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Can Democracy Work In Africa?

Zimbabweans will go the polls this Saturday but the outlook for the opposition is bleak in spite of the fact that the country has been in a total economic meltdown for several years.

Incumbent Robert Mugabe has been in power for 28 years since the country’s independence and has violently suppressed opposition to his rule.

Many independent international observers groups have been barred from the country. The elections will only be observed by election monitors from China, Libya Sudan and Iran and Russia.

International media organisations such as the BBC have also been barred from covering the election. The opposition alleges that millions of surplus ballot papers have been printed in advance by the government to rig the poll.

The government has warned that any attempt to protest against the eventual outcome of the election will be put down by the security services.

Unfortunately this scenario has been repeated several times in Africa. With a few exceptions leaders are unwilling to give up their grip on power.

The electoral process is manipulated, the losing party cries foul, violence ensues, international observers state their views and eventually the country goes back to business as usual.

That leads us to the question Can Western Style Democracy or any kind of Democracy Work in Africa?

Earlier this year an editorial in the official Chinese paper the People’s Daily argued that Western Democracy or any kind of Democracy was unsuitable for Africa and was “tyrannically imposed” by colonial rulers who ignored traditional forms of governance.

http://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/african-democracy/#comment-12966

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If democracy is democracy as some contributors who would want us to believe, I say any government of the people, by the people and for the people is democracy. Who the hell is the fool that will tell certain group of people that what they had is not democracy because it probably did not meet the skewed expectations of an onlooker?   

By the way, democracy had worked in certain areas of Africa before the Europeans carved the continent into bits to suit their colonial interests.

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abeg no mention chinese model, it cant work in Nigeria. china is a mono-ethnic nation, the hans are almost 92% of the population.

Imagine having such in Nigeria,

what wud be the representation ratio in the governing council ?

of course every tribe wud want a representation, isn't it?

then how wud decisions be made ? voting ? of which the hausa representation wud have the highest and hence wud definitely skew the decisions to favor Northerners and islam first before anything even if it is not economically viable or makes sense.  

back to square one

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As i will tell my friends, democracy is precisely wat we need as it cuts across ethnic lines, pinning one fraction against another instead of the disastrous tribe against tribe.

All this country needs is that disciplined, focus, incorruptible leader with an actual vision of what height he wud want the country to attain.

If the president is not bribing senate president with oil-wells, there wud be better checks on the presidency.

If the president is disciplined, he wud sack any officer that err. Be it minister, lecturer etc.

If the president is focused, he wud ensure budgets are implemented.

If the president has an actual vision, be it mass industrialization, tourism or farming, he cud then direct the economy and development to attain it.

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I think you should stick to the issue here. Democracy is Democracy  -- The Chinese model of whatever you want to label it HAS NOTHING to do with Democracy. I think you should probably try to investigate your facts from here on.

Again,  In North Africa today, people are making sacrifices so they can have the right to vote , to speak, to live freely. This is the same Africa you claim democracy cannot work in. In places like Ivory Coast, people are still refusing to stand down for a dictator to take root, and you speak so flimsily of what Africa deserves or does not deserve, according to you?

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Democracy cannot work in Africa except for groups that practiced at least some form of democracy prior to Colonialism. I fee that most African states should follow the Chinese Model. Democracy is not meant for everyone. And you do not need a democracy to develop.

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Democracy can work in Africa, only if we stop being cowards, stop bullying each other and stop fighting senseless wars, Molesting our women and killing innocent children by using them as child soldiers.

In summary, let's start utilising our brain power positively.

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What recent happenings??

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Why not. We need not to be scaredwith thr recent happenings, we will get to that stage very soon, let us just be conscious of the fact that democracy is the best,and work towards it

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The title should now be Can democracy work for Eastern, Western and Southern African States ( Since Northern African States/Arabs now accept that Democracy is what they want).

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Democracy can not work in Africa but lawfulness can. Africans are too head strong and stubborn, we don't take criticism lightly. An average African has an ego as big as half his body. When Africa learns to accept each other as one and accept constructive criticisms then we can begin to change. Every Africans wants to be a leader not because he has a progressive idea to better the lives of his people but because he wants to oppress them and loot the treasury.

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What do mean they by "Western Style of democracy?" Democracy is democracy, government by the people with free and frequent elections If Africans cannot practise the simplicity of the above they should stop blaming the West and come up with "African style of Democracy." I wont be surprised if it ends up being totalitarian.

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This is not just Nigeria to be considered here but other african countries and the many african cultures out there that are being or have been introduced to this idea of democracy and considering the current situation with these countries compared to situation before the introduction of democracy. There are many, and when I say many, I mean many out there, all across africa who still have the colonialist victim mentality that assume that democracy is the west's way to impose more control on them and their cultures. This discussion was on the BBC today and I was suprised to hear african contributors go on and on about how democracy is of the west and hence to be resisted in Africa. here are some of the comments for you to consider,

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@ poster, why not! it's just a mstter of time.

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