Obasanjo Calls For African Solutions To Democracy Challenges

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo challenges African leaders to reassess the Western-inspired democratic model, seeking a more inclusive and context-specific system that addresses the continent’s distinct challenges.

At the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, former President Olusegun Obasanjo addressed a pivotal gathering on Wednesday, the Summit on the State of Democracy in Africa, where he shared his vision for a reinvigorated democratic landscape in Africa.

Africa must pioneer a democratic model that resonates with its indigenous values and traditions, Obasanjo argued, one that prioritizes the collective welfare and advancement of its diverse populations.

By championing a democracy that honors African heritage, Obasanjo challenges the dominant paradigm that Western liberal democracy is the sole legitimate form. His vision likely embodies a democratic system that respectfully reconciles universal democratic values with Africa’s unique cultural identity, traditions, and social architectures.

Africa’s democratic future may lie in a model that taps into the continent’s inherent collectivist values, where community needs are prioritized over individual desires.

By infusing democratic principles with time-honored African practices like collaborative problem-solving, respect for elder wisdom, and strong family ties, a fresh and inclusive democratic system could take shape.

Instead of mirroring Western democracy’s capitalist leanings, an African democratic model could prioritize a more equitable distribution of resources and stronger social support systems.

It could draw inspiration from longstanding African traditions of sharing resources and communities providing mutual aid to their members.

Rather than concentrating wealth, this alternative approach would aim to uplift society as a whole through more collective economic policies and robust social safety nets befitting Africa’s communal values.

Read also: Western Democracy Model Not Working For Nigeria – Obasanjo

The former Nigerian President advocated for a democracy that works for all the African people.

African leaders must display an unrelenting passion for the people’s welfare, Obasanjo emphasized, placing the needs and aspirations of their citizens at the forefront of their decision-making.

According to Obasanjo, a thriving democracy in Nigeria and Africa requires a triumvirate of good governance, robust institutions, and the supremacy of the law, forming the bedrock for a functional and sustainable democratic system.

According to Obasanjo, true democracy is a government that emanates from the people’s collective will, built on a foundation of transparency, accountability, and a steadfast commitment to the common good, where the voices of the masses are heard and their needs prioritized.

The Summit is a joint initiative of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library and the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation, made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Ford Foundation and Trust Africa.

African democracy’s progress, pitfalls, and perils took center stage at the summit, where experts convened to discuss the continent’s democratic journey.

Africa Today News, New York 

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