Shadow states are the biggest threat to democracy in Africa: fresh reports detail how

Shadow states are the biggest threat to democracy in Africa: fresh reports detail how

9/16/2021 7:30:00 PM

Shadow states are the biggest threat to democracy in Africa: fresh reports detail how

In other words, democracy capture expands the idea of “state capture” to include all political institutions and democratic activities...

ADVERTISEMENTAfrica is not a countryThe nine case studies featured in the two reports show that the extent of democracy capture varies significantly. It is lower in states like Ghana, where robust electoral contestation among rival parties has seen multiple transfers of power. It’s much higher in states such as Zimbabwe, where the government has never changed hands.

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The shape and resilience of unelected power networks also varies in important ways. In Uganda, the shadow state is run by an axis of President Yoweri Museveni’s family, a “military aristocracy” and interlocutors in the business community.In Benin, President Patrice Talon has exploited the weakness of the legal system, the judiciary and the legislature to expand his power. Through this process he has turned one of the continent’s most vibrant democracies into a near political monopoly.

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