As the electoral calendar has it, a critical mass of francophone African countries holds presidential elections every five years – next time in 2020. The politics of these seven elections provides a good indicator of general democratic trends in French-speaking West and Central Africa. None of the seven countries has previously experienced a peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to the next.
Dr. Sophia Moestrup is the Deputy Director for Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). She has worked for NDI since 2005 on the design and implementation of democracy support programs in the region. Prior to joining NDI, Dr. Moestrup spent six years in Francophone Africa, working for the United Nations in Cameroon, and for the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) in Niger where she served as Country Representative. She has been a consultant for the World Bank on public expenditure management and social accountability issues, authoring a number of chapters for the World Bank’s Social Accountability Sourcebook. Dr. Moestrup has coedited four books on semi-presidentialism. Dr. Moestrup holds B.A and M.A degrees in Economics from the University of Copenhagen, and a Ph.D. in political science from the George Washington University.