Posted by / Thursday 24 November 2016 / No comments

Why the one-party system is no longer popular in Africa


Definition of one-party

A one-party system refers to the political party system in which only one party has access to the political power of the state. A one-party could be de facto or de jure. If it is de facto, it means there are other political parties in existence but one particular party overshadows all the others. If it is de jure, then it means by law only one party is allowed to operate in the country.
Role of Western countries
Most African countries depend on donor funds from the first world countries and other Brenton wood institutions of the West. When it was realized that most African countries were not allowing for democratic principles to prevail, the Western countries started to link donor funds to the introduction of democracy. This largely led to the decline of one-party system.

A cue from Asia
Another reason why one-party system is no longer attractive is the success story of the Asian countries. Many countries in Asia which have adopted democracy have seen a tremendous change in their economic fortunes. This is what African countries desired for themselves and in order to get there they needed to adopt democracy hence the decline of one-party systems.

The collapse of the Soviet Union
Many of the African countries looked towards the socialist system of the former Soviet Union to perpetuate the one-party system in their various countries. In this regard, they received some form of economic support from them. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent withdrawal of some of these assistance, the African countries were forced to shift toward the West and western democracy. Part of the conditions for assistance from the West was the abolition of the one-party system.

Fear of losing donor funding
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the adoption of western democracy by many of the former Soviet Union republics, the western countries started supporting them to find their feet. The African countries now have to compete with these newly born democracies from the east. If they refused to adopt democracy, African countries were going to be starved of western funds, so they had to quickly jettison one-party system for western democracy.

Call from international human rights institutions
The operation of one-party system for such a long time led to the abuse of human rights since there were no checks on the rulers. Human rights institutions like the Amnesty International have always called for the respect of human rights in many African countries. These calls over the years yielded benefits when most of the countries started opting for democracy.

Internal agitations
There came a time when elements within the African countries started clamouring for the introduction of democracy. They used protests, demonstrations, boycotts and other tools at their disposal to put pressure on the rulers to abandon one-party system and replace it with Western democracy.

1. a. What is a one-party system of government?
    b. Highlight five reasons why African countries have abandoned the one-party system. [10 marks]

2. Give six reasons why the one-party system is no longer popular in Africa. [12 marks]

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