n Africa Insight - The dialectics of ethnic conflicts, political instability and underdevelopment in Africa's Great Lakes region

Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Using the Transmission Model of Conflict Analysis as an analytical framework, with data obtained from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and the United Nations Human Development Report, this article engages in an analysis of how protracted ethnic conflicts have resulted in political instability and socio-economic underdevelopment in Africa's Great Lakes region. Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been selected as case studies for the period between 2000 and 2010, but references are made to other countries in the region as well. The findings show that conflicts in the region are fuelled by ethnocentric tendencies. This has had negative impacts on political stability and has resulted in socio-economic underdevelopment. Consequently, the article recommends the institutionalisation of a robust nation-building and political process that de-emphasises ethnicity and promotes political and socio-economic justice.

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