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State Constitutions and Governments without Essence in Post-Independence Africa

Governance along a Failure-Success Continuum with Illustrations from Benin, Cameroon and the DRC

Joy Alemazung

This book in a diagnostic approach looks at the problems plaguing Africa, a continent rich in human and natural resources yet the poorest in the world. The main question is: what is the purpose of government in Africa? As illustrated by different empirical examples, the study argues that the creation of states and governments after colonialism was a «false start» and was not impacted by the social contract principle of men forming government to preserve the common good. The result is a leadership culture of government against the people with weak institutions in favour of strong autocratic rulers. The core of this study is a solution seeking approach with alternative political forms.

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Introduction: the emergence of failed governments and underdevelopment in Africa

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Introduction the emergence of failed governments and underdevelopment in Africa According to many publications from credible institutions including the World Bank and the United Nations or based on the Human Development Index (HDI 2007/2008) ranking, Africa is the poorest continent on the face of the earth (Bol- ton 2008). It is a continent characterised by poverty, conflicts and bad govern- ments. According to the World Health Report 2006 of the World Health Or- ganisation (WHO) the majority of countries with the world’s shortest life expec- tancies are in Africa, where AIDS epidemic, malnutrition and civil strife con- sume human life everyday. In his lectures at the Gresham University, London- England, Professor Christopher Dye (2008) a WHO based health expert at- tempted to provide answers to the question: Why is Africa the poorest conti- nent? With the use of empirical data basically with indicators of the UN HDI and from diverse credible sources, Dye presents many faces of Africa from health, life expectancy, economic development to state management and bad governance. The reasons for the poor state of the continent have been ques- tioned and are still questioned by many. Based on WHO (2006) data as pre- sented by Professor Dye, out of the 30 countries on earth with the shortest aver- age life expectancies 29 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). From the findings of the World Bank (1989) on the crisis of governance in Africa and the results from initiatives in development politics and cooperation of the...

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