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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Coming changes to Africa's system of government
Author:Ellis, StephenISNI
Periodical:African Analyst Quarterly (ISSN 1993-8950)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:international relations
international politics
foreign intervention
political systems
Abstract:Rising global intervention in African affairs amounts to more than routine diplomacy and it has become increasingly difficult to see most forms of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of African countries as temporary measures. Already, international financial institutions determine the economic policy of most African governments and the sovereignty of countries that depend on foreign troops for years at a time is in doubt. A new element in the international power equation is China, and its increasing involvement in Africa will sooner or later necessitate it to exercise the diplomatic role that befits its economic status. In retrospect it is clear that a significant number of States created in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s have not succeeded in creating effective institutions of government. However, powers with high ambitions in Africa seek strategic control, not official responsibility. Western governments continue the de facto privatization of their policies towards Africa by encouraging humanitarian and non-governmental organizations. Darfur could well prove to be the hinge-event that provokes a major rethink in international policies towards problem States and releases impending forces of change with wider application. In this respect, the classic legal arrangements for sharing sovereignty by means of formal protectorates or a system of trusteeships, rather than being deplored as examples of colonialism, could form the basis of Africa's cooperation with the developed world in the future. New strategies of cooperation are needed not just by Africa, but also by its foreign partners. [ASC Leiden abstract]