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Africa's political governance has improved since 2000. Elections have increasingly become peaceful, and the participation of women in political life has increased. Governments have improved the collection and management of tax revenues. There is a greater determination to fight corruption and illicit outflows of much needed cash - even though both still thrive.However, there are still many challenges ahead. Public protests have increased in recent years,largely in countries undergoing democratic transition. People want jobs and better wages, and they are keeping a closer eye on their leaders, including through digital media. Violence by non-government actors decreased in 2012 but still remains high compared to levels recorded between 1996 and 2010. Recent surveys indicate that more than a dozen African countries are among 65 globally at an elevated risk of social unrest.

The number of armed conflicts on the continent has been reduced and become less deadly since 2000. But new threats have sprung up. Today's conflicts are mainly internal in nature but increasingly spill across borders. The international community has begun to adapt its responses to these threats. This can be seen in the collaboration between the African Union, European Union and United Nations in setting up peacekeeping missions and the tougher mandates given to these missions.

Better governance and social peace are essential for growth and development. A number of initiatives to stop illegal capital outflows and improve the management of revenues,especially from mining, are promising. The business environment is improving, although according to the World Bank report Doing Business 2013, 15 of the 20 countries where it is hardest to do business were in Africa.

Figure 5.4 Top drivers of public protests, 2013

Figure 5.4 Top drivers of public protests, 2013