This week’s Pic of the Week is a map of African legislative bodies hanging on my office wall. It provides simple but crucial information on the number of representatives in each African country’s national legislative body and the country’s type of the legislative body, either unicameral or bicameral legislature. Of the 54 African countries, 24 have bicameral legislatures while the remaining 30 have unicameral legislatures.
The map is missing a few things. Mauritius, which has a 70-member unicameral legislature, and Seychelles, which has a 34-member unicameral legislature, are not included. Senegal’s 35/65-member (the number in each chamber) bicameral legislature is not mentioned, although the country is clearly marked on the map. In addition, there were two recent developments on the continent that have not yet been incorporated into the map: on July 9, 2011, a new nation, South Sudan, with its 332/50-member bicameral legislature was born, and Kenya is in the process of switching into a 350/68-member bicameral legislature as mandated in its 2010 Constitution.