Yahya Jammeh bows out in face of ECOWAS’ unity and strength

If only they would be consistent and apply the same standard to the rest of Africa. The chairman of the African Union is Idriss Deby, A military coconut-head who has been in power for more than 25 years. How different is he from Jammeh? “No other gun leader should be in power for more than 10 years!” Museveni of Uganda said in 1986. That cockroach is still in power.

Yahya Jammeh

Why should we even talk about this? Political freedom part of the logic of the struggle for independence? We demanded this from the colonialists and where is it? Some 50 years after independence, only 16 (if we now add the Gambia) of the 54 African countries are democratic. A despicable shame and betrayal.

 =In 1990, only 4 African countries – Botswana, Gambia, Mauritius and Senegal – were democratic. Today in 2017, only 16 out of 54 countries are democratic –  Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde Islands, GAMBIA, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia

 At this rate – 12 democracies in 27 years – it will take Africa exactly 94.5 years to become fully democratic. Even then, it is important that elections alone do not make a country democratic. In addition to periodic elections, the following are also needed:

 ·       A free and independent press – for free flow of information to inform the public

·       An independent judiciary – for the rule of law, adjudication of disputes,

·       An independent Electoral Commission,

·       Neutral and professional security forces, and possibly, or where driven into exile

·       An independent central bank

 If you apply these additional criteria, fewer than five of the African countries would be democratic.

 Since 1960, there have been exactly 236 African heads of state. Fewer than 20 can be said to have been good leaders and statesmen. That means that rest – an overwhelming majority – were complete failures, who were violently overthrown, driven into exile or assassinated.

 Those who continue to insist that the West is the cause of Africa’s problems – in the face of overwhelming evidence – need to have their heads examined. The problem is if the Gambia had blown up we would have blamed the West for not intervening (as was the case with Rwanda) OR for intervening (as was the case with Libya). Next time Mugabe says the West Is the cause of Zimbabwe’s problems, cheer wildly and follow him.

.Hand me my cutlass

George Ayittey

Ghana and Washington 22/1/17

Post published in: Africa News

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