By M. Houngnikpo

Matt Houngnikpo examines how household clash, fiscal stagnation, political instability, poverty, and underdevelopment have plagued Africa for many years. He argues reversal of the political, fiscal, and social plight of Africa lies in higher rules, strong governance, and, extra importantly, a brand new kind of African chief and citizen.

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However, the early euphoria gave way to bitter disappointment after incumbent regimes refused to relinquish power. It then became obvious that democracy’s fate on the continent was in doubt at best. Concern over their own fate led some dictators to hold onto their power. Clearly, the international community seems to be pleased, genuinely in some instances, with Africa’s nascent democracies, under the assumption that a new democratic dawn will take the continent out of despair and poverty. However, if Africa’s past is any guide, democracy’s road will be long and painful.

Regardless of conjecture about an ideal sequence of economic and political liberalization, many African countries face concurrent political and economic reform. If political liberalization enables a departure from the practices and institutions associated with neo-patrimonial rule, then democratization in African states can also begin to shift the terms of economic governance. There is, however, a possibility that traditional politics may persist, although perhaps in a different guise. Civil society’s resilience after decades in a coma, and the military’s willingness to see democratic change, delineate the path to genuine political and economic reform.

He does not suffer from home-sickness to A SYNOPSIS OF AFRICA’S PLIGHT 23 the over-bearing extent that afflicts other peoples torn from their homes, and, provided he is well-fed, he is easily made happy. Above all, he can toil hard under the hot sun and in the unhealthy climates of the Torrid Zone. 15 Johnston’s views reflect the prevailing opinion of the era. Europeans believed that because they were physically and mentally superior to Africans they should conquer them to civilize the continent.

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