Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices

Summary of Three Workshops

Sahr John Kpundeh, editor

Panel on Issues in Democratization

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1992



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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices Summary of Three Workshops Sahr John Kpundeh, editor Panel on Issues in Democratization Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1992

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the service of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with the general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The work that provided the basis for this volume was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 92-62337 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04797-8 First Printing, October 1992 Second Printing, March 1995 B046 Available from: Panel on Issues in Democratization, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 Also available for sale from: National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 Copyright 1992 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops PANEL ON ISSUES IN DEMOCRATIZATION PHILIP CONVERSE (Chair), Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California ROBERT DAHL, Department of Political Science (emeritus), Yale University ALBERT FISHLOW, Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley JAMES LOWELL GIBBS, Jr. Department of Anthropology, Stanford University ALEX INKELES, Hoover Institution and Department of Sociology (emeritus), Stanford University ADAM PRZEWORSKI, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago PHILIPPE C. SCHMITTER, Department of Political Science, Stanford University ALFRED STEPAN, Department of Political Science, Columbia University IVAN SZELENYI, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles SIDNEY VERBA, Department of Political Science, Harvard University DAVID M. TRUBEK, Department of International Studies and Programs and School of Law, University of Wisconsin JO HUSBANDS, Project Director (through March 1992) SABRI SAYARI, Project Director SAHR JOHN KPUNDEH, Senior Research Associate MARY E. THOMAS, Senior Program Associate

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops This page in the original is blank.

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops Preface The Africa Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) requested assistance from the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council in obtaining the views of leading African scholars, intellectuals, and political activists on the broad question of democratization in Africa and how A.I.D. might most appropriately support that process. In responding to this request, the National Research Council organized three workshops in Africa, drawing participants from most countries on the continent. This was an unusual and challenging undertaking for the National Research Council, and it could not have succeeded without the support and cooperation of the U.S. Department of State, particularly the embassy and A.I.D. officials in the countries that hosted our workshops, Benin, Ethiopia, and Namibia. We are indebted to the Africans who accepted our invitations to the three workshops. The difficulties of travel in Africa required not only a very significant time commitment from the participants, but also, often, airline flights of several days' duration and multiple stops. More important, a large number of participants came at considerable personal risk—the very act of attending a meeting on democracy being an act of political defiance in their home countries. For these sacrifices of time and comfort and acts of bravery, we are very grateful. There are also those individuals and organizations whose contributions were so important to our ability to organize the meetings and conduct them successfully that we wish to express special thanks. The University of

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops Benin provided support in co-organizing the first workshop; the rector of the university, Dr. Jean Pierre Ezin, was especially helpful. Tessy Bakary offered a summary of the Benin workshop on national television, in French, with less than an hour's notice. Dr. J. Isawa Eliagwu, professor of political science at the University of Jos in Nigeria, and Dr. Dele Olowu, professor of political science at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, attended two of the workshops and provided invaluable cross-fertilization from the Benin meeting to the meetings in Ethiopia and Namibia, respectively. The Inter-Africa Group in Addis Ababa was instrumental to assuring the success of the meeting in that city, and Abdul Mohammed was tireless and unfailingly innovative in overcoming major and minor crises. Asmelash Bayene of the Economic Commission for Africa paved the way for our use of the Africa Center in Addis Ababa and in many other ways contributed to the success of the workshop. Dr. Hugh Africa of the University of Namibia provided invaluable advice and introductions that overcame many potential problems in Namibia, and Dr. Peter Katjavivi, vice chancellor designate of the University of Namibia, was not only a participant in the Windhoek meeting, but cleared many obstacles to its success that would have otherwise proved very difficult to manage. Dr. Christopher Clapham of the Politics and International Relations Department of Lancaster University in the United Kingdom gave generously of his time to attend both the Addis Ababa and Windhoek meetings, and in both he played key roles as rapporteur and chair of several small group sessions. His insights moved the discussions along on many occasions. Teresa Smith de Cherif dazzled participants in both Addis Ababa and Windhoek with her comprehensive and accurate summaries of the daily sessions; she also contributed significantly to the writing of the workshop report, particularly the section on institutions needed to sustain democracy. Finally, Mary Thomas of the National Research Council staff proved to be a magician in accomplishing impossible logistics and solving the myriad—and totally unpredictable—problems that arose in transit and at the meeting sites. Without her unflagging efforts, the project could never have succeeded. The Africa workshops were developed by Jo Husbands, the project director for the panel. Sahr Kpundeh was the staff officer in charge of the execution of the project and of writing the summary report. The project was conducted under the supervision of Susanne A. Stoiber, director of the Division of Social and Economic Studies of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Philip Converse, Chair Panel on Issues in Democratization

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops Contents     BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE WORKSHOPS   1 1   THE MOVEMENT TOWARD DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA   3     Impact of New External Actors   6     Colonial Legacy and Democratic Development in African Societies   7     Democracy and African Values   9     Political Liberalization and Democratization   11 2   TRANSITIONS TO DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA   12     Modes of Transition in Africa   14     Fundamental Challenges to Democratic Transitions   16     Preconditions for Democracy   21     Role of Civil Society   26 3   DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE IN AFRICA   31     Governance and African Politics   32     Popular Participation   34     Need for Accountability and Transparency   36     Corruption   38     Freedom of Information and Human Rights   39     Decentralization and Devolution of Power   41     Modes of Representation   43

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Democratization in Africa: African Views, African Voices, Summary of Three Workshops 4   INSTITUTIONS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN DEMOCRACY   46     Constitutions   48     Reconstituting the Military   52     Independent Commissions   55     Transnational Democratic Center   58 5   ROLE OF EXTRA-AFRICAN FORCES IN DEMOCRATIZATION   60     Problems with Aid in Africa   62     Challenges Faced by African Countries   63     Role of Donors in Democratization   65     CONCLUSION: ROLE OF AFRICANS IN THE DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS   74 APPENDIX:   WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS   79