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Governance in Africa

The legacy of colonization in Africa is twofold, and more than sixty years later, or even more, it lasts. Unless the events in Algeria and Sudan open up new prospects for a exhausted model?

From a political point of view first: the colonizing elite used to monopolize the entirety of the power while maintaining the local populations in total subjection. It is useless to detail an obnoxious system which gave rise to unspeakable abuses. Further to the struggles for independence, Africa has invented its own form of democracy. A local elite has taken power though sometimes without having the needed skills. It has arrogated to itself the privileges and attributes attached to the functions formerly occupied by the colonizer, going as far as the excesses we all know, while excluding from citizenship the same population that was not previously entitled to it. This form of democracy often has a hard time demonstrating a legitimacy comparable to the model that prevails in other parts of the World. Under pressure from donors, all symbols have been adopted, but rarely implemented in parodies of elections that bring or maintain autocratic regimes that institutionalize corruption for the benefit of a caste.

Economically then: the prevailing economic model is to exploit ad libitum the natural resources of a continent that is so rich. The resulting rent, through institutionalized predation, increases the comfort of this same elite. And especially since in the extractive industries, including oil of course, few jobs are created, the wealth created is thus much easier to divert. Thus, at no time did the local elites set up an industrial system, generating jobs and added value, through which all the now developed countries have passed.

The best analysis of the need to create a new model for Africa is the fact of the Ghanaian president.

How many leaders have this foresight, and how many will implement these principles? With an average age of 19, Africa is dominated by youth with few prospects for the future. And who is brought to deploy all its energy to cross the Sahara, and the Mediterranean to end up in Europe in conditions that we prefer to ignore. Or to revolt as do Algerians or Sudanese. Let's help give them these perspectives, what the Mangrove Foundation does at its own level.


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