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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Is democracy possible in Africa? The elites, the people and civil society
Author:Ihonvbere, J.O.ISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy (ISSN 1011-226X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Power (Social sciences)
political opposition
Abstract:In an article entitled 'Beyond elite politics of democracy in Africa' (Quest, vol. 6, no. 1 (1992), p. 29-42), E. Wamba-dia-Wamba notes that the structural adjustment programmes currently being implemented in many African countries 'give no historical references in which the process of transition (to democracy) ... has led to social and political self-emancipation of the people'. In addressing this critical issue, the present author contends that democracy in Africa will remain a mirage as long as the custodians of State power remain in power, in as much as the institutions, structures and social relations with which the elites have dominated and repressed society remain unchanged, in as much as the masses of the people are not empowered and society is not opened up for mass political action, and in as much as the economic dislocation and crisis inherited at political independence in the 1960s continues. Prescriptions of democratic forms and models by Western nations, and the forced adoption of orthodox structural adjustment packages will not create the required changes that will move Africa from its current pathetic condition on to the path of development and democracy. Bibliogr., sum. in French (p. 84).