An Assessment of the Effect of Authoritarian Leadership on Democratic Project in Africa



This paper assesses the Effect of Authoritarian Leadership on Democratic Project in Africa.  The objective of the paper is to draw attention to the contemporary negative issues trying to derail the democratic project which started in the 1990s in Africa, with a view to finding solution to them in order to avoid a reversal to the old order, which are authoritarianism and one party state.  These objectives shall be achieved with the aid of secondary source of data and other documentary evidences.  The paper was able to realise that African Leaders that perpetuate themselves in power after the constitutionally allowed time limits are suffering from a disease known as Hubris Syndrome.  This disease normally kick-start after about five years in power and get steadily worst leading to chronic authoritarianism in the State.  The paper also identify that Liberal Democracy in Africa is facing resistance from two forces: adventurist soldiers who nurse a nostalgia for the period when the military was the shortest route to power in Africa and civilian beneficiaries of this third wave of democracy who nurse a nostalgia for the period of one party dictatorship that prevailed in most parts of the continent shortly after independence until the end of the Cold War. The paper therefore concluded that some Africa countries have now moved from the eras of one party-state, military coups and multi-party to the era of constitutional coup attempts via constitutional amendments to remove two-term laws to allow for third terms in office.  This is to ensure the perpetuation of some African leaders in power.  To overcome the derailment of the Democratic Project in Africa, it was recommended that any attempt to derail democratic project in any country in Africa should be strongly resisted by the people, civil society organisations, the regional organisations like the ECOWAS and the African Union.  It was further recommended that dialogue and inclusiveness in government should be imbibed at all cost in the African Democratic Project. These will ensure the peaceful resolution of crisis of any nature and type and also ensure the cohesiveness and brotherly tolerance among the various political parties in Africa.

Keywords: Authoritarianism, Leadership, Democratic Project, contemporary issues

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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