THE ATTRITION OF DEMOCRATIC GAINS IN AFRICA: AN APPRAISAL
Since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in early 1990s, governments in Africa have established measures and mechanisms to institutionalize and consolidate democracy. International community and local non-governmental organizations have been in the forefront in supporting initiatives by governments. Despite the efforts, there are structural factors that impede institutionalization and consolidation of democracy. This paper therefore, seeks to offer a critical analysis of the factors that are contributing to the erosion of democracy. Country examples are highlighted to support the thesis of the paper. The paper uses historical trajectory to demonstrate how patronage, ethnicity, electoral authoritarianism and extension of presidential term limit erodes democratic gains in Africa. The paper concludes that in order for democracy to flourish in Africa, the structural factors need to be addressed.
Key Words: Democracy, Term Limit, Electoral Authoritarianism, Ethnicity, Electoral Violence