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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rent seeking and democratization strategies for Africa
Author:Mbaku, John MukumISNI
Periodical:Internationales Afrikaforum
Geographic term:Africa
interest groups
Abstract:This paper argues that the entrenched interests of rent-seeking groups will be a significant constraint to the development of appropriate strategies for democratization in Africa. Excessive rent-seeking in many African economies has resulted in the concentration of both power and economic resources in the hands of a few successful interest groups. Notable among these are the armed forces, which in many sub-Saharan African countries have become an important part of the national government, and certain ethnic groups that currently dominate resource allocation in several countries on the continent. In South Africa, for example, government regulation has allowed whites to dominate resource allocation and maintain privileged positions in the economy. These interest groups will oppose any effort to develop institutional frameworks capable of initiating and sustaining democracy on the continent. Policy reforms to introduce parliamentary and proportional electoral systems will be seen by these groups as a threat to their privileged positions. Bibliogr.