n Africa Insight - Political expediency and the rule of law in Africa : a focus on selected cases

Volume 39, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Concentration of power and its abuse, the shallowness of the rule of law and the absence of popular oversight institutions were for several years the defining features of many post-independence African states. Beginning in the late 1980s and due to a confluence of domestic and international forces, Africa's political realities began changing, resulting in good governance, including the rule of law taking centre stage in both the discourse and practice of post-Cold War African politics. However, in some cases the continent's democratic gains have remained vulnerable to abuse from Africa's political elite, who have continued to maintain that the rule of law is dispensable whenever it stands on the way to the attainment of personal political goals and ambitions.

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