Nadjita Ngarhodjim discusses the challenges of scrutinising regional standards of democracy in Africa. Democratisation, it is argued, was triggered mainly by the change in the distribution of international political power in the late 1980s. The continent’s leaders, according to the author, reacted promptly, deciding to clothe democracy in African dress by setting their own standards.

Although these standards are in accordance with universal standards and with standards adopted within the framework of other regional and sub-regional organisations, the article argues that they are not well entrenched owing to a lack of political will and the weakness of the mechanisms for their enforcement, oversight and monitoring.

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