BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND development IN africa: WHAT ARE THE MISSING LINKS?
BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: WHAT ARE THE MISSING LINKS?
The last two decades of the twentieth century saw increased optimism about the development of democracy in Africa. All segments of society actively supported the process, including labour, students,
market women, rural residents, and the lumpen elements, who saw it as a means of reversing the trend of political hopelessness and disillusionment that had previously characterised political life in Africa.
While having its own clientele and benefits, the orgy of political tyranny and dictatorship had harmful and suffocating repercussions on the bulk of the people.
The political space was manufactured, entrepreneurial initiative and ingenuity were discouraged, and the logic of diversity, social pluralism, cultural divergences, and identities were controlled.
The expansion of political space is an unavoidable component of the African people's democratic ambition. The African people's democratic dream is not limited to the realm of political democracy (elections and the grant of civil and political rights), but also includes a desire for economic empowerment, higher living standards, and adequate social welfare.
Indeed, for the vast majority of people, democracy is significant only when it provides socioeconomic benefits. Political democracy, in other words, must be tied to socioeconomic progress.
Despite the democratic vote, the people's socioeconomic welfare and living circumstances are declining, weakening their trust in the new democratic government. “Na democracy we go chop?” said a Nigerian tiny shopkeeper.