Awakening Africa Magazine


Political Instability in Some African Countries

2 Mins read

Africa and political instability

When we think about Africa, we imagine insurgency, political instability, corrupt politicians, and economic backwardness. There is, however, much more to Africa than this stereotype that has become almost inextricably linked to the continent. There are countries within the continent that are highly developed, and most countries are rich in resources, such as bauxite, copper, diamond, and gold.

The sad reality remains, however, that many countries in Africa do suffer from all the issues identified above that give it a reputation of being economically underdeveloped and politically unstable. According to the survey, 5 out of the 10 most politically unstable countries are in the African continent. This does highlight just how rampant the problem is.

The roots of political instability

Africa has a rich history as well as a highly diverse religious and ethnic formation which is often ignored as the continent as a whole is usually taken as a whole. Many people outside the continent fail to realize that It is a continent altogether and think of Africa as a country. Africa’s current woes are a product of its diverse set of population, many of which still reside in tribal communities and have a very specific set of cultural values and the disastrous impact of colonialism. It is hard to underestimate the ravages of colonial powers upon the continent who exploited the natural resources of many African countries and left a power vacuum upon their departure from the continent.

The fact that the continent was used as a source of raw materials and cheap labor by European powers who made little to no effort to develop the countries they ruled meant that most African countries lack the basic infrastructure and human capital needed to grow. It was under these circumstances that many African nations, like DR Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, and many more, came into existence. Those who ultimately came into power had the unenviable task of nation-building while establishing their legitimacy unto the nascent nations. These two objectives rarely went together as establishing authority required resources being put into arming militias and putting down political rivalries, leaving little for nation-building.

One step at a time

Just like the resilience of a cactus plant growing in the sweltering heat of the desert without much water, the people of many African countries are fighting the odds. Despite the dire circumstances, in the form of armed conflict, political uncertainty, and lack of resources, many African countries have made great progress. More and more young Africans are getting an education as it is the basic ingredient in breaking the cycle of violence in the region. While political instability persists and is a major impediment to growth and development, the African Union is committed to fighting the good fight. Their agenda of ‘Silence the guns 2020’ has been making efforts to end the turbulence and violence experienced by many regions within the continent. South Africa is a great example of how a troubled and damaged country can come to peace with its history and move towards development. This was achieved through the “Truth and Reconciliation” doctrine, whereby the darkest aspects of the nation’s history were acknowledged. South Africans used it to learn from the past and move forward, and this can be done by any country which has been scarred by the events of the past. It goes to show history is for learning, and a country can break the cycle of violence and poverty if it embraces the past and takes the steps necessary to improve things.

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