Free Essay: Challenges Facing Democracy in Developing Countries
Developing countries experience a wide range of challenges. Besides economic stagnation, they face issues related to good governance. Is it possible for a developing nation to have good governance? This remains a debatable issue among many factions; with others saying that, only the developed world can experience democratic governance. Is this a mental development? Why do third world countries face numerous and complex issues of governance? This essay explores challenges facing democracy in developing nations.
The first problem is political unrest. While coups can happen anywhere in the world, regardless of development status of a nation, this is common in developing countries. Here, people are never satisfied with leaders and all citizens’ energies are engineered towards toppling a president or the government. A good example is Africa, a continent where most of its nations grapple with coups and civil wars decades after they got independent. Common examples include Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and Somalia among others. For years, these countries have stagnated in warfare for personal interests. This environment of war therefore limits the probability of the seeds of democracy to germinate and grow in such nations.
Another problem facing democracy in developing countries is lack of informed citizens. The understanding of people in developing world about democracy is different and some do not appreciate its existence. Because of misinformed ideologies, some people in third world countries argue that democracy only belongs to Western countries. This understanding stems from low levels of literacy since a huge population of some of the affected people is semi illiterate or illiterate. Thus, it is almost impossible for the public to appreciate the true meaning of democracy. Leaders further take advantage of the gullible state of citizens to exploit their minds, use them to revolt, and fight against each other with no reason.
Corruption is another plaque affecting democracy in developing countries. Leaders of these countries usually have their interest first before they think of the nation and the larger population. For instance, many public organizations and companies fail in these nations because of looting but those in power. They exploit public coffers and hide their ill-gotten wealth in developed countries. This illustrates how selfish some of the leaders in the developing world are. They wield power and use it to amass wealth, which is wasted in foreign countries.
Poor systems of governance further undermine the meaning of democracy in developing countries. Ethnic succession processes worsen this, as power is inclined towards a given group of people that is popular regardless of how crude and evil they could be. It is common in Africa, where leaders cling to power without thinking to retire. There is no better example than Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who has been in power since 1980. His refusal to pave way for new leadership has jeopardized the country’s efforts to realize any substantive progress. Another leader who has clung on power is Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who has led the nation since 1986. These tyrants rule by force and their word is always final.
Ethnicity is also common in developing countries, where people align themselves depending on their origin. The situation is horrible when this mindset in applied in electing leaders. Here, people rise to become commanders in chief because of their popular backgrounds and not what they are ready to offer in terms of leadership.
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