West-Africa in 2023- Votes and volatility

2022 was a turbulent year in West Africa, especially its Sahel region, with coups d’état, jihadists uprising and the departure of the Barkhane force from Mali. Non-state violent armed groups have grown and expanded to become a regional threat. Security challenges, along with economic and social stresses, contributed to an erosion of public confidence in state institutions and even regional organisations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The democratic recession observed in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso has propelling the regional body into complex political crises that it has struggled to manage effectively. In 2023, West Africa faces a multidimensional set of challenges: high risk elections, economic inflation, prevailing insecurity led by jihadi groups, shrinking civic space and democratic recession. Across the region, hard-won progress in press freedom and civil liberties are in decline with journalists arbitrarily detained and disinformation is on the rise. Addressing these challenges in the context of economic stagnation will be a significant challenge.

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