DEMOCRACY: FOREFRONT OF AFRICA’S PREDICAMENTS
IT’S TIME FOR AFRICANS TO REVISIT THE ANCESTRAL SCROLLS!
Democracy, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A catchy phrase it is, don’t you agree? Well at the moment, it is the same unmasked demon putting Africa and Africans at the table’s edge and ready to let go. While many would see democracy as the gateway to capping corruption, handing off most desired freedom to the people, putting various spiced dishes on the table and asking your children to make their choice, that is, freedom of choice, another group will consider these basics as not enough. They will extend beyond the morals and status quo, demanding for more and even requiring the right to vote whether as to change their sex, determine their sexual orientation and much more. This is the true picture of democracy which the colonial masters failed to paint when defending the necessity of a democratic state.
The benefits of western democracy.
One of the major stumbling blocks of democracy so far has been the issue of the majority against the minority. Despite the desire to always let the people have their say, there’s undeniable truth; to a large extent, that a degree of bias second to none always exists. How can it be fair for a majority to always decide the fate of a people whether to the detriment of the minority or not?
Many scholars had dissected the true nature of democracy in the past which led to other modified versions to be practiced in more advanced countries. The USA, for example, uses the electoral college system to balance the unquestionable advantage of the majority. This system has its weakness as it leaves an open but narrow window to still yet a majority within the college. However, the Constitution of a country such as the USA plays a balancing role to adjusting and covering up such loopholes.
Other countries have cupped their systems of government in an attempt to prevent the demons of democracy from invading their homes. Such countries have been regarded by the superpowers as enemies to democracy. Such countries have suffered uncountable sanctions and unfair treatments at all levels.
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In the African milieu, where diversity is the order of the day, many people view democracy as the answer to all the problems plaguing the continent. However, people in this part of the world fail to see what democracy brings. FREEDOM OF EVERYTHING. You cannot practice true democracy without accepting true democracy in its entirety. Freedom of worship, freedom of the press, freedom to belong, homosexuality, etc, these and much more must be part of the democratic package. In such a platform, countries which accept to be part of the “CLUB” get painted as the true preachers of democracy. So far so good, Africa as a whole has not presented herself as ready for such sacrifices. The major reason for such confusion is the inability to step out of the cocoon of traditional beliefs intertwined in the mesh of Christianity.
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We want democracy, but we fail to see the complete package. While we can’t argue about the fact that a true democracy can never work in Africa, we can for sure ascertain that a majority democracy can work. This is simply because our diversity gives room for the majority-minority issues, that cuts from North to South and from East to West.
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Nevertheless, a lasting solution can, however, be achieved in the midst of this chaos of democracy. First and foremost, we maintain the democracy we have, with no desire for absolute democracy. secondly, we create such articles in the Constitution that recognize the minority and provide strategic openings for them in the state-owned institutions. Thirdly, preservation of cultural heritage is the key to success of any democracy that doesn’t resemble that of the USA. The state should endeavor by all means possible to maintain in a modernized form the heritage of the people. A good example can be drawn from Asian countries. Lastly, ministerial and other appointments of citizens from the minority factions should be strategically done.
These suggestions may not provide an absolute solution, but they are the best for a better and prosperous Africa in the nearest future. We have been suffering for so long, not because of lack of resources, but because of the majority-minority democracy which gives rise to corrupt leaders whose majority faction does everything to stay in power.