Mass Media and Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Problems, Challenges and Prospects



One of the elements of democracy and the rule of law is the freedom of expression. To democratize is to ensure free unhindered two-way communication between the government and the governed. The essence is to ensure the responsiveness of the government to the yearnings of the people and for the people to put their views across to government without fear or hindrance and in an atmosphere devoid of interference. Against this background, this paper examines the role of the mass media in the process of democratic consolidation in Africa, including Nigeria. The objective is to identify the factors acting as constraints to the effectiveness of the mass media in ensuring democratic consolidation. It observes that the sustainability of democracy in Africa depends on several factors, some of which are located within the media itself while others are based on the prevailing political, socio-economic, legal, infrastructural, cultural and religious environment Jin the different countries. The most crucial factor for the sustenance of democracy in Africa would consist of the enthronement of a popular- sovereignty that touches the daily lives of the populace, gives meaning to the notion of citizenship and goes beyond the constitutionally defined form of rule. The role of the media is facilitative, supportive and integrative. To achieve greater media effectiveness in promoting democratic ideals and governance in Africa, there is need for private sector partnership and involvement of civil society organizations in media ownership in order to achieve a balance

.Keywords: Democracy in Africa, Mass Media and Democracy.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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