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The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub Saharan Africa

Since the Institute conducted its first program in Sub-Saharan Africa in the mid-1980s, the majority of African nations with closed political systems have adopted principles of democratic governance. In many of the countries still governed by authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes political space has opened. But Africa remains a continent of stark political and socio-economic contrasts and many longstanding challenges – debt, ethnic divisions, environmental disasters, poverty, and HIV/AIDS. Autocratic regimes, civil strife, corruption, weak institutions, and unresponsive political systems continue to undermine reform efforts in a handful of countries.

Today, NDI is active across Africa, implementing programs as diverse as the continent itself. NDI has worked with domestic election monitoring groups in Angola, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe; embarked on a radio-based civic education program to increase political awareness in Sudan; helped parliaments deal with such issues as HIV/AIDS and extractive industries in east Africa, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Somalia; assisted political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya and Mali; empowered women and youth to seek a greater role in politics in Burkina-Faso, Botswana, Guinea, Tanzania, and Uganda; and promoted accountable and representative politicas in Côte d’Ivoire.

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Burkina Faso

October 2014 saw protests remove a president from power after 27 years, paving the way for multi-party, transparent elections in November 2015; issues, including increasing government accountability, participation by women and youth in politics and the role of civil society remain priorities as democratization takes root. | Read more »

Côte d'Ivoire

After a civil war, several years of a political stalemate, and the recent post-election violence, there is an urgent need for national reconciliation to heal deep divisions within Ivorian society. | Read more »

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

NDI is working with many of the DRC's political parties to prepare, and to take steps to mitigate the potential for violence around elections. | Read more »


Programs in Ghana support Ghanaian citizen observers to monitor electoral processes. | Read more »


Programs in Guinea promote transparent and credible elections through increased participation in the electoral process by political parties, civil society, and women. | Read more »


Kenya remains at a crossroads as its leaders struggle to rebuild their country and maintain peace. | Read more »


NDI is working with lawmakers and civil society to modernize the legislature and strengthen electoral processes. | Read more »


NDI supports a credible, transparent and peaceful election cycle in Madagascar. | Read more »


After 30 years of one party rule under a regime that restricted many basic freedoms, Malawi transitioned to a multiparty democracy in 1994. Read more »


NDI's programs support transparent and credible elections, a more responsive National Assembly and increased participation for women. | Read more »


NDI partnered with local civil society groups to strengthen citizen input in the ongoing parliamentary-led constitutional and electoral reform processes. | Read more »


Although Niger has returned to democratic rule, the country continues to face a number of challenges to longer term stability.| Read more »


Following Nigeria's historic 2015 election, increased civil society engagement through sample-based observation and advocacy provides an opportunity for Nigerians to hold newly-elected officials to account and build upon the country's democratic advances.| Read more »


While Somalia is popularly known as the world’s preeminent example of a ‘failed state’, that characterization should not overlook efforts to reconstitute an inclusive Somali government | Read more »

South Sudan

Since gaining independence from Sudan in July 2011 through a highly anticipated referendum, the Republic of South Sudan faces challenges to peace and democratic development.| Read more »


Sudan’s path to democracy has been marred by conflict spanning the past few decades. | Read more »


Multiparty elections were reinstated in Tanzania, though the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has retained power with victorious presidential candidates and dominant representation in parliament. | Read more »


Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has endured two brutal dictatorships, numerous attempted coups and a protracted civil war. | Read more »


Over the past two decades, Zambia has experienced progress and setbacks in its democratization process.| Read more »

Africa Political Party Finance Initiative

Political party finance and related corruption pose one of the greatest threats to democratic and economic development worldwide. | Read more »

African Union

NDI has supported the African Union’s (AU) efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and encourage youth political participation since 2013. | Read more »

Enhancing Domestic Election Monitoring in Southern Africa

Multiparty democracy was adopted in nearly every country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in response to domestic popular pressure. | Read more »

Enhancing Women's Participation in Southern Africa

Numerous declarations have addressed the need to advance women’s rights and status in Africa. | Read more »

HIV/AIDS and Governance in the Southern Africa Region

The HIV and AIDS pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on Africa, particularly in the southern region, where as much as 20 percent of the population of many countries are affected. | Read more »

Strengthening Democratic Control and Oversight of the Security Sector in the Sahel Region

Effective democratic control and oversight of the security sector promotes peace and stability. | Read more »

Transparency and Good Governance in African Extractive Industries

Revenues from oil should spur economic growth and social development in developing countries. | Read more »

Supporting a Network of Women's Caucasus in the IGAD Region

Women’s caucuses help to consolidate women’s political power by organizing women leaders as a “critical mass.” | Read more »