COUPS IN AFRICA: Democracy may not be the best form of government on the African continent.
Following military takeovers in five different African countries in the past year, some have suggested that democracy may not be the best form of government on the continent. But here, Leonard Mbulle-Nziege and Nic Cheeseman argue that – despite these set-backs – democracy is the way forward for Africa.
Africa has been hit by a spate of coups that threaten to take it back to the 1980s and the era of military rule. Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Sudan and Mali have all seen the government overthrown and replaced with a military junta.
The situation could have been even more alarming, because failed coup attempts have been reported in the Central African Republic (CAR) and, just days ago, Guinea-Bissau as well as the republic of Ghana a while ago.
The voice of almost very country that gets added to the list of coup are claiming that democracy is not working – and cannot work – in Africa
The overthrow of civilian presidents was followed by street celebrations in some countries as citizens cheered the downfall of elected leaders.
However while coup plotters are tempting to interpret the spate of coups as evidence that democracy in Africa is dying, many also believes that would be a mistake die to the fact that in countries in which coup has taken place, a majority of citizens want to live in a democracy and reject authoritarian rule.
By contrast, military regimes have a long history of abusing human rights while presiding over economic stagnation.