Democracy and Africa hanging by a thread
There are growing voices from and by African governments and many Africans questioning, and thus, going as far as rejecting what they call “western” style “democracy“, that has so far, dominated political discourse concerning public governance in Africa.
The kind of democracy and its values anchored on an array of freedoms; freedoms that are vital to political democracy such as freedom of speech, expression, choice and so forth.
Africans allege these are western values and hence not universal but the western political powers try to foist these democratic values on Africa. However, Africans also allege and complain that they find such western style democracy and its values sharply at odds with their interests.
They complain and accuse western powers of imposing on them – African countries and their governments – a system of [public] governance that they find stifling to their socioeconomic and political objectives.
That may well be true, for there’s, really, no universal, one size fits all system of [public] governance. Africans – African countries and their governments – are right to, and they should complain if and when they feel they are being patronised and imposed on by western powers.
They are right to assert themselves if and when they feel western powers are meddling in their internal [political] affairs. It’s good that African countries and their governments make it clear to western powers that self-determination is of the essence and are determined to achieve it.
However, while African countries and their governments reject western style democracy and its attendant values, which they allege are not aligned to and therefore find stifling to their socioeconomic and political development needs and objectives, they should also reject western support.
African countries and their governments that are bitterly complaining about western style democracy, and making efforts to reject it and its values, should also reject western support to train their police, military, workforce and other vital support they receive from western political establishments.
For it’s through such support that western style democracy and its stifling values of political freedoms that African countries and their governments take serious issues with, are transmitted and hence, on which the subsequent imposition they complain bitterly about is anchored.
It’s a gargantuan fit of irony for African countries and their governments, particularly those attempting to justify or cover up their authoritarian practices and/or tendencies, to complain about western style imposed democracy and its values of political freedoms, for meddling in their internal affairs when demands are made on them to be accountable for their practices. When western style imposed democracy suddenly holds a mirror to them, but find it appropriate and acceptable when it serves their interests.
At the same time they’re complaining bitterly about western imposed democracy and its values of political freedoms, they’re accepting all kinds of support from western powers.
This behaviour, this double-faced behaviour/dealing, exposes and makes them look like the political hypocrites they really are. Complaining bitterly when the same system criticises them and praising and waxing lyrical about it when it coddles them.
They act, and thus, rather, make it or want to make it a self-service – a choose and mix – at someone else’s expense but where who caters for the expense has no voice at all on setting the rules or decorum of self-service or what can and cannot be chosen and mixed.
If African countries and their governments are intent on rejecting what they view as western style imposed democracy, which, admittedly, has its own sinister motives and may well have contributed to the unstable political environments in Africa, they must reject the entire package.
In fact, they must reject the entire claim and notion of “democracy“. They must get rid of it from their political discourse. They must find and define a new political language, their own language that fits and reflects their own political values, beliefs, ideologies and so forth.