The seize of these powers threatens the reversal of the democratic process that Africa has experienced over the last two decades and its return to the era of coups as a standard.
During the early decades of coup d’etat, African coup leaders offered virtually the same reasons for overthrowing the government. It is corruption, mismanagement and poverty.
Although worn out, these justifications still resonate with many Africans today for the simple reason that they continue to accurately portray the reality of their country. Moreover, in many countries, people feel that these problems are getting worse.
In addition, 72% believe that if the general public reports corruption to the authorities, “risk retaliation or other adverse effects”. Africans are a sign that public institutions not only participate in the corruption system, but also believe that they are active advocates.
As for poverty, the already tragic situation is exacerbated by the fragile economic blow of Africa deprived of the coronavirus pandemic.
These conditions are for desperate young Africans who welcome the coup and the coup that promises radical change, losing patience with corrupt leaders, as witnessed on the streets of Guinea after hijacking. Creates fertile conditions.
But, like the 1970s coup, these scenes of joy are probably short-lived, says Joseph Sunny, vice president of the African Center at the American Peace Institute. “The first reaction of what I see on the street is pleasing, but soon people will demand action … and I’m not sure if the military can provide expectations, basic service provision, etc. Freedom.” He says.
Threat to democratic interests
What is clear is that these coups pose a serious threat to the democratic interests that African countries have achieved in recent decades. Worryingly, research shows that many Africans are increasingly refraining from believing that elections can provide the leaders they want.
In other words, less than half believe that elections guarantee representativeness and accountability, which are key elements of functional democracy.
According to the survey, in 11 countries that have been voted regularly since 2008, the belief election that voters can eliminate unprofitable leaders has reduced the number of citizens by 11 percentage points. It’s not that Africans no longer want to elect leaders through elections, but that many simply believe that their political system is gamed.
The African Union has legitimately condemned the Guinean coup, but its response to such constitutional abuse has been modest.
Recognized as these double standards, the elite conspiracy creates the perfect environment for young swashbuckler officers like 41-year-old Dumbouya to intervene and promise to save the day.
It’s probably no coincidence that Rawlings was very effective in expressing the anger that the Ghanaians felt against their political elite when they led the military regime in the 1980s. Desperate citizens living in political systems that they often believe have been legitimately modified can easily be seduced by anti-elite, anti-corruption rhetoric, coupled with the promise of new things.
Unfortunately, we need to be prepared for a possible coup in Africa over the next few years. They should be expected in poorer and more vulnerable countries, not in richer countries with strong institutions such as South Africa, Ghana and Botswana. So are Mali, Niger, Chad, and Guinea, where coups and coup attempts have recently taken place.
As the likelihood of a coup increases, Africa is generally unpredictable and unstable, negative for investors and potentially deteriorating economic conditions.
Is it possible to reverse this unwanted trend? Yes, but the international accusations of coups in Guinea and elsewhere are important as a deterrent to becoming other powers, but the only actor who really has the power to reverse this tendency of concern is The African leader himself.
They are responsible in the field and their reaction to these recent events will be a decisive factor. They need to rekindle the belief that democracy can bring to Africans. But if the issues still cited to justify the coup continue to worsen in today’s African democracy, the temptation to try something else is dangerously seductive for both the coup and the public. Will continue to be.