Africa: Past and Present [Part 2]

At independence African governments embarked on socioeconomic policies that sort to redress the inequalities caused by the racially biased policies of previous governments. Controversial black empowerment policies mark the economic philosophies of most governments. Even more questionable are the indigenisation policies which have been employed at varying degrees by, among many countries, Uganda and of late, Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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Africa: Past and Present [Part 1]

We have to look back in history not necessarily to live in the past but to inform the present for the future. Development cannot be measured or ascertained unless we can make sense of our underdeveloped past and its impact to our lives. In the same token we cannot plan for the future when we do not understand the present and cannot interrogate that present. Africa suffers now because its development, although traceable, lacks plausible local links; development without roots leads to confusion and disillusion. Instead of building on local norms and values, Africa’s development undermines and at times contradicts those norms and values. Continue reading

Is weak opposition a liability to South Africa’s democracy?

A scan across Southern Africa’s political space shows domination of former liberation organisations. These parties monopolise power and they have largely remained ideologically unchanged to meet the 21st century socio-political challenges. The internal politics of the parties is profoundly undemocratic as evidenced by the leadership structure that generally works counter to democratic aspirations of the wider population. Competition for leadership is hampered by uncanny fixation on succession policies that observe seniority in the party and at times recognised participation in the liberation struggle. Leadership is effectively closed out to young vibrant politicians. Disturbingly, these parties have an uncanny control over the military and most state security organs which inevitably ensures their stranglehold on power. Continue reading