Gambia: A Clarion Call For African Democracy

The situation in the Gambia in Africa is disheartening. African countries have long grabbled with the succession of power from one administration to another. With political opponents being systematically prosecuted on the altar of political expediency, based on trumped up charges. Africa needs to change for the better.However what we have learnt to take for granted in the west and that is common place in most democracies, should not be a luxury for the next generation of Africans. Rather it should be a necessity and a basic human condition.

This malaise in democracy has hindered economic and social development, as it has led to widespread uncertainties for institutional investors and consequently affected trade. This happens because uncertainty is the antithesis for investment and development. If we want development in African countries, we need to remind ourselves that political stability is a prerequisite. The situation in the Gambia in West Africa has proven to be a timely reminder that African countries should never get complacent.

Democracy can only be strengthened when there is accountability and institutions are strengthened to be independent, autonomous and responsive. African nations should aspire to pre-empt challenges before the problems arise. Although African nations have made positive inroads in mobile technology in a shorter time period than their western counterpart there is still scope for improvement. Notably with regards to governance, politics and institutions. If African nations can heed the warnings of the recent crises in Gambia they can grow democratically. Democratic stability will offer a foundation for economic advancement for the next generation of Africans, as the failures and success of the previous generations offer us a blueprint for the future.

Featured image | Jammeh for your future | Atamari | wikimedia commons

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.

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