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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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Chapter Five: Conclusions, prospects, and propositions

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Chapter Five Conclusions, prospects, and propositions This last chapter of this book is divided into two sections: a concluding remark and proposition with future perspectives. The concluding remark is a systematic recapitulation of the hypotheses and research questions covered in this study: notably, the false start, bad governance and government’s failure to serve its purpose in the society; to carry out its responsibility towards the people and keep the state functioning properly. According to the argument presented in this study, states in Africa were not established based on the principle of the norma- tive understanding of the role of government and the state but based on a “copy paste” approach of Western type constitutions. The copy paste approach pro- moted the creation of states and governments in Africa which appeared like those in Europe but without the essence of the state systems in Europe. Thus what the African elite needed to build their own states was an understanding of why states and government are formed, how this is formed and what is to be done to establish the state so that its government would preserve the life, liberty and property of the African people. That is, with the knowledge and under- standing of the social contract principles, African elite were supposed to build their own states and governments founded upon the social and natural setting of their regions and people. As illustrated in the false start during the constitutions of nation-states after independence, this did not happen, thus, the state...

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