On the excessive lack of economic freedom in Africa in the years 2017–2023

Bartłomiej LACH
Analyx sp. z o.o. in Poznań, Pologne

Krzysztof MALAGA
Université des Sciences Économiques et de Gestion
Institut d’informatique et d’économie quantitative


Purpose : The aim of this article is to describe and assess the state of economic freedom in African countries.3 The basis of inference is based on the coefficients of economic freedom published since 1995 by The Heritage Foundation in Washington and Wall Street Journal for 184 countries around the world. The comparative analysis is carried out in African countries divided into four geographic regions : Southern Africa, North and Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa during the years 2017–2023

Design/methodology/approach : In empirical research we use the methods of correlation analysis, σ-convergence, σ-divergence and multivariate comparative analysis. The R program and the dtw and dtwclust packages are also applied. As a result, an in-depth assessment of the evolution of economic freedom was carried out in the 49 countries assessed, separately and in the four groups of countries analysed.

Findings : It has been shown that in the case of African countries in the years 2017–2023, we are generally facing stagnation or more or less chaotic changes in various aspects of economic freedom. It seems that both the governments of African countries as well as the international institutions which support the development of African countries should rely more widely than before on the achievements of economic thought in the field of social choices, as well as on the role of economic institutions and freedom in economic devel­opment.

Originality/value : The article provides comprehensive knowledge on economic freedom for the vast majority of African countries in terms of general index of economic freedom and twelve partial indices of economic freedom.

Keywords : economic freedom, σ-convergence and σ-divergence analysis, multidimensional comparative analysis, clusters, dendrograms.

JEL classification : O57, P20, P29, P52.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.18559/RIELF.2023.2.3