2018 Election Monitoring in Africa

Our aim with the monitoring of elections and political participation of women in Africa is to provide a deeper analysis, in the form of briefing papers that will incorporate primary sources: the views and voices of parties and voters on the ground. Through a table with statistical data, we will be specifically looking at the number of women (i) registered to vote, (ii) running as candidates, (iii) who are elected following the elections. Our analysis will also include an article on the gender specificities of the country where the election is taking place. We will be looking at the situation of women prior to the elections as well as the way that the elections impact the lives of women.

While the early 20th century saw queens ruling various African countries, notably Ethiopia and Swaziland, the early 1990s saw women appearing on the African political scene, notably in Liberia, Burundi and Rwanda with female presidents and prime ministers. We now hope that the second decade of this millennium will see the rise of true female political participation sweep through Africa, with an increased number of women taking part in the polls, being elected as candidates and playing a key role in shaping their own country’s future.


The  objective is to  provide an easy to use tool to follow the role of women in elections across Africa by covering the position of female candidates before and after the elections have taken place.The accessibility of current and reliable data on women’s political participation, access to leadership is even more difficult to find and compile. Without this information it is difficult to construct an objective view, analyze and interpret the position of women with regards to political participation. By providing this data in an accessible, easy to read framework (ie table) MEWC hopes to provide an information gateway to researchers, policy makers, students other women’s organizations and local voters...

Madagascar is the largest island in the world located on the region of the Indian Ocean with an estimated population of 26 million, of which 76 percent is living in extreme poverty. Presidential elections in Madagascar took place on the 7th of November 2018.The first round voter turnout is reported to be 54.3%. These registered voters are longing for a president that will provide access to basic services such as water, electricity and employment.

Mauritania’s Parliamentary Elections took place in two rounds on 1st and 15th September 2018. Elections were held in 157 constituencies, each electing one member to the National Assembly (Al Jamiya Al Wataniya).

Parliamentary elections in Cameroon took place on the 7th of October, 2018. Paul Biya, Cameroon’s president is now running his seventh term, continuing his 36 year rule over the Cameroonian nation.

The elections for House of Assembly & Tinhundla in Swaziland, recently renamed Eswatini, took place on September 21st, 2018. The election took a relatively low turnout: out of 544,310 voters, only 156,973 voted, representing 28.83% of registered voters for the primary elections.

Rwanda, voted in their parliamentary election on September 3, 2018.

Parliamentary elections were held in São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) on October 7, 2018. Results were disputed and protests targeted the Electoral Commission.

Zimbabwe saw its presidential poll action on July 30, 2018. Emmerson Mnangagwa won 50.8% of the vote in what is deemed as Zimbabwe's historic first election since the fall of Robert Mugabe. There were 23 presidential candidates of which 4 were women. They included Mujuru Joice of People's Rainbow Coalition, Khupe Thokozani of MDC-T, Mariyacha Violet of United Democratic Movement and Dzapasi Melbah of 1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe. Observers like the European Union and rights’ groups have questioned the heavy-handedness of the manner in which the elections were conducted. Opposition leaders have called it a ‘coup against [the people's] will.’

Egypt saw its 4th presidential poll action earlier in March. As predicted, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won a second presidential term with more than 97% of votes in his favour even though the turnout was just 41%. International and Egyptian human rights groups have called the election a ‘farce’ amid crackdown on dissent and after eliminating any real political opposition (5 opposition candidates were barred from running).

Mali’s Presidential Election took place on July 29, 2018. A run-off vote was held on August 12 between the top two candidates, incumbent Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Soumaïla Cissé. The elections were marred with attacks and alleged irregularities at the polls; however the Constitutional Court of Mali validated the final results, officially declaring Ibrahim Boubacar Keita President. The 2018 Presidential Election included 24 vetted candidates for the presidency, including one woman, Djénéba N’diaye.

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