Dr Agumenu writes: Africa’s democracy faces challenges amid rising conflicts and poverty


The upsurge of democracy in Africa is experiencing a decline with the systematic rise of conflicts, blatant abuse of constitutional rule and disregard for human rights across the continent, leading to a compromise of the democracy that was aspired to and fought for from western imperial rule.

The quality of democracy on the continent today, is not only challenged with violence, brutality, civil unrest, human rights abuse, high rate of , and deliberate weaknesses in the electoral systems; but more importantly, the rapid growth of corruption and poverty.

Millions of lives in Africa are blighted by the effects of the decline in the quality of life and the lack of good leadership, leaving them in conditions that are inhumane.

Unfortunately, several African countries struggle with food security across the sub-Saharan region with a high dependence on rain fed making the continent vulnerable to the effects of adverse weather conditions on agriculture leading to irregular food supply.

What a shame for African leaders to be negotiating grains from countries at war:  Instead of Africa supplying grains to Europe and the world, Africa is rather unnecessarily destitute of food and necessities of life.

I was thinking a good policy like planting for food and Jobs was going to create a buffer stock to better the lives of millions of Ghanaians but unfortunately the project failed to deliver the desired result. Is it the case that Agric extension and monitoring and evaluation officers are not providing the right feedback to the leadership about the true nature of input and output of the project; or is it the usual way of politicking?

Could you imagine that at times 1 individual garden egg, okra, and tomatoes is 1 cedis?  What is truly happening; and who is abusing the system?  I am not referring to the price of Petro chemical products, cement, or a bag of rice.   I am referring to the basic agricultural needs.   If I say a loaf of bread size has reduced but the price is high, they will say that it's because of Ukraine.   The saddest of all is the engine block that is needed to generate the economic stability we need in this trying moment is rather dismantling it with their political ambitions at the expense of Ghanaians.

Shame on our leaders.  Ponder on how carelessly our and other professionals were dealt with and imagine what would happen if real hungry men and from ghettos start to invade the streets? We would have a national if not continental security threat at hand. Our approach to poverty must be revisited urgently.  The insidious economic policies must stop, and real practical solutions benchmarked on measurable, realistic, attainable and time-tested experiences must be developed and implemented.  Is it not absurd to hear or see our fellow brothers and sisters languishing in jails because of poverty motivated actions or inactions?

The story of the 41 Ghanaians jailed in as a result of unresolved complexities of Qnet transactions should not only be a wakeup call but a mandate for change.  Reflect on this:  Notwithstanding the variations and peculiar situations in international political , America and Iran had to broker 6billion US Dollar Deal just in exchange for 5 American citizens.  What's wrong with us?  Where is our value of our own? I don't think these 41 Ghanaians are thieves-it would surprise you to know that thousands of Ghanaians and African have registered in these direct selling and marketing companies just to change the poverty narrative and have better livelihoods.

Truth is gradually eluding our society and care must be taken.  It is sad but true that, people cunningly hide under the law, outsmarting the system, without being conscience-stricken, and would carry out malevolent schemes to the extent that, we wonder if the rule of law even exists.

We see many leaders across the continent speaking strongly and taking certain political decisions without critically examining the consequences on the state of their citizenry.

Visionary and selfless leadership is imperative for Africa to succeed!

Dr. Donald Agumenu is an international leadership consultant who previously served as a Special Assistant to the late President Jerry John . He is also recognized as a Peace Ambassador.

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