Democracy in Africa Political Changes and Challenges

ISBN: 9781611630022

Democracy is an enigma in contemporary Africa. Although elements of democracy existed in African politics in the pre-colonial times, the European penetration and subsequent colonization provided the gateway for the prevalence of Western form of democracy with the practice of the parliamentary system. As each African state gained independence, beginning from the mid-twentieth century, political leaders mostly followed the Western democratic process. Africans now choose their leaders through electoral processes, but other pertinent factors make the full practice of democracy difficult.

The purpose of Democracy in Africa is to assess the level of democratic practice and to identify and analyze the political changes and challenges facing African countries. Shortly after independence, many African nations experienced political turmoil through military intervention in politics, which directly suspended democratic process. The popular uprisings and crises in North Africa, mainly in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, bear testimony to the need for the implementation of democracy in these and other African countries. These events call for political leaders to adopt and respect democratic principles, concentrate on good governance, and promote political stability.

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