WHITHER AFRICA’S DEMOCRACY? (2)

WHITHER AFRICA’S DEMOCRACY? (2)
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And so, I believe it’s time I ask this question “Have you ever stopped to wonder what it means for virtually all countries on the African continent to be described as developing?”

I have been racking my brains to understand what gives people of other continents and races the right or audacity to describe African countries as non-developed or developing?

African migrant workers in Libya being sold as slaves

Being African, I can’t help but wonder ‘What does Africa lack’? If it’s the question of mineral ores like gold, bauxite or diamond, the Europeans had to come down to Africa for them. Is it fertile land? I doubt not because virtually the whole continent except for the Sahara desert, is forested. Is it potable water, rivers, lakes, oceans, mountains, flora or fauna?  Africa is blessed beyond measure!

So why are countries in Africa not developed? In the past, we were told that the stagnation or the inability to make progress by African countries was because of the numerous military interventions.

And so, for Africa to develop, we were told we need to go the way of DEMOCRACY. The whole western world is developed because of the practice of democracy! Send the soldiers back to the barracks and all would be well!

The saviour of African countries, DEMOCRACY, was lavishly outdoored all over. Beautiful names with unbelievable acronyms like All Progressive Congress (APC), The African Democratic Congress (ADC) and The Action democratic Party (ADP) all from Nigeria and The National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic party (NPP) and Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Ghana became the order of the day.

To say that Africans have bought into the idea of democracy would be an understatement! Indeed, the people bought into the idea to such an extent that nationalism doesn’t count anymore All that matters are the political parties! Party headquarters, paraphanelia, songs, colours, conferences and sloganeering have taken over.

Having reduced ourselves to beggars, the west tied aid, donations and loans to democracy. So, off to the barracks the soldiers receded!

With democracy at play, the floodgates to the ceased loans and aid among others started pouring. With time, the political parties have grown bigger in stature. The politicians have become the elite in control of everything and have great wealth to show for it.

Some like Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Yahya Djameh of the Gambia to mention a few and out of charity to the images of some present and former African presidents, had their constitutions amended so they could stay on longer if not forever in power.

And so the politicians have become rich, well connected and powerful and detached from the people.

After several interventions, students still sit on the floor to learn in Ghana in the year 2017

While the politicians grow richer and become more affluent, the populace wallows in abject poverty. While the politicians live in secure locations like Abuja in Nigeria and East Legon and Airport residential areas in Ghana for instance, poverty has pushed the populace to live in shanties that keep springing up daily.

And so, the more the loans and aid poured in from the west and lately China, the more the politicians got richer. Corruption has become the order of the day. People, who were known as barely surviving before joining the political bandwagon, have become rich overnight.

And so huge presidential palaces built at huge expenses to house the Executive are in place. Are you talking about Aso Rock or Ghana’s Flagstaff House? How can one also forget the mighty buildings to house the parliaments? We are talking about parliamentarians who are immuned from criticism.

And so while the politicians prospered and receive plaudits from the west, the citizens wallow in misery and poverty.

Hope you haven’t forgotten how the Europeans got to Africa and how they managed to colonize almost the whole African continent and how freedom was won at a very huge cost.

And so as you can discern, I have shied away from any talk of slavery.  The huge human resource forcefully taken away to foreign lands! The loss of uncountable lives!

And so today it’s been close to thirty years since democracy swept across Africa yet all the countries are still classified as developing countries. Citizens of a country like Nigeria find themselves undertaking dangerous journeys across the desert to reach Europe all because of a failed economy.  Ghana, Cameron, Uganda just name a few, are no different.

The drift from the villages to the cities, towns and metropolis keep increasing with no end in sight. Able-bodied youth engage in selling dog chains and anything one can think of along the major roads. Prostitution, thuggery (Boko Haram in Nigeria and Delta Force in Ghana) and armed robbery, have also gained a new lease of life

Instead of democracy leading to socio-economic progress, it has turned into DEMOCRAZY that has led to African countries being highly indebted with little to show for. Citizens are running away from their countries ready to become slaves in the west. The number of people who die in the attempt to cross the divide into Italy among others keep rising.

Democracy the much touted saviour of the African continent has been embraced but after three decades of practice, it’s not too clear what benefits it has brought to the teeming masses. For the envisaged benefits to be achieved, there’s the need for a turn-around.


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