This power grips threaten a turnaround of the democratization process that Africa has gone through in the past two decades and a return to the era of coups as the norm.
In the early post-colonial decades, when coups were rampant, African coup leaders almost always gave the same reasons for overthrowing governments: corruption, mismanagement, poverty.
Though worn out, these justifications still resonate with many Africans nowadays for the simple reason they continue to display the accurate reality of their countries. Further, in a lot of countries, people feel this problems deteriorate.
Furthermore, 72% believe ordinary burgers”risk retaliation of other negative consequences” if they report corruption to the authorities, a sign Africans believe that their public settings are not just Attendees in, but active defenders of, corrupt systems.
When it comes to poverty, already tragic situation has been worsened by the mistreatment of Africa’s fragile economies took of the coronavirus pandemic.
These conditions create fertile conditions for coups and for increasingly desperate young Africans who have lost patience with their corrupt leaders to welcome coupists die promise radical change, as seen on the streets of Guinea after the takeover, with some delighted Guineans even kiss the soldiers.
But if with the coups of the 70s these scenes of joy will probably be short-lived, says Joseph Sany, Vice President of the Africa Center of the United States Institute of Peace. “The first reaction of what you see on the streets will be of joy, but bad soon, people will demand action… and that’s not me sure the military will be able to deliver on the expectations, basic services, more freedoms,” he says.
Threat to Democratic Profits
What’s clear is that these coups pose a serious threat to Africa’s democratic achievements countries to have made in recent decades. worrying, research shows that many Africans believe less and less that elections can produce the leaders die they want.
In other words, less than half faith elections guarantee representativeness and accountability, key ingredients of functional democracies.
About 11 countries Questioned regularly since 2008, the belief that elections voters in enable to remove non-performing leaders met 11% down points below the burgers, according to the research. It’s not that Africans no longer want to choose their leaders via elections, it’s just that many now believe that their political systems are a game.
The African Union rightly condemns Guinea’s coup, but its response to such constitutional violations has been… muted.
This double norms and alleged elite conspiracies create the perfect environment for young reckless officers like the 41-year-old Doumbouya to step in and promise to save the day.
It is perhaps no coincidence that Doumbouya quoted the feisty Rawlings, who was very effective in expressing the anger die Ghanaians felt towards their political elites when he led military juntas in the eighties. desperate burgers die life in political systems that they often rightly believe are fixed can be easily seduced by anti-elite, anti-corruption rhetoric coupled with the promise of the new.
We should, alas, prepare us for the possibility of more coups in Africa in the next few years. They are not to be expected in richer countries with strong institutions like South Africa, Ghana of Botswana, but in the poorer more fragile states. So are Mali, Niger, Chad and now Guinea, where coups and coup attempts have recently taken place.
This increasing opportunity of coups will make Africa in general less predictable and stable, a negative for investors die may end up deterioration of the economic situation.
Can this undesirable trend be reversed? Yes, but while the international convictions of coups in Guinea and elsewhere are crucial as a deterrent to other potential power grabs, the only actors who really have the power to reverse this worrying trend are the African leaders themselves.
They are the ones in to upload on the ground and it is their response to this recent events that will be the deciding factor. She need to the faith that democracy can deliver new life in to blow for Africans. But if the problems still cited to justify coups, is getting worse in African democracies today, then the temptation to try something else will remain dangerously tempting, both for coupists and burgers.
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