February 28, 2021

The double Faces of our politicians in Africa

3 min read

Leaders of developed nations and international corporations are all the time prodding our African leaders to push forward pro-poor policies and implement projects that will benefit the millions of unemployed Africans who are languishing in poverty and social neglect, but it seems Africa is still struggling to marshal its resources and move out from this wallow.

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Tribalism, regionalism, corruption, greed and lawlessness continue to dictate the politics of Africa and as such breeding crops of frustrated and angry young people who as a result of the malaise loss hope in their leaders and land of their birth.

However, politicians in Africa continue to knock on the doors of the United Nations, European Union, the United States, Japan and China, the World Bank, IMF and others, seeking financial aid and promising to implement and uphold the ethos of democracy. But are they doing that?

Millions of Dollars are flowing from the financial institutions of developed partners to the vaults of African nations through aids and grants and it is expected that African nations will ensure the provision of better health facilities, education, be accountable and transparent to the millions of people and ensuring level playing field for everyone in society.

Unfortunately, while fingers are being crossed as to what Africa will provide, the wind blowing from the land seems to be unstable. Some African nations are experiencing traumatic stress in their political transformation like is presently in Burundi where political tensions are again bringing memories of old.

But the US President, Barack Obama, has again implored Burundi’s leaders to take part in talks to end the country’s political crisis and halt a growing wave of violence.

Obama said killings of innocent people and “hateful rhetoric” from leaders is jeopardizing the Central African country’s future.

During Guinea’s 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections there were waves of violence which resulted to widespread instability in the country. Scores of people were attacked by opposing opponents and properties destroyed just because the people, the Guineans, were influenced by regional and tribal tendencies.

In Sierra Leone, the country is still few years to the presidential and parliamentary elections, but the rivalry between the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) is waging on and the heating rivalry is mostly fueled by regionalism and tribalism by supporters of the SLPP and APC. SLPP supporters who are mostly from the South and East and APC supporters mostly from the West and North are unfortunately being influenced by their ethnicity and regional backgrounds and thus their determination to outwit the other.

Unfortunately, despite efforts by the international community to promote dialogue and political tolerance in the country the problem still exists and it is even common within political parties.

The military coup in Burkina Faso ahead of elections also bring home fears of old and it is uncanny such a development can happen in the 21st century when international tribunals now try leaders of nations, figure heads and individuals accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Most countries in Africa are an enigma to modern times and the leaders are plying the red carpets of international platforms in double faces. They say one thing to international stakeholders with craftily painted proposals on behalf of the millions of poor people, deprived women and children, and the growing frustrated youth population, while back home they stifle the policies they promised to implement.

Africa is crying. Africa needs leaders and role models and not dictators; interestingly there are politicians who are using the statement ‘benevolent dictator’ in their quest to hoodwink the poor people and continue to hold them to ransom.

This bad phenomenon could be tackled by addressing the causes that are reasons for Africa’s slow progress and one way in doing that is passing laws that will criminalize tribal and regional activities that frustrates democratic practices.

Tribal and regional sentiments, to a major extent, are hindering the development of African countries, and until efforts are put in place to address the anomaly, upholding the processes of the rule of law, accountability and transparency will be farfetched; and corruption will continue to haunt those millions of Africans deprived of better public service delivery.

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