Democracy in African - Salam Kane - TodaysGhana

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Democracy in African - Salam Kane

Welcome to Africa, the picture below is actually the nature of the Ghanaian Economy!!!

There are many perceptions, concepts and constructs of what it means to be democratic or what constitutes a democracy. It can be seen on the surface of discussions that the western or the colonial rulers have different perceptions about Africa and democracy unfortunately, many of those paradigms are linear, Western-oriented models, which tend to overlook the historical and cultural variations of democracy. Long before the coming of the colonial masters Africans practiced democracy.

From this concept democracy can be said to the system of governance where by the individual in a polity are involved in the decision making of its affairs in the form of voting people to parliament or similar assembly. From this it can be said that African leaders were not autocratic but they practiced democracy before the coming of the colonial masters. 

Even though democracy is said to be a western culture. Africans in certain ways did practice democracy.  It is these values and the institutions, set up to support them, that were largely responsible for the development and survival of pre-colonial African states
The question to be asked is how democracy was infused into the African society and our ways of living.
Democracy in the Western sense may be antithetical to Africa’s brand of democracy based on communal traditions.

The word democracy is one of the most used terms of the political vocabulary. This vital concept, through its trans-cultural dimension and because it touches the very fundamentals of the life of human beings in society, has given rise to much written comment and reflection; nevertheless, until now there has not been any text adopted at the world-wide level by politicians which defined its parameters or established its scope. 

This concept was probably in some way frozen by the opposition between plain or "formal" democracy and "popular" democracy which was current until recently in world-wide multilateral circles. These times are past; democracy - now unqualified - seems to be the subject of broad consensus and its promotion is high on the agenda of international bodies.

The post-colonial period has seen the neglect and sometimes deliberate attempts by governments to weaken such institutions. Emphasis has tended to be placed on patriotism and nationalism. (Thus, the Head of State will do the right thing because he is a nationalist or patriot).

In recent times, where such agencies have been recreated, they have been created only because the World Bank, IMF and other powerful external agencies demanded them. (Policy conditional and the presence of expatriates in Central Banks, Finance Ministries, audit agencies are manifestations of this phenomenon).


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