You don’t have to live in Africa to know the current situation making the news out of Africa. Police brutality is rife, leading to massive destruction of property,and presidents busy changing constitutions to suit their personal needs has become the new normal.
The current crises engulfing African countries have created a fragile socio-political environment; which has decimated productivity and transactional capacities of the affected economies, with adverse consequences for investment and thus future economic growth.
Guinea Conakry and Ivory Coast are the latest countries to be mired in serious electoral violence. At least 30 people have been killed in protests in Guinea since march 2020, when the president changed the constitution to run for a third term in the face of public opposition.
Ivory Coast is similarly enduring outbreaks of violence as the incumbent embarks on a third term bid against the grain of public opinion.
A spirited effort to end police brutality in Africa’s most populous country,Nigeria,turned bloody as peaceful #endsars protests were met with insensate,state-sanctioned violence and repression. Home to a population of nearly 200 million, the plight of Nigerians has trained the global spotlight on police brutality in Africa perpetrated by Africans on their fellow citizens amid Black Lives Matter protests in the US.
A sense of disappointment and betrayal are inevitable as it becomes all the more apparent that even in Africa, Africans no longer feel safe from violence at the hands of their own people sworn to serve and protect them.
Violence against the #EndSars protesters resulted in shooting by armed soldiers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos ,where dozens of lives were lost.
In Cameroon, the long drawn out crisis has yet again culminated in the killing of innocent school children, while injuring others.
With these and other acts of violence being perpetrated in Africa, many are living in fear with the accompanying feeling of betrayal by the people they fully rely on for protection.
Africa has become a by-word for political instability and violence which started in the early days of independence in the 1960s,stunting the socio-economic development of the richest continent in the world in terms of natural resources.
BAD GOVERNANCE AND ITS ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
African economies which were once one of the fastest growing in the world are facing significant headwinds amid the global Corona virus pandemic .This is exacerbated by the persistent menace of corruption and bad governance which continue to keep millions steeped in poverty.
The high rates of poverty and unemployment across the continent have also been contributory factors in incidences of electoral violence.
Frustrated youths without jobs have hijacked legitimate protests to embark on looting and property destruction.A recent example is the case of Nigeria. Many businesses and properties sustained losses in the country’s biggest cities, Lagos and Abuja. This will not only discourage investors ,but it will cost a lot for businesses to recover.
As long as bad governance continues,development becomes a challenge. If these crises continue to ensue every 5-6 years with evisceration of winnings,development becomes elusive.
Each time a new leader takes office in Africa, there seems to be a palpable setback in development .Instead of continuity on the development trajectory,successors seem invariably minded to start afresh; a trend of unhealthy competition that has continued to throw Africa into a state of chaos, with the bulging youth demographic left to bear the brunt of it with poverty and unemployment leading many to irregular migration, organised crime, among others in the quest for a better life.