The Gambia's rise is monumental in that it is the biggest leap of any country in the world. In 2017, the country underwent its first ever democratic transfer of power bringing an end to Yahya Jammeh's 22 years in power.
The 2017 Democracy Index is out and we read through so you wouldn't have to. First of all, nothing much changes. You could look at the 2011 Index and still understand the democratic landscape of the continent and the Economist Intelligence Unit admits the same. However, the toast of the year is The Gambia. Its meteoric rise from full-blown authoritarian governance to a hybrid democracy is as inspirational as it is saddening: there are 22 more countries still stuck in the "Authoritarian" category. Unacceptable in the 21st century! In any case, The Gambia's rise is monumental in that it is the biggest leap of any country in the world. In 2017, the country underwent its first ever democratic transfer of power bringing an end to Yahya Jammeh's 22 years in power. The EIU says, "Yahya Jammeh, a dictator who suppressed political freedoms, centralised powers within his ethnic group and relied heavily on the military to instil fear in the population." The country is now ranked 21st in Sub-Saharan Africa, a graceful leap from 36th just last year. This translates to a jump from position 143 to 113 in the global rankings. Hope is alive!
Mauritius is still the only full democracy with an overall score of 8.22, good enough for position 16 in the global rankings. Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa, Ghana, Lesotho and Namibia follow in that order in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are the region's top performers but we need to just name and shame the worst performers: Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. None of these countries could muster a score of 2.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracy, on a 0 to 10 scale, is based on the ratings for 60 indicators, grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Each category has a rating on a 0 to 10 scale, and the overall Index is the simple average of the five category indexes. The category indexes are based on the sum of the indicator scores in the category, converted to a 0 to 10 scale.
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