Social Capital, a Critical Factor in Strengthening Democratic Governance: The Case of Mkambati and Kumasi
Social capital has for centuries been used by traditional communities as a resource on which they relied in dealing with challenges and problems confronting them. Colonialism and imperialism undermined African norms and values on decision making processes and relationship building mechanisms. The advent of western-oriented democracy, which regarded African decision making processes as backward, threatened to erode the social capital that has prevailed within communities. Despite this threat communities remain resolute in ensuring that the bonding and bridging relationships within communities, and with other stakeholders, are continuously reinforced through the promotion of the properties of social capital such as trust and solidarity. Using the case of Mkambati, South Africa and Kumasi, Ghana this article seeks to demonstrate the critical role social capital plays in building and consolidating democratic governance.
Africa Insight Vol. 38 (2) 2008: pp. 115-127