Why democracy is not working well in Africa? Liberia as a case study

liberia
democracy

(Francis Egu Lansana) #1

Under the principles of democracy, government everywhere has an inherent responsibility to provide an enhancement for its citizens to have access to basic services such as health care, education, shelter, food, access to equal justice among others and to communicate important information to its citizens in a timely and consistent manner. But in Africa, the measure of democracy is only based on elections. My friend, election is not the end none the beginning of democracy. In-fact frequent elections have caused more problem in building the state than we think. (Elections have big consequences that last for decades, Anthony Fowler and Andrew B. Hall , 2015). Democracy is not guaranteed once nations’ social and economic institutions are not strengthen to the point that the citizens approach to issues of governance is coherence to developmental agenda of the country especially the involvement of the young people from the genesis of policy planning and implementation. Additionally, when these policies do not relate to the day-to-day economic wellbeing of the majorities of the citizens who have surrounded their rights for the purpose of maintaining peace, order and economic viability of their society, the revise might be brutish.

Even though election is one of the pillars upon which democracy is built, but if care is not giving in analysing elections related events, the nation will be in terror. We would argue that collective participation of people in structuring of power is at the core of all human rights- it is impossible to uphold democracy, support and protect human rights without an understanding of tools to support citizens participation and commitments to those rights. In this way, democracy is foundational- to all rights ranging from the right to vote, to the right to health and education, to the right to free speech and the right to information. Timely access to information is one of the determinant factors to all of these and it has to be done through mature and independent media.

It’s globally known that one who has power determined who get what and as such everyone want to be in the position of authority. Hence, people who want to be in this positions’ of trust will do anything within their reach to get to power and to remain in said authority. Therefore, the will craft a slogan that will resonate with the poor who are in majority and without better understanding of what the slogan is about, the poor majority will make sure that the progenitors of the slogan ascend to power.(Causes of Liberia civil war).

But the irony is that these poor majorities when the power has already been given to someone or group of people who really do not understand how to adequately administer the affairs of the state can get frustrated and become violence at the end. Additionally, these people are always living in a visual circle of hope with less or no confidence in the government and their welfare and the future of their children keep retrogressing. In Liberia, for example, the same promise made by William V.S.Tubman in 1944 about improving the lives of the people of Liberia is the same platform many of the politicians are still moving on today. But the reality is that the lives of the people truly remain the same. Then how will democracy really work when the government keep crying of poor economics yet government officials lived in a very expensive and well-furnished compound; drive a car worth US$60000, send their children are in foreign countries for schooling; seek medical attention in developed countries such as the United States of America; take home for themselves a monthly salary of US$13000 plus other benefits. Whereas the electorates lived on less than US$1.00 per-day; died of common illness because of lack of quality medical services; their children are attending schools that lacked quality educational services and they walked for about 2 hours every day to access school; go to school on empty stomach; lived in shanty building and possessed only a pair of shoe and wear one suit for at least four days.


(Tobias Eigen) #2

Hi Francis! Thanks for sharing this essay in the forum. To kick off the conversation, is there a particular question or point about democracy in Liberia that you are interested in focussing on?

I found the last part especially poignant. What are Liberians doing about it? Have you any examples of what is working in other countries that you’d like to see in Liberia? Can you share links to news or online resources?


FYI, I removed the “about the author” section of your post since it is not needed. You already have a bio reachable by clicking on your name. Also, fellow members can message you via the forum so you don’t need to share your email address.


(Francis Egu Lansana) #3

Like I laid barely it in the opening paragraph of this article "Under the principles of democracy, government everywhere has an inherent responsibility to provide an enhancement for its citizens to have access to basic services such as health care, education, shelter, food among others and to communicate important information to its citizens in a timely and consistent manner. But in Africa, the measure of democracy is only based on elections. But this is completely on the opposite in the Liberia. Bad governance and lack of respect for human rights is a primary development challenge of our time and a significant barrier to the achievement of the development agenda especially the upholding of democracy. We would argue that collective participation of people in structuring of power is at the core of all human rights- it is impossible to uphold democracy, support and protect human rights without an understanding of tools to support citizens participation and commitments to those rights. In this way, democracy is the foundation- to all rights ranging from the right to vote, to the right to health and education, to the right to free speech and the right to information. Timely access to information is one of the determinant factors to all of these and it has to be done through mature and independent media. The majority of the citizens of Liberia are engaged and are collectively working to bring the needed changes. One thing I want to see is the better use of power in the interest of electorates.



How likely are you to recommend the Global Legal Empowerment Network?



Thank you. What can we do better?

Thank you. What can be improved?

Fabulous! What do you like most?

Thanks for giving feedback! If you’re reporting a problem, please tell us what you were doing when the problem occurred, what you expected to happen and what actually happened.

 

skip this step