Africa & West Asia


Taking stock of regional democratic trends in Africa and the Middle East before and during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has regressed key aspects of democracy in Africa and the Middle East, including the disruption of electoral processes, restrictions on civil liberties like freedom of expression, and increasing persecution of opposition leaders and parties. The pandemic has hit the region at a time in which the significant advances of democracy in the last decades were coming to a halt.  

These are the findings from the Taking Stock of Regional Democratic Trends in Africa and the Middle East Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic International IDEA report.


The Africa and West Asia region is undergoing constant change. Some countries in the region are moving towards multi-party elections that are mostly free, fair and peaceful.

However, democracy faces several considerable challenges, and in some areas, problems are resurfacing after a period of improved conditions. Problems that concern the entire region include weak political institutions, the underrepresentation of women in political life and limited media freedom. 

International IDEA works in the region from our regional office in Ethiopia and country offices in Kenya, Mozambique , Tunisia and Sudan


Women in Political Participation

Women in Political Participation (WPP) - is a Pan-African gender project on the different facets of Women and Politics in Africa. Funded by Embassy of Sweden in Ethiopia and implemented by International IDEA, its aim is to contribute to advancing the goal of gender equality in politics and governance, in line with the Maputo Protocol of 2003; various associated sub-regional protocols and standards, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The impact objectives of the 'Enhancing the Inclusion of Women in Political Participation in Africa' (WPP) project.

  1. To contribute to an increase in the voice and presence of women in political processes and institutions in Africa.
  2. To step up advocacy for, and expand awareness towards increased demands for the inclusion of women at all levels of political participation and decision-making.
  3. To build and strengthen enabling platforms that allow for women’s inclusion in all levels of political participation.

Inclusive of International IDEA as leading partner, the project brings together a consortium of seven partner organisations:The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Gender Links, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop’s Gender Laboratory (IFAN), Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender and Women and Law Southern Africa (WLSA). 

In support of the WPP's objectives and generally achieving women's equal and effective participation in political decision-making, a key consortium resource was developed:  the Africa Barometer 2021, which aims to provide legislators and policymakers with data to assess progress in women’s political participation over time.

Visit the WPP site for the latest news.

What's Going On


Idirashe Dongo, Councillor Zibagwe RDC, Zimbabwe Photo: Gender Links

News Article

Resta Dzinyangoma, the council Vice Chairperson of Murehwa Rural District Council. Image credit: International IDEA

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Image Credit: International IDEA

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Databases & Tools

Social Media Activity


Country & Regional Support

African Union Commission

Our office in Addis Ababa works closely with the African Union (AU).

We formalized our relationship with the AU Commission in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Accra, Ghana, on 30 June 2007 during the African Union Summit. We actively contributed to the development of the AU Charter as well as the establishment of the AU's electoral assistance programme, and the electoral assistance fund. International IDEA and the AU have also collaborated in areas such as the land and governance, gender, and in political party strengthening.


Supporting accountable democratic governance and active citizenry in Kenya” is a 27-month program funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

This project follows two phases of International IDEA activities in Kenya, in 2012 to 2014 and 2015 to 2017. The activities in both phases focused on strengthening the capacities of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) to discharge their mandates in the elections of 2013 and 2017.

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The ”Support to Consolidation of Democracy in Mozambique” is a five-year programme, which is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency. The programme seeks to support consolidation of democracy by reinforcing the fairness, transparency and credibility of the electoral processes and strengthening capacities of the elected representatives and their democratic institutions. Interventions planned foresee to give support to the electoral cycles, also with a specific focus on gender participation.

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The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the government of the Republic of Sudan have signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a framework for International IDEA to provide assistance to Sudan’s democratic transition.

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Our office in Tunis has provided assistance to the Tunisian effort to organize free and fair elections.

More specifically, we were was asked to comment on the draft electoral law while it was still at a confidential stage.  We equip societies by acknowledging respect for women’s political rights, supporting women in parliament and engaging electoral management bodies and citizens in the use of our tools and workshops.

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Fostering national dialogue

We contribute to ongoing national dialogues surrounding democracy in the region.

We were invited to work with the national dialogue committee in Jordan, including on the development of a new electoral law, a new political parties law and some constitutional amendments in conjunction with the constitutional reform committee. Additionally, we broadened our number of contacts with the national dialogue committee in Morocco. Our representatives continue to provide support across the region for the constitutional building and revision processes.


Networks & Partners

African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL)
African Union
Arab EMBs Organization
Arab Network for Democratic Elections
Arab Network for Women in Elections
Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ANLAN)
Austrian Development Agency
Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA)
Central Commission of Municipal Council Elections (CCMCE)
Central Election Commission (CEC): Palestine
Centre for Multiparty Democracy Kenya
CHAIRE UNESCO Innovation for Emergence of Africa
Comissão Nacional de Eleições (CNE)/ Secretariado Técnico de Administração Eleitoral (STAE)
Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) of The Republic of The Gambia
ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC)
European Union
Human Rights Watch
Independent Election Commission – Jordan
Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia (ISIE)
Institute for Economics and Peace
Kvinna till Kvinna
Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE)
Libyan High National Election Commission (HNEC)
Mecanismo de Apoio à Sociedade Civil (MASC)
Mozambique Parliament / Assembleia da República
National Council of Human Rights (NCHR) Egypt
Office of the Ombudsman of Malawi
Office of the Registrar for Political Parties Kenya
Open Society Foundation (OSF)
RECEF (Le Réseau des compétences électorales francophones)
Regional Centre for the Development and Training of Civil Society (RCDCS)
Rewaq Baghdad Center For Public Policy
SADC Lawyers` Association
SADC Parliamentary Forum
Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO)
Sweden Sverige
Tanzania Centre for Multiparty Democracy
The African Union Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit
The Arab Association of Constitutional Law
The East African Community
The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC)
The Swedish Institute in Alexandria
University of Kwa Zulu Natal
Windhoek City Council

Contact Our Offices

Africa and West Asia (Ethiopia)

Sar Bet Gebriel (around Greece Embassy)

Nefas Silk Lafto Sub City

Woreda 03, House No:812

P.O Box 20029, Code 1000

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

+251 113 710913/14
Roba Sharamo
Regional Director for Africa and West Asia

International IDEA

Rua da Gorongosa, 145 - 1º Andar



Miguel Orlando Mendes de Brito
Head of Programme, Mozambique
Tunisia (North of Africa and West Asia)

7 Rue du Lac El Biban
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia

+216 71 860 502
Khameyel Fenniche
Head of Programme, Tunisia

Landmark Plaza

Argwings Kodhek Road,

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254703 041 046 and +254 20 3673 046

+254703 041 046
Gram Matenga
Programme Manager
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