Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed optimism about the growth and resilience of democracy in Africa despite facing challenges.
Speaking at the 20th-anniversary celebration of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Johannesburg, he said that democracy indices in Africa remain strong and public support for democracy is high.
“As we celebrate 20 years since the founding of the APRM, we should acknowledge that, despite the setbacks, democracy indices in Africa are strong and resilient. Public support for democracy remains high across the continent.
“Africa has an active citizenry. Electorates are showing time and again their rejection of authoritarianism and other threats to democracy. In no small part, the APRM has contributed to strengthening and consolidating democracy across our continent.
“This is a clear demonstration that democracy lives and thrives in Africa. It is a firm rejection of the hopeless continent narrative that has prevailed for so long. We are proud of how far we have come, and we look to the future with optimism and hope,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the setbacks, including coups, conflicts, and threats to democracy in some countries.
ALSO READ | Developing countries must unite – Ramaphosa
However, he emphasised the active citizenry and rejection of authoritarianism, crediting the APRM for contributing to strengthening democracy.
“Over the past three years there have been a number of coups d’etat, attempted coups and other non-democratic transitions of power in Africa. A number of countries in Africa are beset by terrible and protracted conflicts, wars and violence causing devastating loss of human life, livelihoods that are disrupted and economic productivity that is destroyed.
“Elsewhere also on our continent we are also witnessing democratic gains being rolled back, fundamental rights and freedoms being curtailed, and the positions of already vulnerable groups on our continent worsening.
“These developments should trouble all of us. They are setbacks in our quest to realise…the Africa we want, one that is characterised by good governance, one that is underpinned by democracy, by respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law. Never has the need been greater for a structure like the APRM,” he said.
The event also marked the launch of the South Africa Second Generation Country Review Report, providing insights into the country’s progress and serving as a knowledge base for governance improvement.
Ramaphosa expressed appreciation for the review process and highlighted its role in promoting good governance.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com
Compiled by Betha Madhomu