Academic freedom has ‘robust impact’ on democracy in Africa

Wagdy Sawahel
University World News

Excerpt: The significance of scholars and intellectuals to support democratic institutions in African societies and “speak truth to power” – as enabled by academic freedom – has been reiterated in a study at a time when democracy has been under attack in several countries on the continent. In 2021, democratisation in Africa has not only stagnated, but has deteriorated as the continent witnessed coups in Niger, Chad, Mali, Guinea and Sudan.

In the most recent coup in Sudan, the academic community has a vocal and prominent group as part of civil society protests against the power grab. The study by researchers Hajer Kratou and Liisa Laakso from the United Arab Emirates-based Ajman University and Sweden’s Nordic Africa Institute, is titled ‘The Impact of Academic Freedom on Democracy in Africa” and was published in the Journal of Development Studies in November.