Africa Integrity Indicators Round 9 Released

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Africa Integrity Indicators 2021 

After nine months of research, the provisional data for the 9th round of the Africa Integrity Indicators is ready for feedback. As with previous rounds, we make the provisional data publicly available so that everyone can provide feedback on the research before the final data is published in July. 

The data, covering Sept 2019 – Sept 2020, can be viewed and downloaded in both .xls and .csv formats and has been transformed into an interactive data visualization on the AII website. In addition to letting us know if there are any inaccuracies, we would also love to hear two things from you – how you use the data and how we can make it more valuable for you. Email comments to or fill out this brief feedback form.

What are the Africa Integrity Indicators?

AII is a research project that focuses on African governance in practice, examining how policies are implemented to support governments, citizens and civil society. It assesses different aspects of transparency, accountability and social development across specific indicators that are collected yearly. Indicators follow a strict methodology. Scores are calculated based on qualitative research that provides a snapshot of the situation in each country every year. Each research finding is supported by a combination of rigorous sources. This is a team project that requires input from on-the-ground researchers for all 54 African countries, as well as country experts and subject-matter experts that review the research.

Our data is used by concerned citizens, journalists, researchers and others interested in African public governance. Several institutions also integrate these datasets into their work, such as the The Ibrahim Index of African Governance and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI). Through the WGI, our data also provides the Millennium Challenge Corporation with key information needed to inform its decisions about country eligibility for their compacts.

Governance – and our indicators – during a pandemic

In the last year, African governments have had to deal with the continued erosion of democratic norms, the global COVID-19 pandemic, and threats to regional security. 

Our data reveals the following key trends:

  • Throughout the continent, civil society faces increasing hostility from the government. Indicator 69 shows how NGO staff have become targeted in the last nine years, not only in countries facing conflict (Mali, Nigeria or Burkina Faso), but also in Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • Violence and instability affect governance. In the Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali indicators show that services diminished and institutions receded.
  • While the number of cases remains low by international standards in Africa, COVID-19 created a serious headache for governments, including a struggle to ensure efficient public health communication while not impeding efforts towards other health issues. Still, indicator 107 shows that most countries are confronting this challenge.

Cumulative trends since AII2

Over the last eight years of the project, we’ve seen an increase in gender representation across the continent. An increasing number of women are being nominated to cabinets (indicator #85) the highest courts (indicator #86) and are being elected to national legislatures (indicator #87). While there are still gains to be made (our top score is earned if only 33% of a body is composed of women), this trend is a hopeful sign for female representation in government. 

Continent-wide, the most drastic decreases in scores since round 2 have been in the indicators measuring freedom of the press (indicator #55), freedom of speech (indicator #56), and political interference in the work of civil servants (indicator #38). In particular, there has been a significant increase in the censorship of citizen-created content online, either by governments themselves or through self-censorship due to fear of repercussions. 

The continent as a whole has had consistently low scores across rounds on several indicators regarding transparency. This includes asset disclosures for both senior-level officials and junior-level civil servants (Indicators #45 and #47), as well as disclosure of both public and private donations by political parties (indicator #49 and #51). Freedom of information has also been an issue. Scores for citizens’ ability to request public information (indicator #42) and access the financial records of state-owned companies (indicator #29) and those related to natural resource extraction (indicator #30), have remained consistently low over the years. 

Unsurprisingly, one of the lowest-scoring indicators continent-wide across all of the rounds has been indicator #76 which measures government protection for LGBTQ+ citizens. With the sole exceptions of South Africa and Cabo Verde, no country has ever scored higher than a 25 on this indicator, and most have consistently remained at 0. 

These are continent-wide trends across years and do not reflect changes at the country- or regional-level. What is true for the continent as a whole is not necessarily indicative of trends in a specific country.

Send us your Feedback!

We encourage you to send us your feedback via email to or through the feedback form by May 31st. The data  can be viewed and downloaded (in both .xls and .csv formats) or via interactive data visualizations on the AII website.

Max Levites
Research Manager, Africa Integrity Indicators

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