Africa has produced 25% of the world’s constitutional systems since 1789. The first constitution in the region was that of Liberia in 1825, but most followed decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s. The average constitution over this entire period has endured 12.2 years.
Browse the timeline below, which is built from the Comparative Constitution Project’s chronology of constitutional events data, or explore the individual countries further to learn more.
Timeline of Constitutions
Data from the Comparative Constitutions Project.
Key to constitutions
This region includes the following countries
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo (Democratic Republic of the)
- Congo (Republic of the)
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- Gambia (The)
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Tanzania (United Republic of)
For analysis of constitutional lifespans see: Elkins, Zachary, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton. The Endurance of National Constitutions. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Thanks to Jonathan Corum, who designed the original version of the timeline graphic.