A number of African countries will be having their Presidential elections this year, we have compiled a list of the dates to help you keep track of the elections.

1. Nigeria

Date of election: February 25, 2023

Current president: Muhammadu Buhari, (80 years old) has served as president since 2015

The number of political parties: 18 registered parties

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has a multi-party system,  All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) occupy the most seats in the National assembly.

According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), “Nigeria is one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, who are often watched, attacked, arbitrarily arrested and even killed,” with the country ranking 129 out of 180 countries for press freedom.

2. Sierra Leone 

Date of election: June 22, 2023

Current president: Julius Maada Bio (58 years old) has served as president since 2018

The number of political parties: 17 registered parties

Sierra Leone has a multi-party system, with the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC) occupying the most seats

According to the RSF, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed by law in Sierra Leone. Despite a genuinely diverse media landscape, journalists are sometimes targets of arbitrary arrest and detention,” with the country ranking  46 out of 180 for press freedom,

3. Zimbabwe 

Date of election: Between July 26 and August 24

Current president: Emmerson Mnangagwa (80 years old) has served as president since 2017

Number of political parties: 44 registered parties

Zimbabwe, is a unitary state, a system of political organisation in which most or all of the governing power resides in a centralised government.  The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) one of the biggest political parties in the country has been ruling Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

According to the RSF, “The media situation in Zimbabwe has improved slightly since the dictator Robert Mugabe’s ouster in 2017. Access to information has increased and self-censorship has declined,” with the country ranking 137 out of 180 countries for press freedom.

4. Gabon 

Date of election: August 2023

Current president: Ali Bongo Ondimba (64 years old), has served as president since 2009

The number of political parties: 11 registered parties

Gabon is a one-party dominant state with the Gabonese Democratic Party in power. Opposition parties are allowed but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. According to the RSF,  “a free and independent press in Gabon is still a work in progress, in part because of overzealous sanctions imposed by the media regulator – sanctions that, nonetheless, decreased in 2021,” with the country ranking 105 out of 180 for press freedom.

5. Liberia 

Date of election: October 10, 2023

Current president: George Weah (56 years old) has served as president since 2018

The number of political parties: 26 registered parties

Liberia has a multi-party system with numerous political parties, in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

According to the RSF, “since the mid-2000s, the political stability that flourished in the aftermath of the Liberian civil war has favoured the growth of the press. Nevertheless, attacks on journalists continue with complete impunity”. Liberia ranks 75 out of 180 countries for press freedom.

6. Libya

Date of election: October 10, 2023

Current president: Mohamed al-Menfi (46 years old) has served as president since 2021

Since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year autocratic regime, Libya has held elections and formed multiple governments but has struggled to unify around a stable form of democratic governance

7. Madagascar 

Date of election: November, 2023

Current president: Andry Rajoelina (48 years old) has served as president since 2019

The number of political parties: 7 registered parties

Madagascar is a semi-presidential democratic republic with a popularly elected president, a bicameral legislature (Senate and National Assembly), prime minister, and cabinet.

According to the RSF, “Madagascar is characterised by a very rich media landscape that is highly polarised and lacking in independence. Attacks and arrests targeting journalists are quite rare”. The country ranks 98 out of 180 countries for press freedom.

8. Democratic Republic of Congo

Date of election: December 20, 2023

Current president: Felix Tshisekedi (59 years old) has served as president since 2019

The number of political parties: 602 registered parties

According to the RSF, “The government wields a great deal of influence over the media, which appear to be diverse but routinely censor themselves. Journalists are rarely subjected to arbitrary detention but may end up being held for a long time if they are”. The country ranks 93 out of 180 countries for press freedom.

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Tips for journalists covering the 2023 elections in Nigeria


  • Opportunities for African journalists in December

    Have a look at this list of fellowships, grants, awards and other opportunities with fast-approaching deadlines

  • Climate journalism hub aims to empower African journalists

    climateXchange has partnered with the Wits Centre for Journalism to launch a hub in Africa that aims to foster relatable climate content, measure impact, and provide reporting solutions to empower and engage audiences

  • Tools to help journalists mitigate safety risks

    A leading panel of experts discuss crucial aspects of physical, digital, psychological and legal safety

  • How this initiative is promoting gender journalism worldwide

    The Gender Beat supports journalists with training and other resources to facilitate quality gender journalism. It also advocates to newsroom leaders and funders for more and quality stories about and by women and gender-diverse people


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