The Attrition of Democratic Gains in Africa: An Appraisal

Oita Etyang, Tengetile Tezzy Nhlengethwa


Since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in early 1990s, governments in Africa have established measures and mechanisms to institutionalise and consolidate democracy. International community and local non-governmental organizations have been at the forefront in supporting democratisation initiatives by governments. Despite the efforts, there are structural factors that impede institutionalisation and consolidation of democracy. This paper therefore, seeks to offer a critical analysis of the factors that are contributing to the erosion of democracy. Country examples are highlighted to support the thesis of the paper. The paper uses historical trajectory to demonstrate how patronage, ethnicity, electoral authoritarianism and extension of presidential term limit erodes democratic gains in Africa. The paper concludes that in order for democracy to flourish in African, structural impediments to democracy need to be addressed.

Keywords: Democracy, Term Limit, Electoral Authoritarianism, Ethnicity, Electoral Violence

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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