June 22, 2006
Post-Colonial Leadership in Africa
I wanted to share this column in Black Britain written by Godwin Nnanna, “Why Charles Taylor Must Answer for His Deeds?” It was written in April, but makes an excellent point about the problems in many African countries since gaining independence.
The post-colonial leadership, with few exceptions, established defective political and economic systems in which enormous power was concentrated in the hands of the state and, ultimately, one individual. Power in most of Africa today resides with the national governments and not many of the continent’s leaders are doing anything to reverse it. Rather than do that, the Taylors of the continent through progressive impoverishment of the people, have churned out more sycophants in their camps than reformers – sycophants who will rather campaign that such leaders stay in power longer than necessary than insist that national constitutions be upheld.
This explains why incumbent leaders in Africa never lose elections even when it is obvious that they run oppressive governments. When they are shown that the tune has changed as the Special Court in Sierra Leone is currently doing in the case of Charles Taylor- perhaps, a lot more of the enemies of Africa who by either hook or crook have found themselves in power, will learn to act with the future in view.