The Democracy Index reviews the state of democracy in 165 independent countries worldwide using five parameters: process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.
Based on the performance of the countries in the five categories, they are then classified into four regimes namely: full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” and “authoritarian regime”. A full democracy is the best rating while authoritarian regime is rated the worst.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest democracy, was ranked 22 out of the 44 sub-Saharan African countries and 108 in the world. The country, which was scored 4.62 in 2015 scored a not-so-impressive 4.44 in the recently released 2018 study.
Nigeria was classified a hybrid regime, meaning it is a combination of democratic traits such as regular elections and autocratic ones, such as political repression.
Nigeria was left limping behind countries such as Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Kenya, mali and Ghana who were ranked 21st, 20th, 18th, 14th and 6th respectively.
In the West African sub-region and among member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigeria was among the poorest rated, ranking only better above Togo, Guinea, Gabon, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, and Gambia.
Cape Verde is the highest ranked ECOWAS country ranked second in Sub-Saharan Africa and 26 in the world with a score of 7.88. Ghana, with a score of 6.63 is ranked 6th in Sub-Saharan Africa and Senegal is ranked 8th with a score of 6.15 while neighbouring Benin is ranked a close 9th with a score of 5.74.
The Economics Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.