Why does the future of democracy seem uncertain on the African continent? The achievement of this book is to provide answers to this question.
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First, the book reasons that the democratization processes on the continent are moving forward backwards, in that the preconditions for continued sustainability of democracy are absent and not plentiful in almost all African nations. In Europe, development preceded democracy, whereas in Africa, development and democracy are being implemented concurrently, in the face of austerity measures in order to induce economic growth. Thus, the book argues that development, by all counts, is a precondition for democracy and not the other way round.
Second, the book suggests that the democratization processes defy the traditional principles of democracy where power evolves from “bottom up”. In African nations, power evolves from “top to bottom”, creating a deformed and an abnormal form of democracy known as “elite democracy”, imposed on African people by African elites through external influences of Western European countries in the form of political conditionality and adoption of the Bill of Rights by African nations, as preconditions for receiving not only development aid and loans, but also for diplomatic relations.
Third, the book concludes that the democratization processes are just experiments of transplantation of Western European values to African nations, since Western European values disregard African traditional values and often dismiss them as irrational and primitive, instead of viewing them as complimentary.