South Sudan ranked at the bottom, followed by Somalia, Eritrea, Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Burundi, Libya and Equatorial Guinea.
Government violence against civilians and political unrest increased across Africa since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the report says, with governments using restrictions to clamp down on dissent.
“Although this trend predates the pandemic, existing antidemocratic tendencies have been accelerated by the introduction of restrictive measures and emergency provisions that have been left in place for an extended time period,” it said.
The index did chart improvements in some economic, education and gender equity categories, Ibrahim said. However, the report only analyzed data through the end of 2021 so did not take into account the full impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.