Governance along a Failure-Success Continuum with Illustrations from Benin, Cameroon and the DRC
Chapter Two: Political transformations since independence: the false start and governance problems
Chapter Two Political transformations since independence: the false start and governance problems This chapter begins with history. Nevertheless, despite its historical focus it is far from being a narration of history but more accurately a review and examina- tion of the effects of the past on the present. In this chapter, history’s occur- rences and development are used as the key to understanding present failures and difficulties faced by African states—the causes and consequences of the “false take-off” (Dumont 1966). It begins with independence and the political setting that was established at independence, laying a path that led to deviation from preserving the common good of the society—life, liberty and property. The false take-off or false start is a major focus in this chapter with an analysis of how the governments established during independence lost their essence, be- came worthless and even harmful to the extent that some states have become dysfunctional, and failed states (see Cote Ivoire, Zimbabwe), or collapsed states ( Somalia, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo) (see Rotberg 2004). The take-off of African states is conceived as a whole failure due to the his- torical framework in which it took place, and failure finds its way into the sub- sequent political developments because of an imposing colonial-historical politi- cal order and structure. Historical framework and colonial systems resulted in the establishment of an administrative bourgeoisie: that is, post-independent government had overburdened administration (large administrative service con- suming up to 60% of state budgets) with very...
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