Is Africa’s Problem ‘Big Men’ or Big Colonial Interests?

In her acclaimed speech ‘the Danger of a Single Story’, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie states that accepting one side of a story leads to ‘critical misunderstanding’ of issues, events and entities. As news of another disputed election in Africa, this time in Ivory Coast, whirled through the waves, discussions on the causes of governance maladies in the continent inevitably resurfaced. The BBC, CNN, AFP, the Economist, Aljazeera, New York Times, The Times, etc, proffered analysis and diagnosis of the electoral problems in  Ivory Coast. Zimbabwe and Kenyan elections, which were also disputed, came under the spotlight and were thoroughly reviewed to provide a pattern of behavior of the actors involved in these elections. Comparisons were made, Similarities identified, and conclusions were tendered.

Laurent Gbabgo
The incumbent president Mr. Laurent Gbagbo (top) and the presumed winner of the recent disputed elections in Ivory Coast Mr. Alassane Ouattara (Bottom).
Alassane Ouattara

The overbearing narrative was that Ivory Coast’s story is an instantiation of the ‘big-men-who-won’t-go-away’ syndrome in Africa. It was concluded that the flawed models, which were used to address electoral fraud in Kenya and Zimbabwe, set a dangerous precedent of dictators who lose elections clinging to power through back-door negotiations and compromises.

 

http://www.wardheernews.com/Articles_11/Jan/Muktar/06_Is%20Africas_Problem_Big_Men_or_Big_Colonial_Interests.html

 

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