Civil Society And Democracy In Africa
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Civil Society And Democracy In Africa

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  • Contested notion of ”nation state” in Africa (=”alien state”), European imposed borders often truncated traditional kingdoms and empires, led to some failed states.Necessity of the dev of civil soc to counteract traditional tensions
  • Nation Building in AfricaIdealistic Nationalist leaders – struggle against colonialism, create new independent nation state, often highly educated. This lead to POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE, although some succumbed to ideas of power and authority (personal, pervasive, lifetime) based on ”African chief” concept = BIG MAN. ”African leaders need to learn to raise new leaders”. Leaders ”democratically” elected for life hampers dev of dem.Mid 1960s – era of military govts, often oppressive and authoritarian.New age of democracy – civil demonstrations, change in world order, change from below.1989-1998 ”saw the greatest expansion of freedom in human history”, led to change in many countries, but dem is often based on unstable or weak pillars. (Tom Matthew on ‘The Decade of Democracy’ in Newsweek Magazine Dec 1994
  • NEED: ”Growth of CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY” goes hand in hand w dev of civil soc. For ”ordinary” people basic issues are most imp: ”bread and butter”. Democracy is starting to deliver benefits/dev: Ghana, Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zim (b4), S.A., Nigeria...
  • Civil Society and Democaracy in AfricaLecture by Prof. Jerry GanaCivil Society and Democracy are beneficial and necessary for each other to be successful.Q: How to translate democracy into development? The links are not automatic.Q: How to make sure democracy benefits the people?Contested notion of ”nation state” in Africa (=”alien state”), European imposed borders often truncated traditional kingdoms and empires, led to some failed states.Necessity of the dev of civil soc to counteract traditional tensionsNation Building in AfricaIdealistic Nationalist leaders – struggle against colonialism, create new independent nation state, often highly educated. This lead to POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE, although some succumbed to ideas of power and authority (personal, pervasive, lifetime) based on ”African chief” concept = BIG MAN. ”African leaders need to learn to raise new leaders”. Leaders ”democratically” elected for life hampers dev of dem.Mid 1960s – era of military govts, often oppressive and authoritarian.New age of democracy – civil demonstrations, change in world order, change from below.1989-1998 ”saw the greatest expansion of freedom in human history”, led to change in many countries, but dem is often based on unstable or weak pillars.NEED: ”Growth of CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY” goes hand in hand w dev of civil soc. For ”ordinary” people basic issues are most imp: ”bread and butter”. Democracy is starting to deliver benefits/dev: Ghana, Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zim (b4), S.A., Nigeria...CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACYPolitical partiesElectoral systemSys of checks and balances: separation of powersVibrant civil socFree and ind mediaEffective control over military and armed forcesNecessary for functioning DEMRight of people to have free and effective choice – politicians need to respect an election resultRight to free associationRight to freedom of expressionRight to the rule of lawTransparency, due process, accountabilityPillars of DEMStrong, effective, accountable ParliaCivil soc – network of civil soc orgs neededFree and fair electionsProperly functioning markets: providing goods and servicesFreedoms... Role of good governance in DEVFailures in dem can be traced to failures in leadership.NEED qual leadership:Respect integrityHonour – honesty, speak truthCapacity to deliverMobilise peopleVision – must leadLegitimate authority (rigged elections lead to lack of legitimacy)CONCCreate productive national economies for dev, and provision of goods and servicesPromotion of good governance.Humane, peaceful and just society.DignityBasic infrastructureInvest in people: ed, health, securityDynamic capital investment Other points:Democracy should not SUSTAIN peopleCreate wealth from belowDevelopment (work) in the West has lost the ”human” touch, too impersonal

Civil Society And Democracy In Africa Civil Society And Democracy In Africa Presentation Transcript

  • Civil Society and Democracy in Africa
    Based on a lecture by Prof. Jerry Gana
    (Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, 3 October 2008)
  • Questions
    How to translate democracy into development?
    (The links are not automatic)
    How to make sure democracy benefits the people?
  • Background
    Contested notion of ”nation state” in Africa
    (=”alien state”)
    Need for the development of civil society to counteract traditional tensions
  • Nation Building in Africa
    Idealistic Nationalist leaders
    Political Independence
    Mid-1960s: era of military governments
    New age of democracy
  • Current need
    Growth of Constitutional Democracy goes hand in hand with the development of civil society
  • Constitutional Democracy
    Political parties
    Electoral system
    Separation of powers (system of checks and balances
    Vibrant civil society
    Free and independent media
    Effective control over military and armed forces
  • Necessities for functioning democracy
    Right of people to free and effective chioce – politicians need to repect election result
    Right to free association
    Right to freedom of expression
    Right to the rule of law
    Transparency, due process, accountability
  • Pillars of democracy
    Strong, effective, accountable Parliament
    Civil society – network of civil society organisations needed
    Free and fair elections
    Properly functioning market: providing goods and services
    Freedoms...
  • Leadership
    Failures in democracy can be traced to failures in leadership.
    There is a need for quality leadership:
  • Leadership
    Leaders must strive to:
    Create productive national economies for development and the provision of goods and services
    Promote of good governance
    Develop an humane, peaceful and just society
  • Conclusion
    Democracy should not SUSTAIN people