n Conflict Trends - Transition to democracy in Africa : no easy challenges

Volume 2003, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818



The debate on democratic transition is not a new one. However, the African context within which it is waged, is characterised by complexities different to those experienced elsewhere around the globe. During its history, almost all of Africa was colonised, following an age or more of mercantile exploitation. Its dawn of independence broke at a time when the world was deeply embroiled in the bi-polarism of the Cold War. States that lacked infrastructural development were unprepared for the hastily bestowed independence. At the same time, neo-imperialist countries retained the core-structures of economic exploitation - even today, some of these countries still continue this tradition. In this respect, Africa remains at the economic periphery of the world, even if some countries - such as Mozambique and Botswana - register positive growth rates.

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