4 Major Problems Confronting African Politics

The problems facing the Africa continent are many. Climate change is significantly altering Africa’s development pathway. Persistent loss of biodiversity is also a major problem that African countries have to address. Expanding agriculture, clearing of forests for charcoal and firewood, climate change, and desertification are the primary causes of loss of biodiversity.

Sub-Saharan Africa faces one of the most challenging economic environments in years, marked by a slow recovery from the pandemic, rising food and energy prices, and high levels of public debt. Another major problem in Africa is the problem of politics in Africa. The weak political ideology in Africa has made African political structure as the most unserious.

Another urgent issues confronting the region is the need to tackle decade-high levels of inflation which are devastating incomes and food security while also supporting growth.

And even though the rise has been less dramatic than in other parts of the world, and the drivers are different, inflation is nearly double pre-pandemic levels, risking social and political instability and worsening food insecurity.

The bottom-line of this note is to look at the  issues and the major problems confronting African politics. Certainly these problems were created by certain historical forces, though external in nature, but were re-in forced by other factors, internal to the continent.

Major Problems Confronting African Politics

Here are the major problems confronting African politics:

1. Unorganized political organizations

One of the major problems confronting African politics is the formation of unorganized political organizations. Many African political organizations do not even meet the first criterion. Quite often, a political party south of the Sahara is little more than a platform for a single individual, a structure whose rules can readily be changed to suit its founder, whose charisma and money are its main engines. As the vehicle of its leader, the party’s life expectancy and prospects are tied to its founder’s fate. Its program will often be limited in scope, and may not show much philosophical consistency.

African parties also often fall short of the mark on the second count. Not many of the continent’s countries have political organizations with broad national bases. Very often, parties are tied to the home regions of their leaders.

2. Intra-state conflict in African politics

Intrastate conflict is defined as violence between or among one or more advantaged or disadvantaged minority or majority groups, and one or more of these groups and the political/juridical state, to gain either a greater share of limited re sources or control or autonomy or both over the territorial state.

To some degree acceptance, intra-state conflict, terrorism, and unconstitutional changes of government are three of the biggest security issues in African politics.

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3. Political corruption

Historically corruption has been associated with the political machine, but although the latter has almost disappeared, political corruption on a local and national scale has continued.

Political corruption can be attributed to strong urban traditions of ethnic voting, semicorrupt police, and bribe-offering contractors along with decentralized and inefficient law enforcement machinery.

Political corruption is here defined as corruption in which the political decision-makers are involved. In addition definitions of political corruption are bribery, embezzlement, fraud and extortion.

Political corruption undermines political and economic development in many African countries, and raises difficult chal­lenges for foreign aid.

4. Neo-colonialism

Another major problems confronting African politics is the issue of neo-colonialism. The neo-colonialism of today in Africa represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed.

Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example into a colonial territory. Today this process is no longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat.

Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism.

The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.

The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control the government of it. More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means.

The neo-colonial State may be obliged to take the manufactured products of the imperialist power to the exclusion of competing products from elsewhere.

Control over government policy in the neo-colonial State may be secured by payments towards the cost of running the State, by the provision of civil servants in positions where they can dictate policy, and by monetary control over foreign exchange through the imposition of a banking system controlled by the imperial power.

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