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Obasanjo: Western-style Democracy Not Suitable for Africa



Olusegun Obasanjo

Speaking at the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa, held at the Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, he emphasized the need to re-examine Western democracy to accommodate African peculiarities.

According to Obasanjo, the shortcomings of liberal democracy in Africa stem from its failure to consider African history, multicultural complexities, and the views of the majority of the people. He described Western Liberal Democracy as a “government of a few people over all the people or population, and these few people are representatives of only some of the people and not full representatives of all the people. Invariably, the majority of the people are wittingly or unwittingly kept out.”

He proposed the adoption of what he termed “Afro democracy” in place of Western liberal democracy, asserting that African countries should not operate a system of government in which they have no involvement in its definition and design.

Obasanjo emphasized the need to critically examine the practice of liberal democracy, identify its shortcomings for African society, and bring forth ideas and recommendations that can better serve the purpose of the people.