Analysis of Failure of Democracies in Africa
The western model of democracy is considered by many Africans to be extremely narrow and even alien to African cultures. Democracy is not just about the right to vote and be voted for, but it is about a whole complex of rights and duties that citizens must exercise if government is to be open and accountable and. Despite the rapid spread of liberal democracy in Africa there have been failures where all the opportunities are right for success. This paper in its analysis of the failure of democracies in Africa explores the views of the modernization theory in general and the culturalist perspective in particular which argues that African traditional political institutions are autocratic, personalized and corrupt, and therefore cannot provide appropriate historical and cultural formulation for democracy in modern societies. Relying on secondary data from journals and other literary sources, the paper disagrees with the modernization and culturalist perspectives and argues that Africa's colonial experience displaced the indigenous democratic practices and replaced them with first, dictatorship and subsequently, western liberal democracy which was and has continued to be alien and as a consequence has been failing across the continent. The paper therefore, recommends that the path to democratization in Africa must be home grown and that outsiders should only help move the process forward.
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