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Debate on Whether or not Africa Needs Democracy is Stale

People who argue in favor of the need for Africa to drop democracy appear to base their arguments on dubious and often fallacious grounds - one that democracy is a foreign imposition on Africa. I have never had any doubt that the kind of democracy that Africa has been experimenting on, like Christianity, is wrapped in western napkins that needed to have been peeled off it long time ago. But the question that these pundits often evade to ask or answer is "why Africa is not devising its own democracy?" Why should Africa be the place where alien systems are imposed?

After 50 years of false starts, inconsistencies, rhetoric, coldness and indifference, it is time for African nations to chart their own way as regards democratic governance. The conversation needs to change now. In as far as things like inclusivity and popular participation of the people in governance, rule of law, respect of people's rights and freedoms, equality etc are part of the essential components of democracy, we must be ready to accept that the debate on whether or not Africa needs democracy does not need to arise. We have wasted a lot of time asking a wrong question. It is now time to drop this question and ask the right questions.      

The question is how African nations may device their own democratic models. It is about redefining and contextualizing democracy; it is about what type of democracy can work in each African situation/nation given the fact that each country is unique and case sensitive. It is about national conversations on what works or can work best where and how. We cannot blame the west when, in fact, it is African nations that are guilty of attempting to cut and paste western models of democracy - most of which are themselves faulty. All we can have are still births and that is what we do. The next thing are cries from all corners of the continent which characterized by claims such as: democracy is a western imposition; it is un-African; we need to drop it etc.

I have no idea how respect for human rights and freedoms, participation in of the people governance of their countries and rule of law are alien to Africa. African nations (tribes) in their history exercised the rule of law and respected fundamental rights and freedoms and upheld them, in fact up-setters of such order where severely punished and policing was structured and obeyed. There was no room for corruption in antique and medieval age Africa because social evils never went unpunished like modern day impunity. Surely we cannot go on aping the so called western democratic models - most of which are fundamentally flawed and that allow for social evils to thrive with impunity and then wish to see anything different in Africa! These are choices that we must make. This state hijacking, mismanagement, criminalization and dirty tricks are essentially un-African. We must be able to see them as disguised within western democratic capitalism. How on earth do we adopt them and later say the west has imposed democracy on us? How are they even related to democracy? How is failure to tackle runway corruption, for instance, due to stupid legislation, non-existent or non-functional justice system supposed to be a western imposition on Kenya or Nigeria or any other African state? What the west imposed on Africa were evils of recent history, such as slavery and colonialism, which we have all the instruments to overcome but we have failed to because we still keep crying. In the 21st century western nations should not and must not be allowed to impose anything on African nations, leave a lone their versions of democracy. If they do it is because Africa is allowing them to and hence no need for howling. 
Debate on Whether or not Africa Needs Democracy is Stale Debate on Whether or not Africa Needs Democracy is Stale Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on October 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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