News & Comment

25 January 2008

Filed under News & Comment

Africa's democratic pains

About the authors

Michael Holman was Africa editor of the Financial Times, 1984-2002

Greg Mills heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation, dedicated to strengthening African economic performance

Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Kenya: four African countries regarded until recently as successes of political reform and economic progress, and with wider potential.

They could - so it appeared - turn their respective regions in west, central, eastern and southern Africa around, and in so doing drive the continent forward. The resources are there: together the four contain more than one-third of sub-Saharan Africa's 750 million people and represent over half of its combined economy.

But elections in each country in the eighteen months since July 2006 have reversed or at least stalled the optimism, raising a series of doubts: over the true path of these countries, the impact on their regions and the role that external actors might play in ensuring stability. 

* In the DR Congo, the first elections since the end of the Mobutu regime and the war which ensued led which in October 2006 (after a two-round process extending over four months) to the election of Joseph Kabila; but this has been followed by months of instability, culminating in new rounds of fighting in the east (see David Mugnier, "How to end a war", 3 December 2007) 

* In Nigeria, the government itself conceded that the election of President Umaru Yar'Adua in April 2007 was flawed 

* In South Africa, the election victory of Jacob Zuma over incumbent Thabo Mbeki as the president of the ruling African National Congress in December 2007 has created new concerns over the future stability of Africa's model state 

* In Kenya, problems in the aftermath of the presidential election on 27 December 2007 have resulted in an outbreak of violence of unprecedented fury, turning a country once viewed as the favourite surf-and-safari destination to just another African country, one teetering on the brink of disaster. 

Four corners, five lessons 

True, these are very different countries and circumstances - from Africa's largest economy (South Africa) to its largest failed state (Congo), and from a key ally in the west's war on terror (Kenya) to a giant with volatile sectarian faultlines (Nigeria). But out of each of these democratic experiences, five commonalities can be drawn. 

First, tribalism and sectarianism still matter. In Kenya, the race was between Mwai Kibaki, a member of the Kikuyu tribe (the largest in Kenya) and Raila Odinga (a Luo), and battlelines were drawn countrywide according to these differences (see John Lonsdale, "Kenya: ethnicity, tribe and state", 17 January 2008). 

In Congo, President Kabila responded to the prospect of electoral defeat in the second-round run-off by bolstering his support by making deals with some of the more extremist yet powerful elements in Congolese politics, and threatening the Banyamulenge in the eastern South Kivu province. 

Nigerian politics remains a balancing-act between the oil-rich (and largely Christian) south and populous Islamic north from where the president draws much of his support, and where Islamic law has been imposed in several states. 

The South African contest has been described not only as one between the more populist Zuma against the comparatively erudite and introverted Mbeki, but also pitting Zulu against Xhosa-led factions in the African National Congress. 

Second, incompetent management and corruption are present and political. When Mwai Kibaki swept to power in 2002 he was regarded not primarily as Kikuyu, but as a reformer who led a coalition that promised clean government. Barely a year later the man appointed by Kibaki to lead the campaign against graft, John Githongo, went into self-imposed exile in London. Far from tackling sleaze, the president and his cabinet allegedly initiated a further set of corrupt practices. Corruption and patronage run deep; indeed, they make the system work to a degree, if only to the benefit of the privileged. While Africa's vibrant press generally does an excellent job in highlighting the extent of malfeasance, but this also focuses on the blame on a few individuals rather than on the overall system of governance. Third, unemployment is a critical destabiliser. To see the crisis in each of these four countries only in terms of tribalism and corruption is to miss a vital element. Today, more than forty years after the independence era, over 50% of Kenyans subsist on a couple of dollars a day, and fewer than 10% of the 400,000 school-leavers each year can expect to find jobs. The picture is worse in Nigeria and the DR Congo - so bad in fact that statistics are not available. South Africa's continuing high unemployment of around 30%, nearly a decade and a half after democracy's advent, along with the slow delivery of basic services is one reason for Jacob Zuma's elevation (see Roger Southall, "South African lessons for Kenya", 8 January 2008)). 

Fourth, growth is imperative, but not enough. All four countries have - like much of the continent - been experiencing an unprecedented period of high (over 5%) growth, buoyed by high commodity prices and better macro-economic management. But the gap between the haves and have-nots has at the same time been widening. This again partly explains the South African election result and why the mood in the slums of Nairobi was overwhelmingly in favour of Odinga. For those frustrated at the polls, there is little to lose by taking to the streets - in frustration over economic circumstance and fury at the electoral system. 

The key challenge for Africa as a whole remains to find a way to create jobs and growth. The rise of China and relative lack of African labour competitiveness may makes manufacturing-driven export-led growth unrealistic, but there are ways to make more of the continent's resources and opportunities (see Paul Collier, "The aid evasion: raising the ‘bottom billion'", 11 June 2007). 

Fifth, democracy is not an event. A difficult election does not mean the end of progress and reform. Indeed, today's situation in Kenya - difficult and painful though it is - is far from the time when African elections (if they happened at all) were single-party charades. But politicians should also not regard their commitment to democracy and the related need for consensus-building as being limited to an occasional, internationally scrutinised election-day. Democracy is a process. 

The right balance

Most non-Africans - and many Africans themselves - tend to see the continent in uniform, almost linear, terms: in which individual events inform trajectories of renaissance, recovery, decline, or failure. The reality is that Africa is far more complex than such schemas allow - and its progress, where it happens, far from linear. 

This makes it even more important that foreign governments and agencies get the balance of their own policy towards Africa right. South Africa apart, the other three states highlight the failure of external actors to expose graft and help deliver better governance. These goals are often sacrificed to the greater (apparent) good of maintaining a smooth relationship and regime stability. A major lesson of these sobering eighteen months is that non-Africans should not attempt to pick and back winners. The starting-point of a good role, rather, is for external actors to be honest in their deliberations about and with these countries.

Greg Mills heads the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation, dedicated to strengthening African economic performance

Comments

In this blog I have found so many news articles from Africa's democratic pains. The details given to get so much news with the following top assignment writing service steps. Then everyone will understood and get the values from this news blog.

Posted by Elbert on 22nd December 2017 at 11:54am

Every student should read and learn some interesting articles. That all details are given for the http://myessays.webstarts.com/review_about_edusson_com.html website followers and review writers for having great essays.

Posted by Terfew on 13th January 2018 at 05:43am

Nice post The key test for Africa in general stays to figure out how to make employments and development. Im doing essay writing service reviewsThe ascent of China and relative absence of African work intensity may makes fabricating driven fare drove development unlikely.

Posted by jeas on 19th January 2018 at 05:03am

You have posted very informative article about African political situation. Before reading this article i did not know much about the political situation about the Africa. Garage Shelving units for sale

Posted by Mike on 12th February 2018 at 05:40am

I am happy to read the post, you have mentioned about africa's democratic pains which i like reading. I must say you have work hard in collecting data to write this post. caster wheels

Posted by Ramon on 12th February 2018 at 08:12am

You post, feel me some special thing in this website. I feel real pain. Your post explores my mind on this democratic pains. I am sharing this post with my friends. Your post is very fantastic. Get safety mats for grass

Posted by Steve John on 14th February 2018 at 11:30am

I enjoy you because of your whole work on this blog. My daughter loves engaging in research and it’s really simple to grasp why. Most people know all of the compelling way you give vital items by means of the web blog and invigorate participation from the others on that subject matter while our own girl is always discovering a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You’re carrying out a powerful job. Flower father's Day Card

Posted by alex12 on 21st May 2018 at 10:12am

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also very good. Best Friend Captions

Posted by captions on 30th May 2018 at 07:25pm

modem ke prakar

Posted by Amber Kay on 31st May 2018 at 06:50am

I have just seen this at a preview screening in London. casey anthony

Posted by usama on 22nd July 2018 at 01:41pm

The keyword research tool ensures that your website's content has just the right keywords to take your website to the very top. Regarded as one of the best Seo tool station SEO Powersuite is a combined package of four top SEO tools; Link Assistant, SEO Spyglass, The Rank Tracker, and The Website Auditor.

Posted by AsharSeo on 30th July 2018 at 09:12am

Thanks for a wonderful in addition to enlightening post We truly value all the effort which went in to the creating. high citation flow backlinks

Posted by AsharSeo on 16th August 2018 at 08:10am

cc20180830

pandora charms sale clearance

nike react shoes

cheap jordan shoes

timberland outlet

coach outlet

cheap jordans free shipping

nike store

salvatore ferragamo

dansko shoes

air jordans

canada goose

new balance outlet

fake rolex

tory burch outlet

salvatore ferragamo shoes

fitflops

cheap ray ban sunglasses

ugg boots

ray ban sunglasses

air max 97

coach outlet

nike outlet store

ugg boots

moncler outlet

michael kors outlet online

coach factorty outlet

coach outlet

coach factory outlet online

nike air max

louis vuitton outlet

pandora jewelry

michael kors outlet

cheap oakley sunglasses

christian louboutin

mulberry bags

louis vuitton outlet online

hermes bags

canada goose jackets

michael kors outlet clearance

ralph lauren outlet

skechers shoes

nike shoes

moncler outlet

discount oakley sunglasses

mont blanc pens

new york mets jerseys

pandora outlet

cheap nfl jerseys

coach outlet store

louis vuitton outlet online

supra shoes

fitflops sale

replica watches

michael kors outlet online

coach factory outlet online

toms outlet

jordans

coach factory outlet

supreme new york

canada goose jackets

converse outlet store

dr martens boots

nike cortez

pandora jewelry

kate spade bags

fitflops

uggs canada

lebron james shoes

adidas shoes

coach canada outlet

kate spade handbags

adidas stan smith

swarovski outlet

ysl outlet

nike tessen

adidas shoes

canada goose outlet

air max 97

coach factory outlet

kate spade outlet

ralph lauren uk

kate spade

coach outlet

pandora jewelry

fitflops sale clearance

moncler outlet

coach outlet online

louis vuitton

nfl jerseys wholesale

ralph lauren uk

michael kors outlet

birkenstocks

ralph lauren sale clearance

nike air presto

pandora jewelry official site

pandora charms

birkenstock sandals

ysl handbags

canada goose outlet

arizona diamondbacks jerseys

jordan shoes

nike air more money

canadian goose

adidas shoes

converse shoes

louboutin shoes

kate spade handbags

michael kors outlet clearance

moncler outlet

coach outlet

asics outlet

polo outlet

vans store

cheap nfl jerseys

pandora jewelry outlet

pandora jewelry

coach factory outlet

nmd adidas

pandora charms sale clearance

ugg outlet

polo ralph lauren outlet online

birkenstock outlet

coach outlet online

pandora

air max 90

canada goose sale

Posted by king on 29th August 2018 at 08:51am

Thanks for a wonderful in addition to enlightening post We truly value all the effort which went in to the creating. Happy Halloween Cartoon

Posted by AsharSeo on 4th October 2018 at 06:05am

Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly! cricket betting tips for ipl

Posted by mannu on 24th October 2018 at 05:41am

Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile! t10 league teams squad

Posted by jfb on 5th December 2018 at 02:29am

Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly! cricket prediction tips

Posted by sports on 7th December 2018 at 06:43am

Thank you so much for the great and very beneficial stuff that you have shared with the world. Steroids Shipping Info

Posted by massroids on 23rd February 2019 at 08:49am

Thanks for a wonderful in addition to enlightening post We truly value all the effort which went in to the creating Cinnamon Oil Exporter from Sri Lanka

Posted by Kisunar on 25th February 2019 at 05:21pm

I am happy to read the post, you have mentioned about africa's democratic pains which i like reading. W3schools

Posted by James Boyd on 27th March 2019 at 01:24pm

I am happy to read the post, you have mentioned repelis about democratic pains which i like reading.

Posted by Mrjhon on 30th March 2019 at 03:22pm

I am happy to read the post, you have mentioned about africa's democratic pains which i like reading. Learn SEO

Posted by William Awad on 7th April 2019 at 05:25pm

Easy calculation of Payroll. Tracking and managing your inventory. Having summary of your repayments, due bills etc. at central dashboard. Even all things considered these advantages, some problems do exist in QuickBooks. These issues are solved within no time at by our QuickBooks Point Of Sale Support Number team. jogos friv online Jogos live jogos friv 4 school

Posted by quyen on 17th May 2019 at 09:49am

Ironically, I was trying to stay out of the house because it made me sad to be there without [Dillon]. I went in to work and our administrative assistant's daughter was there with two new foster pups, six weeks old. They were two out of seven from a litter that was found by the side of the road in a box. I held Libby for at least an hour, and the rest is history! Jogo live 360 jogos 2019 game io 4 school

Posted by hung on 18th May 2019 at 02:26am

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. free kizi Games free game online friv Games online 2019

Posted by duy on 20th May 2019 at 12:12pm

The cultural history of Inter-war Europe is filled with such powerful and influential interpretations of a reality that defeats the human capacity to imagine evil. Take Picasso's Guernica for instance. In June 1937, Picasso finished painting the Modernist classic in response to another April tragedy: the bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica during the civil war. It was his anguished creativity reacting to George Steer's eyewitness account of the incident. kizi kizi 2 games free games friv Games for kids 2019

Posted by duy on 22nd May 2019 at 09:44am

At once the blog might possibly unquestionably pick up famed very from post the general public, as for the meticulous content articles or maybe just necessary review articles.insulation

Posted by Jhon Rockey on 10th June 2019 at 04:30pm

604-534-3363
604-534-7117

Appliance Repairs, Installations & Sales – Langley BC

6-20701 Langley Bypass, Langley, BC

Servicing Langley / Aldergrove / White Rock / Maple Ridge / Abbotsford & Surrey

A+ BBB Rating • 5* Homestars Rating • 4.8* Google Rating • Warranty On All Appliances & Services

f99b6b958e7963bc

Appliance Repairs

We repair all major makes and models

Repairs

Appliance Installations

Dishwashers, Stoves, Refrigerators…

Installations

Appliance Sales

Reconditioned and Scratch & Dent sales

Sales

Appliance Parts

Order parts online 24/7! Browse our HUGE selection here!

Parts

Professional Appliance Service, Repairs & Installations

Get great rates and the convenience of incredibly fast repairs from the certified technicians at KMR Brookswood Appliance. We have proudly served the Langley communities since 1983. We repair all major makes and models, supply parts and sell refurbished, scratch and dent, and reconditioned appliances. We offer Appliance Repair in Langley BC, Appliance Repair in Surrey BC, Used Appliances Langley, and Used Appliances Surrey. Call today!

Contact us

Current Promotions

View Promotions

Customer Testimonials

Read Reviews

Certified Technicians

Learn More

Why use Brookswood Appliance Service?

We've got a great BBB rating

View our BBB profile

Read Our Reviews

Our customers love us

Read our HomeStars reviews

© 2019 KMR Brookswood Appliance.
Site by Visco Design.

Posted by Gupta on 1st July 2019 at 02:29am

Its an incredible joy perusing your post.Its brimming with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that "The substance of your post is marvelous" Great work. 프로미 먹튀

Posted by dany on 13th July 2019 at 12:56pm

Nothing compares to Weber using Genesis sort of grills. That is certainly the type gas grills which have been that will always make sure that they deliver a high performance part of down interval Real estate

Posted by kiwfh on 24th July 2019 at 12:20pm

It turns out that even the hottest port has a few places where you can get off the beaten path. Here are some recommendations that will make you feel like you're in the know Dining room decor ideas for beginners

Posted by kitt on 24th July 2019 at 08:57pm

Idiotic and additionally trusting people at the same time can be an obstacle, on aged and also fully grown folk assembled also will follow a complication. Age and also embryonic concern together. 리턴벳 먹튀

Posted by sam on 17th August 2019 at 02:30pm

Thanks for the awesome write up! I found the article to be informative. Here are the latest residential developments launching in Singapore 2019. Many more condominiums coming your way. Urban Treasure showflat, Sengkang Grand Residences showflat, The Iviera showflat, The Verdale New Launch, Dairy Farm Residences New Launch, The Midwood New Launch, Brookvale Park New Launch, The Antares showflat, Midtown Bay showflat,One Pearl Bank showflat.

Posted by New Condo on 30th August 2019 at 06:37am

This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.Fmovies

Posted by Nirob on 21st September 2019 at 06:50pm

Such sites are important because they provide a large dose of useful information ... backlink

Posted by jhon set on 26th September 2019 at 03:24pm

At once the blog might possibly unquestionably pick up famed very from post the general public, as for the meticulous content articles or maybe just necessary review articles.satta king

Posted by Shariful Sourav on 4th October 2019 at 04:33am

Thanks for the awesome write up! I found the article to be informative. Here are the latest residential developments launching in Singapore 2019. Many more condominiums coming your way. The Atelier, Linq @ Beauty World, Ki Residences, Hyll On Holland, Dalvey Haus, Parc Canberra EC, Leedon Green.

Posted by propsingapore on 14th October 2019 at 07:57am

Is the most impressive article slotxo

Posted by Losa on 31st October 2019 at 09:23am

A round of applause for your article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.agencia de publicidad en santiago

Posted by Ripon on 10th November 2019 at 04:40pm

Thank you very much for this great post.photo editing for- ecommerce business

Posted by Shariful Sourav on 15th November 2019 at 02:25am

This is a difficult situation - Loft Conversion

Posted by Loft Conversion on 20th November 2019 at 11:26pm

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business Wish2everyone

Posted by Ankit Vishwak on 30th November 2019 at 05:44am

At once the blog might possibly unquestionably pick up famed very from post the general public, as for the meticulous content articles or maybe just necessary review articles.website development companies

Posted by Jhorna on 3rd December 2019 at 05:21pm

Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.Better Business Bureau Colorado Springs

Posted by Nevin on 3rd December 2019 at 05:34pm

I wrote about a similar issue, I give you the link to my site.ecommerce website design

Posted by Shans on 6th December 2019 at 04:22pm

Make a comment
Email will not be published
Put right answer (e.g. twenty-five)
Leave this field blank (antispam tool)