Why Africa Must Choose its Governance System

Africa’s history is rife with examples of colonialism and external influence on its governance. As the continent strives to move forward and assert its independence, it is crucial to understand the significance of African nations’ right to choose the system of government that aligns best with our unique cultural, social, and economic realities.

Africa must determine its own path and resist any imposition of governance from external forces, particularly from the West and the USA.

Respect for Cultural Identity

Africa is a diverse continent with rich cultural traditions and histories. Each nation is unique, and their political systems should be a reflection of their identity, values, and aspirations. Imposing Western-style democracies or governance structures has significantly undermined these distinctive characteristics, leading to the erosion of cultural heritage and fostering a sense of disconnection among citizens. 

This is one of the very important reasons why Africa must determine its own governance system, to reactivate, honor, and preserve the African cultural identity while building strong and inclusive societies. 

The West and the rest of the world can not continue with their condescending and oftentimes dehumanizing colonial master-servant attitude towards Africa and African sovereign nations. 

Last I checked, colonization has since ended, and with it, the West’s power of control and right to determine how Africans should be governed.

Addressing Historical Imbalances

Colonialism and neocolonial practices have left lasting scars on Africa, impacting its political landscape. The imposition of foreign governance systems during colonization has contributed to long-standing socio-political challenges. 

The Western-styled government has brought more harm to Africa and Africans. The system is foreign and not aligned with our ways of life. Among some of the almost irreversible damage this foreign-styled governance system has dealt to Africa is the pervasiveness of high levels of corruption, especially among the few handpicked cohorts of the “Western powers”. 

The Western-style government corrupted and plundered Africa. It completely disrupted who we are as a people. France had a grand assimilationist colonial policy, the aim of which was to assimilate and transform all Africans in “French” colonies into black French men and women. To accomplish this goal, France had to eliminate all African cultures and assimilate all Africans into French culture.                   

Africa must press the reset button now. Africans, must listen to Marcus Garvey when he says, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds”. To move beyond these barbaric and almost “God-like” supremacy legacies, African nations must be deliberate and determined to design governance structures that will address the historical imbalances, promote social cohesion, and foster equitable development in their respective countries and across the continent.

Customization for Local Needs

Each African nation faces unique challenges and opportunities. A one-size-fits-all approach to governance does not consider the specific needs of individual countries. By embracing the right to choose their own systems of government, be it democratic autocracy, civilian democracy, monarchy, or even a military system of government, African nations can customize policies to suit local conditions, fostering development and progress tailored to their specific contexts.

For far too long, Africans have been told that democracy is the best system of government. However, the reality on the ground in most parts of Africa actually points to the contrary.

How can the so-called “best system of government” leave an entire continent completely devastated, desolate, and in abject poverty despite its abundant wealth in both human and mineral resources? How can the “best” leave the people with the worst kind of development in virtually all areas of human endeavor? How can we even equate what we have in Africa with development? Meanwhile, Africa’s enormous wealth has been effectively and efficiently utilized to actualize REAL development in Western countries and the United States of America.

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The best that has yielded next to nothing to the continent and her people in terms of real and impactful growth and development based on all known globally accepted index of measurement. Unless, of course, the starching away of the vast African resources by the few, politicians, and elites, with the active collaboration of their thieving counterparts in the West and the United States of America is considered development. 

Switzerland, a safe haven for keeping the proceeds of humongous stolen funds from Africa, is rated among the least corrupt countries in the world and the No. 1 best country, yet African nations are rated the worst corrupt countries on the corruption index. Can someone please explain this to me? Aren’t both the receiver and the giver equally culpable?

The imposed system of government is to the eternal benefit of the West. As long as it benefits them, democracy remains the best form of government. It does not matter to them that Africans are not practicing democracy in the true sense of the word.

Democracy, as the owners of that system of government have told us, is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Yet, the West looks away when the very tenet of democracy is destroyed in Africa, when a corrupt politician emerges as President in a fraudulent election clearly not reflective of the choice of the people, and they are the first to commend, congratulate, and accept such a fundamental destruction of the very thrust of democracy.

Africa must evolve its own system of government. If there is any good in a democratic system of government, Africa must customize it for local needs rather than accept the imposed system hook, line, and sinker. Aricans must actively shape their own rules and norms away from Western-styled rules and definitions of what is right or wrong for Africa.

Encouraging Democratic Ownership

True democracy thrives when citizens actively participate in shaping their government and institutions. This is not how democracy is practiced in Africa. And that is simply because the democratic process is alien to how we determine or choose leaders in Africa and how we organize our institutions of government.

Implementing an imposed system has proved problematic for most, if not all, African Countries. So, African nations must be left alone to decide on their governance systems; that way, the process becomes more democratic and inclusive.

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Citizens can engage in constructive discussions about the kind of governance that serves their interests, ultimately leading to a stronger sense of ownership and responsibility for their nation’s future.

Empowering Local Leadership 

Most of the current and perhaps African leaders in recent decades have been puppets of foreign interests. The French colonies are a very clear example, but of course, we are not excluding the British colonies like Nigeria. Nigeria, for example, looks up to Britain every four years when it is time to elect the president or leader of the country. The politicians rush to Chatham House and subject themselves to interrogation by their master, in a show of shame that indicates our being strapped to the colonial chains despite being a sovereign nation.

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Africa must evolve and empower local leadership.  Empowering local leadership is almost impossible when governance systems are imposed from outside. However, when leaders and policymakers have the freedom to chart their own governance path, it empowers them to take ownership and responsibility for their decisions. This sense of responsibility fosters better governance practices and accountability to the local population.

Leadership is about good governance practices and accountability to the people. Regardless of the system of government, as long as it delivers on and meets the aspirations of the citizens, does not run contrary to agreed and accepted rules of engagement with other nations, and respects the sovereignty of other countries, then the Western countries and indeed the rest of the world must respect that governance style. 

Fostering Stability and Progress

A stable political environment is essential for sustainable development. Imposing external governance systems can lead to conflicts and power struggles that hinder progress. When African nations determine their governance, they can create systems that promote stability, peace, and effective governance, leading to overall societal progress.

Africa is a continent of immense potential, rich cultures, and diverse histories. To unlock this potential fully, it is essential for African nations to choose their governance systems freely, without external imposition. By respecting Africa’s cultural identity, addressing historical imbalances, customizing governance to local needs, encouraging democratic ownership, empowering local leadership, and fostering stability, Africa can pave the way towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

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