-depth deliberations on the state of democracy in the continent. Speakers and participants unearthed the root causes for democratic decline in some African states, assessed democratic initiatives in the continent and challenges faced by democratic actors and proposed pragmatic and sustainable solutions to foster a culture of democracy in Africa.
The Africa Drive for Democracy Conference 2022 (D4D2022)’s theme was “Fighting the democratic backslide through renewed action and solidarity.” This theme was divided into the following sub-themes:
Documentation of democratic trends in Africa.
Regeneration of the African democratic community.
Actions by democratic actors ranging from litigation, campaigns, grassroot mobilization in response to democratic decline in Africa.
Africa Drive for Democracy Conference aims to tackle the democratic downturn
As Africa experiences a democratic decline as a result of coups and rising authoritarianism, strong civil society collaboration and networks are vital.
Zanzibar, Arusha, Pretoria – Despite numerous commitments by African leaders to good governance, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the continent is facing the most severe decline since the global third wave of democratisation in the 1990s. In response to this alarming situation, the African Union (AU) has held two special meetings this year to discuss the trend towards unconstitutional changes of government.
As the AU tackles this important subject, the Africa Drive for Democracy conference will convene in Arusha, Tanzania from 20-21 July 2022 to rebuild African solidarity around democracy.
Freedom House reports that only seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa are currently rated ‘free’ – the lowest figure since 1991. Only 9% of people in this region lived in ‘free’ countries in 2020, compared to 11% the previous year. Nevertheless, African people overwhelmingly support democracy according to AfroBarometer.
Years of investment in building a viable African civil society as an important democratic lever are under threat as authoritarianism rises not just in Africa, but other parts of the world too. The time is right to critically reflect on citizens’ role in fostering democracy, along with challenges and successes thus far, and new possibilities for Africa’s democratic journey.
The Africa Drive for Democracy conference brings together representatives of the democratic community from over 30 African countries. Delegates at the forefront of the struggle for democracy will have a safe space to discuss trends, exchange lessons and experiences and strengthen networks of solidarity. The conference will deliberate on the plight of democratic activists and how to regenerate their efforts in the face of growing threats from increasingly authoritarian states.
Participants will include leading academics, researchers, jurists, student leaders, journalists, trade unionists, political parties and active citizens.
The conference will be opened by former president Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone.
The conference is co-hosted by the Center for Strategic Litigation, MS Training Center for Development Cooperation and the Institute for Security Studies, with support from the Embassy of Sweden in Tanzania and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.