What ails Africa’s democracies, economies, constitutions, and is China’s role that bad?
Wednesday March 14 2018
Pro-referendum supporters of Cote d'Ivoire’s president Alassane Ouattara in October 2016, seeking the adoption of a new constitution that changed contentious rules on presidential eligibility. PHOTO | AFP
If democracy has had a bad rap in the continent, it is because elected leaders have been incompetent, not because autocracy is better.
The pendulum has swung from Western-style politics to Bretton-Woods economic prescriptions and finally enjoying dalliance with East Asian giants.
Unfortunately, governments use constitutions as flags of convenience. How else to explain the many paradoxes of constitutional practice in the continent? Leaders show amazing faith in constitution-making and then practice politics that deeply subverts those constitutions.