Project Syndicate: democracy was the only African countries to the detriment of

Project Syndicate: демократия оказалась африканским странам лишь во вред

In most African countries the democratic system of government does not bring the promised benefits, and instead it turned into a weapon by which the elite and the security forces suppress the weak. Writes Project Syndicate, a scientist interested in the continent should be more critical approaches when they think about African cultures and institutions, and traditional ethnic distinctions that have appeared before modern borders.

Contemporary Africa is largely a product of colonialism, and if you pay attention to aspects such as economy, politics, religion or geography, you can always come across his tracks. Writes Project Syndicate, one of the obvious examples is the democracy, because contrary to all the expectations in most African countries the democratic system of government does not bring the promised results.As the newspaper notes, one reason for this is that democracy is based on principles such as freedom, individualism, solidarity and equality, which can have different meaning in different context. Democracy is rooted in a particular area, the traditions, and culture. For her transplant, one of the conditions in others we must first understand the traditions and culture of the place where it is transplanted. And as in most African countries this was not done, democracy has become a weapon by which the elite and the security forces suppress the weak, and not to the system for the protection of the rights and control over the leaders.The legacy of colonial institutions in Africa usually suppress local traditions. Many African societies have their own ways of doing things, from family management to the coordination of economic and political life. Most people continue to act as an ethnic group, where the identity of the members based on shared linguistic and cultural markers. In the period of colonialism, these traditional companies in most cases have undergone a reconfiguration, which led to the emergence of political structures that do not have their own sources of identity. Therefore it is not surprising that so many of these countries still can’t become a functioning nation-States.”The geographical boundaries that have been imposed for economic and political reasons, became the indestructible reality. Over time, the artificial geographic boundaries of Africa have become psychological barriers. People who have previously been shared ethnic identity, were separated borders between the countries and began to consider themselves different peoples, “writes the author of the material.Until now, the emphasis on colonial borders, and usually at the expense of traditional ethnic groups, continues to define politics and international relations. The same can be said about the management of the economy and on cross-border coordination: all decisions are based on “national” interests, which, in turn, based on a colonial legacy and ties. Despite their shared ethnic identity, the anglophones and the Francophones in West Africa often clash over economic and political issues.But even if we look beyond Economics and politics, you can see that research about Africa tend to have so-called methodological nationalism, one of the key principles of which is the naturalization of the nation-state and ideas of what countries are natural targets for comparative studies. Each of these studies seeks to explain the country through the prism of the “nation-state” culture and institutions and therefore believes the reality of the colonial border. But these boundaries were often very poorly drawn on the basis of alien interests and priorities, so the reliability of all such conclusions must be questioned.As the author concludes material, African countries are not homogeneous, so scientists interested in the continent should be more critical approaches when they think about African cultures and institutions, and traditional ethnic distinctions that have appeared before modern borders and political systems. A more elaborate approach could lead to valuable new insights about the differences in management techniques, leadership and management on the continent.

Share Button