Africa, Election, Democracy: Great Candidate, Terrible President

January 28, 2023

By Nneka Okumazie

Across Africa, citizens are most disappointed in their governments. Governments are blamed for corruption, underdevelopment, poverty, debt, etc. Some of the nations with democracies often have elections where hope for change is built around a candidate or party, with lots of expectations for development.

But the mandate of any African leader is not development. The maximum and minimum role of any administration in Africa is to prevent internal conflict or, if it happens, to find a solution.

This is the same mandate that the rulers of communities in Africa, hundreds of years ago, had to prevent or stop internal conflicts, nothing more. Some of the kingdoms in Africa conquered others, while some were conquered, but those were external aggressions, not internal.

Development, advancement or adventures were not the main priorities as they seemed to be fine with getting by as they did. Those with skills in art, fishing, hunting, farming etc., worked on new tools or adopted things from neighbouring villages, but in general, the leadership and the people were fine with internal peace.

This is the same with current Africa, where internal peace is good enough for people to live. People often say African leaders are bad, but bad in what sense? There have been horrible leaders across Africa in the last few decades, but the percentage is low.

Most leaders of Africa would do just fine if they were leaders of countries in Europe. There are many things beyond any leader, regardless of will. Though a horrible leader could ruin things and a great leader could change things, for the most part, countries are governed primarily by their ideals, not the individual.

Aside from leaders, some also blame religion for Africa’s underdevelopment; how? What was religious penetration in Ancient Africa hundreds of years ago? How much did local religions factor into decisions? Did the people then have times dedicated to religious festivals and meetings or consultations? What confidence or comfort did religion, then, provide against what should have brought some advancement?

Whatever religion is in Africa, known or unknown, in recent years has to be traced back to whatever religion was hundreds of years ago and its role in the communities.

No president, election or political system can develop any country in Africa. Africa is not developed because development is not the focus there. People live as they want, get things they want not concerned about their collective home or people. The way many try to care is to parrot that government is the problem, or religion or a certain tribe, or foreigners or whatever feels good for others to hear.

Africa is exactly where the people there want it to be.

[Job 8:12, Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.]

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