Home HISTORY CHANGES IN POLITICAL POLICIES IN AFRICA AFTER INDEPENDENCE

CHANGES IN POLITICAL POLICIES IN AFRICA AFTER INDEPENDENCE

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INTRODUCTION

This was the major reformations and steps taken by newly independent African states to formulate their own political, ideological and administrative systems that would fit their course and serve their needs.

FACTORS/CONDTIONS FOR THE CHANGES IN POLITICAL, IDEOLOGICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS

INTERNAL FACTORS

Promotion of unity and solidarity among the Africans. The changes of political party from multiparty to single party system aimed at promoting unity and solidarity among the Africans since they were dominated by single ideology for example in K.A.N.U in Kenya, C.C.M. in Tanzania and U.P.C. in Uganda.

Avoidance of political opposition from other parties. Soon after independence most African states expected to have peace and political stability for the national development so they decided to adopt one party system in order to avoid political opposition of other parties as they thought that having multiparty system the national development could be threatened.

Avoidance of civil wars among the Africans. Since in multiparty system every party struggle to dominate political power, something that cause political instabilities for it was viewed as a tool to divide masses basing on their ethnic origin that may result into civil conflicts. For example in Rwanda and Burundi the Tutsi fought the Hutu in for the domination of political powers.

To avoid the imperialist influence on local politics. The multiparty system emerged from imperialist nations thus most of African states after independence decided to reject it turning to single party system as they thought that having multiparty system could enable foreign influence into the local politics through passing in other political opposition parties as some former colonial power wanted to control their former colonies through opposition parties.

Promotion of good governance. They aimed at promoting good governance with political stability through checking out corruption and misallocation of public funds for example in Tanzania and Malawi.

African wanted to wipe-up Neo-colonialism influence over Africa. Neo-colonialism hampered African growth.

EXTERNAL FACTORS

The role of USSR. The socialist bloc played a big role to the changes of political ideology and administrative system in most of the African states. Since many African countries adopted Marxist ideology that based on socialist ideology resulted to the formation of single party system. For example the leader of socialist bloc encouraged the formation of workers party.

Support from socialist states. Many African states that adopted socialism after independence received moral and material support from socialist states like China and Russia.

Bad perception towards capitalist ideology. Many of the independent African states viewed capitalism as mode of production that is based on exploitation of the recourses and masses thus they decided to adopt socialism as it was discouraging exploitation

CHANGES OF POLITICAL STRUCTURES OF INDEPENDENCE AFRICAN STATES

This was the major reformations and steps taken by newly independent African states to formulate their own political, systems that would fit their course and serve their political needs.

  1. ADOPTION OF REPUBLIC CONSTITUTIONS

Republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter” not the private concern and where officers of state are elected or appointed rather than inherited. The head of state is president not a monarch. For example Tanganyika became a republic on 9th, December, 1962 while Zanzibar became republic after the revolution of 1964. Most of African independent states converted to republic constitution just few years after independence.

STRENGTHS OF REPUBLIC CONSTITUTIONS

  1. They eliminated the queen from the throne of independent African governments.
  2. They ensured that the independence won was total in the sense that African governments were now led by Africans themselves.
  3. They eliminated all elements of traditional monarchs or chiefdoms which were the natural form of pre – colonial African population in favour of a national government.

 WEAKNESSES OF THE REPUBLIC CONSTITUTIONS

  1. They did not end the neo – colonial domination by the former colonial masters in the colonies.
  2. In most cases they denied the recognition of civil rights in many countries after independence. The right to freedom of movements and expression were not included in the republic constitutions until 1980’s.
  3. Too much power was rested in the seat of the president. This gave the presidents of the new republics unchecked power in dictating many affairs of their nations.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF REPUBLIC CONSTITUTION

  1. They ceased the Westminster model of constitution which formerly recognized the state as a constitutional monarch under the Queen of England.
  2. They led to the achievement of moderate national sovereignty and dignity of African states.
  3. They granted more political independence because the British Queen was no longer the head of state in the ex – British colonies. African leaders being elected by the civilians possessed the political powers formerly given to the Queen.
  1. INTRODUCTION OF ONE PARTY SYSTEM (MONO-PARTY)

One party system refers to the system of government where only one party is allowed to rule the government. This was introduction of one party system to replace the multiparty system inherited Independence. It was used in Tanzania (Nyerere-T.A.N.U), Zambia (Kenneth Kaunda-U.N.D.P), Uganda (Milton Obote-U.G.C) and Kenya (Daniel Arap moi-K.A.N.U).  In Tanganyika the decision to create single party system reached in TANU NEC of 1963 and 1965 the constitution was amended and Tanzania became officially single party country under TANU.

REASONS FOR ADOPTING A ONE – PARTY SYSTEM BY INDEPENDENT AFRICAN GOVERNMENT

Promotion unity. Single party system promotes unity among the people. Many parties disunited people and even brought conflicts among the people based on religion, region or ethnic considerations.

Adoption of socialist ideologies. Many African countries adapted socialism after independence. Socialistic ideology favored centralization of administrative power in the hands of single party.

Elimination of pro-white political parties. These were political parties that showed interest to protect colonialism during the struggles for independence e.g. U.T.P in Tanganyika allied with British leaders feared that such parties would overthrow the government of newly independent nation.

Traditions were similar to African traditional culture where Africans were ruled by one king/chief.

Greedy for power among few African leaders who wanted to rule for many years without being taken out of the post by political party.

Promote development of all people. People’s effort be concentrated in development rather than in politics.

Promote equitable development in the country as all people all over the country belong to the same party.

 STRENGTHS OF SINGLE PARTY RULE

  1. Singe party rule brought unity to the nation
  2. It led to the collapse of pro-white and Arab political parties in the newly independent nations
  3. Single party system ensured security and defense. All people were united strongly to defend their country as the Late Julius Nyerere remarked: “The reasons for single party system ifs for national security and defense”
  4. It protected newly formed government from direct political interference from foreign governments especially those of USA and Europe.
  5. It ensured the government and all political leaders focused on working together and avoid oppositions.
  6. It protected the political independence that was gained from the colonialist rule from 1960s to the1990s.

WEAKNESSES OF THE SINGLE PARTY RULE

  1. Encouraged authoritarianism due to lack of competition in politics i.e. only few people in the country dominate decision making without allowing any critics.
  2. Lack of enough checks and balance on government and so encouraging management and corruption.
  3. Monopoly of administrative powers by a few party officials. Single party rule gave more administrative powers to a few people especially the president and the executive committee.
  4. It banned the freedom of expression; where by the representatives of the people could not criticize, ask questions or move a motion against the party and the government.
  5. It limited popular participation in elections. Members who are not member of the political party had no opportunities to contest for various leadership’s posts in their own government.
  6. There was no autonomy of the civil associations. Under single party system all civil associations were not able to work independently of the state.

CONTRIBUTION OF SINGLE PARTY RULE IN THE INDEPENDENT STATES

  1. Single party rule maintained political independence that was gained from the colonialists.
  2. They increased national integrity whereby the people of different religious, races and political inclinations lived and worked together peacefully to build them nation and bring development.
  3. Single party rule safeguarded the natural wealth of the new independent states. It ensured that the land, minerals, water and forests resources were not under the domination of the colonialists.
  4. Single party rule removed all the political parties which supported the white domination in Africa.

DECLINE OF SINGLE PARTY SYSTEM IN AFRICA

QUESTION: By the early 1990’s single party system in Africa was replaced by multiparty system, why?

REASONS FOR THE FALL OF MONO-PARTY SYSTEM

  1. People opposed the system of mono-party which worked against democracy and human rights e.g. Right to vote, right of expression and association.
  2. The collapse of U.S.S.R (United Soviet Socialist Republic) in 1980’s. The system couldn’t get support from this super power any longer.
  3. Donor countries such as USA, British, and Germany didn’t support the system.
  4. Economic decline in most countries with single party system in 1970s and 1980s.
  5. The rise of USA as a sole super power championed Africans to follow multi-party system.

1 COMMENT

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