Free Essay: Challenges Facing African Democracy
Democracy remains a thorny issue in most African countries, which even after decades of independence, most nations struggle realizing this type of governance. It is hard to find an African state that boasts of reputable governance. This sends the signal that something is wrong in Africa. There is a problem because one of the key attributes of democracy is the fact that it allows leaders to change after some time. Why would a country celebrate its 50th anniversary since independence when its pinned down with grave governance issues? This paper discusses leading challenges facing African democracy.
According to experts, the few countries that practice democracy in Africa do not meet the standards, required by the international community. Incumbent leaders stick to power for decades to safeguard their wealth and push for selfish interests. In most cases, leaders, who oppress those who cry for justice, transform African nations into political territories. Why would such countries claim to be home of freedom and democracy when they are killing, imprisoning and torturing the voice of the voiceless and those who cannot sit back and watch their land thrown to dogs.
Pleasure for material possessions by most African leaders is a leading impediment towards the path of realizing a democratic continent. What is said to be the “national cake” is grabbed and torn in pieces by those in power. On a daily basis, African tyrants swindle public funds and hide in foreign Western banks. What these leaders do not know is that they invest their countries’ wealth in overflowing economies of the world, leaving Africa impoverished. For Africa to realize democracy there is need for Africans to reexamine leadership formation and the process of political succession. Corrupt leadership has drained the resources of the continent, leaving it drop helplessly and hopelessly from grace to grass. The grave issues of poverty, high mortality rates and diseases largely stem from lack of democracy in the continent.
Another problem that is closely related to pathetic leadership and largely demeaning democracy is ethnicity. In Africa, qualified and smart leaders hardly rise to head governments. Here, your ethnic background is superior to any sane attribute that a leader may have. Ethnic and tribal inclinations are what determine a candidate’s success or downfall in a presidential election. Corrupt and selfish leaders are elected because of their ethnicity and not who they are. History is replete with cases where citizens of various countries elect devils and leave out the saints. When it comes to securing jobs in government, the music is the same. People from minority groups hardly get into higher offices and those who speak a particular dialect have an upper hand.
The mother of all these challenges affecting democracy in Africa is corruption. The practice has become a contagious sin, affecting almost every nation on the continent. Nigeria for instance has a record of rampant corruption and its citizens are feared like Ebola viruses around the world. This applies to Cameroon, which has been previously ranked as the most corrupt nation on earth. Consequently, Africa lags behind and battles problems that only democracy can fix.
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