November 10, 2019

THE STOOL HAS THREE LEGS, NOT JUST ONE:

Western style 'democracy' in Africa is just a way of pushing the neoliberal agenda (Damola Adejumo-Ayibiowu, 6 November 2019, openDemocracy)

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent rise of 'good governance' as a development strategy is more than a coincidence. In his famous article The End of History, the American political analyst, Francis Fukuyama, proclaims that the end of the cold war is "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." Such statements clearly indicate the readiness of liberalism protagonists to resist any ideology contrary to theirs. It is not a surprise, therefore, that since the 1990s, good governance has become a prescription of the World Bank for all development challenges facing African countries. Notably, the current good governance agenda is mainly a democracy cum neoliberal framework.

The argument for democracy may be very strong for African countries, many of which have had long histories of military rule, unfair elections, unaccountable leaderships, inadequate service delivery, and popularized corruption. Many scholars particularly argue that the lack of democracy is the main cause of poverty in Africa. But despite the implementation of donor's good governance reforms, corruption, poverty, and other challenges continue in Africa. Moreover, the wave of democratization which swept across Africa in the 1990s mainly paved the way for multiparty elections without improving the welfare of African poor masses who queue for hours to cast their votes. 

Now add capitalism and protestantism and you've got the agenda.

Posted by at November 10, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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