The Trans-Saharan Elections Project is a project of the University of Florida’s Sahel Research Group. TSEP covers elections and the democratic process in a set of six neighboring countries across the Sahel region of Africa. Our goal is to serve as a resource for academics, journalists and policy makers by providing key information on a set of countries that have received far less attention than they deserve. As elsewhere in Africa, these countries had very limited experience with elections during the first three decades of independence (1960-90). Since the early 1990s, however, elections have been central to political discussion and to the search for viable democratic institutions across the region. This website provides information on key aspects of the electoral systems that had been developed in each of the six countries by 2013. As elsewhere, of course, there are ongoing debates and consequent efforts to reform and modify Sahelian electoral systems. In the final thematic section (10) for each country, we will provide periodic updates on debates, controversies and new developments.

The Trans-Saharan Elections Project was made possible by a generous grant to the University of Florida from the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The TSEP website builds on the network of specialists that grew out of the exchanges made possible by that grant, and on the ongoing efforts of the Sahel Research Group. For more information on those exchanges see “About TSEP.”

The site has been designed to facilitate comparison both between countries and across thematic areas that are central to contemporary debates about elections in Africa. Beginning your reading by any given country will then allow you to click successively through each relevant theme for that country. Should your interests be thematic, you can also begin your reading with a specific theme, and then click across a discussion of that theme in different countries. You can also switch from French to English versions of the material with a simple click.

We welcome suggestions and contributions that might help enrich this site, both in terms of functional features and of substantive additions, corrections, or questions about the material provided here. Feel free to contact us with your input.

List of Themes & Issues

2. The Party System and Conditions of Candidacy

6. Voter Identification and the Electoral Lists

7. The Regulation of Electoral Campaigns

9. Counting the Votes and Proclaiming Results

10. Debates, Controversies and New Developments

This post is also available in: Français (French)