n Africa Insight - A snapshot view of consolidated democracy in South Africa and Nigeria

Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The year 2014 is historical for South Africa and Nigeria, as they are both celebrating democratic processes in their countries. South Africa's democracy turned twenty on 27 April, while Nigeria's amalgamation a 100 years ago was celebrated on 1 January. Given that both countries are pivotal regional and continental states, an assessment of their state of democracy during this period is important, as their political and economic stability has a direct impact on national, regional and continental affairs. This article utilises Larry Diamond's Conceptual Framework of Consolidated Democracy to assess the checks and balances designed to promote economic growth and development in both countries. In essence, democratic consolidation is the process of achieving broad and deep legitimacy, for example where especially the government and the state apparatus are subjected to the rule of law, which protects individual freedom. Due to the broadness of the concept of the democratic institution, this article measures the state of consolidated democracy in both countries by focusing on two areas: education and corruption. In assessing these, this article will question various issues, such as whether self-interest or public interest is the primary objective of political participation in the state. Furthermore, in establishing democratic legitimacy, how effective are the state leaders in both countries in implementing democratic policy? In addition, what are the major impediments to implementing effective legislative steps that would contribute towards consolidated democracy?

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