A number of developed countries practice Western-type democracy as their system of governance. Western countries and the U.S. not only tout their democratic credentials as the best in the world, they tend to foist their system on emerging nations in a “one size fits all” system.

The U.S. has a complex maze of electing its president through a mathematical matrix hinged on a so-called electoral college. In this system, a candidate with a simple majority vote does not necessarily become the president. A presidential candidate may technically win the presidency upon winning only certain key states.

The British, on the other hand, do not elect their prime minister through popular vote of the masses, but rather select or choose from the majority in Parliament.

As such, any one among the majority could end up being elected prime minister. In most African countries, a president is elected basically by a simple majority, making the process closer to Lincoln’s definition of “by the people.”

Western democracy is a natural fit for western countries because of common culture, language, religion, etc. Unfortunately, that is not the case in contemporary Africa. The strategy of Western Europe in Africa was simple: throw a monkey wrench into their functioning systems by confining and merging different ethnicities in a given area and apply divide-and-rule tactics, pitting one ethnic group against the other.

That diabolical yet effective strategy is still up and running in Africa. The Scramble for Africa by Europeans in Berlin created artificial boundaries that fragmented existing nations and states.

Thus, in contemporary Africa, there are Akan people in Ghana and the Ivory Coast; Ewe people in Ghana, Togo, and Benin; Hutu people in Rwanda, Burundi, and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tutsi in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania; and the list continues!

Western democracy has been the bane of military coups of yesteryear in Africa because it is at variance with the culture of Africa. It has facilitated ethnic rivalry, enmity, and jealousy among different ethnic groups in any given country.

When elections are won in a typical contemporary heterogeneous or multiethnic Africa country, jubilation is more pronounced by the people who share the same ethnicity with the victorious leader. The president or prime minister may select most of his cabinet members from his ethnicity, irrespective of experience and/or qualifications. This nepotism festers resentments and drives people to conspiracy.

In a typical African state or kingdom, kingship is not an open sesame for anyone to be elected and enstooled or enskinned as the case may be.

Kingmakers select and elect a king. A potential king/queen might have passed through stages of grooming and educating from early ages while being keenly observed by the nation or community in the process. Because Africa kingship is considered sacred, and because the king is viewed as the embodiment and representative of God on earth, he must be of impeccable character, exude high integrity, and portray unblemished morals.

He is the spiritual head of the religious sect. Because of these and other factors, he is highly respected (more so than a president or prime minister) by his nation and beyond. He may be removed when he commits a sin, crime, or act of flouting the laws he swore to protect. State decisions are deliberated and voted on by a Council of State similarly elected as the king.

These honorable members are less susceptible to bribery and corruption because of the stigmatization and disgrace that could affect the fortunes and laurels of the royalty.

Near-perfect democratic practices may be observed at a king’s (or queen’s) palace during deliberations and arbitrations. The system has built-in sets of checks and balances with collateral disgrace for crimes and sins committed by an individual.

This makes thievery, bribery, and corruption less attractive than it is today. On the flip side, Western democracy in Africa has enabled some undesirables to become lawmakers and assume honorific titles notwithstanding their corrupt acts.

The Arab world has oil and its own system of governance, and people there are making progress in developing their nations.

Africa has more than oil, and a foreign system of governance, and its progress is gone south! Go figure!!!

Posted by on Aug 16 2019. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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