The political instability that Africa experienced in 2015 did not have a terribly devastating efffect on democratic rule in the continent. In fact, with one possible exception, instability did not undermine the quality of democracy because it either occurred in countries that were and managed to remain democratic or in countries where democratic rule had already ended.

The worsening of the tensions between government and opposition now signal that political instability may soon start to take a toll on democratic rule in Africa. One of the opposition leader, after the attempted assassination of the general secretary of Renamo, Mozambique’s main opposition party, announced that Renamo will seize power in March and is getting ready to rule ( And that’d mark, in all likelihood, the end of democratic rule in the country and could trigger what Samuel Huntington called a reverse wave–a wave during which the number of countries in which the quality democracy deteriorates or where democracy is altogether replaced by some form of authoritarian rule exceeds the number of countries that experience either a transition to democracy or an improvement in the quality of their democracy.